Charles "Chuck" Finn is a 13 year old Canadian boy who had just moved to the fictional town of Tingalla, South Australia situated next to the Murray River. At first, Chuck struggles to cope with having a new life and desires going back to his hometown in Toronto, but he then comes across a run down paddle streamer known as The Tingalla Rose. The vessel is occupied by two ghosts named Elvira "Fingers" Fitzpatrick, a Victorian era woman and Buddy Berry, a 50s rock and roll singer who were both passengers on board when they died. He also befriends a group of locals; Hamish, Becky, Linda and Sarah McDonald, who is the daughter of the current captain of The Tingalla Rose. These events lead to Chuck accepting Tingalla as his new home. The course of the series has the group trying to get the vessel back in business as it was in the previous century while competing with a rival vessel, The River Queen. They also come to terms with resident bully, Theodore "Tiny" Maloney and his friends, Davo and Spider.