Cruise Tahoe: Soak up the sun & sights

LAKE TAHOE IS A rejuvenating summer getaway, away from the heat of the central valley and northern Nevada. “Big Blue,” the nation’s highest alpine lake, offers countless summer activities.

The best way to experience Lake Tahoe is from the water, and a cruise is a relaxing choice to soak up the sun and sights. Visitors can choose from paddle wheelers, motor yachts, catamarans and restored Tahoe “woodies,” all at reasonable rates.

Tahoe Cruises, departing from Tahoe Keys and Zephyr Cove in South Lake Tahoe, is a dependable choice. They have been touring the lake for more than 35 years, with experienced captains, memorable excursions and a first-class fleet.

The stalwart cruise operator provides tours of historic sites around the lake, passing Vikingsholm at Emerald Bay; Fleur-du-Lac, where “Godfather II” was filmed; and the majestic Thunderbird Lodge. Summer evening and sunset cruises also are popular.

The fleet includes “Safari Rose,” an 80-foot motor yacht; “Woodwind II,” a 50-foot catamaran; and “Tahoe,” a 40-foot “woody” cruiser—in essence, a vessel for every taste.

“Safari Rose” is a classic three-deck yacht, among the largest and most luxurious on the Lake. It has a sun deck, a salon with leather and teak, a full bar, dining room and six bathrooms. A barbeque lunch is served onboard.

Sailing enthusiasts can cruise the lake aboard “Woodwind II,” departing from Zephyr Cove. The catamaran carries up to 50 passengers, with a sun deck, full bar, fully enclosed main salon and two full-sized bathrooms.

The custom-built catamaran carries 1,500 square feet of sail and can travel at more than 20 knots.

Tahoe Cruises also offers tours aboard “Tahoe,” a restored wooden cruiser originally launched in 1950. It offers a guided tour of the Thunderbird Lodge.

Private charters and weddings onboard the vessels also are available. A free shuttle picks up guests from local hotels and motels.

For more information about Tahoe Cruises, call 888-867-6394 or visit

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