Cruisin’ Tikis Pittsburgh offers up a little more tropical fun
We may have turned the calendar to October, but the summer spirit lives on aboard Cruisin’ Tiki Pittsburgh. The scenic charter cruises on Hawaiian-style tiki hut boats are operated by co-owners Dale McCue and Joa Campise.
“We bring your party to the river,” McCue said. “The response from customers has been amazing.” The company has two tiki boats.
Departing from the North Shore, each 15-foot, 6-inch octagonal-shaped boat is piloted by a Coast Guard licensed captain, often McCue himself, an avid boater.
Featuring a bamboo superstructure, thatching, seating for six and equipped with life jackets, railing, the boats are Coast Guard approved and never operate during unsafe water/river conditions, says McCue. “We always put our customers’ safety first and we have canceled cruises in the past based on river conditions.”
But don’t look for a bathroom on board. “We have to make stops for customers onshore for that and we are happy to,” McCue says.
Cruising at a max speed of 6 mph, the boats meander all three rivers — the Monongahela, Ohio and Allegheny — for about two hours at a cost of $400.
First-time tiki cruiser Nikki Cleveland, visiting from Michigan, worked on her tan clad in a vibrant pink bikini during a recent cruise.
“It’s fun. I can relax with my boyfriend and he doesn’t have to drive the boat,” Cleveland says. “There is so much to see and tiki cruising lets me have my drink in my hand, enjoy the nice weather and company.”
Family and dog friendly, all ages are invited to cruise, keeping in mind children 12 and under must wear life jackets and comply with all U.S. Coast Guard boating regulations.
“It’s a unique and different way to see the city,” McCue says. “It brings a tropical feel to the city of Pittsburgh.”
Tiki tours are stocked with ice, a large cooler, water and cups. Customers handle the rest, providing the snacks and beverages, including alcohol (BYOB and IDs to prove you are legal). Have a larger group? The two boats can be tied on to accommodate up to 12 cruisers.
Past custom charters have included birthday, retirement and bachelor/bachelorette parties, sunset/night cruises and corporate events.
“We’ve had a few tiki engagements too,” Campise says. “The romance happens right here (on the tiki boat) We’ve had honeymoon trips and anniversary cruises.”
Tiki cruising season typically operates mid-May-Oct. 31. Look for upcoming Halloween-themed cruises on the company’s Facebook page, Cruisin’ Tikis Pittsburgh as the season comes to a close.
Details: 833-744-8454 or cruisintikispittsburgh.com
Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.