Hardest Working River Tour

Once known as the “Hardest Working River in the World,” the Monongahela River was responsible for much of Pittsburgh’s early commercial and industrial success—even centuries before it earned that moniker!

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The Hardest Working River Tour—the Monongahela’s Industrial Legacy

Join Rivers of Steel for a journey up the Monongahela River on the Explorer riverboat. Once known as the “Hardest Working River in the World,” the Mon, as it’s known to locals, was responsible for much of Pittsburgh’s early commercial and industrial success, even centuries before it earned that moniker.

Hop onboard for a three-hour tour that begins at the confluence of Pittsburgh’s three rivers, then travels to destinations upriver, in view of the Carrie Blast Furnaces and Edgar Thompson Works, and back again. Along the way, you’ll not only hear the stories of our region’s commercial and industrial heritage, you’ll have an opportunity to leisurely enjoy incredible views of the Mon River Valley as spring takes hold.
A white male in a ball cap photographs the Pittsburgh skyline from the riverboat.

On the Explorer Riverboat

Hours & Admission

The Hardest Working River Tour is offered seasonally in May and October. This spring’s offerings include tours on May 15, 16, 22, & 23. Fall dates will be added soon. Tickets are $38.00 per person for the three-hour excursion.

General Admission

Advance purchase required.
$38

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Location & Directions

The Explorer riverboat docks on Pittsburgh’s North Shore near the headwaters of the Ohio River and adjacent to the Carnegie Science Center.

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What to Know Before You Go

Rivers of Steel maintains a family atmosphere on the Explorer. Please be advised of these tips and guidelines to ensure your best possible experience.

Food & Beverages: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, food and alcoholic beverages are currently not permitted during sightseeing tours. Water coolers are available on each deck.   Smoking / vaping is prohibited at all times.

Accessibility: The Explorer riverboat and its home dock are ADA accessible, which includes an ADA restroom onboard as well an elevator to navigate between the boat’s decks. Handicapped parking is available nearby at the Carnegie Science Center.

Maintain social distance: Signage has been placed throughout the vessel reminding you to maintain a safe distance of six feet from others.

Photography: Photography is encouraged!  However, for safety reasons videography and drones are prohibited.

Admission: Unless otherwise noted, all admissions are ticketed. By purchasing admission tickets, all visitors consent to be photographed.

Duration & Arrival:  Guests may board Explorer one-half hour before their tour is scheduled to depart. The PGH 101 cruise is scheduled to be 90 minutes. However, for planning purposes, we recommend blocking two hours in your schedule. Guests should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled tour time. Should we encounter river traffic, the tour could be extended by as much as 15 minutes on the back end.

Weather Policy: Tours are rain or shine. Rivers of Steel will cancel a tour if inclement weather poses a threat to our guests or our vessel. In the event of unsafe river conditions, severe weather conditions, or mechanical failure or as required by the U.S. Coast Guard, other regulatory or governmental agency, our captain reserves the right to stay at dock, or if the vessel is underway, to return to dock. In such instances, refunds or exchanges can be issued for tickets purchased in advance.

For more information, contact tours@riversofsteel.com.

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