The Port of Houston Authority offers free leisurely 90-minute round-trip cruises along the Houston Ship Channel. Embarking from the port's Sam Houston Pavilion, visiting sightseers can enjoy passing views of international cargo vessels, and operations at the port's Turning Basin Terminal. Measuring 95 feet in length and 24 feet in width, the boat carries a maximum capacity of 100 passengers with air-conditioned lounge seating and additional standing room on the boat's rear deck. The M/V Sam Houston has been operating as the Port Authority's public tour vessel since its inaugural voyage on July. 30, 1958. By 1979, a total of 1 million passengers had taken the tour. The tour is free, and reservations are required in advance. Enhanced port security measures require photo identification for passengers ages 18 and older. Register online anytime, or call 713-670-2416, Monday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tours take place Tuesday through Sunday. There are no tours in September, as the boat is closed for maintenance.
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