Things-to-Do, Travel

Dolly Steamboat Cruise

Who loves a great day-trip?  If it has the word trip in it, I’m in and if it’s near or on the water I’m all the way in.

The Dolly Steamboat has been in operation for 32 years, in Canyon Lake, just outside of Phoenix, Arizona.  It was my sister’s birthday, so my mom, sister and I headed out to experience the timeless Dolly Steamboat Cruise.

Do you live near a lake or ocean or is a body of water accessible where you can hop on the highway for a quick day-trip?  If so, I encourage you to find out what types of activities are available to enjoy the serenity that water brings to one’s soul.

Years ago my mom went on the Dolly Steamboat Cruise (Dolly) with a women’s group and told me about it.  Not too much later, my husband and I went on the Dolly for our anniversary.  I’ve also kept the Dolly Steamboat cruise at the top of the list of things to do when anyone asks for non-typical things-to-do.

The ticket pricing is $25, with a $1.50 on-line convenience charge per ticket.  You can show up to the dock without pre-purchasing a ticket, same cost, but with no convenience charges.  The downside to this is you’re not guaranteed a seat on the boat.  All online pre-purchased tickets are checked-in first, then any remaining seating is sold.  If you’re anything like me, I suggest purchasing your ticket on-line to ensure a seat.

Dolly leaves from Canyon Lake, which is about 1 hour and 15 minutes away from my home, so we set out at around 11 a.m. for a 2 p.m. cruise departure (there are two daily cruise times noon and 2 p.m.)  It is recommended that you arrive 20-45 minutes ahead of your scheduled cruise time to get your pass for boarding.  We arrived 30 minutes before the window opened and were assigned the boarding positions, 51-53.

We already had our seats picked out, based on the view from the dock.  We scoped out the top deck, in the sun, on the back of the boat.  Whoever got there first had the task of ensuring we had three seats and table.  Mission accomplished.

The Scenic Nature Cruise is 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Five other cruises are available, including a Twilight Cruise that includes dinner.  On the Scenic Nature Cruise, we spotted several big horn sheep and two bald eagles.

The boat has a cash-only concessions bar (beer, wine, popcorn, candy, etc.).  We bought a couple of candy bars, $1.50 and a large bucket of popcorn, $5.50.  They have free water on-board, but you can bring your own.

The cruise is kid-friendly, and we plan to take our crew out for a little fun in the sun.  Tickets are $15 for children ages 5-12, $6 for children 1-4 and children under 1 are free.

There is ample graveled parking and a restroom on board, but if you’re smart, use the bathroom prior to boarding.

I would take the Dolly Steamboat Cruise time and time again.  Let me know if you go out, or if you search out a boating daytrip in your area.

Location visited:
Dolly Steamboat Cruise
16802 AZ-88, Tortilla Flat, AZ 85117


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