Set sail on the newly refurbished Spirit of Philadelphia

City Cruises, Valentine's Day gifts in Philadelphia
The Spirit of Philadelphia

If you’ve spent time down by the Delaware River Waterfront, you’ve most likely seen the Spirit of Philadelphia cruising its way down the river. For over 35 years, the massive vessel has provided an incomparable experience and an unbelievable view of the City of Brotherly Love to many lucky Philadelphians. Now, after a million-dollar refurbishment, the Spirit of Philadelphia is ready to unveil her new look with the same classic maritime experience.

Set sail on the newly refurbished Spirit of Philadelphia

“Over the last five years, we have invested over $50 million in our fleet, our technology and our efforts to continuously elevate our guests’ experience. This outstanding revamp of the Spirit of Philadelphia is testament to that commitment,” said Kenneth Svendsen, CEO of Entertainment Cruises, in a release.

Entertainment Cruises decided it was time to give the Spirit of Philadelphia a face-lift, and after a nip here and plenty of tucks there, the boat is ready to show off her new look.

Spirit of Philadelphia General Manager Ryan O’Connor is more than thrilled with the refurbishment the vessel underwent. “We really spruced her up and gave her a nice modern look,” says O’Connor. “We were able to paint the entire superstructure including the decks, so she has a brand-new paint job and looks fantastic out on the water. Then on the interior, we did a really nice refresh. So really just modernized things: new marble bartops, new carpets, new chairs, new ceiling tiles and more.”

So what can you expect when cruising down the Delaware in style on the Spirit of Philadelphia? First, you have to choose your experience: “We do two-hour lunch cruises and three-hour dinner cruises,” says O’Connor. “Our lunch cruise includes a delicious buffet meal, live DJ entertainment with a lot of dancing and a lot fun. The dinner cruise [also] offers a buffet meal with something for everybody and live DJ music. Both [cruises] also just have beautiful skyline views — best in the city, in my opinion.”

The views from the boat are quite stunning, even breathtaking at moments when the light hits just right. It’s a perfect way to get a new view of the city; even if you have lived in Philly for years, you have never seen it quite like this. The cruise also offers a perfect tour of the city for those who are in the City of Brotherly Love for the first time. “We offer a narration of the sites on our lunch cruise for the sites along the Delaware River,” says O’Connor.

Amenities aside, the Spirit of Philadelphia also offers one of the most sought-after outdoor destinations in Philly. “We have one of the largest outdoor decks in the city. We definitely take advantage of that with lounges and outdoor games like shuffleboard, giant Jenga and foosball. We do have lounges in the interior, too, where we have Connect 4 and chess. There’s just so much to do. The hours go by very quickly.”

Anyone interested in the joyous affair can also save the experience for a holiday. In the summertime, the Fourth of July and Labor Day are main events. “Our Fourth of July is really popular. There are fireworks with the dinner cruise, very family-friendly. Labor Day, there will be fireworks that Sunday as well,” says O’Connor.

The Spirit of Philadelphia is also a perfect way to celebrate with the people you love. “We do all types of groups, whether it’s special occasions, corporate groups, weddings. … I would say 90 percent of the people coming onboard are there to celebrate some special event. People can book through our call center or they can book through our website,” says O’Connor.

What some Philadelphians may not know is that there is another vessel under the Spirit’s umbrella that calls the Delaware River home. “We have another vessel in the city called the Freedom Elite yacht. The Freedom Elite holds up to 100 people for a sit-down dinner or a cocktail function. She’s been with us since 2012. She truly is a luxury and you can charter her for the day.”

So if you’re looking to live in the lap of luxury for a few hours, or you simply want an unforgettable experience, the Spirit of Philadelphia and the Freedom Elite yacht are docked and at your service. 

The Spirit of Philadelphia and Freedom Elite yacht cruise year-round; the Spirit runs daily April-November. To book a cruise or learn more information, call 866-455-3866 or visit