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BB Riverboat - Phil Armstrong 28.jpg
BB Riverboats (a family-owned business based out of Newport, Kentucky) has been showing off the mighty Ohio since 1979. ... And the experience just keeps getting better. / IMAGE: Phil Armstrong

This Is What An Epic Night On A BB Riverboat Looks Like

Sure, we might not have an ocean on our doorstep, or mountains to go along with our seven hills, but...
Hey, we've got the Ohio River.

It’s mighty.
It’s majestic.
It’s magical.

Some of my favorite moments -- moments when I feel most at home in/ in love with the Queen City -- occur when I’m soaking up the skyline view along the river. There’s nothing like it. Truly.

So when given the opportunity to hop aboard a BB Riverboat for a Friday-night cruise down the Ohio, the immediate response was of course, “Yes.”

Strike that. Make it a “HECK yes!”


It’s a family-owned company that’s been in operation since 1979. Founded by Ben Bernstein & Betty Blake, the cruises were originally booked from the Mike Fink Restaurant in Covington. It operated out of its Covington Landing location until 2005, before relocating to Riverboat Row in Newport, Kentucky.

And that’s where our evening began.


Imagine the best night of your life.

(... Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration. Because, in truth, the “best night of one’s life” is a fairly elusive thing. It can’t be planned or repeated. But if you somehow catch that night in a bottle, keep it that way. ‘Cause it ain’t happening again, my friends.)

Instead, how 'bout we simply imagine a truly amazing Friday night.

Good company, great weather, tasty food. And to cap it all off, a classic fireworks show.

Got all that in your mind? Lovely. 'Cause that’s pretty much what went down this past Friday. Of course, I’m skipping over a few details. Like, say... the MadTree beer tasting that occurred during dinner, for instance. (Those Shade cans, btw, are effing gorgeous.) And let’s not forget about the live band providing the night’s entertainment. Our lighters are in the air to you, gents.

Perhaps I was just in a really sentimental mood. (Okay, I was.)
Perhaps I was just with the perfect group of friends. (Yeah, that too.)

Still, the hospitality from the crew -- everybody from servers to Cap’n Frank -- was first class. The night unfolded without a single misstep.

In a word, it was “perfection.”


But, hey, don’t let me be the judge. You should try it for yourself. The good news — and I mean "the really good news" — is that BB Riverboats is open year round.

The company offers a myriad of cruise options (e.g. wine tastings, pirates, princesses, super heroes... you name it). And if you’re that gung-ho, you can even get hitched while steamboatin’ down the Ohio. Weddings are already a night to remember, but a wedding on the Ohio River...? Now that’s kicking things up a notch.

Whatever you do, don’t forget your "flippy floppies." (Kidding. But I couldn’t resist.)

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For more information about BB Riverboats, hit up the website.