We enjoyed the evening wine tasting cruise and overnight B&B option on the schooner. B&B guests are taaken on board before the rest fo the cruise passenger to get settled and comfortable. There was a large group of maybe 45 for the wine tasting/dinner cruise which lasted 2 hours. Those who wanted could get involved hoisting the sails, but after that the crew of three and Captain Dave handle all the tacks, jibs, and dousing of the sails at the end. The captain and crew were extremely polite and anxious to answer any questions. They had from three years to two weeks experience, but all appeared to know what they were doing. The food was prepared fresh and locally and the 4 wine selections from a local winery on Mission Pennisula. Portions of both were generous.
As mentioned in another review the cabins are small, 5X7 maybe, and bunks what you would expect on a 100 year old ship. The night was pleasant so we chose to sleep on deck having brought along sleeping bags. The boat gently rocked and after midnight the sky cleared and was full of stars. There are 24 bunks but if everyone chose to sleep on deck it might get a bit crowded.
Around 11:00PM an over night security crew member arrived who walked the deck periodically to check on passengers, the safety of the ship, and keep updated on weather conditions. The first mate also stayed on board overnight.
As also mentioned, the heads(bathroom) although equipped with a shower, were sparten providing the bare necessities for what needed to happen in there. But who spends more time than necessary in there anyway?
Breakfast cooked over an onboard wood stove in the morning was a quiche, bannana bread, coffee, juice, and fresh fruit. Joined by the crew we ate family style in the galley.
The B&B without an evening cruise is doable but seems to miss the point. While cheaper than other local accomodations, to not take the cruise definately minimizes the experience. Teenagers would enjoy the cruise, I'm not sure if the overnight would be as much fun. It's a comfortable well kept schooner with books to read, board games to play, and atmosphere to soak up.
We really enjoyed listening to the stories of the crew. They were very interaactive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fresh air and starry nights abound from the decks of one of the largest traditional sailing vessels on the Great Lakes. You’ll experience one of the best vantage points on West Grand Traverse Bay. Join us on board for an adventurous overnight secured at our pier and a hearty homemade full breakfast cooked on our wood burning stove in the morning. There are accommodations for 24 guests in 12 private cabins below deck which are rustic and fitting of a mid-1800’s style windjammer. Each is equipped with two built-in, wooden, single bunks and electric lighting. The cabins are bright, clean, comfortable and supplied with fresh linens, towels and warm blankets. There’s plenty of room for a good night’s sleep or, if you’d rather (and the weather’s appropriate) you may bring a sleeping bag and a pad for sleeping on deck under the stars. There are two enclosed toilet facilities on deck that are kept sparkling clean. Access to shower facilities on shore is available for further passenger comfort. Mornings are a special time, with spectacular sunrises climbing over Old Mission Peninsula. Wake up to a fresh mug of coffee topside while the preparation of breakfast is in its final stages…This is one to remember. ... more less