Experience a true Houston treasure and set sail for a 90-minute roundtrip sightseeing adventure on board the M/V Sam Houston.
M/V Sam Houston takes you through the bustling Houston Ship Channel where you can view anchored tankers, industrial plants, cargo ships, and other mainstays of the busy port. Cruisers can also see the sight where General Sam Houston captured General Santa Anna, a spot not easily accessed by land. Tours are free and operate Wednesday through Sunday at 10am and 2:30pm. Only the afternoon tour is offered on Sunday.
The ship is a 95-foot vessel with air-conditioned inside seating and standing room on the outdoor deck. The Sam Houston boat tour is narrated but some think it’s difficult to hear when you are standing outdoors so be sure to snag a seat inside if you or your family is intent on hearing about the passing sights from the knowledgeable guides.
Book your trip in advance through the Port of Houston website. Depending on the time of year, they can book up to a month in advance so plan ahead. Passengers must show a photo ID (for those old enough to have one) that matches the names on the reservations.
For those of you who want to be head of the class, check out this page of the Port of Houston sight for resources to teach the family about the port from the history to the economical impact. Plus some fun coloring pages for the younger crowd.
When you arrive at the port, expect to see an industrial flurry of activity as opposed to the leisurely touristy feel of most boat rides. One of the unique attributes of this tour is the glimpse into the day to day activities of the port. Another common comment is the smell. Some days it’s more potent than others, but there tends to be a noticeable aroma to the ship channel. Look for signage guiding you to the Sam Houston boat tour where you will find restrooms and vending machines. On most days the friendly staff will offer water and soft drinks on the return trip.
Sam Houston Boat Tour
- Location: 7300 Clinton Drive, Houston, TX 77020
- Phone: 713-670-2416
- Hours: Wednesday through Sunday 10am and 2:30pm. Sunday the tour only operates at 2:30pm.
Photo credit: visualphotos.com