Empress Hornblower

Old Sacramento, 1206 Front Street, Sacramento, California | 916.446.1185
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1 Review
Type: Seasonal Events and Other
Ages: All Ages
Cost: $$$

Tour options include casual daytime outings and formal sit-down dinners complemented by live music and fine wine.

1 Review for Empress Hornblower

September 07 2012
1 family found this helpful
"Wonderful Experience"

Hornblower Cruises and Events offers Sacramento guests two appealing options for traveling the river: the Empress Hornblower and the Capitol Hornblower.

The Capitol Hornblower’s Sacramento Historic River Cruise is a great excursion for kids and a fantastic family outing. On the day of my cruise the weather was perfect, my kids (ages 4 & 5) were enthralled with the ride, and the ship’s narrator was unexpectedly entertaining. I absolutely loved standing on the ship’s upper level sun deck with my son while the wind blew through my hair and the sun shined on my head.

The Capitol Hornblower's upper level is accessible by stairs only. The stairway is narrow so climbing them with a stroller proves a little tricky. I had to collapse my BOB stroller and carry it up the stairs behind my children. Carrying my stroller down the stairs was even more challenging because I couldn't see my feet or my kids in front of me. Eh, stroller obstacles are a part of parenting though, what are you gonna do?  

The one hour cruise was the perfect length for my preschooler's. Anything longer and I think my son would have started to whine. During our cruise I learned about an amazing program called Sea Scouts and the Sacramento Delta Youth Maritime Association. This non-profit instructive program instills trade and life skills for young adults ages 12-21 through a family friendly boating and sailing maritime based organization.

While on the ship, I didn’t order food or drink from the bar, but I did catch a glimpse of the nachos and wow, they looked scrumptious! Instead, I opted to carry on a small insulated lunch bag with bottled water, string cheese, and Cheez-Its for my little ones. It was cute to watch my kids snack in the sunshine while taking in the Sacramento River’s beautiful scenic views. We even saw a sea lion!

I appreciated not having to wear headphones as our narrator was a live person who was both charming and funny.


A one-hour narrated cruise with scenic Sacramento River views. Hear about Sacramento’s illustrious past, from the early years of the Gold Rush to the flourishing metropolis it is today. Snacks and refreshments are available for purchase.

Disclosure: My family’s tickets were complimentary, but the Hornblower did not tell me what to write.  The delight I experienced was all my own.


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