Monday, August 15, 2011

Tall Ship Manitou Offers Multi-Day Sailing Experiences on Grand Traverse Bay

You are invited to escape the daily grind of monotony, meetings and technology, by setting sail on a relaxing multi-day excursion on one of the Great Lakes most treasured bodies of water: Grand Traverse Bay. The Traverse Tall Ship Company is once again offering a series of educational and entertaining experiential cruises throughout the month of September aboard the Schooner Manitou.

• Astronomy Cruise (September 16-19, 2011).

Astronomer Mark Nussbaum will be our guide as we study the brilliant northern Michigan heavens. Hillsdale College professor and avid amateur astronomer Mark Nussbaum will be our guide to the moon and stars as we study the brilliant northern Michigan heavens.

Charting a course just like sailors centuries before, this is a weekend for those who are awed by the vast wonders of the sky. Passengers will see how the stars rise and set, just like the sun, and appear to circle around Polaris (the North Star) as the earth rotates. Passengers may bring their own small telescope or binoculars. A telescope and half-dozen pairs of binoculars will be aboard the ship for the group to share.

Nussbaum will provide star charts and discuss the distances and sizes of the stars and how it is that we are actually looking back in time as we view deeper into space. A professor of analytical chemistry and chemistry for non-science majors, Mark has taken courses in astronomy and astrophysics and has taught astronomy at the college level. He’s also led or assisted at outdoor viewing sessions on several occasions.

• Wine Tasting Cruise (September 23-26, 2011).

Explore the great wine regions of the world with Jerome Smith, Partner and Director of Sales for Select Fine Wine in Traverse City. Each evening aboard Manitou he will discuss the winemaking histories and taste the varietals from several different countries. Dinners will feature paired wines, chosen as a perfect complement to our meals.

Jerome has an extensive 30 year background in the wine industry, working at all levels of the trade. He started his career as a sommelier in top New York restaurants, has managed fine wine wholesalers and has worked as a national supplier. Today, Jerome is a partner and the Director of sales for Select Fine Wine, a national wine importer specializing in New Zealand, Argentina, Chile and Spain. Jerome holds an undergraduate degree in film and television from Michigan State University and a law degree from Fordham University. He is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Certified Wine Specialist with the Society of Wine Educators. In addition, Jerome is a certified Spanish Wine Educator with the Wine Academy of Spain.

• Music Cruise (September 30-October 3, 2011).

Join us as we once again welcome renowned folk singer Lee Murdock aboard for four days of Great Lakes music, history, and lore. It’s always a treat to have Great Lakes folk singer Lee Murdock join us aboard Manitou as he brings the history, legends, and characters of the Great Lakes to life through song and story. This one usually brings back old friends who have sailed with us in years past… added bonus!

Lee Murdock has uncovered a boundless body of music and stories in the Great Lakes. There is an amazing timelessness in this music. Great Lakes songs are made of hard word, hard living, ships that go down and ships that come in. The music is grounded in the work song tradition, from the rugged days of lumberjacks and wooden sailing schooners.

Murdock comes alongside with ballads of contemporary commerce and revelry in the grand folk style. Lee's fans have discovered a sweetwater treasure in his songs about the Great Lakes, finding drama and inspiration in the lives of sailors and fishermen, lighthouse keepers, ghosts, shipwrecks, outlaws and everyday heroes.
As one of the largest sailing ships on the Great Lakes, the Manitou is a replica of an 1800s “coasting” cargo schooner. A traditional two-masted, gaff rigged, topsail schooner, Manitou measures 114 feet in length with more than 3000 square feet of sail.

With a 60 passenger sailing capacity (24 overnight in 12 double-bunk cabins), there is plenty of space for sitting and moving around the decks while under sail. While aboard the Manitou, passengers are free to leave the sailing to the experienced crew or lend a hand and learn the arts of the sailor. An excursion aboard the Manitou allows you to remove yourself from the trappings of modern life: no TV, phone (cell phones are discouraged), email and definitely no itinerary.

The cost for each of these multi-day windjammer excursions is $685 per person (all inclusive). To make reservations, call toll free 800-678-0383. Gift certificates are also available. For additional information about the Manitou, including its corporate charters, log onto (

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