St Johns Rivership Company, Sanford

#1 of 31 in Things to do in Sanford
Sightseeing Tour · Tour
The Barbara-Lee

The Rivership Barbara-Lee is an authentic sternwheel paddleboat. The steel hull is propelled by two paddlewheels at the rear of the vessel. The wheels can turn forward or backward independently of each other, allowing the ship to maneuver easily in very tight quarters.

The 105-foot ship was built in 1986 and was extensively refurbished prior to entering service in Sanford. The ornate wrought iron railings and wooden wheels recall the elegance of the steamers that once plied the St. Johns River between Jacksonville and Sanford.

The Barbara-Lee is well set-up and you can charter part or all of the ship for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions, business meetings and special events.

The ship has five decks: An open-air top deck, a covered open-air "paddlewheel deck" overlooking the wheels, an enclosed upper deck that seats 60 diners with its own dance floor, a mezzanine deck that seats 40 and the large main salon deck that seats 84 with its stage, dance floor and bar. The enclosed dining areas are climate controlled with air conditioning and heating.

In addition to the open upper deck with benches and railings, the covered paddlewheel deck at the rear of the second level allows guests to stay out of the sun while getting an unobstructed view of the river and its wildlife.
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St Johns Rivership Company reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
466 reviews
  • We enjoyed this and were impressed with the service. Was a little surprised with the cut of prime rib. It was only about 1/4" thick.  more »
  • My fiancĂ©e and I wanted to do something different for date night and we found the dinner and dancing cruise to be an amazingly awesome time! Neither one of us knew what to expect so when we arrived...  more »
  • I enjoyed the cruise and the service was nice. I felt as if they could have up their game on the food, but overall the ambiance made it all worthwhile. Would have been nice if the amount of passengers we're a little lower, especially when you're trying to eat and everybody is jammed inside. But overall a good experience and something that anyone that wants to check out the river should try. The Vessel could use a facelift on the inside. Very 1970s or 80s looking. The instructor giving information before taking off, was clear, and easy to understand.
  • Went for a tour of the ship for our wedding reception booked for October. More than pleased with our decision to have it here. Can't wait!

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