Take a trip back in time on the legendary Lady of the Lake. The historic paddlewheeler glides effortlessly through Lake Minnetonka's bays, inlets and harbors while highly knowledgeable guides provide an informative account of memorable chapters in Minnesota's past.
Despite the fact that the Lady of the Lake only sails seasonally, she is a magnet for visitors and locals alike. During the summer months, the iconic, white, three-deck sternwheeler can be seen from miles away navigating the waters of Lake Minnetonka packed with guests from around the world. Whether you are looking for the charm of a chartered cruise or you simply want to partake in a daily public voyage, the Lady of the Lake has a sailing option for you.
The Lady of the Lake's public tours run every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The 90-minute narrated cruise includes a historic look at the sights and sounds that surround awe-inspiring Lake Minnetonka, including posh Excelsior, Minnesota. Known as a playground for the rich and famous, the shores of Excelsior are dotted with palatial mansions and sprawling estates. In addition, the historic cruise on Lake Minnetonka also features unprecedented views of ancient Native American burial sites, including "Mound City" on the western end of the lake.
Tickets can only be purchased as you board the boat. Daily tours set sail at 1 p.m., and boarding begins 30 minutes prior to departure. Passengers are allowed to bring along a picnic lunch, which can be supplemented with the on-board beverage service.
In addition to its daily tours, the Lady of the Lake is also available for private charters. One of the most popular private cruise options is the corporate package. These sailings are designed to motivate or reward employees or clients and typically include a catered meal onboard the historic paddleboat. Most corporate sailings depart in the late afternoon or early evening so guests can enjoy spectacular sunset views from the Lady of the Lake's three decks. With a seating capacity of 110, these chartered dinner cruises offer a relaxing environment with plenty of elbow room. In addition, to the full-service meal, guests will also be treated to a narrated historic tour upon request.
If you are looking to tie the knot in a unique venue, then consider the Lady of the Lakes. The historic vessel also hosts weddings and receptions. With its charming décor, full bar and mouthwatering catering, you can make your wedding day one to remember forever. You and your beloved can exchange vows on the top deck of the iconic paddlewheeler overlooking the breathtakingly beautiful natural wonders of Lake Minnetonka. During the reception you and your guests can enjoy the relaxing sounds of lapping waves and the calls of indigenous birds from the outdoor sundeck.
Wedding packages include:
- Sit-down or buffet-style meals
- Wedding cake
- Theme decorations
The Lady of the Lake's three decks can be used in different capacities to ensure the comfort of your guests. The main deck is typically set up for dancing while the lower deck is arranged as a dining area. Meanwhile, the top deck is transformed into a cozy respite for guests looking for a tranquil retreat.
Luck Be a Lady
Minnesotans consider themselves to be very lucky to have access to spectacular Lake Minnetonka. The 14,500-acre body of water is an extremely popular resort destination located roughly 20 miles west of Minneapolis-St. Paul. That's where the Lady of the Lake operates its family-friendly historic cruises. However, the large body of water, which boasts some 200 miles of shoreline, is not the only feature with a storied past. The Lady of the Lake has a unique antiquity as well. The legendary vessel was inspired by the Belle of Minnetonka, which was first launched in 1882. Back then Lake Minnetonka was a remote outpost and the vessels that navigated it were far from recreational. These days, Lake Minnetonka is a tourist hot spot and the Lady of the Lake is one of the longest operating sternwheelers to guide visitors on an educational tour through its historic past.