Information on:

Cape Fear Riverboats, Inc.

101 South Water Street #1

Cape Fear Riverboats, Inc. was founded in 1987. It is the brainchild of Captain Carl Marshburn. "I was running scuba dive charters and quite frankly was scared of the liability involved. That, coupled with some bad weather, made me rethink my line of work. I went to the Caribbean for a vacation and on the way back I saw an article about Stone Mountain Boats in an airplane magazine. I guess that’s what gave me the idea. I love to entertain people and this seemed like something good for Wilmington," he said. Although it took three years to get it started, his enthusiasm for the project was unwavering.

HENRIETTA III is named for HENRIETTA, a trailblazer for steamboats on the Cape Fear River, which enjoyed a long and financially successful life. James Seawell at his plantation at what is now Fayetteville, North Carolina built her in 1817-1818. Seawell named the boat for his daughter HENRIETTA. HENRIETTA was launched April 30, 1818 under the command of Captain Charles Taws. Her first run from Fayetteville to Wilmington was in July 1818. She ran the river between Wilmington and Fayetteville for forty years. When she was retired from service, she had run at least one and one-half million miles on the Cape Fear River and had earned no less than one and one-half million dollars for her owners.

Under the ownership of Cape Fear Riverboats, Inc., construction of HENRIETTA II, North Carolina’s only true sternwheel riverboat, began in mid-September 1987 in Greenville, Mississippi. She debuted in Wilmington on April 2, 1988 - almost exactly 170 years after HENRIETTA debuted into Wilmington. HENRIETTA II operated as a sightseeing and dinner cruise boat until she was sold on March 23, 2000. She is presently in Baltimore, Maryland and is functioning as a dinner riverboat under the name of the BLACK-EYED SUSAN.


Douglas Black

Thursday, June 28, 2018
Great family adventure and a great value. Visited while in Wilmington for the day. Great history of the area by the Captain, enjoyed seeing cargo ships and learning about the port. Staff was extremely friendly. My kids really enjoyed it too. Exceeded my expectations.

Matt Freeman

Saturday, June 23, 2018
Relaxing boat ride with commentary by the driver. Only wish there was a little more to see in the area.

Kristen Oswald

Sunday, June 17, 2018
Went on the evening, unfortunately didnt see any wildlife but the captain really knew a lot about the history and the boat ride was really good

William Rarick

Friday, June 1, 2018
Awesome tour! $12 well spent. Highly recommend.

Laura Arnold

Saturday, May 26, 2018
Nice informative your and scenery. Well worth the price if you are in Wilmington.

Cape Fear Riverboats, Inc. is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media