It’s the time of year for friends and family to come over the river and through the woods (or through ILM and down US I40) to be with loved ones for holiday celebrations.

If you’re expecting company this holiday season, you’ll want to get them out and about and show off all that Wilmington, NC has to offer. Downtown Wilmington is a must-see, and the best view of downtown Wilmington is from a Cape Fear Riverboat!

See the Best Side of Wilmington, NC


Riverboats have been traveling the waters of the Cape Fear River for more than 300 years. Your visitors can see the bustling Wilmington waterfront just as newcomers did way back when. Of course, it looks a little different now! But many of the lovely old buildings and other history have been preserved, so a ride along Wilmington’s waterfront is as inviting as ever.

  • Our 1-hour sightseeing cruises show your visitors Wilmington’s downtown and nearby points of interest.
  • We have three riverboats available: the Captain J.N. Maffitt, the John Knox, or our newest boat, Jacob’s Run.
  • Our captain’s narrated tour points out interesting sights; the importance of the Cape Fear River; local marine, bird and animal life; and the history of the area, including movies and tv shows filmed in Wilmington.
  • Our boats are open to the fresh river breezes but covered in case of sprinkles, so you don’t have to worry if a cloud appears.
  • If you have a big crowd coming for the holidays, you can charter a boat just for your group.

Hungry Visitors Are Welcome, Too

If you work up an appetite visiting downtown Wilmington, you and your visitors can get a bite to eat dockside. Our River Grill is right on the Riverwalk at the foot of Dock Street, across from our ticket booth. *Limited hours during Winter months.

  • We have the best riverside burgers in North Carolina!
  • Choose from our wide selection of casual fare like hot dogs, burgers, chicken tenders, fries, onion rings, and all kinds of snacks.
  • Beer, wine, and soft drinks are available too, and you can sit down to eat or take your purchases aboard your river cruise.

Have Fun Downtown with Visiting Family and Friends

When your river cruise is over, there’s plenty to do in downtown Wilmington. We suggest Riverwalk Bingo to help you see all the sights. Look over our Day Trip Itinerary for shopping, sightseeing, and dining ideas.

Must Attend Holiday Events in Downtown Wilmington NC

Book your Cape Fear River cruise for your visitors now, and enjoy the best view of Wilmington ever!

Book Now! Book your cruise!