Houston ship channel

Learn Something New on the Houston Ship Channel Tour

Interested in an adventure off-the-beaten-path? The Port of Houston Authority sponsors free 90-minute round-trip cruises of the Houston Ship Channel on a 95-foot tour boat named the M/V Sam Houston.

This cool tour has been offered since 1958, but many Houstonians are unaware of it!

Now, it’s time to spread the word to residents of the Monarch Medical Center community. If you’re ready to soak in the history of Houston, this tour is for you.

The Tour

The Sam Houston Boat Tour carries passengers on a water-churning 45-minute journey up the channel, displaying the massive freighters, docks, refineries, barges, bridges, and infrastructure that form channel operations. Then, it carries them back to the Sam Houston Landing.

It’s not an exotic passage of beautiful vegetation or unusual architecture, but an education about the port, maritime industry, and thriving Houston Ship Channel. If you’ve ever wondered about those operations, here’s the opportunity to find out.

The Ship

The boat holds 100 passengers and offers lounge seating in an air-conditioned cabin. The standing room’s available on the rear deck if you enjoy some wind and tangy air. The air is tangy with the scent of diesel and the steel that shapes the industrial flanks of the channel.

While the tour points out the gigantic vessels along the docks, their flags and cargo, if you want to know the port’s rich history, you’ll have to Google it on your own.

Still, the trip’s worth every minute as a learning experience and an entertaining time on the water.

The Details

The tour starts at 7300 Clinton Drive. Make reservations online or call 713-670-2416 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at least 24 hours in advance. Since tours can be canceled, check for the status. Tours are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m., and Sunday 2:30 p.m.

You can only drive onto the port property and to the tour boat area. Arrive early for check in with a valid, government-issued photo ID. Cameras are welcome, but large purses, bags, and backpacks aren’t allowed. You can’t bring food or beverages, but a complimentary drink is offered during the tour.

If you’re hungry after hopping off the ship, dining is available nearby with seafood at Monument Inn, Mexican food at Ninfa’s or El Tiempo Cantina, and big burgers at Moon Tower Inn.

There are many free adventures in Houston. Contact us so we can tell you about them and about our adventuresome community.

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