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“Oscoda's #1 Must do” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Au Sable River Queen

Au Sable River Queen
1775 West River Road, Oscoda, MI
989-739-7351
Website
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Ranked #5 of 9 attractions in Oscoda
Type: Boat Tours
Attraction Details
Macomb, Michigan
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Oscoda's #1 Must do”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Traveling to the Oscoda area is an annual event for my family and every time we go, if we do nothing else, we have to go on the Au Sable River Queen. The scenery is beautiful and Captain Roger and his crew provide an entertaining and informative tour of the river. The music is good, the jokes are groaners but funny and the Bloody Mary is the best on the River! My favorite spot is to sit upstairs (you will have to climb stairs to get there) in the front, close to the music.

The tour does require a minimum number of people to head out, which is understandable. This is a two hour tour on a very large boat with a full crew. I know there have been times where they have had to cancel the trip due to the minimum requirement, which would be very disappointing, but it has never happened to me in the last 8 years. I think it is really the exception that a trip is cancelled and not a decision the captain enjoys making.

Reservations are recommended for the fall color tours, as the boat does fill up. During the summer months they are busy, but most of the time (they were fully booked twice, but I was able to get on the next tour a couple hours later) I have been able to get on board without a reservation, so if you didn't make a reservation you should give it a shot. There is a nice park with a swimming beach and fishing right near the boat, so it isn't bad if you get there early or have to wait a few hours for the next trip out (there is also a restaurant nearby).

This is a definate recommend in my book.

Visited July 2013
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17 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Macomb, Michigan, United States
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Animal Abuse Was Noted By The Guy Running The Boat”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

My daughter and I stopped here on July 15th and I was going to purchase tickets for a 3 PM tour...we were there about 2:30 PM. There was a tiny Shih Tzu running loose in the parking lot and my daughter picked it up because we thought she'd get hit...or stolen. We walked over and asked a man on the beach area if it was his dog as he was the closest. He said "No, and that he thought the dog might be with the people running the River Queen as it seemed to get excited when the boat came in to dock. We walked in the gift shop ticket sales office and asked the ready to burst, pregnant woman behind the register if it was their dog. My daughter put the dog down and she really didn't say to much about it. She was hot and irritated for sure. No air conditioning in the gift shop and it was hot inside despite all doors being open.

Apparently there were 2 Shih Tzu's, the other one was in the back room of the gift shop...more shy and both were hot and looked thirsty. It was a 90 degree day. The boat docked and the "Captain" got ticked off when both dogs greeted the boat and came on board. I saw him pick up by the front legs, and drop the white one twice roughly in the sales office back room...then he man handled both, took them and threw them literally in the trailer next to the shop and slammed the door. I was watching him the whole time and also heard him and his wife exchange a few ugly words to each other over the dogs being out as he passed her by.

I also noted a approximately 3 YO little girl swinging on the door handles of a back door off the dock unsupervised...I assumed she was a daughter of the people running the River Queen.

I asked the Captain as he came back around the trailer if he was the one running the paddle boat tours. He said yes. I told him that I was going to buy tickets for my daughter and myself but after watching him treat his animals the way he did I wouldn't give him my money, I told him that was animal abuse. He said he was sorry, I told him he was not. I was a bit upset as was my daughter to see him rough those small, maybe 7-8 lb dogs up and there was no way that I wanted anything to do with him or his operation....and I told him I was going to write about him also so here is my write up. Not to mention his insensitivity to the woman who I assumed was his pregnant wife.

I later found out that they had 11 people for the next tour and said they needed 15 so he cancelled the tour. Some people who told me that said they drove 2 hours for this with their grand kids. They were well over with 30 some people on the last tour that just ended so they weren't losing money to make these 11 people happy...it didn't matter. My daughter and I would have been 13 and they probably still would have cancelled...it was a hot day and beautiful for a boat tour...

Business must be good...

I would never return to this poorly run operation. If you go, don't do it on a hot summer day...don't rely on web sites to give you information about this either...they will deny the info is valid...per another disappointed customer...

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
saginaw mi
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Waste of a trip”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

They tell you to make a reservation and even if you do they may not go......so you will not know until it's time to leave....if you are not up to maybe being disappointed then don't go....if you don't care then take a chance.....blurting me it was a HUGE disappointment.....planned this trip with the grand kids and they were so excited then the let down....to me go somewhere else where you know they run no matter what.......

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Man, just great!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

My sister and I took my Mom on this trip during the Fall of 2012. What a fantastic trip this was for all of us. It was raining on the morning we were to go, I thought for sure they would cancel the trip but NOPE, thank goodness these guys aren't afraid of a little rain, it was so fun! What a perfect way to spend a couple hours on a rainy Sunday. Too bad so many people chickened out just because of a little rain, how did people get to be such babies, I mean seriously it's just rain people and the boat is inclosed, it's not like you were out in it. Anyway, the bloody mary's were the absolute best I ever had, the gentleman playing the guitar and singing was great, sang a beautiful song about our fallen heroes that should be heard by everyone in the world. What a great piece of history this is, take the kids (leave the techno gadgets in the car), get real and enjoy each others company and the beauty that is Michigan, it's all here take the time to come see it! So, make your reservation, come to the boat (even if it's raining), have a bloody mary or two, enjoy the company of those around you, tip the bartender and the entertainer, take it all in, enjoy it, photograph it and tell your friends (like I'm doing now), this is something that needs to be preserved and continue for generations! Thank you to the staff of the River Queen, you guys ROCK (even if you did kick me off the boat for boarding too early :). PS: The gift shop is great! Really good quality shirts, jackets, etc and the prices were great! Those souveniers were a big hit and believe me we bought a lot of them! Don't let a little bad weather scare you off, it's Michigan for the love of Pete, enjoy it!

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne, Michigan, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Had a blast!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

I was the brides maid of a wedding this past weekend. We had the reception on the boat. We needed to decorate the boat and ran out of time before the wedding ceremony. So after the ceremony we had to have someone run back to finish up the decorating. The staff was so nice they helped them set up and get everything done. The captain was on the first floor of the boat the kids could all go down and chat with him and ask questions. The trip down the river was beautiful. Absolutely perfect. I would recommend this to anyone.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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