Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Multi-Day Windjammers Offer One-of-a-Kind Sailing Experiences Aboard Traverse City’s Tall Ship Manitou

Since 1987, the Traverse Tall Ship Company has been offering sailing adventures on the freshwater Grand Traverse Bay – and beyond, into Northern Lake Michigan.

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.

Each September, the Manitou offers its popular windjammer excursions. These multi-day outings give passengers a one-of-a-kind experience to head out into the open waters and enjoy a relaxing, stress-free get-away, while visiting quaint coastal villages and soaking up the panoramic views of the northern Michigan shoreline.

The 2013 sailing schedule includes the following sailing trips: 4-Day Astronomy Cruise (Sept. 13-16 $685pp), 4-Day Wine Tasting Cruise (Sept. 20-23 $685pp) 4-Day Fall Color Cruise (Sept. 27-30 | $635pp). Accommodations are provided in 12 double-bunk cabins, and fare includes lodging, all meals and sailing activities.

Throughout the summer months, three two-hour day sails are offered each day – at Noon, 3pm (Moomers Ice Cream Sail) and Evening (6:30pm). Speciality cruises include Microbrew Tastings on Sunday evenings featuring Short’s Brewing Company, Entertainment Cruises with “Song of the Lakes” on Wednesday evenings, and the Wine Tasting Cruises featuring Leelanau Cellars (Tuesday evenings) and Left Foot Charley (Thursday evenings) both including specially-catered Mediterranean cuisine from Silver Swan Homemade foods. In addition, passengers have the option of experiencing an adventuress overnight aboard ship followed by full breakfast as part of the “Floating Bed & Breakfast.”

With a 59 passenger sailing capacity (24 overnight capacity), 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), internet, email and definitely no itinerary.

In addition to public day sails and multi-day windjammer cruises, the schooner Manitou works with Inland Seas Education Association, providing hands-on environmental education to school kids from throughout the region and state. The Manitou is also available for private charters, making it ideal for corporate outings, wedding parties and family reunions.

Traverse Tall Ship Company is located at 13258 S.W. Bay Shore Drive (M22) in Traverse City and shares a dock with the fleet from the Maritime Heritage Alliance, creating a unique nautical experience for the area.

To make reservations for any of the 2013 Manitou sailing adventures, call toll free 800-678-0383 or order tickets online. Gift certificates are also available. For additional information about the Manitou, including its corporate charters, log on to www.TallShipSailing.com.

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