As I look outside on this dreary, rainy November day, it’s hard to believe just how quickly summer flew by this year. Captain Brendan and First Mate Brett spent a long day yesterday getting Manitou’s winter cover secured. Before we know it we’ll be hoisting the Christmas tree up the mast! But even though we’re hunkering down for winter our sites are already firmly fixed on next sailing season. With that in mind, we are excited to announce our 2014 Windjammer Cruises!
We kick off the Windjammer season with the 6 Day Explorer Cruise ($889 pp.), from September 3-9. The 2013 trip was one for the history books! Not only did it sell out in short order, but everyone had such a fantastic time that we’re already half filled for the 2014 sail. Join us on a longer cruise and fully embrace the rhythm of wind, wave, and shipboard life.
September 11-15 we will head off on our 4 Day Wine Cruise ($739 pp.), back by popular demand! Explore the great wine regions of the world with expert host Tim Tebeau. Tim’s lifelong passion for food, wine and travel has been realized in thirteen years as a retailer, distributor and importer of great wines from around the world. Tim holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and writes as Food & Wine Editor for Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine in addition to holding a partnership in U.S. Wine Imports, the Ann Arbor-based importer and distributor of boutique, family-owned wineries from North America and Europe. Tim hosts over thirty wine events each year to educate consumers and service industry professionals on regional wine styles and winemaking practices. He lives in Petoskey with his wife and two daughters. Each evening aboard Manitou we will discuss the winemaking histories and taste the varietals of different countries. Dinners will feature paired wines chosen by Tim as a perfect complement to our meals.
September 19-23 marks a new 4 ½ day offering for 2014; The Great Lakes Schooner Festival ($749 pp.). Join us as we gather with tall ships from around the Great Lakes! Board Manitou between 2:00 and 4:00 pm on Friday, September 23. After dinner aboard we will set sail and parade around lower West Grand Traverse Bay, together with a fleet of visiting schooners! Following the procession we will dock in company with the other vessels, giving everyone a chance to stroll the pier and view these majestic sailing ships. We will depart Traverse City after breakfast the following morning, setting a course for…..who knows where? We’ll let the wind and weather decide our itinerary! This is a rare opportunity to step into the pages of history, and only five open cabins remain!
Fear not, star gazers! The 4 Day Astronomy Cruise ($739 pp.) returns from September 25-29. Astronomer and Hillsdale College professor Mark Nussbaum will once again be our guide to the moon and stars as we study the brilliant northern Michigan heavens.
Interested in searching out the first bits of autumn color? October 2-6 is our 4 Day Fall Foliage Cruise ($659 pp.). This is a beautiful time of year to experience all that northern Michigan has to offer! Kick back, relax and enjoy the view.
Last, but certainly not least, is the season wrap up, the 3 Day Fall Foliage Cruise! Join us October 9-12 as we bid farewell to the 2014 season. This affordable cruise is only $529 per person! We’ll have the apple cider waiting for you.
No matter which trip you choose your cruise will be highlighted by new friends, casual fun, and phenomenal home cooked meals prepared on a wood burning stove. Remember, ALL RETURNING PASSENGERS RECEIVE A 10% DISCOUNT!
We look forward to sailing with you!
When you step aboard the tall ship Manitou, our goal is to create memories that will last a lifetime. In a world of prepackaged, cookie cutter experiences we pride ourselves in the authenticity of our sailing adventures. In keeping with the spirit of this goal we go to great lengths to work with local businesses in showcasing what the unique (we would say exceptional) Grand Traverse Region has to offer.
Even the Pretzels are Local?!
Our guests have many opportunities to sample the best that northern Michigan serves up. From the bar to the galley (that’s the kitchen) we present you with some of the finest tastes of the region.
Care for a glass of wine? How about a bottle of Tall Ship Chardonnay from Leelanau Wine Cellars? And guess what schooner just so happens to be featured on the label. That’s right! A lovely watercolor of Manitou has graced the front of this popular selection since 1991. Maybe your celebrating a special occasion. Well, we have just the thing for you. Pop the cork on a split of Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine from L. Mawby Vineyards, an award winning world class selection from one of the best vintners in Michigan.
Beer drinkers fear not! We serve a variety of draft and bottled selections from the wildly popular Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire, MI. Whether you choose the malty Bellaire Brown to the slightly hoppy Pandemonium Pale Ale, we have a brew for every pallet. And yes, it’s true, you can compliment that tasty beverage with Traverse City’s very own Uncle Gene’s Backwoods Pretzels. Capt. Dave has become seriously addicted to these salty delights!
The main theme? The Traverse Region.
All of our themed day cruises feature local products and talent. And there is much to choose from, with something for every taste.
Let’s start with the daily 3-5 sail. Seven days a week we serve up Moomers Ice Cream on this cruise. What’s Moomers? Only the “best ice cream in America (as voted on Good Morning America)! This creamy delight is created on the Plummer family dairy farm, just outside of Traverse City, and it has a loyal and fanatical following. During our time on the water you will enjoy two scoops of ice cream that you will never forget. Your next stop will be a trip to the farm!
Looking for a more adult taste sensation? Join us on Sunday evenings for Short’s Microbrew tasting and pizza. The folks at Short’s will serve up four 4 oz. pours of their excellent brews, while educating you about the character of each and the process used in brewing.
If wine is more your thing we offer two nights of wine tasting and Mediterranean cuisine. Tuesday features Leelanau Wine Cellars and catering by local favorite Silver Swan Homemade Foods. The delectable buffet includes selections such as: Baked Brie with raspberry melba, stuffed grape leaves, and baba ghanoush. Silver Swan is back on Thurdays, with wine from Left Foot Charley.
How about a bit of musical entertainment? Every Wednesday evening since 1987 our decks have been graced by one of the most talented folk bands in northern Michigan, Song of the Lakes, playing chanteys, lively jigs, and songs about life on the water. There’s a reason they’ve been with us for 26 years, everybody loves ‘em!
We hope you will take the opportunity to come out and experience some of the best that the Grand Traverse region has to offer. We believe strongly in the philosophy of working in partnership with local businesses. It truly shows our guests what this area is all about. The more you experience all that Traverse City has to offer, the more you will fall in love with this special town and its people, just like we have.
Scout has been sailing with charter guests for about three weeks now, and we’ve been having a great time! We’ve done a bit of
everything so far, including our standard 3 hour cruise, a Power Island Adventure, and some Sail and Stay Packages. So far Scout has proven popular with a variety of folks including families, couples and groups of friends.
Katie’s Birthday Adventure!
Our Power Island cruise was such a blast! We took three couples out on a spectacular Saturday and headed for the island. We could not have asked for better conditions to celebrate 29 year old Katie’s birthday. With crystal clear skies and a 10-15 knot breeze, we made good time sailing upwind and dropped the anchor at 11:30. Captain Dave shuttled everyone ashore for a picnic and a couple of hours of exploration. Dave and deckhand Michael worked on a few projects aboard Scout, before returning to pick up our adventurers for the journey home. But before raising anchor a few of the intrepid group took a swim in the crystal clear water of Grand Traverse Bay.
With the anchor up and the genoa (the headsail on the front of the boat) set we relaxed on a blissful downwind run back to Traverse City. Lindy even broke out some delicious homemade cupcakes to celebrate Katie’s special day! Upon our return to CenterPointe Marina our happy band departed for the next stop on the birthday adventure trail.
A Note of Thanks
We want to share this thoughtful “thank you” note we received from Crystal and James, a lovely couple who joined us for a “Sail and Stay Package” this past Saturday. They write:
We wanted you to know how much we enjoyed our time on your vessel. Scout is a most beautiful yacht. Thank you for this opportunity to experience it/her. Maybe in the near future we shall try a day trip so that we can go the island we spoke about. We will definitely spread the good word of our experience here.
Many thanks and good wishes on your future sails.
P. S. – We will remember this day for the rest of our lives. Thank you.”
Thank you, Crystal and James, for the kind words and for allowing us to share Scout with you! We look forward to that island trip in the future.
Well, it’s been a whirlwind of activity at the Tall Ship Company over these last few months! In addition
to schooner Manitou’s annual start-up ritual we’ve been immersed in the daunting but exciting task of purchasing, delivering, prepping and now chartering our new vessel, Scout. Capt. Dave has pretty much been eating, sleeping and breathing Scout since February. But with Manitou in the capable hands of Capt. Brendan, First Mate Brett, and our exceptional crew, Dave has been able to rest easy knowing that his other “baby” is well taken care of.
On Saturday, June 8 Capt. Dave and his wife Mary were joined by friends and delivery crew Caleb Park and Meghan Yeiter, stepping aboard Scout for the first time as proud owners! This moment
marked the culmination of over three months of planning, negotiating, setbacks, and breakthroughs, not to mention navigating the regulatory and financial maze surrounding the creation of a new business. After settling aboard and getting to know this new member of our family Dave, Caleb, and Meghan cast off lines and waved goodbye to Mary (who had the decidedly less fun task of driving supplies and equipment back home) as we set off from St. Clair Shores, MI and began the journey to Traverse City.
Scout and her crew got a taste of everything during the 4 1/2 day odyssey: A river, three lakes, island anchorages, plagues of bugs, fog, rain, calms, clear skies and screaming winds! It was an excellent shakedown cruise, and by the time we reached our berth at CenterPointe Marina we could already tell that we had an exceptionally seaworthy and spectacular vessel under our feet.
The last legs of our journey proved the most meaningful for Capt. Dave. 17 year old son Sam and 12 year old daughter Alaina joined the crew in Mackinaw City, followed by a touch-and-go pick up of Mary in Northport. With the whole McGinnis family together aboard Scout, we slipped into our Traverse City dock on the evening of June 13, a bit tired but ready for this new adventure!