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“Great experience, friendly staff, and FREE!”

Port of Houston Authority M/V Sam Houston Boat Tour
Reviewed July 6, 2012

The Sam Houston boat tour has been running since 1958, and it's a great experince, especially if you have kids. It's not a relaxing ride - the Port of Houston is a working port, so expect machines and exhaust, but you'll be able to see freighters being loaded and unloaded as you ride down the channel. The staff is helpful and knowledgable. It's free, but you need reservations, and you'll need to book them early since they fill up fast.

1  Thank busybud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 - 52 of 58 reviews

Reviewed April 5, 2012

This trip is free and runs about 90 minutes. There is no video or photography allowed. The boat is very comfortable with outdoors or indoor A/c. There are restrooms as well as a free beverage per guest. The narrator was good, but could have spoken a bit more slowly. It was interesting to see all the freighters, including two car carriers. The port itself is very dirty, so much trash! The smells came and went but there are active refineries along the way. It was educational and worthwhile to do. One of the staff said that Houston is number 1 in foreign tonnage being imported.

3  Thank Jen1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2012

This tour is free, I think it is worth seeing.There were ships there from other countries which were interesting to see. There wasn't much action going on when we went down the channel. One of the barges was moving a container with a crane as we went by, other than that there wasn't anything else going on. We saw a few ships that had workers walking around on them. I was hoping to see more cranes working on the ships. The narration could have been better; we were standing outside against the siderails and we couldn't hear what the narrator was saying most of the time.
They did provide a booklet which explained what the different boats were and what they were used for. It showed what countries the cargo ships came from and what kind of materials are shipped. They provide a free soft drink on the return trip and free coffee. Parking is free.

3  Thank illinoistraveler25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2012

I've lived in Houston my entire life, and had never taken this free tour. I really wanted to like this, and was looking forward to it. Having now taken the boat ride, it's hard to recommend this to anyone else. The Ship Channel smells bad, you see lots of trash, and really after 5 minutes of looking at cargo ships and refineries, it gets old. The fact that the course is out and back (you see the same things each way) doesn't help. Honestly, I really would say to skip this.

2  Thank Robert77096
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2012

Sure the boat is nice and you will learn a lot of history, but the sights and smells are horrific. Maybe I am too accustomed to the beautiful clean lakes and rivers from up north, but no where on the "cruise description" did it prepare you for an hours ride seeing dead floating animals and piles of basura in the channel. I brought out of towners on the free ride and I was embarrassed that this city actually encourages people to see this ugly sight.

5  Thank Bonnie2420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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