The Vision

SS Columbia is ready to start her 2nd century as the People’s Boat – a place where people from all walks of life come together to relax, learn and enjoy.

Columbia will be an entirely unique destination on NY’s revived Hudson River waterfront – an authentic heritage vessel fitted out for a modern audience. As a teaching vessel, Columbia will engage school children and other visitors in learning about NY’s maritime heritage as the birthplace of steam navigation and its role in the NY’s ascendancy as the Empire State. As a cultural flagship, Columbia will host live performances, exhibits and festivals that showcase the state’s vibrant diversity. As one of NYC’s largest venues (with a planned capacity of 1,500) Columbia will be a one-of-a-kind event, dining, and meeting destination that draws new visitors to NYC’s Hudson River waterfront. As a day excursion vessel, Columbia will open up NY Harbor and the Hudson so thousands of visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty, history and culture of maritime NY.

The SS Columbia Project is dedicated to preserving, restoring and giving new life to the vessel. The guiding vision for the project is to maintain and use the steamboat as a vehicle for an extensive program of education about, and enhancement of, the arts, culture, history, and environment of the Hudson River, the Hudson River Valley, and the towns and cities through which it flows. This will take place over hours of on-shore and underway activities and programming, serving up to 2000 daily visitors to the People’s Boat with a commitment to social justice, inclusion and equity embedded in all of its programming and operations. The boat’s role in US Civil Rights history provides a significant touchstone for this commitment.

With an eye towards assuring that the project is financially sustainable, The SS Columbia Project will partner with marine operators, event planners and caterers, and restaurateurs to create and manage revenue-earning activities that compliment the onboard arts, culture, education and history experiences.