This month was the first time in 11 years that the river boat brought tours in the center of Lansing.
Eric Lacy, Lansing State Journal
DRAWING – When the Riverboat Grand Princess returned last week to downtown Lansing for the first time in over a decade, Chris Chamberlain's response indicated.
More than 400 people took tours along the Big River – four round trips in total – during the 6th June Jam Dam, a music festival with 15 Michigan bands.
Chamberlain, the 31 year old owner and captain of the river boat, is thinking of new ways of attracting people to the water this summer.
"There are some people who do not feel that this type of investment should take place in the city center," Chamberlain said. "But I don't think many people are down there recently."
"Beautiful natural resources are running through it."
Chamberlain, the Grand Ledge, and Paul Brogan, River River Adventures, have formed a partnership aimed at giving people greater access to the river than ever before.
The Riverboat Great Princess recently moved from Grand Ledge to downtown Lansing. People can take boat trips in the middle of summer. (Photo: Eric Lacy / Lansing State Journal)
They are offering cruise boats several times a week, including sea trips during regular business hours during the week.
And they have said that more ads are coming this summer concerning more options for water craft.
"I don't want to let the cat out of the bag yet," said Chamberlain laughing. "But I have something in mind."
Life on the Great in Chamberlain.
His parents, John and Karla Chamberlain, built the Spirit of Lansing Riverboat in 1976 and once owned the Princess Laura, Michigan Princess and the Grand Princess.
The Grand Princess Lansing first left the Capital City to run 20 years of Riverfest as a traditional weekend of Workday t the event ended in the late 1990s.
The Grand Princess Riverboat was built in 2008 due to increased demand in Lansing region for journeys along the Blackwater. (Photo: State Journal file photo) t
The river boat then returned briefly to the 2008 Common Ground Music Festival.
Chamberlain said that he was not thinking of bringing him back to Lansing until he met Brogan and saw the River River adventure and adventure cake.
"It seems to have been different since it was 10 years ago," Chamberlain said. “Lansing is doing a nice job to promote the town corridor, and people want to get out and about and enjoy everything they have to offer.
"We want to help them do that."
The Grand Princess, docked for several years in Grand Ledge, is now available in downtown Lansing for weddings, private parties and other special events.
It is also expected that it will be present at the Common Land Music Festival this month and next month during the fourth month downtown fireworks.
Feeling the flow
Brogan, Lansing's native woman, said 37 years of age, he is optimistic that the partnership between the Grand Princess and his canoe rental business and kayak will inspire others to invest in the river.
Chamberlain and Brogan appoint it close to the river from REO to Old Town, including improved cabinet systems for increased use and attractiveness of watercraft which attract more pedestrian traffic.
"We believe that the momentum is moving – or flowing – in the right direction," Brogan said.
Community leaders have raised about $ 500,000 to build Rotary Park, a new park extending from the Lansing Center to Shiawassee Street Bridge.
Construction is taking place along the river and is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.
Sandy beach and forest amenities will include a light near to where the Princess is under discussion.
Ways for trips
Chamberlain said that the water levels are suitable enough to allow the Grand Princess to travel at least one route on a daily basis during the summer.
The route is between Michigan Avenue, east of Grand Avenue, to Adado Riverfront Park footbridge, south of Saginaw Highway.
During Jam Jam last week, water levels were low enough to allow the High Princess bridge Michigan Avenue to clean and extend the route to Cherry Hill Park and back.
The Grand Princess did not travel this week to Cherry Hill Park, less than a mile south of Michigan Avenue, because there is not enough clearing there to get it under the bridge.
However, from Wednesday afternoon, many water levels dropped that the river boat should be able to run from REO Town to Adado Park through the weekend, Brogan said.
Soft opening Saturday
The Grand Princess and River Town Adventures will offer a full hour hour cruise on a Saturday river boat.
Tours will take place at 4 pm, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and they are expected to follow a tour-journey route from Adado Park to REO Town.
Admission for each cruise is $ 10 for adults and $ 5 for children 12 and under. Children are 3 years old and younger are free. Passengers are welcome to bring refreshments, including alcohol.
Tickets can not only be purchased at River Town Adventures, 325 City Market Dr. For information, call 517-253-7523 or visit rivertownadventures.com.
Eric Lacy is a reporter for the Lansing State Journal. Contact him at 517-377-1206 or email@example.com. Continue on Twitter @EricLacy.
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Lansing river boat history
A look at four river boats dating back to the late 1970s providing tours along the Blackwater River in the Lansing region.
Spirit of Lansing – The two deck boat was built in 1976 owned by John and Karla Chamberlain and offered tours for several years. He worked from Potter Park and took mid-passengers to Aden Riverfront Park.
Princess Laura – Because of the popularity of Spirit of Lansing, the two-box boat was built by Chamberlains in 1984. It was named after their daughter and there were 110 passengers – twice the Spirit of Lansing.
Princess Michigan – The boat first went through deck in 1991. It operates out of Grand River Park in Lansing and is 110-44ft. The boat can accommodate up to 300 passengers for a sitting meal and 500 living rooms.
Grand Princess – This boat was built in 2008 and is 75-on-15 feet, 6 inches. It can accommodate 120 meals and 149 for living room. June 6 marked the first trips in the boat in the center of Lansing in more than 11 years.
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