Enjoy the Best Sunset on the Toms River Aboard the River Lady
Toms River–Summer is drawing to a close, but it’s not too late to take a sunset dinner cruise aboard the River Lady. Sail down the Toms River in a reproduction 19th century Victorian style paddle boat and take in the sights along the Toms River. View the Victorian homes of Island Heights and learn about local history on the Toms River waterfront as you enjoy a catered meal in the dining room. You can choose to dine on the first deck which is adorned with mahogany woodwork and Victorian decor, or al fresco, on the top deck as the cool evening bay breeze compliments the sights and sounds of the river.
The River Lady is a small family owned business, operating off off of the docks on Robbins Parkway in downtown Toms River.
The Chambeau family has been a part of the boating community since 1972 when Lance & Mary Chambeau purchased the Toms River Boat Works Marina at the foot of Robbins Parkway. It was originally a wooden boat building shop with two marine railways. Eventually they got involved with the buying and selling of used power boats. They sold the Boat Works in November 1987 after owning it for 15 years almost to the day.
“We still continued in boat sales or as my dad phrased and branded it ‘Fine Experienced Yachts’”, according to Chambeau. ” It was on the delivery of one of those yachts that my dad went to be with the Lord at the age of 45 being overcome by CO (Carbon Monoxide) poisoning. After my dad’s death I lost interest in the boat sales business as it was something that I did with him.”
While looking through some files he came upon some blue print type drawings of a riverboat along with some rough income and expense projections, it caught his interest.
“Although I can’t recall ever talking with my Dad about such ideas I found it intriguing,” he said. “After discussing it with my mother we set out looking for a riverboat to start a new business. I looked at several used vessels from Wisconsin to South Padre Island, TX but none of them were maintained well enough so I called the company that my dad had gotten the information from – Freeport Shipbuilding out of Freeport, FL. I went to see a boat they had just completed that was in Myrtle Beach, SC and it was beautiful! We hired them to build the riverboat that was to be called River Lady. I originally thought of calling her Proud Mary after the Credence Clearwater Revival song but since my mother’s name is Mary she wouldn’t go along with that. She came up with the name River Lady. River Lady arrived on the Toms River on Father’s Day 1989.”
Chambeau and his family celebrated their 24th year on the Toms River this year.
River Lady cruises are designed to provide refreshment and relaxation while surrounded by the tranquil scent of the sea and prominent shoreline views. A variety of cruise options is available and last a minimum of two and one half hours. Lunch and dinner cruises offer a break from the regular routine. Guests dine in the Victorian styled dining room or above in the open air deck. Early bird, mid-week and dance dinner cruises also propose sunsets and stars. There is also a historical narrative delivered during the lunch and sightseeing cruises with attention given to local maritime history and sites of interest. Private Charters for birthdays, anniversaries, reunions or other business and special events are welcome from 35 to 130 passengers. Public cruises run May through October; however groups and charters are available from April through November.
You can book a cruise on the River Lady by visiting www.riverlady.com.