Discovery River Tours Sep/Oct PWC Trips

By Jeff Hemmel

I recently got some information from Discovery River Tours on their remaining PWC tours for 2010. For those unfamiliar with Discovery River Tours, they’ve been around since 1993, and run all-inclusive touring packages in the southeastern United States. The owners, Sam Thomas and Vicki Williams, still lead each and every tour, and as anyone who has been on one can attest, they run a first-class operation. Tours typically last 2-5 days, and visit some of the more scenic and unique spots found in the south.

Remaining trips on this year’s schedule include the Pee Dee-Waccamaw River Trip (Sept. 17-19). Here’s the description:

This popular South Carolina trip offers extraordinary accommodations, great food and spectacular scenery. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience a river adventure in style!

We begin this trip near McClellanville, SC on the Intracoastal Waterway. From there you’ll travel some sections of the South and North Santee Rivers and through a portion of Winyah Bay before we stop on the Historic Georgetown, SC Riverwalk for lunch. The afternoon will take us on to the Great Pee Dee River, where we’ll pass through the narrow, trail-like sections of the Samworth Wildlife Management Area. As the river begins to widen again you’ll see the splendor of the old rice plantations which can only be seen by river. After a short run down beautiful, unspoiled Bull Creek, the group will head north on the Waccamaw River to our destination of Conway, SC. We’ll cap off this fabulous first day with a private dinner catered just for our group.

Conway is a historic riverfront town located on the Waccamaw River. Our home for two days is a beautifully appointed Bed & Breakfast Inn located on the town’s River Walk; conveniently located near restaurants, shops, a riverside park and the PWC friendly marina.

Day Two is spent in the Conway area offering a 52- mile run on the narrow and twisting Upper Waccamaw River (seen in the photo above). This ride is exciting and the scenery is great…….definitely one of the highlights of the trip! You’ll have time in the afternoon to do what you want to do; perhaps just relax on the front porch, get a massage at the Inn, or explore the town by land. The group will close out the day dining in town on some of the most delectable Low-Country cuisine available in the region. On Day Three you have a full day on the water as you make your way back to the start point via PWC, completing your 325 mile river adventure.

Following it up in October is the Okee-Kissimmee Lake & River Tour (Oct. 24-26)…

Come be a part of this scenic ride that takes you across the state from east coast to west coast. You’ll experience a piece of “old” Florida where sugar cane, citrus and cattle ranches cover the landscape instead of theme parks and shopping malls.

You’ll enjoy this 350-mile river tour in the warm October climate of the Sunshine State. We begin the trip in Historic Indiantown (near the east coast of Florida). After traveling the St. Lucie Canal we’ll lock through into Lake Okeechobee and travel across on it’s most protected route along the southern rim. After navigating through another lock on the west side of the lake, we’ll begin travel on the peaceful and beautiful Caloosahatchee River. From there we’ll travel through two more locks and into Ft. Myers for the night. We’ll land at our first class lodging overlooking the Bay in North Ft. Myers just in time for the opening of Stone Crab season! On Day 2, the group will head east back across the state to Indiantown for an overnight at the historic Seminole Inn. Loaded with history and lovingly cared for, the Inn provides a special peek at what much of Florida was once like.

On Day 3 we’ll drive a short distance to run our route on the nearby Kissimmee River, currently under restoration to revive parts of the old, winding, original river channel. There’ll be lots wildlife and very little civilization on this adventurous and technical part of the ride. This is a beautiful ride and we like this part so much that we’ll do a second run on the narrow and winding restored section, time permitting.

This Fall trip is a great way to extend your riding season, so if it’s hard for you to say good-bye to your PWC at the end of the summer, head south with us on this classic PWC adventure.

This isn’t an ad; in fact, Discovery River Tours isn’t even aware that I’m sharing the info. But I’ve done projects with Sam and Vicki over the years, and I’ve had multiple co-workers join them on their trips. I know they’re fun, well run, and a great way to get out on your PWC. (For a glimpse of what a tour is like, here’s a link to a story from my Boating Magazine colleague David Seidman.)

If you’re interested in registering for a tour or getting more information, call DRT at 770/493-1PWC, or check out their website at

Jeff Hemmel
Jeff Hemmel writes for, Boating,, and Powersports Business. The former Senior Editor at Watercraft World, Jeff is a multi-time award winner as well as a 2008 inductee into the IJSBA Hall of Fame. His first book, "The Anti-Pirate Potato Cannon...and 101 Other Things For Young Mariners To Try, Do, & Build On the Water," received a bronze medal in the 2010 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. For more info, visit Jeff Hemmel's website.
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