2022 Friend of the River

Alan Bernstein

Owner, BB Riverboats
Newport, KY

Alan began his career in the river industry in 1970 – 44 years ago – as a deckhand aboard the Delta Queen. In partnership with his father, Alan began the process of locating a vessel to start a new business venture. BB Riverboats was created and opened in 1979. BB Riverboats currently operates two U.S. Coast Guard inspected vessels, the Belle of Cincinnati, a 1,000 passenger sternwheeler, and the River Queen, a 500 passenger sternwheeler. Alan was an integral part of organizing and executing the first Tall Stacks in 1984 and continued to be an essential part of the sub sequential Tall Stack celebrations. Alan currently holds a 1600 ton Master’s license and a 100 ton Inland Master’s license and an unlimited master of towing. Alan was instrumental in securing and creating the National Steamboat Monument along the Cincinnati Riverfront that displays the original paddlewheel from the steamboat American Queen. Alan continues to be active in the river industry and operates his business alongside his two children.

Alan has served in numerous leadership positions with a variety of different associations and companies. Alan was elected to the Board of Directors of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) in 1982. He served as president of the association in 1988 and continues to be active on the convention site selection committee planning and orchestrating different meetings and conferences. Alan served on the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Executive Board for 20+ years.

Alan is a true friend of the river! One will struggle to find a more gracious and humble person. He is perhaps the greatest ambassador for the Ohio River on the Ohio River. And he is also certainly one of the great ambassadors for promoting this region – the Ports of Cincinnati – as a tourist destination.

Alan was instrumental in the formation of CORBA. He was present at the very first meeting. At that meeting he was one of the first to also raise his hand to volunteer to serve and participate on the steering committee and, indeed, participated in all of the steering committee meetings leading up to CORBA’s formation. Alan then went on to serve as an inaugural board member and served on the board for the first three years of CORBA’s existence. Alan continues to be a staunch supporter of and is instrumental in CORBA’s continued success. We all owe him a debt of sincerest gratitude.

The plaque inscription is as follows:

2022 Friend of the River Award
Presented to
Captain Alan Bernstein
Recognizing a lifetime of achievement and service on the inland rivers of the United States, all the while preserving cultural and historical significance of the Ohio River as a way of life throughput the Ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.