When the Pittsburgh Pirate Ship sets sail this May, even more landlubbers can hop aboard.
The company, which launched last spring on the North Shore, is adding a larger vessel to its fleet. The Kraken is a 40-foot long, 13-foot-wide Dyer boat. It has a restroom and 18 water cannons and is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for 35 passengers. The craft previously served as a cruise ship lifeboat and later navigated the waters of Lake Erie with Presque Isle Boat Tours as the U.S. Ariel.
Owner Evan Weaver will give her a yinzer makeover before her maiden voyage in Pittsburgh.
He says the company’s original boat, the Jolly Roger, was in high demand last summer. Due to Covid restrictions, the 26-foot-long Bayliner Rendezvous was only able to accommodate six passengers at a time for a one-hour, BYOB cruise along the three rivers.
“The Jolly Roger was what I could afford to put on the water at that time,” Weaver says. “A lot of people had complaints about the size of it. It’s definitely not what Pittsburgh deserved. What I’m now offering is much more in line with what I had imagined and what people’s expectations are. People want to have parties onboard that greatly outnumber six.”
The Kraken will operate seven days a week through the end of October, with eight regularly scheduled one-hour cruises offered throughout the day. Customers can book online or walk up and buy a ticket (a request many people had last season). The cost is $12 for passengers ages 3 to 12, $25 for adults and $20 for seniors and military members. Baby buccaneers under 3 sail for free. Groups can charter the Kraken for $675 per hour.
A Navy veteran, Weaver helms the boat with the help of several other captains. The boat primarily stays on the Allegheny and Ohio rivers since the Monongahela’s active waters tend to cause seasickness.
Another addition to the company is a liquor license. Weaver is in talks with local makers of beer, wine and spirits to stock the Kraken’s cooler. Eventually, he’d like to partner with a Pittsburgh distillery to make his own branded grog, which is a watered-down rum.
Prepackaged snacks will be available to purchase, along with bottles of water, soda and juice. Quantities are limited due to storage constraints, but passengers are welcome to bring their own food and beverages.
On the second Saturday of each month, the day’s last journey will be a themed party for adults 21 and older. Upcoming party themes include: June (Caribbean pirates), July (pool party/Americana), August (luau), September (neon) and October (masquerade ball).
Arrrr you ready?