Cruise the lakes in style

1136149 003Lake Geneva and Lake Delavan are two of the largest, most scenic lakes in Walworth County.  Both are rimmed with elegant lake front homes surrounded by lush gardens and landscaping.  What better way to experience the lake and enjoy the water’s edge view of it all than touring in a historic yacht?  Both lakes offer excellent opportunities for going aboard a scheduled cruise, or chartering your own floating party.

 

LAKE GENEVA

Almost any hour of the day from May through October at least one of Gage Marine’s majestic boats will be quietly gliding through the waters of Lake Geneva, bulging with wide-eyed visitors in awe of the magnificent, opulent private estates that blanket its shores.  Visitors nod in recognition of names like Wrigley, Montgomery Ward, Drake.  Gage’s presence on the lake can be traced as far back as 1873, the year the original Lady of the Lake was launched.  Before the current shoreline roads were in place, boats were necessary as the only the only access to various resorts and lake front homes.  Establishing a permanent location in Williams Bay in 1916, Gage continued to expand its services and had put the excursion business in high gear by 1958.

Adding to its inventory of yachts over the years, 8 yachts are now available for daily scheduled lake tours or private charters. They range in size from The Lady of the Lake and the Grand Belle of Lake Geneva, with a capacity for 225 people, to the Lorelei, a cabin cruiser that carries a more intimate group of 50 people.  Several are steam powered, such as the Steam Yacht Louise, and show off warm mahogany wood and gleaming brass fittings.  Most of the fleet has an enclosed main deck for comfort on rainy, cooler days, and knowledgeable guides narrate interesting histories.  The Walworth operates as one of the few remaining mail boats in the country, eliciting gasps and cheers from the on-board crowd as the mail carriers jump off the moving boat at piers around the lake to stuff mail boxes, jumping back on seconds before it moves on.  With a yacht for any size crowd and any occasion, it’s a lovely way to spend a relaxing few hours on a picturesque lake.   For information and tour schedules, go to www.cruiselakegeneva.com or call 262-248-6206.

LAKE DELAVAN

Originally built for H.J. Heinz (as in ketchup) by Consolidated Shipbuilders Corp Speedway in New York, the Cherokee was used in the 1920’s by tycoons traveling into Manhattan via water.  After having several famous owners, one being Gerald Ford, this elegant wooden yacht was purchased by Maheratime Charters LLC in May of 2012, and now calls Lake Delavan her home.

Lovingly brought back to her original grandeur by Pat Maher, she is powered by a caterpillar diesel and boasts a queen size state room aft with head and shower.  Forward of the galley are two large v births and another shower and head.  The pilot house, with an impressive expanse of glass, comfortably seats 9 guests for scenic lake views. The aft end seats an additional 9 passengers to take in the Wisconsin moonlight and stars.  So, if you’ve dreamed of entertaining on an antique wooden boat, you can charter this captained yacht to cruise the shores of Lake Delavan.  For information on chartering a cruise, or for the times of scheduled lake tours, call Maheratime Charters at 262-903-6577.