Daily rides on a Lake Michigan cruise ship now based in Michigan City will start Friday.
The 70-foot, two-deck Emita II docked in Trail Creek at Millennium Plaza can hold 150 passengers.
It was acquired by Lowell resident Victor Tieri, owner of Harbor Country Adventures, who has more than 20 years in the hospitality industry.
"It always amazed me that we didn’t have sightseeing boats like they have in Chicago," Tieri said.
"Standing on the beach looking out over the lake is completely different than being out on the water and getting a view of the shoreline," he said.
Tieri said the ship will offer light food items and a full bar during 90-minute cruises to be offered seven days a week at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and a 7:30 p.m. "Sunset Tour."
There also will be a 2½-hour "party cruise" every Saturday at 9:30 p.m. for people 21 and over with live music on the upper deck.
The boat also will be available for private gatherings with catered food allowed.
After Labor Day, Tieri said, cruises probably will be offered on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through the end of October, weather permitting.
Tieri said each cruise will begin with a presentation about Michigan City's maritime history.
Passengers also will learn "fun facts" shared about Lake Michigan and the Indiana Dunes as the boat turns west.
Tieri started offering speed boat rides on Lake Michigan six years ago when he started Harbor Country Adventures in New Buffalo, which also offers winery tours on luxury buses.
"It went over so well I knew the next boat I was going to get had to be something larger," Tieri said.
Two years ago, he began talking with Michigan City Port Authority officials, who welcomed the cruise ship idea with open arms.
Tieri said the Emita II, constructed in 1953, was used for cruises of the Erie Canal in the Syracuse, New York, area the past 50 years or so.
The longtime tour operators were looking to slow down in their later years, Tieri said.
The boat arrived in Michigan City after a 14-day voyage through the canal and Lake Erie, then up Lake Huron and down the entire length of Lake Michigan.
Daily cruises are $30 for adults, $16 for children and free for kids 2 and under. Fares are half price for all emergency responders and veterans. People currently active in the military ride at no cost.
It’s believed the last time a tour boat operated in Michigan City was in the 1930s.
Jack Arnett, executive director of the LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the boat is a nice attraction for boosting Michigan City’s lakefront experience.
Tieri is also relocating his speed boat ride business to Michigan City.
Take a look at these 15 events happening in the Region over the next few weeks
Annual Crown Point Corn Roast
When: 4 to 11 p.m. June 8 and noon to 11 p.m. June 9 Where: Downtown Crown Point
Why You Should Go: Bring the family and enjoy the annual Crown Point Corn Roast with entertainment for every age. Adults can relax to live entertainment at the beer garden while kids are occupied with various activities throughout the day — all with a corn on the cob in your hand!
Brew at the Washington Park Zoo
When: 5 to 8 p.m. June 9 Where: Washington Park Zoo, 115 Lake Shore Drive, Michigan City Why You Should Go: Party with the Washington Park Zoo animals and taste test beer, wine and food from local breweries, wineries and restaurants.
More Info: You must be 21 to attend this event. Admission is $50 which includes drinks, food and a commemorative tasting glass. Designated driver tickets are also available for $15 which includes free soft drinks and food.
Family Arts Festival
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 10 Where: The Center for Visual and Preforming Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster Why You Should Go: Engage in fun, family time at the annual Family Arts Festival. Participate in free activities including balloon art, ice carving demonstrations, crafts, games and backstage tours of the theater and art studio spaces.
More Info: A musical performance, "Everyday Heros", presented by traveling theatrical group Chicago Kids Co., will occur at 10 a.m. and noon. Cost to see the performance will be $8 for kids and $10 for adults. Families may also participate in a tie-dying workshop. Costs to tie-dye a T-shirt are $10, and any other tie-dyed items are $5.
When: 5 to 11 p.m. June 14 and 15, 2 to 11:30 p.m. June 16 and 2 to 10 p.m. June 17 Where: Redar Park, 217 Gregory St., Schererville
Why You Should Go: Celebrate the town of Schererville and enjoy a variety of carnival rides, food vendors and live entertainment. Adults can relax at the beer garden while kids have a blast playing carnival games.
Pints in the Park
When: 3 to 8 p.m. June 30 Where: Wicker Memorial Park, 8554 Indianapolis Blvd., Highland Why You Should Go: The 5th annual Pints in the Park will feature unlimited samplings from over 150 craft beers made from local and national breweries. The Crawpuppies will be preforming live music, and various food vendors will be available for purchase.
More Info: General admission is $45, with entry at 4 p.m. VIP admission costs $75, with entry at 3 p.m. VIP also includes specialty beers, early admission and a festival T-shirt. The cost for designated drivers is $20.
Legally Blonde: The Musical
When: 8 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Saturday from July 13 to July 29 Where: Memorial Opera House, 104 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso Why You Should Go: This international award winning musical is sure to give you a blast from the past. Based on 2001 romantic comedy, Legally Blonde, the musical will take you through the life of Elle and her journey from the sorority house to the court house.
More Info: Admission for adults is $21. Admission for seniors, students and military is $18. A full service cash bar will be available.
When: 2 to 4 p.m. July 14 and August 11 Where: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center, 1215 Ind. 49, Porter
Why You Should Go: Meet the scientists conducting research at The Dunes. Watch a presentation on their work and get a sneak peek into what they have been working on.
When: Thursdays to Sundays July 14 to July 29 Where: The Towle Theater, 5205 Hohman Ave., Hammond Why You Should Go: Enjoy this original musical this summer and see a unique view of what it is like to look back on your childhood and your parents through grown-up eyes.
More Info: Admission is $19, and no one under the age of 6 will be admitted.
Porter County Fair
When: July 19 to July 28 Where: The Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso Why You Should Go: With a ton to do, there are sure to be activities that everyone will enjoy. Live entertainment, carnival rides, and various exhibits will keep your family itching for another day at the fair.
More Info: 4-H events begin daily between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Food vendors begin preparing food around 11 a.m. Admissions gates start charging admission at noon. Carnival rides begin at 1 p.m. On weekdays, the fair closes at 11 p.m. On weekends, the fair closes at midnight.
Indiana Dunes Scavenger Hunt
When: Every day 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Where: Indiana Dunes National Park, 1215 Ind. 49, Porter
Why You Should Go: Check in with the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center to get the hints to explore nine places throughout the park. Answer eight questions correctly to finish the hunt for a surprise at the end of your adventure.
When: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 16 Where: Taltree Arboretum and Gardens, 450 W. 100 N., Valpraiso Why You Should Go: Dress up like Cinderella and head to the ball. Bring your little princess and dance the night away. This princess-themed father-daughter dance features a horse-drawn carriage and moments you will not want to miss.
When: Movies start at 8:30 p.m. seven nights a week Where: 49'er Drive-in Theater, 675 N. Calumet Ave., Valparaiso Why You Should Go: Enjoy a family-fun drive-in movie experience. Pack up your car will pillows and blankets and watch new movies on the big screen outdoors.
More Info: Food is available for purchase. Admission is $10 for ages 12 and up, $5 for ages 5 to 11 and free ages 4 and under.
Chesterton European Market
When: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through October 27 Where: Broadway and Third Street near Thomas Centennial Park, Chesterton
Why You Should Go: Go out and enjoy live entertainment, quality shopping, and a festive food experience. Products come from producers all throughout Indiana, Illinois and Michigan to produce products that promote healthy, sustainable lifestyles.
Movies in the Park
When: June through August Where: Dyer, East Chicago, Hebron, Highland, Hobart, Munster, Portage, Schererville, Valparaiso and Winfield
Why You Should Go: Movies in the park are fun events to see the newest family-friendly movies. Bring some snacks and sit back for a relaxing night in the park. Click here for a more detailed look at times, locations and to see which movies will be playing.
Jupiter Moon Spotting
When: 9 to 11 p.m. June 16 Where: Calumet Astronomy Center, 19100 Chase St., Lowell Why You Should Go: Work with the Calumet Astronomy Center to locate Jupiter and its moons. Members will bring their telescopes and give you the chance to see some of Jupiter's largest moons.