Philadelphia’s Delaware River waterfront was the scene of Thursday’s debut of The Philadelphia Belle, the largest dinner cruise and riverboat on the East Coast.
With the ceremonious breaking of a Champagne bottle, the 65-foot-tall and 262-foot-long paddlewheel riverboat is ready to take guests on a tour of the city’s historic landmarks.
Vice President Tom D’Amato said cruise guests will have a “Best of Philadelphia” experience. “We’ve partnered with Philadelphia International Records, we’re going to highlight their music, the music of Philly,” said D’Amato.
Even the food will have a Philly flair. “We’re going to serve food with out partner Stephen Starr Events so we’re going to highlight some of the best food from some of the best restaurants in Philadelphia and all while sailing up and down the Delaware looking at the skyline,” D’Amato said.
More than 10,000 people have already made reservations to take a trip on the fully renovated vessel decked out like a classic riverboat.
Tom Corcoran, president of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, said it’s one more thing for people who want a true Philadelphia experience to do.
“It’s a spectacular ship. It can carry 1000 people and 200 crew, which makes it the size of a small cruise ship,” said Corcoran. “It’s going to offer different types of entertainment on ever deck, different types of food.”
Before coming to Philadelphia, the ship was the Mississippi Belle II and served as a casino in Iowa