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Belle of Cincinnati
A Friday Afternoon Luncheon Cruise
May 11, 2001
Image by
Kjell T. & Lois A. Evensen

Background Image:  Ship's Bell - Belle of Cincinnati
Image and Special Effects by Lois A. Evensen

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On a somewhat hazy day we made last minute cruise luncheon reservations for the Belle of Cincinnati.

Of course, we each took our cameras to capture as many images of the experience as possible.

We boarded about 45 minutes before sailing time so immediately went to the top
of the boat to start taking those images.

Here you see the white brace that holds the "smoke stack" should the
boat have to pass below a low bridge.

These "stacks" are really fake.  The boat has diesel exhausts low on the boat.

It was fun being some of the first people onboard...

...because we had so much time to wander around and take pictures.

Here is the constantly changing Cincinnati skyline.

I zoomed my camera to get this image.  This guy and some friends know they
may catch some bread or other goodies if they paddle around near the boat.

The Belle of Cincinnati has quite a bell.

Part of the design from the other side is the background on this page.

The day was sunny, but there was a haze over the city that gave us interesting,
but not quite clear images.

One of Cincinnati's most famous landmarks is the Roebling Suspension Bridge,
the prototype of the Brooklyn Bridge.

At the B&B Riverboat terminal there are also restaurants.

Does this look familiar?  It's the same brand life raft that is found on ocean-going ships.

If you're from Cincinnati, you either love or hate this place.  It's the new Paul Brown Stadium.
Whether we like it or not, our tax dollars are pay for it.

Just past the city to the right of the Paul Brown Stadium...'ll find Cinergy (formerly Riverfront) Stadium.  Many of us can't figure out why we
need even one of these on our Riverfront destroying the view, much less two of them. 

Here comes another B&B Riverboat, the River Queen.  This is a smaller version of the
Belle of Cincinnati where we are standing to take these images.

A few days before these images were taken, there was a great article in a Cincinnati newspaper about
Ben Bernstein, grandson of the founder of B&B Riverboats. 

This is young Ben at the helm, only 19, and one of the youngest fully accredited,
licensed riverboat captains in the country.

While growing up, Ben spent a great deal of time at the family business.  When he went to school
to become a riverboat captain, he already had the accumulated the required 365 days of experience
to get his license after finishing his academic work. 

Although not the captain of the boat we were on, it was fun to see him...

... on the job bringing in the River Queen that afternoon.

His family is rightfully proud of Ben. 

Now it was time for us to leave port.  We stood two decks above watching the activity.

This is for...

..."just in case."

The Port Captain and the deck hand handled the bow lines.

As soon as we were underway, we starting snapping images from different angles of all the familiar sights.

After leaving the downtown area, we were on our way up river.

The weather was gorgeous so nearly everyone was outside.

This is the mouth of the Licking River, which empties into the Ohio River on the Kentucky side.

Food!  The buffet luncheon was quite good.

If you look very carefully, you can see this is a river pizza restaurant.
There are many "float up" restaurants available for private boat owners. 

After lunch we headed back up to the top to take more pictures.

Wow, what a handsome guy!  :-)

Yes, this is the real thing.  The paddle wheel really does push the boat.

This is the Mike Fink Restaurant, also owned by the Bernstein family.
Last year we had lunch here while the river was at flood stage.  Images of that day are here.

There was other river traffic, of course.  There were those who like to go fast...

...and those who were willing to sit and wait all day for a bite.

This is The Boat House, another riverside restaurant, this one on the Ohio side. The food is okay
and it has a lovely view, but seating is tight and I've felt rushed there.  If you want a relaxed
meal near the river, eat elsewhere.

For some reason, we Cincinnati natives call this The Big Mac Bridge.

This is an overlook along the Bi-Centennial Walkway,

a walk through history that ends here at the Serpentine Wall.
The wall itself is seating for fireworks and other events. 

The Showboat Majestic is the place for excellent live entertainment by students of the
University of Cincinnati.  The shows are of professional quality and highly recommended.

Another pass...

...below the Roebling bridge...

...and what's left of Cinergy Field...

...and past Paul Brown Stadium... move beyond the city to an area where more river business is done.

Around the bend from the downtown area are huge cranes for...

...loading and unloading metals, coal, salt, and other products.

Down the river further barges are stored.

A barge tug scooted past us. 

Old pretty little towns dot the riverbanks.

The river is wide below Cincinnati.  If you keep going downstream here,
you'll float into the Mississippi River, eventually to the Gulf of Mexico.

Those of us outside soaked up sunshine and warmth on this gorgeous May day.

All too soon we were headed back toward the terminal.

There were old and young on this particular luncheon cruise.

In addition to a group of school children, there was a reunion group
of gentlemen who had been in the US Navy during World War II.

The terminal was now in sight. 

As we passed under the bridges,

...we got a view of the river level markers giving river captains bridge clearance information.

The river traffic picked up as we neared the downtown area again.

This is another of many river restaurants.

The Port Captain reminded me of RCCL's Captain Kent Ringborn.

The deck hand threw the lines, and we were at the end of our luncheon cruise.

We took this image as we walked up the riverbank from the terminal.  The boat we had just left,
Belle of Cincinnati, is the larger one in the center.  The River Queen is on the right.  We had a fantastic
time having lunch on the river.  We plan to return for one of the dinner cruises on the same boat.

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