The Proud Mary, as she is called, after the Creedence Clearwater Revival song of the same name, is a paddle boat that travels the length of the Timber River every day, starting in the morning several hours north of Thunder City, passing through its borders and continuing to the south. It returns every evening the way it came and offers daytime and evening cruises from these locations. A ticket purchase is good for the whole day and patrons can leave at whichever stop they wish. Weekend and Monthly passes are available, as well as other multiple-trip deals.
The Mary has been around since 1967, but has seen extensive repair. Most of the boat, is, in fact, relatively new. The boat can take up to a hundred patrons, but is most enjoyable with about fifty. Whether it’s busy or not depends on the time of day, the particular day, and if anything special is going on— on the boat, on the water, or in the city.
The Proud Mary is a red and white, three-tiered ship with a cheerful, red paddle wheel. There is an indoor lounge and bar on the first floor, all air-conditioned, and open upper decks, including a mid-level with a second bar, geared more toward snacks; both bars serve alcohol with ID. The top deck is completely open. There are chairs and tables on every deck, and the uppermost deck is decorated with penant flags.
At night, the Mary is lit with Christmas lights along all of the railings. Soft music plays on the bottom and middle decks.
(To be developed over time)
10 AM – Timber Way, North Port
1-1:15 PM – Linger Lodge Dock
Can be found along the Timber River. Official mailing address of first port is:
2100 TImber Way
The Mary sets out daily at 10AM and typically returns to its starting location at 10PM. Arrival at destinations is typically timely, but may vary. Special nighttime cruises without many port stops are available. Call or check their website for details.