Milwaukee Boat Line Moves Upriver
Cruise line is now located on edge of Deer District and is planning 2021 season.
The company, which operates the double-decker Vista King and Voyageur vessels, relocated upstream to a dock just south of Juneau Avenue along the soon-to-be-renamed N. Old World Third St.
The new space provides increased visibility, and access for customers. “We are right at the foot of the Deer District,” said Chianelli. The pedestrian pathway across the street from the dock leads to the front door of Fiserv Forum, passing a number of bars and restaurants.
“There’s infrastructure and stuff for us to build off of,” said Chianelli, noting that the new dock was the original space used by the Edelweis boats.
Chianelli’s business found itself without a home after Rexnord relocated its headquarters to the office building adjacent to Milwaukee Boat Line’s longtime dock. As part of a reconfiguration of the riverwalk, Milwaukee Boat Line needed to find a new home.
The business had been located along W. Michigan St. since 1962, with Chianelli acquiring the company from a family friend in 2006.
Interstate and Milwaukee Boat Line are both planning improvements to the landscaping and dock area at the new site, 1124 N. Old World Third St. “We want to be good neighbors,” he said, noting that there is a deliberate focus on improving public access to the area.
In addition to building out the new location, Milwaukee Boat Line is close to completing a multi-year rehabilitation effort on its floating office and workshop – The Iroquois.
2021 Sailing Season
Milwaukee Boat Line will launch its 2021 season on Memorial Day weekend with a slimmed down schedule. One sightseeing tour, along the river and out in Milwaukee, will operate on weekdays at 2 p.m. with three trips a day on the weekends, including a happy hour cruise.
Capacity for now continues to be limited. “We will stay on the conservative side to give everybody on board plenty of space,” he told Urban Milwaukee. The upper deck on each boat is outdoors, and the lower deck will have fully open windows. “There is a massive amount of air circulation.”
The hope is that corporate events continue to ramp up, but bookings are still down from prior years. “We are pretty happy with it, things have kind of picked up in terms of bookings,” said Chianelli.
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