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New River Tour May Teach You Something About Pittsburgh

Rivers of Steel’s “Explorer” journeys through Pittsburgh’s innovation history while traveling along the three rivers.

photo courtesy rivers of steel heritage corp.


You can now explore the Pittsburgh regions's history of innovation and transformation from the water.

The Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation recently launched the “PGH 101: An Intro to Innovation” tour aboard its riverboat “Explorer.”  

The tour’s three segments correspond to each of Pittsburgh’s three rivers. The Ohio River segment focuses on Pittsburgh’s landscape and natural materials. The Allegheny River portion concentrates on the famous innovators who made their mark in the city. The Monongahela leg showcases technology from education, healthcare, robotics and other industries.

“With the PGH 101 tour, our region’s legacy will be amplified, enabling locals and tourists alike to connect the past with the present, and gain a greater appreciation of Pittsburgh’s role in American history,’ says August R. Carlino, president and chief executive officer of Rivers of Steel.

Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area was created by Congress in 1996 to preserve and manage the historic, cultural and natural resources related to steel and other industries in Southwestern Pennsylvania. It acquired the Explorer — originally an environmental tour boat named Voyager — after taking over management of the nonprofit RiverQuest in 2016.

The 94-foot Explorer also is the world’s first vessel to have LEED standards applied to its entire engineering and construction process. Features of the riverboat are a nod to “green” in terms of durability, sustainability and the environment, according to Rivers of Steel.

The PGH 101 tour will launch from the Rivers of Steel docks of the Ohio River adjacent to the Carnegie Science Center. The tour lasts 90 minutes and is offered Thursdays and Fridays at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. as well as on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the tour will help support Rivers of Steel’s STEM-based education programs onboard the Explorer for students in southwestern Pennsylvania.

People of all ages are welcome to enjoy the cruise, although tour content is recommended for ages 8 and older. Private and group tours are also available. Tickets can be purchased here.

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