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On the Waterways

 NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Price: $29.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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On the Waterways + Honey, Let's Get a Boat... A Cruising Adventure of America's Great Loop
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
  • Run Time: 780 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OZ2CSY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,418 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Narrated by Academy Award © winning actor JASON ROBARDS

For three years, the Driftwood, a 60-foot motor yacht, and its modern-day band of explorers traveled along 25,000 miles of North American waterways rediscovering the sites and sounds of a continent that has fascinated and challenged adventurers for hundreds of years. Join the crew of sailors and young filmmakers in this 13-part series as they sample the substance, the spirit and the extraordinary stories of people who live along rivers, lakes and coastal waters.

Includes the entire 13-part series:

The North Atlantic
The Western Gulf Coast
The Upper Mississippi
The South Atlantic
Lake Superior
The Hudson River & The Erie Canal
The Ohio
Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway
Lake Michigan & The Illinois River
The Lower Mississippi
The Eastern Great Lakes
The Mid-Atlantic

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful September 1, 2007
"On the Waterways" is a beautifully photographed series. It is also a journey into the realm of small, human stories. The filmmakers were young and took the time to talk to the people who lived along the shores of the places they visited. The stories they tell and the way they are told are not flashy. All of the episodes move along at a brisk pace, but at the same time it feels as though time has slowed down long enough for the viewer to enjoy the ride. This series is almost twenty years old, so there are probably a lot of things that have changed. However, this does not change the charm and the beauty of the scenes. It's a bit like looking at old photographs of a favorite vacation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cruise America's Waterways without leaving home. September 25, 2009
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I enjoyed this 13 hour PBS series so much that after checking it out at my public library, I had to order my own set. Plus I ordered a set for my 88 year old parents who now sing its praises. I told them I was sending them "on a cruise"-- Sure beats watching the usual TV garbage. It is beautifully stimulating and educational. Although it was filmed in the early '90's, it remains pertinent with its issues of pollution along our rivers, lakes and coastal waters. I think it took them 3 years of filming to travel thousands of miles on the Great Lakes, the Mississippi, the Hudson River and Erie Canal, the Ohio, the North Atlantic, the Gulf Coast et al. Nice that it is in 1 hour programs. You can watch as little or as much as you want, and replay just your favorite segments.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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I loved watching this PBS series in the early nineties. The concept of floating through America's waterways and documenting the people along the way was so unique. I credit this series with sparking my interests in documentary film making and recreational boating.

During its run on PBS I'd probably seen every episode at least half a dozen times. I never tired of it. So here it is nearly 20 years later and I'm watching the episodes again. Despite my initial fear the episodes wouldn't be as good as I remember, I was amazed to realize they're actually better than I remember. It's such a solid, well paced, visually attractive documentary series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun documentary of US Waterways January 26, 2008
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I watched this series when it first aired on PBS (in the late 1980's I believe) and loved it. It was a truly interesting documentary, telling the story of Americans (and a few Canadians!) who live and work on the rivers and the Atlantic coast.

It is an unhurried, relaxing tour of the eastern seaboard, gulf coast and Missipssipi waterways. Watching it again in 2008 shows just how much documentaries have improved over the years. "Waterways" now is pretty slow in comparison. I think the major difference between watching the stories then and now is that many of the people they interview have quite predictable lives now...whereas in the 80's their lives were completely new to me. Now I have seen several seasons of documentaries on fishermen, and the people on "Waterways" don't have the hair-raising adventures we are used to in such a documentary.

I still enjoy watching it, but I can only watch the 13 hour series 1 hour a week(I get a little anxious for the hour to end, as the story seems to move a little slowly).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars On the Waterways October 8, 2011
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This set is everything the others have said about it, well photographed, well edited, well narrated, etc., so rather than go over the good parts again, here is what I don't like about the set:

Order. Instead of starting at one point (say New England) and making a loop around the area to be covered, the chapters seem randomly placed on the discs. That is to say, if you want to watch a given area (say the US East Coast), you have to keep changing discs.

Intros: The same intro appears in each chapter. The explanation of the reason for the project, the selection of crew, etc. Same for the ending and credits. Once is enough. I made good use of the fast forward button.

Agenda: I am a boater so I bought the set to watch the boating and cruising. Much of the series focuses on complaints about development and individuals who have political agendas. And subjects not related to cruising or boating.

It's worth the price and I've watched most of it (what I didn't skip over), but unlike my other waterway DVDs, I doubt I will watch it more than once.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Waterways October 25, 2007
Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful set to own and watch. When it originally aired on PBS, we enjoyed watching it so much. I had taped it back then but the video quality wasn't very good. When I found it on Amazon, I was thrilled. You'll learn a lot as well as be entertained. It's something that can be watched over & over again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD LOOK AT RIVER LIFE ACROSS THE U.S. March 25, 2014
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I saw most of the programs when they first came out. I delayed buying then and have tried for years to get the whole series. It is great to be able to watch the whole series in order.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great series January 10, 2014
By Ken M
Verified Purchase
Great series to watch. A little dated at this point, but still very well done. Too bad it did not receive national coverage.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Rewatching a lot!
Published 2 months ago by Colleen D. Andrews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good picture of chanding American culture of that region.
It captures the changing culture of that section of American life.
Also, I had the amazing fellow that was the inspiration for the project in my jr. high classroom in Ft. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Gene Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
Great series. I'd love to take a trip like this! Jason Robards did a great job showing us parts of the country we may never see otherwise.
Published 11 months ago by bear80
3.0 out of 5 stars Trip of a lifetime
This is a great partial recap of the voyage made on the boat Driftwood. I don't understand why the documentary skipped such large sections of their journey in the documentary. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Gregory D. Thornton
3.0 out of 5 stars Great video but definitely a little dated
I thoroughly enjoyed watching these videos but between the video quality from the 80's and the definite 80's style of everyone involved it's hard to forget these vids are over... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Garfield Trumble
5.0 out of 5 stars waterways on dvd
saw this show on TV, didn't have a chance to record series, found it online, now I can enjoy this anytime
Published 20 months ago by Pat Rivera
5.0 out of 5 stars America's Waterways
Great series provides insight to history of the waterways that helped build the United States, many of the places are unknown to people who grew up in the Western United States... Read more
Published on October 11, 2012 by fj
5.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing and Educational
Great PBS Series done with heart. Jason Robards and the college interns do a great job of telling the mostly untold stories of people and towns along their 25,000 mile journey on... Read more
Published on September 4, 2012 by Florida Fisherman
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Series!
I first found this series on Netflix and enjoyed it so much that I bought a copy for my father who no longer gets to boat our waterways the way he used to. Read more
Published on June 21, 2012 by Michel Henry
5.0 out of 5 stars Great service
I was delighted to find this old series and made it a gift to a good friend. He was delighted and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Published on June 3, 2012 by Irish buyer
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