Magazine article Sunset

Getting out on Tahoe ... by Motor, Sail, Paddle Wheel

Magazine article Sunset

Getting out on Tahoe ... by Motor, Sail, Paddle Wheel

Article excerpt

Getting out on Tahoe . . . by motor, sail, paddle wheel

Among the pleasures of a visit to Lake Tahoe is getting out on the water. Four commercial vessels offer regularly scheduled day and evening excursion cruises. You can relax, learn some history, eat a snack or meal, and drink in the scenery. Take a jacket or windbreaker.

A pair of paddle-wheelers

M.S. Dixie. Built in 1927, this 114-foot stern-wheeler worked on the Mississippi River before coming to Tahoe. It began making round-trip excursions from Zephyr Cove to Emerald Bay in 1971. Dixie carries up to 360 people: an open-air top deck has bench seats; enclosed first and second decks have cocktail bars, tables, and chairs. A taped narrative gives brief historical anecdotes about the lake.

During 2 1/2-hour daytime runs, the grill serves sandwiches and hamburgers. Departures: 11, 2, and 5. Fare: $8 adults, $4 ages under 12.

The 3 1/2-hour evening trips (limited to 220 passengers) include a steak dinner and dancing to live music. They depart at 7. Cost is $24.50, including meal; reservations are advised.

Season: May through October. Write to M.S. Dixie, Box 1667, Zephyr Cove, Nev. 89448; (702) 588-3508.

Tahoe Queen. This 140-foot paddle-wheeler made its debut in 1982. It carries up to 500 people on cruises to Emerald Bay from Ski Run Marina, 5 miles west of Stateline on U.S. Highway 50. The boat has an open top deck with benches and two enclosed lower decks with bars, tables, and chairs.

On 2-hour day cruises, sandwiches, hamburgers, and other lunch items are served from the grill. Departures: 11, 1:30, and 3:45. Fare: $9 for adults, $4.50 for children under 12.

Evening 3-hour runs ($12.50, limited to 250 passengers) leave around 7:30; reservations are advised. Dinner menu selections range from shrimp cocktail for $5 to steak and lobster for $18. …

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