Set sail aboard Traverse City’s tall ship Manitou

Make memories to last a lifetime this summer, with an exciting fresh-water sailing adventure aboard the Tall Ship Manitou, which sails out of its home port in Traverse City, Michigan.

The 2011 season begins Memorial Day Weekend, with weekend-only excursions planned for the first two weeks. The 7-day-a-week sailing schedule begins June 11, when three two-hour excursions are offered daily (Noon, midday, evening). Special-themed cruises are also offered on select days throughout the summer.

Themed Cruises
Moomers Ice Cream Sails! (June 20 thru Sept. 2)
$40 per adult, $20 per child
Monday and Friday afternoons (3-5 p.m. sail) bring the whole family out for a glorious sail on the bay and the best ice cream in northern Michigan … Moomers! VOTED #1 SCOOP OF ICE CREAM IN AMERICA ON “GOOD MORNING AMERICA!” We’ll sample five flavors, including our very own “Tall Ship Manitou.”

Microbrew Tasting Cruise (June 26 thru Sept. 4)
$50 per person
Sunday evenings have just become a bit more exciting with samplings of local beer from Shorts Brewing Company and pizza from Crusted Creations during your evening sail.

Wine Tasting Cruises (June 28 thru Sept. 1)
$60 per person
In July and August you can sample a medley of local wines and enjoy specially catered cuisine as we ply the sparkling waters of Grand Traverse Bay. Tuesday nights feature Leelanau Cellars, while Thursdays we will taste the offerings of Left Foot Charley.

Entertainment Nights (July 6 thru Aug. 31)
$60 per adult, $41 per child
Wednesday evenings in July and August are our entertainment nights, featuring the popular music group “Song of the Lakes” playing lively jigs, chanteys and ballads of sailing and life on the sea. The evening also includes a picnic meal.

Whether traveling solo, as a couple, with a family or as part of a group, a Tall Ship sail makes a memorable traditional Great Lakes adventure. The regular sails are priced at $35 adults/$18 children for the noon and afternoon sails, and $42 adults/$26 children for the evening sail (includes picnic meal). A cash bar is available for all excursions.

In addition to the day sails and specialty cruises, the Manitou offers a “Floating B&B” experience which includes the evening sail (Tuesday through Saturday), accommodations in bunk-style cabins and breakfast the next morning ($203 per couple/$118 single/$61 per child, ages 8-12).

Multi-day Fall Windjammers
Multi-day fall windjammers are for those with a more adventurous side. The 2011 schedule includes:

Astronomy Cruise (Sept. 16-19)
Astronomer Mark Nussbaum will be our guide as we study the brilliant northern Michigan heavens. Cost $685 per person. Cost is $685 per person.

Wine Tasting Cruise (Sept. 23-26)
Explore the great wine regions of the world with sommelier and restaurant proprietor Amanda Danielson. Each evening aboard Manitou we will discuss the winemaking histories and taste the varietals of different countries. Dinners will feature paired wines chosen by Amanda as a perfect complement to our meals. Cost $685 per person. Cost is $685 per person.

Music Cruise (Sept. 30-Oct. 3)
Join us as we once again welcome renowned folk singer Lee Murdock aboard for four days of Great Lakes music, history, and lore. Cost $685 per person. Cost is $685 per person.

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 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), beeper, email and definitely no itinerary.

To make reservations for any of the 2011 Manitou sailing adventures, call toll free 800-678-0383. Gift certificates are also available. For additional information about the Manitou, including its corporate charters, log on to www.tallshipsailing.com.