Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill will end operations of its paddle wheel riverboat after 40 years of cruises along the Kentucky River. The nonprofit organization will pursue other opportunities for public programming on the Kentucky River and at Shaker Landing, where the riverboat is docked.
In recent years the age of the vessel, built in 1970, and the difficulty of procuring specialty parts for maintenance had led to challenges in operating cruises as regularly scheduled. This, combined with the rising costs of maritime insurance and the difficulty of dry-docking the vessel for inspections, led to the decision to shut down riverboat operations.
“Our riverboat has been an integral part of the Shaker Village experience for forty years,” said Shaker Village President and CEO Maynard Crossland. “Thousands of people have been introduced to the Kentucky River aboard this boat, and countless wonderful memories have been made. We’ve explored every option to continue riverboat cruises, but have come to the realization that it’s time to move in a new direction. There are a lot of exciting ideas being discussed, and I look forward to announcing our plans very soon.”
Riverboat Cruises began at Shaker Landing in the spring of 1982. The double-decker riverboat had a capacity of 112 passengers and typically operated from May through October. Annual attendance often exceeded 20,000 passengers for one-hour cruises through the Kentucky River Palisades.
Riverboat Captains, and brothers, Richard and Bruce Herring, have worked on the boat for nearly as long as it has been managed by Shaker Village. Richard began in late summer 1982, while Bruce joined the crew in 1984. The Captains stated, “We’re sorry to see the end of this era at Shaker Village, but we look forward to continuing to work here at the Village and be a part of all the great things to come.”