On the calm waters of Toms River, the River Lady takes its passengers on a 2.5- to 3-hour cruise aboard a reproduction of a Mississippi paddle wheel riverboat. It’s a perfect break for people seeking a return to an earlier, unhurried time on the water.
Many historic towns, yacht clubs, and boardwalks line the river as you cruise toward Barnegat Bay, with the bridge to Seaside Heights in the distance. Most people buy a ticket that includes a full lunch or dinner during the cruise, but sightseers can opt for a non-meal cruise on the top deck.
100 Things Jersey Shore Cruise Sept. 3
At 11 am on Friday, September 3, join R.C. Staab, Jersey Shore expert and author of 100 Things to Do at the Jersey Shore for a historical sightseeing cruise with or without lunch. R.C. has just finished walking the 139 miles of the Jersey Shore coastline from Sandy Hook to Cape May, writing about each of the beaches and towns along the way.
The captain will narrate points of interest during this 2-hour cruise. R.C. will be autographing books which will be available for purchase. Click here to access the River Lady calendar and book your tickets.
Available dates for upcoming cruises
* Historical Sightseeing Cruise -- August 26
* Historical Lunch Cruises -- September 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18
* Dinner Cruise -- September 9
A family business
The Chambeau family has been a part of the boating community since 1972 when Lance Chambeau, Sr., & Mary Chambeau purchased the Toms River Boat Works Marina at the foot of Robbins Parkway. It was originally a wooden boat-building shop with two marine railways. Eventually the Chambeaus got involved with the buying and selling of used power boats. The Chambeaus sold the Boat Works in November 1987 after owning it for 15 years.
Years after the patriarch's death, Lance Chambeau, Jr., was intrigued by drawings made of riverboat by his father. Lance contacted Freeport Shipbuilding out of Freeport, Florida, and hired them to build the riverboat. Lance originally thought of calling her Proud Mary after the Credence Clearwater Revival song. But his mother, Mary, wasn't fond of the name so she suggested the boat be called River Lady. River Lady arrived on the Toms River on Father’s Day 1989.
Lance's wife Christina is an integral part of River Lady’s history and present operation. Lance's son has joined the business having obtained his Captain's License. Guests can count on at least one of the Chambeau family to be aboard each cruise.
Tips for visiting Toms River
Access and Parking: Parking is available near the dock at 1 Robbins Parkway in downtown Toms River. Pay to park at kiosks located throughout lot; parking is free after 5 p.m.
Amenities: Bathrooms are nearby in the public park.
This spring and summer, follow Jersey Shore author and expert R.C. Staab as he walks the entire 139 miles of the Jersey Shore coastline from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park, Long Beach Island from Old Barney to the Edwin Forsythe Wildlife Refuge and from Brigantine to Cape May.