Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tall Ship Manitou

The Tall Ship Manitou is one of Traverse City's most unique dining and drinking experiences.
(After a way too long hiatus, one that consisted of still eating at and loving all of our area's awesome joints, I am back! Let's get this thing up and going again!)

One condition that any local of the Grand Traverse Region suffers from, whether they know if or not, is Proximitus Notus Waterus, also known as the "we're HOW FAR from a beach??" syndrome. 

You see, here in Traverse City, and throughout its surrounding towns and villages, one is always a short walk or drive from some glorious beach. When that TC local is removed from this area and plopped into the middle of, say, Iowa, the mind tends to be blown at how far away one can truly be from swimmable, open water.

See the Grand Traverse Region in a whole new way!

Knowing that, you'll understand the love that every local, and most visitors, to this area has for the lakes and rivers that run through our state. And, you know what they say! "When in Rome!"

Traverse City's West Bay is this ship's playground.

Well, you can't get much more Traverse City than drinking craft beer on a boat. But, the Tall Ship Company's Manitou is much more than just "a boat."

Tall Ship Manitou is a replica of an 1800’s “coasting” cargo schooner, similar to those that sailed the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. Specifically designed for passenger service, her hull was constructed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1983 and finished by Vermont carpenters on Lake Champlain. With a 59 passenger capacity, there is plenty of space for sitting and moving around the decks while under sail. Her overall length of 114 feet, beam of 21 feet, and displacement of nearly 100 tons ensures a comfortable, relaxing motion, soothing to both landlubbers and “old salts” alike.
Great for families! Kids get to steer!

This cruise through Traverse City's West Bay is fun and freeing! Do be warned that, while this ship is a pleasure boat, it is also one that can take on the bay's various moods, as I found out during our recent cruise when a mighty wind began to blow and we were soon keeling at a most impressive rate. This would be when the wind really catches the sails and pushes the ship along at an impress clip, whilst also causing it to lean at what could be an alarming angle to the not so seasoned.

The Manitou has many various options for the curious sailor when it comes to specialty cruises. Do you like live music with your craft beer? Well, the Manitou features "Entertainment Nights" every Wednesday evening through July and August, featuring Song of the Lakes, a grand and much loved local band whose music comes from this nautical life.

How about ice cream? Again, the Manitou has you covered with a Moomer's Ice Cream themed sail. Moomer's is America's favorite ice cream and is made right here in Traverse City!

How about wine? When you come to the Grand Traverse Region, you must try the wine! And Manitou has you covered there as well, with a Wine Tasting Cruise featuring Mediterranean cuisine provided by local favorite eatery Silver Swan.

Craft beer on the bay! No other way!

For our 2 hour cruise, we chose a simple pleasure cruise, a loop around Traverse City's West Bay. On this cruise, you were free to move about the ship and explore, kids could steer a bit, you could help the crew hoist the sails (a real workout, that! I loved it!), and more! Once cruising, the aboard bar kicked into service. Our cruise featured a beer from Petoskey Brewing Company, one from Bell's Brewery, and a cider from Starcut Ciders. Various small, packaged snacks were also available for purchase. The brews were inexpensive, $4-$5 for a good size pour, and for a couple of dollars more, you could snag a glass pint emblazoned with the Tall Ship Company's logo.

For the longer sails, and the bed and breakfast option, there's an amazing dining room and kitchen aboard.

Our cruise was amazing, there's nothing quite like kicking back on the deck of a schooner with a local beer in your hand, watching Traverse City, the Old Mission Peninsula, and Leelanau Peninsula pass by.

But, this particular ship offers one more option for cruising - the "bed and breakfast" sail. This sail consists of cruising around the bay, then securing at the dock for the overnight bit, where you'll sleep in one of the on board cabins (there's room for 20 guests!) or, weather permitting, you'll be able to sleep under the stars on the deck. 

Bright and open, despite being below decks.

In the morning, a fresh cup of coffee will be waiting, as will a full, scratch made breakfast from the ship's kitchen, which holds a massive wood burning stove. If I heard the captain right at the conclusion of our voyage, they also offer multi-day overnight stays up and down the coast.

A huge wood burning stove is ready to rock!

One does not get much closer to Traverse City perfection than this! Seeing TC from a whole new angle, one that many will never see because they just won't bother to climb on board. Do not be one of them! Get aboard this boat for a 2 hour cruise, or for a few nights. Great brews, views, and dining await!

No comments:

Post a Comment