Romance on the Dolly Steamboat

By Lynette Carrington

Romance on the Dolly Steamboat

The natural beauty of Canyon Lake is showcased on the Dolly Steamboat year round. The giant sternwheeler has hosted a wide array of special events and guests over several decades, but perhaps the romantic side of Dolly Steamboat is the most thrilling!

PR Director and namesake for the Dolly Steamboat, Dolly Kennedy explains the appeal of the Canyon Lake surrounds. “The entire area was created by cataclysmic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions millions of years ago,” states Kennedy.

The sternwheeler makes for a romantic setting for proposals, anniversary parties, weddings and wedding receptions. Kennedy adds, “The Dolly Steamboat is so beautifully maintained and the scenery and ambience is unsurpassed.”

To Kennedy, weddings are always magical. “Weddings are always beautiful on the Dolly Steamboat. However, to me, the most emotional times are surprise proposals; the engagement ring ‘hidden’ in the champagne glass or even when our captain makes a surprise announcement! When permission is given, the announcement is made over the PA system, everyone on board gives the couple a round of applause... Goosebumps!” she explains.

Weddings take place aboard the Dolly Steamboat approximately once a month and receptions, family reunions and other special events take place with the same regularity. Gift certificates for Dolly Steamboat are also available and perfect gifts for birthdays, employee recognitions, anniversaries and much more.

“It is so easy to obtain a gift certificate for a dinner cruise,” adds Kennedy. “If you need a special gift for the person who has everything or you have a special date night coming up soon, call (480) 827-9144 and speak with Jan or Jami, our delightful reservationists. It’s that simple!”

There are a variety of cruise options available with Dolly Steamboat. Discover the beauty of Canyon Lake during a daily 1 ½ hour Scenic Nature Cruise. You will learn about our desert plants and saguaros along with the some of the desert inhabitants that are found along the lake including bald eagles, water fowl and other birds. Keep your eyes peeled and you just might see some of the many big horn sheep herds that can be spotted climbing amongst the canyon’s steep trails.

The Dolly Steamboat Twilight Dinner Cruise is 2 ½ hours and includes a full buffet dinner as you watch the sun sink behind the cliffs and capture the desert beauty as the moon rises and the stars reveal themselves. Private charters are also available for just about any event. The Dolly Steamboat has full catering available for guests who need it.

There is also a 2 ½ hour Astronomy Cruise (including dinner) with “Dr. Sky,” Steve Kates who will give cruise guests a breakdown of the night sky and interpret the constellations in a fun and engaging way.

For additional information on the Dolly Steamboat, a photo gallery and directions to the Canyon Lake Marina, visit For any other questions or to arrange private charters or corporate events, please call (480) 827-9144.