Riverboat Returns to River

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It's a sign of the season in Lycoming County when the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat sets sail.

On Wednesday the boat returned to the Susquehanna River for a season of cruises.

After spending several months onshore, the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat was inching toward the Susquehanna River near Williamsport once again.

The boat has new upgrades, including new electronic controls and new engines.

Jay Livziey came to watch the spectacle of the annual boat launch, and can't wait to experience the new and improved Hiawatha.

“We're excited about that, this will be the maiden voyage, we hope everything goes well, and we're sure it will,” said Livziey.

This will be the Hiawatha's 31st season cruising the Susquehanna, and cruise director Katie Tinney expects the upcoming season to be as popular as in years past.

“We have a lot of specialty cruises for the public to join in on, family nights in June, July, and August,” said Tinney.

This year the Hiawatha launched about a week and a half early because the Susquehanna River is at a good level for it to launch. Last year that wasn't the case. With so much rainfall in the early Spring months, the river was too high, and that postponed the launch several weeks.

The Hiawatha is docked in Williamsport, and the cruise season starts next month, never soon enough for those who enjoy riding aboard the Hiawatha.

“People think I'm crazy, I enjoy this, being out on the river, one way to relax. Come out and join us for everything,” said Tinney.