"A meek endeavor to the triumph" by Sampath Jayarathna

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Free Boat Tour - Port of Houston and Ship Channel Boat Tour

This is a free tour for about 90 minutes. Few important things to remember.
  • Please have a valid reservation before you go there. You cannot just show up and ride the tour boat. You need to go online at Port of Houston web site and go to Outreach section where you can make a reservation. Also remember to make reservations for all your members including the children. 
  • Tour boat capacity is for 100 people, most of the time people cancel it last minute, so you can modify the reservation accordingly by calling or sending an email to them.
  • I guess this should be an appropriate tour for a family with young children.
  • Remember to have the IDs for all the members above 18, they will not allow you to enter the place otherwise.
  • You can take camera's with you and take pictures. Please don't listen to other reviewers. Yes the notice says no photographs, but I guess its the port authority surroundings. During the boat ride you can take pictures. I was so frustrated after listening to the previous reviewers, I just kept my camera at the vehicle, but later noticed everybody else had one during the ride and they took pictures. I had to rely on my iphone. :( 
  • They will serve you some soft drinks during the ride back (after the first half of the ride). Thats a nice surprise :)

Its a nice tour, don't worry about the mild smell of the channel, and what other reviewers say. Its not that bad at all. There are some places so dirty, but thats how it is when its a working port. Its a comfortable ride, there's AC inside and you can relax inside during the return trip so you don't have to watch the same thing again.

It is difficult to find the location of the boat. Initially there are signs, but the sign pointing to the final turn at the entrance gate is not posted. After you get your e-mailed confirmation, call the number on the confirmation for detailed directions including the gate number. This may be why they tell you to arrive half an hour early - you need the half hour to drive around in circles and eventually pull over and make the call for help.
There are many signs posted that video and photography is not permitted, but remember to have one during your boat ride :)
As others have stated, visitors are more likely to like this if they are interested in ships, marine industry or related industries. This is a marine and industrial boat tour... it passes by several refineries, a gypsum plant, grain elevators, navy ships, and other container vessels. Soft drinks, but no healthy alternatives such as water available onboard.
The back of the boat is nice with a comfortable seats, there are no seats in the outside front area. No seats around the outside of the boat. You have enough seating inside the boat.
They open the line exactly as stated. So if it is 10am, be there before couple of minutes. They will check the names only when you get on to the boat just 5 minutes before the ride starts. You have to stay around if you go early.

Here's the link for registration : Sam Houston Boat Tour
Visited September 2012

1 comment:

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