Things to do in CDA even locals will enjoy — cruise Lake Coeur d’Alene

5 reasons you need to see Lake Coeur d’Alene by boat this summer

If you’ve lived in Coeur d’Alene your whole life, you may feel like you know this town like the back of your hand. But if you haven’t seen the town and lake from a cruise ship, you don’t know what you’re missing! Here are five reasons that even locals should hope aboard a Lake Coeur d’Alene daily cruise this summer.

  1. Show off your home
    If you have family in town for a long weekend or a holiday, taking them out on a cruise is the perfect way to showcase all that North Idaho has to offer. From our boats, you can see wildlife, homes, architecture and geography that you won’t be able to see from the shore.
  2. Fun for the whole family
    From young babies to Grandma and Grandpa, everyone will be able to enjoy this day trip! We have both indoor and outdoor seating ad well as a full-service bar, so your group will be comfortable the whole time.
  3.   Learn something yourself
    Maybe you’ve lived in North Idaho your whole life, but our experienced captains and crew are incredibly knowledgeable about the area. During the cruise, we’ll narrate the sights you’re seeing and pass on facts and history about the highlights, such as the Floating Green, secluded lake homes and wildlife.
  4. It’s free for youngins
    This is an inexpensive thing to do in Coeur d’Alene this summer, especially if you have young children. Kids under five years old are free on our daily cruises, and children six to 17 are just $16.75!
  5. Give yourself a break
    If you have family in town, you’ve probably been in hosting mode for the entire trip. Let Coeur d’Alene Cruises take on that role while you relax! Enjoy time with the family — or wander off to look at the view from the upper deck! 

Ready to book your Lake Coeur d’Alene cruise? You’re in luck — there’s one happening every day through October! Check out our full schedule here and book your cruise here!

Not-so-sunken treasure: The history of the Mish-an-Nock

After half a century, the Mish-an-Nock is still going strong.

Nearly 50 years ago, the mighty boat took its first cruise from the Spokane River to Lake Coeur d’Alene. Since then, the boat has become a staple on the water. Locals and tourists alike will recognize the tan exterior and bright blue trim on one piece of history still hard at work on the lake.

The boats in the Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises fleet all have their own history and features. Some are bigger, and made to host lots of people, while others are shorter and great for smaller parties.

The 65-foot-long Mish-an-Nock has always served as a way for passengers to see Lake Coeur d’Alene since it was built in 1968 in Post Falls. The ship was crafted from 58 tons of steel by Howard J. Dolph, a well-known tugboat maker, along with help from brothers Scott and Rich.

The boat was named for a work that means “morning star,” according to a book by the Kalispell Tribe.

When the boat first slid into the water from Dolph Boat Works dock in Post Falls, it was powered by twin 125-horsepower Caterpillar engines. Today, “The Mish” has been upgraded, powered by twin D6 Volvo engines; it can hold up to 356 people.

In 1996, the boat was refurbished by Fred Finney, who also built other local cruise ships, including The Coeur d’Alene, The Spirit of Coeur d’Alene and The Osprey. The boat is now 107 feet long.

In 2017, the Mish-an-Nock took 525 trips around Lake Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding waterways, carrying more than 63,000 passengers. According to Captain Carl Fus, Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises plans to continue upgrading and maintaining “The Mish” for many more years of parties, sunsets and firework shows!

What’s your favorite memory on the Mish-an-Nock? Or maybe one of the other boats in our fleet? Let us know!

Five reasons you’ll want to charter a cruise ship for your next event

From graduation parties to business board retreats, people are always looking for new and exciting locations to host gatherings. This time of year, the sun starts shining and people would much rather be outdoors than in a stuffy conference room.
When you start looking for a unique place to host your next party, consider chartering a cruise ship to host your gathering! Here’s five reasons renting a boat from Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises will make your meeting so much easier:

  1. Skip the prep work and clean up
    The worst part of planning an event is set up before and clean up afterward. Let our team take care of that! When you arrive for your event, the boat will already be decorated and set up, so all you have to do is have fun.
  2. Plenty of space.
  3. Our smallest boat, the Kootenai, can hold up to 80 people, and 40 people for a meal, while our largest boat, the Mish-an-Nock, can hold up to 356 people! To add even more space, charter two boats, and let us tie them together!
  4. The food is taken care of. Our professional catering team will be able to help you create the perfect menu for your event, from light hors d’oeuvres to a full buffet.
  5. Unique location creates memories
    No one remembers the employee retreats in a hotel ballroom. What they will remember is getting outdoors, seeing the sights and doing something different this year!
  6. Add specialty touches from music and photography to fireworks, we have a slew of special touches we can add to your event. It’s just one more way you’ll create a lasting impression!

Are you ready to book Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises for your next event? Give us a call today to reserve a boat — or two!

The perfect gift: Mother’s Day Brunch Cruise

Still searching for the perfect gift for Mom this year for Mother’s Day? Is she one of those mothers who says she “just wants a day” as a gift? Or maybe she already has everything she needs? Instead of scrambling last minute to find a gift, book your ticket on Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch Cruise. The event includes a tour around Lake Coeur d’Alene and a delicious meal. Here are three reasons why a cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene is the perfect Mother’s Day gift:

  1. Spend time together
    We’ve all heard this gift request from mom: “I just want to spend time with you!” Now you can give her just that, without feeling like you’re skimping on an interesting, fun gift. This brunch cruise runs from noon to 1:30 p.m., so you have time to stroll along the boardwalk before or hit the downtown shops afterward!
  2. Sample a delicious menu.
    Don’t tell mom, but this is as much a gift for you as it is for her! You’ll both get to sample an exquisite menu from Coeur d’Alene Cruises culinary team. This year, they’ve created the perfect menu to highlight spring complete with crisp salads, pasta salads and fresh fruit. The menu includes Black Forest quiche Lorraine, Idahoan au gratin potatoes, scrambled eggs, hickory smoked bacon and sausage, oven roasted turkey and three-hour glazed ham. Top off the meal with miniature desserts!
  3. Do something unique
    Just like you get dad a tie every year for Father’s Day, do you have a go-to gift for mom? Maybe you always get her jewelry or some lotions. Brand out this year, and create new memories with a unique gift! She’s sure to remember getting dressed up to go out and do something unique with her kids. 

Ready to book your Mother’s Day Brunch Cruise? Grab your tickets here!

Wine and Waves: Cruise the lake and learn about vino with this extra special cruise

Last month, we were all about the swingin’ sounds of the annual Coeur d’Alene Blues Festival. But we wanted to keep the fun rolling, so in April, we’re offering another fun cruise!

Join us on April 20 for the Wine Extravaganza Cruises! These cruises, at 5 and 7:30 p.m., will kick off the Wine Extravaganza, a weekend of fine wines in downtown Coeur d’Alene.

California-based winery J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines will be aboard the ships for an on-the-water tasting of their many gourmet wines. The evening will include hors d’oeuvres and, of course, an incredible view. 

We know not everyone is able to make it to some of these exciting events. If you can’t, but still want the view and the fun, we have a couple upcoming special event cruised you might enjoy:

Our cruises often book up, so reserve your place today

Coeur d’Alene Blues Cruise: Enjoy one of the most anticipated festivals in a unique location

Tap your toes, swing to the rhythm and let the sounds of the 9th Annual Coeur d’Alene Blues Festival wash over you. This award-winning weekend is back, and, once again, you can celebrate the best of modern blues in a unique and exciting way — with us, sailing on Lake Coeur d’Alene!
Every year, the annual blues festival is one of the most anticipated weekends in North Idaho. The Coeur d’Alene Resort brings live music, great food and fun entertainment to the region, and the team at Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises is always excited to be a part of the action.
We’re bringing three days of musical cruises to Lake Coeur d’Alene. Like every year, we’re providing food, drinks and even an after-party, to keep the mood swinging. Here’s a breakdown of this year’s event:

Friday, March 23 —
Swing into the weekend with the first Blues Cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The cruise runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., and includes live music from multiple bands, featuring The Sidemen and Shoot Jake. We’ll tie the vessels together to create the ultimate party barge, and keep grooving at the Resort Plaza Shops for an after-party.

Saturday, March 24 —
We’ll have two cruises this day to double the fun! Cruises set sail at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., and include live entertainment from the Sara Brown Band. This cruise is for all ages, so bring the entire family to boogie down.

Sunday, March 25 —
Join us for the Blues Cruise Brunch at 11 a.m., because we can’t get enough of that swinging rhythm!

Are you as excited as we are? Then reserve your tickets soon, because these cruises often sell out! Give us a call for questions, or to reserve your place.

3 reasons an eagle watching cruises is the perfect family activity

Every year, hundreds of bald eagles return to Lake Coeur d’Alene during their annual migration. During December and January, these majestic creatures gather at the north end of the lake to feed on lake-bound salmon. It’s nearly impossible to miss seeing these birds — they’re everywhere! For about eight weeks, the eagles are hunting, nesting and soaring around the area, and we have a cruise that takes you to the best places to see eagles.

With our daily Eagle Watching Cruises, you can get an up close with the country’s bird. Here are three reasons why an Eagle Watching Cruise is the perfect activity this holiday season.

  1. Great activity for family
    During the holiday season, many Coeur d’Alene residents have family visiting. Instead of sitting around the house, join us on the water for an Eagle Watching Cruise! The two-hour cruise is a great opportunity to see the beauty of North Idaho from a unique perspective, and cruises are exciting for people of all ages.
  2. Learning experience for kids
    During the Eagle Watching Cruises, our crews will talk about why the eagles are here, what they feed on and more about their importance to North Idaho. This is a great opportunity for kids to keep learning, even while they’re out of school on winter break!
Also during this time of year, we offer specialty charter rates for schools who want to take students out to learn about the local ecosystem first hand! Contact us today for more information.
  3. Get some fresh air!
    It’s easy to stay inside during the chillier winter months, but take this opportunity to get outside and enjoy the beauty of Lake Coeur d’Alene. The cabins of our cruise boats are heated and our galley serves lots of tasty treats, so you can pop inside and warm up periodically throughout the trip.

Are you ready to join us on the water for one of the most spectacular wildlife viewing excursions in the Northwest? Contact us to schedule your cruise!

How the magic happens: Bringing the North Pole to Coeur d’Alene

Getting Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the elves from the North Pole to Lake Coeur d’Alene for our Holiday Light Cruises can be tricky, logistically. After all, it is the busiest time of the year for Santa Claus, as he and the elves make toys for all the good girls and boys of the world.

So instead of asking Santa to take time out of his busy schedule, we bring children to the North Pole for a quick meet-and-greet with the Head Elf himself.

There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes magic that goes into the annual Journey to the North Pole Cruises. Each year, the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre uses its influence with Mr. Claus to bring the North Pole to life. We sat down with the summer theatre’s artistic director Jadd Davis for a couple quick questions about how the winter magic happens.

Question: How long has CST been involved in the Journey to the North Pole cruises?
Jadd Davis: The Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre began recruiting the entertainment aspects of the Holiday Light Show in 2016, so we’re on our second year. It made sense for CST to collaborate with CDA Lake Cruises as The Resort was needing some good talent and we are always looking for ways to keep our pros working locally.

Q: How do Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves prepare for their roles?
Davis: So. Much. Egg nog.

Q: How are actors chosen?
Davis: Actors are recruited throughout the year. Every person wearing a costume — such as the elves, the Grinch and Santa — is brought in and trained by Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre. The casting requirements: 1) Must love Christmas. 2) Must love children. 3) Must be willing to make believe all night!

Q: Tell us a little about the “behind the scenes” magic that happens!
Davis: We need to be careful not to reveal trade secrets! That said, the number one goal of the journey is to make sure Santa knows who all the kids are who are visiting him! With the billions of kids out there, he needs some administrative assistance to help keep him organized. That’s where the elves come in! Elves surreptitiously greet every family who takes the cruise and make sure all the names of the children are magically delivered to Santa. We utilize all the technology at our disposal to make sure no good child is left off the list!

Are you looking to experience the magic for yourself? Schedule your tickets for the Journey to the North Pole cruises, going on through the end of the month. Contact us today for more information!

A brief history: Steamer ships on Lake Coeur d’Alene

Steam ships play an important role in the rich history of Coeur d’Alene — and Idaho! These ships were used for logging, mining, passenger travel and even mail delivery. The steamer ships of the 1800s and early 1900s eventually gave way to the ships that Coeur d’Alene Cruises uses to take passengers out to see wildlife, holiday lights, and sunsets.
While the list of famous steamer ships on Lake Coeur d’Alene is long and illustrious, here’s a quick peak into our rich history with a few of the most famous ships:

The Amelia Wheaton:
This was one of the first steamboats on the lake, built in 1888. The boat was used to supply Fort Sherman with supplies and transport prospectors to the golf fields after the gold rush. The steamer ran mostly on local wood.

The Georgie Oaks:
This boat was in commission from 1881 to 1920 on Lake Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding water ways. The Georgie Oaks was 150 feet long, 24 feet wide and could carry up to 1,000 passengers.

Seeweewana:
This 65-passenger ship was built for Lake Coeur d’Alene in 1926, and captained by its owner Capt. John Finney. It was 63 feet long, 9 feet wide and started with a gas engine, and was eventually transferred to a diesel engine. The Seeweewana was eventually sunk in the 1980s in front of The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s boardwalk in about 85 feet of water, a common practice to retire boats at the time. It is now a destination for scuba divers who want to see the relic.

The Mish-an-nock:
It has been nearly 50 years since this famous boat first took to the waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Named for a word that means “morning star” according to a Kalispell Tribe book, the Mish-an-nock was the first passenger cruise boat on the lake in nearly 30 years. Before that, the last steam passenger boats — the 130-foot Flyer and the 90-foot Clipper — were deemed unsafe and dismantles in 1938. When built, the Mish-an-nock was 65 feet long.

In 1996, the Mish-an-nock was refinished by Fred Finney, who also built cruise boats including The Coeur d’Alene, The Spirit of Coeur d’Alene, The Osprey and Kootenai. The boat is now 107 feet long to accommodate even more passengers.
Which boat in our fleet is your favorite? Join us for a cruise to hear more about the history and to see the beautiful sights of North Idaho!