What’s New with BB Riverboats

What’s New with BB Riverboats

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From wine and bourbon cruises to learning Cincinnati's history, see how this locally-based riverboat dining company is offering lots of new cruise options to give you a special night (or day!) out!


BB Riverboats offers lunch and dinner cruises, as well as specialty cruises, up and down the Ohio River.

The history of BB Riverboats dates back to 1977, when Ben Bernstein purchased the Mike Fink Restaurant in Covington, Kentucky. While he created a motto that said “The Romance of Riverboat Dining,” he often encountered confused customers who thrown off when the boat didn’t actually go anywhere.

“Berstein wanted to change that when he was searching for ways to satisfy customers’ needs,” says BB Riverboats Charter and Catering Sales Manager Richard Menninger. “It was then that he created BB Riverboats in 1979. Customers could book cruises from the Mike Fink Restaurant and enjoy a meal while cruising down the Ohio River.”

According to Menninger, the first cruise with BB Riverboats took place on March 15, 1980. Today, BB Riverboats is located in Newport, Kentucky, on Riverboat Row and is owned by Bernstein’s son, Alan and his wife Mary as well as their two children.

BB Riverboats offers a number of different cruise options for customers, ranging from dining cruises to sightseeing cruises and special cruises for days like Mother’s Day.

Where you venture down the river depends on the length of your cruise. “A typical lunch or dinner cruise will go 5-7 miles up the river and back,” says Menninger. “A sightseeing cruise will stay mostly in the downtown area. However, all of our cruises provide the best viewing possible of the Cincinnati area.”

When you book a cruise, you will receive your meal as well as drinks such as coffee, tea, and water. Menninger says there is also a cash bar available on all cruises for guests to purchase soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.

In addition to the traditional lunch and dinner cruises, BB Riverboats offers specialty cruises. The Lock and Dam Cruise will begin October 1.

“Learn first-hand about river lore, locks, and dams from the captain’s commentary as you cruise upriver through the Meldahl Lock and Dam,” says Menninger. “Historic river towns provide a lovely backdrop for your journey through the Ohio River’s rich past.”

The cruise leaves at 8 am and returns at 8 pm, and a round trip ticket includes a deluxe breakfast and dinner buffet plus a variety of games and entertainment.

Bourbon lovers will want to mark their calendars for October 6 when BB Riverboats starts its Fall Bourbon Dinner Cruises. “As the fall colors begin to show themselves and the temperature takes a turn to the chilly side, step aboard and warm yourself up with the taste of Kentucky’s favorite flavor,” he says. “Sample a selection of bourbon while you enjoy a dinner cruise with us.”

The Fall Bourbon Dinner Cruise leaves at 7:30 pm and returns at 10 pm.

Another specialty cruise that will soon be starting is the StoneBrook Winery Sunset Cruise. “BB Riverboats is excited to have partnered with StoneBrook WInery for a fun-filled sunset tour of the scenic Ohio River,” says Menninger. “Guests will enjoy a buffet dinner and live music along with StoneBrook Winery’s award-winning wines.”

Other cruise options include a Sunrise Riverboat Yoga, Late Night Music Cruise and a Super Hero Cruise for kids.

Menninger says that because cruises sell out regularly, guests are encouraged to make reservations as soon as they know they’d like to dine aboard BB Riverboats. “If you don’t make your reservation early enough, you could be left out,” he says. “Additionally, we use our reservation numbers in order to make decisions about cancelling cruises as we have to have a minimum number of passengers for the cruise to sail, so your early reservations can make a big difference.”

To learn more about BB Riverboats and to book your cruise, visit http://bbriverboats.com/.


Sara Elliott
Editor & Director of Strategic Communications - Sara is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor's degree in English literature. Sara started as an editorial intern before working her way up to assistant editor and then editor. She also serves as the Director of Strategic Communications, running Cincy Chic's social media sites. When she's not working for Cincy Chic, Sara is a mom to her toddler, Audrey. To contact Sara, send her an email at selliott@cincychic.com.