Welcome, autumn! Everyone’s pleased that our sizzling summer heat has given way to milder temperatures here in Wilmington NC. Fall is a perfect season to get outdoors and enjoy favorite activities. Our favorite, of course, is a cruise on the Cape Fear River!

Here are just a few reasons why fall is the best time for a Cape Fear Riverboat cruise.

Cool Weather, Warm Water

The sun’s not as hot, but the water in the river is still warm. That means fresh breezes on the river feel great and don’t bring the chill a spring breeze sometimes does! With fall temperatures turning cooler, you’ll find a riverboat cruise is a refreshing change.

The Crowds Have Thinned

We love to surge in visitors during warmer months but we also enjoy when things slow down a bit and cool off. After Labor Day, Wilmington tourism slows a bit, so we locals (and the out-of-towners in the know) can stretch out a little and enjoy a cruise that’s not crowded—it’s just right.

Fall Foliage

We don’t have as much bright foliage as the mountains, but the wild borders along the Cape Fear River offer plenty of pretty fall color for a fine seasonal display.

Fall Festivals

Now that the heat of summer is over, let’s go out and play! Enjoy a riverboat cruise anytime on the Capt. J.N. Maffitt, the John Knox, or our newest addition, Jacob’s Run. And if you’re downtown for one of these fall festivals, be sure to take a break on one of our hour-long sightseeing cruises.

  • Wilmington Boat Show: 9-11, 2016 at Port City Marina, Pier 33, Wilmington Convention Center and Battleship Park. See the best of the boats!
  • Octoberfest Under the Bridge: 1 at Waterline Brewing Co, This festival features a beer tent and beer garden, live German polka music, dancing, brats, pretzels, games, and more.
  • Riverfest: 8 and 9 on Water Street. This is Wilmington’s biggest fall festival—don’t miss it!
  • Port City Rumble Car Show: 8 on Princess Street downtown, the car show will have cars, trucks, choppers, jalopies, bobbers, customs, and bikes built before 1970, plus live music.
  • Wilmington Seafood Festival: 22 and 23, 2016 at Watermark Marina. Enjoy seafood, live music, cooking demos, and vendors.

Get a Bite to Eat, Too


Fall’s a perfect time to enjoy a meal and a stroll on the Riverwalk. Our newly expanded River Grill is hugely popular for its ambience (an open-air view of the river) and its delicious casual food! Enjoy a burger or hot dog along with a soft drink, beer or glass of wine in a lovely fall setting with a fresh river breeze.

You’ll find the ticket booth for Cape Fear Riverboats right on the Riverwalk at the foot of Dock Street, or reserve your tickets online. See you this fall!

Book Now! Book your cruise!