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CRUISING IN STYLE



Published: Sun, September 22, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



CRUISINGIN STYLE

Fall trips

GRAND LADY RIVERBOAT

Based near Grand Rapids, carries 150 people and has two types of cruises. One lasts 1 1/2 or 2 hours motoring up and down the Grand. The other is a five-hour trip from Grand Rapids down the Grand River to Grand Haven on the Lake Michigan shore. These longer runs depend on river depths. You must arrange for them well ahead of time. Sailings end Oct. 31.Daily Tours: 1:30 p.m. lunch cruise, $18.95 for adults, $9.50 for ages 11 and under; weekday 6:30 p.m. dinner cruise, $22.95 for adults, $11.50 for ages 11 and younger; weekend 6:30 dinner cruise, $35.95 for adults, half off for children younger than 12. The weekend dinner cruises feature Tootsie Van Kelly, who sings songs from the 1940s and 1950s. You can arrange for a lower rate if you decide not to eat from the buffet. The boat also has a bar. Reservations are required.The five-hour cruise to Grand Haven is $19.95. No meal is served, but you can buy sandwiches.Information and reservations: (616) 457-4837 or www.river-boat.com on the Web.

MICHIGAN PRINCESS

Based in Lansing, carries 350 people on three decks. Most days it runs cruises for lunch and dinner and on Sunday afternoons March 1 through Dec. 31. Cruises have live music, usually a piano and a banjo at lunch and a small band at dinner. Some weekend nights, it has murder mystery cruises.Daily lunch cruise at 11:30 a.m., $30 for adults, $15 for ages 4-12; dinner cruise at 6:30 p.m., $39 for adults, $19.50 for ages 4-12; Sunday cruise at 3 p.m., $39 for adults, $19.50 for ages 4-12. The boat has a bar.Information and reservations: (517) 627-2154 or www.michiganprincess.com on the Web.

STAR OF SAUGATUCK

A 150-passenger stern-wheeler based in Saugatuck, runs cruises every day in September and over four-day weekends in October, through Oct. 31. On the 1 1/2-hour cruises, the Star goes up into Lake Kalamazoo and then, weather permitting, into Lake Michigan. The captain gives a running narration.No meals are served on board, but the Star has a bar and snacks.During September, cruises Sunday through Friday run at 1 and 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m., 1, 3, 5 p.m. and an evening cruise based on the time the sun sets. During October, cruises run at 1 and 3 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Mondays.Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Price: $12 for adults; $7 for ages 3 to 12.Information: (269) 857-4261 or www.saugatuckboatcruises.com on the Web.

HARBOR STEAMER

The 88-passenger boat based in Grand Haven, offers cruises Friday through Sunday in the harbor until Oct. 6.Friday cruises run 3 to 4:30 p.m., 5 to 6 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday cruises run 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., 3 to 4:30 p.m., 5 to 6 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. Prices for the 1-hour cruises are $8 for adults, $5 for ages 5-17; the 1 1/2-hour cruises are $10 for adults, $7 for ages 5 to 17. You may make reservations or just walk up at sailing times. Sometimes charters interrupt the regular schedule, so it's wise to check ahead.Harbor Steamer has a bar and a snack bar.For information and reservations: (616) 842-8950 or www.harborsteamer.com on the Web.

PORT CITY PRINCESS

A 150-passenger former Mackinac ferry based in Muskegon, does Lake Michigan shoreline tours until Oct. 13.The Princess starts in Muskegon Lake and runs through the channel into the big lake.The double-decker boat offers lunch, dinner dances, Sunday buffet and scenic cruises. The price for the noon lunch cruise is $23, $21 for children and seniors; the 7:30 p.m. dinner dance is $42, $39 for children and seniors; the 2 to 3:30 p.m. scenic cruise is $15 for adults, $12 for ages 10 and under; the noon Sunday buffet cruise is $26. Reservations are required.Information and reservations: (800) 853-6311 or www.portcityprincesscruises.com on the Web.

AU SABLE RIVER QUEEN

The 160-passenger stern-wheeler based near Oscoda, does daily trips through Oct. 20, weather permitting.Trips run up the Au Sable River and include a history narrative from the captain and a guitar player who strums country and blues.Weekdays, cruises run at noon and 2:30 p.m. and on weekends at 10:30 a.m., 1 and 3:30 p.m. Prices are $13 for adults, $6 for ages 5-12. Reservations are required.Information and reservations: (989) 739-7351.




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