Paddle Penn's Landing FAQs

Important Information to Know Before Your Paddle

Independence Seaport Museum has implemented new procedures for visitors prior to and during their visit.  Please scroll down for important information as you plan your trips to our docks.

By participating in an Independence Seaport Museum program, participants voluntarily assume all risks related to potential exposure to COVID-19 in or about Independence Seaport Museum.  The Museum has modified its experience to adhere to safety guidelines and protocol.  

Do I need experience or a boat license to rent a boat?  Everyone is welcome! No experience needed for swan boats and rowboats. 

Do I need to reserve a boat?  No!  Guests can walk-up and purchase tickets on the specific day they want to paddle.   

Are there weight requirements? Renters must weigh more than 35 pounds to safely fit in their life vests. All children under the age of 18 must be accompanied on the water by a legal parent or guardian on the water.  We retain the right to restrict the number of passengers aboard the boat to ensure the safety of all renters.

Do I have to wear a life jacket? Yes, your safety is important to us. All renters must wear a properly secured life jacket while on the water. Safety equipment is provided with your rental fee. We remind you that it is your responsibility to check this equipment before leaving the dock. 

Do I have to wear a mask? Yes.

Where can I go with the rental boat? You can explore the basin as directed by the Dock Staff during your rental. Typically, you are allowed to explore up to the Mainmast of the Cruiser Olympia.

How long is the rental and what happens if I stay out longer?   Each session is thirty (30) minutes.  It is your responsibility to return the boat within the rental time.  Our safety boater will issue a warning when its time to start returning to the docks in order to ensure sufficient time between sessions.  

What happens in the case of inclement weather? The Museum reserves the right to cancel Paddle Penn's Landing if the weather is deemed unsafe.  For example: thunder and lightning, excessive heat or excessive wind would prompt a cancellation.  If you have purchased a ticket and your session is canceled in advance, you will be given the option to reschedule or receive a refund.  If your session is cut short by more than 20 minutes, you may be entitled to a refund.   

Will my clothes get wet? You can expect to get wet when renting a pedal boat.  The foot wells, in particular, may have water in them.  

Can I bring food or beverages into the boats? No. Your safety and the safety of our environment are extremely important to us. Please enjoy your snack or drink in designated eating locations prior to boarding or after the completion of your rental.   

Can Spot and Fido row or pedal? We love all animals, but neither Spot nor Fido, nor any pets, are allowed in boat rentals.

Can I smoke in the boats or on the dock? No, smoking, including vaping, on the boats and docks is prohibited. 

Will a bathroom be available?   There are public restrooms available nearby at Spruce Street Harbor Park which can be utilized either before or after your rental. 


We reserve the right to refuse use of equipment or facilities if the renter or customer, in our judgement, appears to be unfit to safely rent or operate a boat, under the influence of a substance, or otherwise in a situation that might affect their own safety or the safety of others. We reserve the right to call in rented boats that are improperly or unsafely handled.