Detroit River Tours Stories from Our Sightseeing Tours

Blog

November 2019 Newsletter – Our Private Charters Season is Over for 2019

Our Private Charters Season Is Over for 2019

docked Detroit tour boat

Hey there, Diamond Jack family! We hope that you’re holding up against this rainy transition into November. We would give anything for another sunny day on the water, but with the leaves falling like the temperatures, our crew has had to prepare our fleet for winter storage.

We would like to take this time and extend our sincerest thanks to all of you that made this 2019 sightseeing and private charter season so memorable. Our hope is that you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did while on the Detroit River.

Over the coming months we will be hard at work updating our tour schedule, making improvements to our boats and updating the sites to explore during sightseeing tours.

This is an exciting time for us, and we cannot wait to unveil our progress when our sailing seasons begins next year.

Be sure to check out our website for special promotions and updates in the meantime.

Private Charters Resume May 1st, 2020

Private charter tour on Detroit River

It MAY seem like quite a way out, but we’ve already received many bookings for our 2020 Private Charter season. Our private charters begin just about a month before our sightseeing tours run in June.

Private charters are perfect for nearly any event including: corporate parties, weddings, family reunions, senior groups, school field trips, proms, religious retreats, organizational events and promotional parties.

Reserving a private charter through Diamond Jack gives you exclusive privileges like:

  • Private Boats for Your Group
  • Flexible Departure Times
  • Convenient Parking
  • Indoor and Outdoor Areas on Board
  • Catering and Bar Available
  • Three Boats to Choose From

We encourage you to read up on our private charters, so you can find the ideal combination of food, entertainment and space for your event. If at any time you have questions, please do not hesitate to call our responsive staff at (313) 843-9376 for assistance with questions and bookings.

Book now and pay in full by March 1st, 2020 to save 20% on your charter.

2020 Sightseeing Tour Dates Revealed!

Detroit River sightseeing tour

We know that the boats have barely had a chance to dry, but we’re so eager to get back out on the water that we’ve announced our 2020 sightseeing tour dates.
Be sure to mark your calendars for Thursday, June 4th, 2020 so you don’t miss the first day of a great season! We’ve made some changes to our schedule, which you can learn more about below.

***SCHEDULE CHANGE: WYANDOTTE TOURS NOW RUNNING FRIDAYS-SUNDAYS ONLY***

Remember, you have the choice of three different sightseeing tours to explore.

The first departs from the Rivard (Cullen) Plaza in Detroit and takes to you great destinations like the Ambassador Bridge, Historic Fort Wayne, the Hiram Walker Distillery. These tours will still run Thursdays-Sundays at 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm.

Our next two sightseeing tours sail from our Wyandotte Dock in Bishop Park from 1:00 and 3:30 pm exclusively on Fridays-Sundays. Our Wyandotte tours explore a slew of historic and culturally significant downriver landmarks like Bob-Lo Island, Zug Island, Fort Malden and more.

Diamond Jack is sure that you will find something to marvel at during your sightseeing tour. For a full list of sightseeing sites along the way, as well as pricing options and dock directions, check out this page.

Featured Tour Site – 1906 Grosse Ile Light

It wouldn’t be a Diamond Jack Tour if you didn’t see something that wowed you! This month’s featured site is the 1906 Grosse Ile Light House.
You can catch this marvel of American engineering on our 3:30 p.m. Wyandotte tour.

During the 19th century, industry and commerce rapidly expanded throughout the Midwest, and all the ports of the Upper and Western Great Lakes were accessed by transiting the Detroit River. As traffic in the river increased, the Cleveland Vessel Owners Association petitioned Congress to establish navigation lights to enable 24-hour operations of their steam powered ships.

The request was granted in 1891 when the first pair of channel guidance lights – range lights – were established on Hennepin Point to guide up-bound ships past the sandbar off the southwest point of Fighting Island.

Three years later Congress appropriated money to establish another set of lights to serve down-bound traffic, the Grosse Ile North Channel range lights. They were lighted on July 16, 1894 and identified the Fighting Island channel north of Mamajuda Island.

The northernmost of these lights was the Grosse Ile North Channel Front Range Light, now the only remaining light on the island.

The original 1894 front range light resembled a water tower on stilts as it was constructed on wooden pilings along a 170-foot pier from the shore. It was rebuilt in 1906 and remains the classic white structure that still exists today.

The interior of the lighthouse is paneled with the traditional Michigan tongue and groove varnished pine while the exterior is painted cedar. An impressive circular wooden staircase winds to the light stanchion, now empty.

A lighthouse keeper, with his family, lived in a one room cabin near the rear tower until a larger house was built on the property in 1904 (and still stands today as a private residence).

The keeper was responsible for maintaining the lighthouse. Oil for the lamps was stored in metal structures near the lights, as was a supply of glycerin which was used to clean the windows and keep them from freezing during the winter.

In the 1920s the remaining lights were electrified, with the Grosse Ile Light an occulting (flashing) white beacon, one second on and one second off. The light was permanently extinguished in 1963 and the Fresnel lens was removed by the Coast Guard. Of the original four lights on Grosse Ile, only this light was saved from demolition.

In 1965, the Township purchased the light from the Interior Department for $350, with funds provided by the Grosse Ile Historical Society. The Society has the responsibility to preserve and maintain the lighthouse and is supported strictly by private contributions.

The Grosse Ile Historical Society now maintains the light and it can be toured by calling (734) 675-1250.

Have Fun while Learning on the Water

private charter boat tour field trip

Diamond Jack believes in making every trip on the water a memorable learning experience. Supporting the communities within our great state is an enriching process.

If you’re a teacher looking for an exciting school field trip that brings a different perspective of Michigan’s largest city, give us a call! We can help plan a custom charter tour. Whether it be history or architecture, we have tour destinations sure to captivate and inspire.

Intrigue your students by observing the natural ecosystems along the banks of the U.S. and Canadian borders or bring the past to life with a narrated tour discussion of historic forts and establishments along the Detroit River.

If you really want to wow your students, you could choose our “Pizza 48222” catering option. It combines two childhood favorites: pizza and adventure.

Have pizza personally made and delivered by the crew of the J.W. Wescott II, the world’s only floating post office, who will pull along side our boat with the pies ready.

There is something for everyone on a Diamond Jack tour! To learn more about options for school field trips contact us today or give us a call at (313) 843-9376.

October 2019 Newsletter – Experience Fall Like Never Before with our Private Charters!

Fall In with Diamond Jack’s Crew

Diamond Jack’s Private Charter Voyage

Summer has officially come and gone – but that doesn’t mean the chances for outdoor fun have. If you’re looking to entertain your closest colleagues, flabbergast friends or revel with relatives, then our private charters are a perfect solution! You’ll have your choice between the Diamond Jack, the Diamond Queen or the Diamond Belle. No matter the choice, our crew will make it an unforgettable experience for all onboard. A simple check of our reviews page will prove it. We’ve hosted hundreds of private charter events since 1993 including:

  • Corporate Parties
  • Family Reunions
  • Weddings
  • Birthday Parties
  • Organizational Events
  • Fraternity/Sorority Mixers
  • Business Gatherings
  • LGBTQ Events
  • Promotional Parties
  • Churches/Religious Organizations
  • Employee/Staff Parties
  • Freshman Orientations
  • Prom Parties
  • Corporate Mixers

Our private charters are available seven days a week and can accommodate groups with up to 225 persons. Sailing from Rivard (Cullen) Plaza, Bishop Park-Wyandotte or Stroh’s River Place, our exclusive private charters make it feel like you own the river. But, don’t wait too long! Diamond Jack’s private charter season concludes on October 31st and will resume again May 1st, 2020.

Commonly Asked Questions about Private Charters

Private Charter Party aboard the Diamond Belle

If you’re sailing with us, or just mulling the idea over, here are some frequently asked questions we’re heard from our patrons:

Q: Can I bring my own caterers on board?

A: You won’t need to! We have 10+ meal options, so why fuss with extra logistics? Sit back and relax on the river while we handle menu options like pizza, Middle Eastern, BBQ, chicken, Italian, Mexican and more. Our delicious catering menu has something for even the most particular pallets, so check it out! Hospitality is our strong suit which is why we’ll make sure your every need is met during your private charter. From preparing and serving to entertaining and cleaning, our catering options will make a great time on the river even better.


Q: Can I hire entertainment to be on board? (Band, Magician, etc.)

A: Yes. To make sure that our boat can accommodate the entertainment in question we require approval from of our office seven days prior to the event. We do this to determine if the size of the entertainment and its content is appropriate for the vessel your charter will take place on. If staff or entertainment wish to board early to prepare setup they can board up to an hour before sailing.


Q: I want to rent out a charter and sell the tickets out to people to make a quick profit. Is this possible?

A: We realize that our private charter options are also popular among non-profit and charity organizations. Our crew has welcomed the Knights of Columbus, Friends of the Rouge, JARC, The Pope Francis Center and many others aboard. We at Diamond Jack respect the positive change these organizations enact within their communities. For this reason, we allow non-profits and charity organizations to upsell tickets in this fashion. If you are interested in selling private charter tickets for a profit, approval from our staff is needed. Once we can authenticate that you are a federally approved non-profit charitable organization with 501©(3) status.


Q: Can I bring my own alcohol on board for my event?

Diamond Jack crew by bar for private charters

A: Unfortunately, no. As a fully licensed distributor for alcohol sales in the state of Michigan we must be responsible for any alcohol brought on or consumed on board by law. Therefore, to regulate the distribution of alcohol and to make sure that no one under the age of 21 is served alcohol we sell alcohol on board and check IDs of your guests.


Q: How many people can your boats accommodate:

A: There is a two-fold answer for this. If you are planning on having a dinner buffet then the passengers are limited to: 70 for the Diamond Jack, 95 for the Diamond Queen and 150 for the Diamond Belle. If you are planning on just having guests on board with no food options then the maximum capacity for each ship is: 125 for the Diamond Jack, 175 for the Diamond Queen and 225 for the Diamond Belle.

Private Charter Rates and Off-Season Specials

Since we’re entering our last month of private charters, we offering all of our customers special off-season rates. Now, night rates will just cost the same as day rates. Say goodbye to skirting specific times of day for your next event. Check out our rates here and get out on the water without a hassle!

We want you to have an outstanding time, no matter what. If you still have questions about our private charters, please consult our policy page. If you still cannot find what you are looking for, give us a call at Make sure to know all the details so you can make the most out of your private excursion on the Detroit river. If there is a question you have here that has not been answered feel free to call (313) 843-9376 or email us here.

Featured Private Charter Tour Option

Only floating post office in the U.S.

One of the most unique sights you might see on the tour may not even be on land. If you are lucky enough you might get to see one of Detroit’s most famous boats, the “J.W. Westcott II.” Don’t be fooled by the “J.W. Westcott II’s” modest size of 45 feet and a beam height of 13 feet. This boat is the only floating post office in the United States!!!

The Detroit Mailboat, as its more commonly referred to, is a ship that delivers mail and packages to lake freighters and carriers traversing through the Detroit International Riverfront while they are underway. The boat operates 252 days a year and is 24-hour service mail ship. The most impressive fact of all is that the J.W. Wescott Company has had the ownership pass through 5 generations of the family.

The ship’s namesake Captain John Ward Wescott ferried supplies back when he created the Wescott company in 1874. However, Mr. Wescott didn’t have the luxury of driving an engine boat, but transported supplies, and eventually the mail, to lake and river freighters. Fast forward 74 years and the “J.W. Westcott II” ship was commissioned to be built in 1948. Today, owner Jim Hogan and his son, Jimmy, manage the business alongside their 20 employees.

As the only floating post office in the country, the Detroit Mailboat is designated with its own unique zip code. If you wish to deliver a parcel, mail, freight delivery, storage, forwarding or messenger and passenger service amongst boats in the port of Detroit use address below:

“Vessel Name”
Marine Post Office
Detroit, MI 48222

But the Detroit Mailboat doesn’t only deliver mail, it also delivers Pizza! In our “Pizza 48222” catering package we include a pizza meal delivery from this famous boat to ours. Whet your appetite as you watch the system of ropes and buckets deliver your pizza meal directly onto the boat. The Detroit Mailboat will make sure the pizza doesn’t get wet before you sink your teeth into it. Now that’s a pizza delivery service that everyone can be on board for!

2019 September Newsletter — Final Weekend for Sightseeing Tours

Turn Your Labor Day Weekend into a Memorable Adventure

Hi Diamond Jack Family! This August has been a busy one. And, with the holiday weekend approaching, we’re gearing up for one final send off for our sightseeing tours in 2019!

If you haven’t spent some time with us on the water this season – or if you already have and want to see more of our featured attractions – now’s your final chance for this summer.

Our last sightseeing tours of the season run Thursday-Sunday from both our dock locations.

You have the choice between two separate tours departing from Rivard (Cullen) Plaza in Detroit at either 1:00 or 3:30 pm.

Or, if you want an entirely separate sightseeing experience, consider our downriver tours from Bishop Park dock. We also run two tours from this location departing at 1:00 pm 3:30 pm respectively.

No matter which tour you decide on, you can rely on us to make it an unforgettable experience.

Featured Tour Site

Sailing the Detroit River since 1993 means that we know some of the most popular and hidden sightseeing gems on the water. Our engaging crew brings these locations to life with our interactive narrated tours.

Regardless of which tour you set out on, you’ll be sure to find something that captivates you.

We spotlight over 50 distinct destinations along our tours. Each have their own unique history with the city of Detroit.

With so many destinations to choose from, narrowing down our favorite for this month was a challenge.

Our top pick for featured tour site of the month is Milliken State Park and Harbor. It’s practically a hop skip and a jump from our Rivard (Cullen) Plaza dock too!

The first urban state park of its kind in Michigan, Milliken park is a hub for activity.

You can explore the park’s 31 acres, home to a harbor, a picnic area, wetland, paved trails (biking, walking, rollerblading) and much more.

Bringing friends or the whole family down to Milliken State Park for a picnic before your tour is a perfect way to start a memorable day and just pack one time. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture all the great sights!

Photo Contest Winners

Detroit Skyline at Night

Speaking of cameras, we saw some amazing photos from you all during our photo contest this season. Thank you to everyone that participated.

Your smiling faces captured the spirit of Diamond Jack and warmed our hearts. Congratulations to our winners:

  • Bill M. in Taylor, MI
  • Shelly A. in Hazel Park, MI
  • Rachel D. in Belleville, MI
  • Melvin R. in Romulus, MI
  • Sherry in Monroe, MI
  • Pam S.

If you weren’t picked this time around, don’t get rid of your pictures from aboard our boats! We run our photo contest annually, so be sure to check back for emails come June 2020.

Still Time for Private Charters

Sightseeing tours might mark the end of the summer tour season, but we’ll be on the water until October 31st! Consider booking a private charter tour if you want to experience Detroit like never before.

Private charters are great for family reunions, proms, corporate gatherings and parties, senior groups and more.

Our private charters can easily accommodate up to 225 guests on board.

But what good would a private party be without some food, drinks and entertainment?

When you book a private charter with us, you’ll have the choice of over a dozen tantalizing catering options featuring authentic tastes from around the country and world!

Diamond Jack also has a bar on board featuring soft drinks, juices and popular beverages like Atwater’s signature Dirty Blonde and Summer Shandy.

It is always humbling to help give back to those that give so much. The Diamond Jack Crew is looking forward to our private charter with JARC (Jewish Assistance Residential Care) on August 19th. Our captains can’t wait to bring the history of Detroit to life for all on board.

A big thanks to the Pope Francis Center for scheduling a private charter with us on August 29th. They have been feeding the hungry, clothing the bare and helping people get back on their feet since 1990. The Diamond Jack crew is honored to have such a community-committed group aboard.

Send Summer off the Right Way

group of people by riverfront

Don’t spend your dog days of summer pent up inside. Get moving outside and change it up!

Summer is a time of warm sunshine and outdoor activities. Diamond Jack’s sightseeing tours and private boat charters will provide you with both of those.

Along with our riverboat tours, there are so many great events happening downtown.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, check out the Detroit Jazz Festival and grab some stellar food truck grub during Downtown Street Eats.

If you’re planning something for September it’ll be worth your time to check out the Detroit Free Press Food and Wine experience on Saturday, Sept. 14th. The following weekend is Cider in the City and the 5th Annual Parktoberfest.

The possibilities for fun never end when you sail with Diamond Jack. Our friendly and engaging staff will make you feel like part of the crew.

As always, that you for a great sightseeing season and we hope to see you all on the water again next year!

All aboard Detroit and make it “A Diamond Jack’s Day!”

2019 August Newsletter — Dog Days of Summer on the Detroit River

Last Chance for Summer Sightseeing Tours

Detroit River Boat Tour

Are you ready to send this summer off the right way? We cannot believe that August is already here. Running hundreds of tours in July made the time fly!

Our captains were happy to see all of you come out and spend a day with us on the magnificent Detroit River. Patrons like yourselves make the job well worth it. There’s no better feeling than providing our customers with an entertainingly interactive sightseeing tour.

Speaking of our summer sightseeing tours, don’t miss out on your last chance to ride with Diamond Jack this season! Our sightseeing cruises run Thursday-Sunday at 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm now through September 1st.

Whether you’re looking for unfiltered nature landscapes, marvels of engineering or stories of local folklore and mystery, Diamond Jack will deliver.

Depending on your interests, we have three captivating sightseeing tour options. Sightseeing tours depart from either the Detroit Rivard (Cullen) Plaza Dock or Wyandotte Bishop Park Dock. The dock you sail from directly stems from your summer sightseeing tour choice.

If you need some extra help with directions or finding parking, check out our Detroit and Wyandotte Dock pages.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our discount coupon! For the entire month of August, sightseeing tours departing from the Wyandotte Dock will cost only $16.00. Simply print out the coupon from our website and present it to the crew the day of your cruise.

Photo Contest – Smile, You’re a Winner

We’ve been seeing a lot of great photos on our Facebook page from all of you. Keep them coming! There are still a few more weeks left for our photo contest, which means you still have time to win two free tickets.

Photo Contest Rules

Congratulations to our past winners: Shelly from Hazel Park and Bill from Taylor. Thank you for making memories and sharing stories with our crew.

Getting your chance at two free sightseeing tour tickets is easy. Simply share a photo of your cruise with us on our Facebook page with the #saildiamondjack. Winners are picked weekly, so keep an eye out for a message from us!

Private Charters Sailing Through October 31st

July was jumping. From family reunions to charity events, our private charter boats were constantly packed with great times and even better people! We had the pleasure of having Michigan Special Olympics, Leader Dogs for the Blind and many more organizations on board our boats this past month. Visit our Reviews page to read what some of them had to say about their experience on our private charters!

Diamond Jack’s River Tours can help take your party to the next level. Our boats can accommodate up to 225 guests, so be sure to bring everyone along. We provide a variety of catering options along with a wine and a beer menu too. Some popular drinks include Miller Lite, Molson, Summer Shandy and Atwater Dirty Blonde. There are dates still available through October 31st so contact us today at (313) 843-9376 for more information.

Ask The Captain a Question!

Captain Steve Carrothers of Diamond Jack’s River Tours.

Captain Steve Carrothers of Diamond Jack’s River Tours.

Questions are only normal, and our crew encourages them. If you see something that piques your interest or are just curious about our operation, feel free to ask away. You just might score two free tickets for an upcoming cruise!

For your chance to be featured in our “Ask the Captain Question” section, email your question to info@diamondjack.com. Winners will be announced on our Facebook page.

Congratulations to last month’s winner, June.

June asked our captains, “What is the farthest round-trip the boats are capable of traveling without needing more fuel or supplies? Has there been any thoughts of trips beyond the Detroit River?”

The answer to that captivating question is as follows:

The question of fuel & supplies is somewhat of a moot point. The boats are constricted by the US Coast Guard and there are limitations based on equipment carried on board. For example – to travel offshore any farther than 1 mile – the US Coast Guard requires more lifesaving equipment. Based on the fleet that 99% of our business is in the river – it would make no sense to carry the extra equipment. If we were not constricted by US Coast Guard the boat could travel approximately 600-700 miles before needing fuel.

Spend the End of Summer in Downtown Detroit

Summer might be winding down, but that doesn’t mean your fun has to! Check out these events if you’re looking to have a good time in Detroit this summer:

Yoga on the Riverfront

Friday, Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Join Urban Solace studio for Yoga on the Riverfront. Classes are held Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. and Friday morning at 10 a.m. in the wetland area of Milliken State Park. Classes are free and provided by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. No registration is necessary for the yoga classes. Participants are encouraged to bring their own yoga mats and water. Free parking is available at Cullen Plaza (1340 Atwater St.)

Rockin’ on the Riverfront

Friday, August 2, 9, 16 7:30pm – 10:00pm

This free concert series held along the Detroit River, in partnership with Detroit’s Classic Rock 94.7 WCSX-FM, is the perfect Friday night activity to wind down from the week. A new artist performs each Friday starting with Loverboy (Aug. 2), Jon Anderson (Aug. 9), and Little River Band (Aug. 16).

July 2019 Newsletter – Summer Tours Have Already Begun

Summer Sun & Sightseeing Fun

Picture this: You’re outside with a blowing breeze at your back. Above you, the warmth of the sun radiates down. You scan the open horizon and get lost in the repetitive flow of the current. Sounds nice, right?

A ride with Diamond Jack is anything but typical. We know what it takes to make lasting summer memories because we’ve been doing it since 1991. Our friendly and engaging crew keeps the good times rolling on the water. Whether you’re a first-timer or a regular, we’ll make sure this your best summer yet.

Summer is well underway, which means it’s time to maximize your fun! Do yourself a favor and ditch a stuffy weekend inside for a choice between three different Detroit river sightseeing tours instead. Our sightseeing tours are a surefire way to kick off your summer festivities with dozens of attractions to see along the way.

Whether it’s rain or shine, Diamond Jack’s River Tours offers sightseeing tours to the public every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Tours depart from one of two dock locations – Detroit Cullen Plaza Dock and Wyandotte Bishop Park Dock. Depending on what you’d like to see, you can choose from tours at 1:00 PM and 3:30 PM.

And while you’re aboard, don’t forget to grab a snack or a refreshing cold beverage from our onboard snack bar. We keep Miller Lite, Molson, Summer Shandy and Atwater Dirty Blonde in stock!

Each cruise features an interactive 2-hour narrated tour with various attractions along the way. You can learn more about your options by reading our Tour Maps. No matter if you’re adventuring upriver or cruising downriver, you are sure to encounter captivating sights.

Fog around Zug Island

One attraction you’ll want to keep your ear out for is the Windsor Hum! The unpredictable noise resonates from Zug Island, another site on the tour. The sound is so pervasive that even VICE news wrote a feature story on it.

The origin of the mysterious sound still baffles scientists and our Canadian neighbors, but Captain Jack might be able to shed some light on the subject! Will you hear it during your next cruise?

There’s never been a better time to sail with Diamond Jack. Add a sightseeing tour coupon into the mix and it becomes a must-do! You can snag your $16 sightseeing tour today by visiting our discount coupons page.

Take a Pic and Get Picked: Photo Contest

People on a Boat

We enjoyed your pictures from that last photo contest so much that we decided to bring it back again this year! That’s right, now you can score a free ride for two with a simple snap of your camera. Diamond Jack’s Photo Contest runs through September, so make sure to keep sharing all the good times you capture on our boats.

The game is the same and the rules haven’t changed. To enter, choose your favorite photo you’ve taken on one of our past tours. From there, head to social media. Choose one photo to share on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn using the #SailDiamondJack.

Winning 2 FREE tickets is easy! Each week we’ll go through all the submissions and choose one lucky winner. We’ll be posting the winning photos to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so be sure to look out for yours!

Own the River with Private Charters

Boat beneath bridge

Have a corporate outing coming up? How about a family reunion this summer? No matter what your gathering brings, Diamond Jack’s is ready! Our private charters are available seven days a week and can handle up to 225 passengers.

June was filled with laughs and smiles and we’re keeping the same energy going through July! If you want to get out on the Detroit river for some rest and relaxation among friends and family, then our private charters are an easy choice. All you need to do is choose which of our three docking locations you’d like to depart from.

We have three docking locations for private charters: Rivard (Cullen) Plaza, Wyandotte, and Stroh’s River Place.

No private charter party would be complete without some fine dining. Diamond Jack’s offers a variety of options on our catering menu. Chow down on tastes from Italy, Motown, South of the Border, the Middle East and more! Whether you’re feeding 20 or 200 everyone’s stomach will be happy.

Ask the Captain / Winners

Friendliness is our forte at Diamond Jack’s River Tours. Next time you sail with us feel free to ask the captain any questions you have. You just might get free tickets from us for doing so!

Last month’s ask the captain winner is June C. from Monroe, MI. June was curious about the travel abilities of our fleet. Specifically, she wanted to know the farthest round trip that could be sailed without having to refuel.

Parking Directions to Get Here Faster

We don’t want you missing out on any of the good times on board. Avoid any confusion when traveling to our docks with our easy to follow directions. We’ve taken the time to break down how to get to each dock from all major routes.

We even have videos explaining parking for our three dock locations. To watch our “Where to Park” videos, click on the link below of the dock you are visiting. All aboard, Detroit!

Detroit Rivard Plaza Dock

Wyandotte Bishop Park Dock

Stroh’s River Place Dock

All aboard, Detroit!

June Newsletter: Sightseeing Tours Start this Month!

Sightseeing Tours Begin This Thursday, June 6th!

Diamond Jack Boat Under Bridge

The sun is finally shining, and the 2019 sightseeing tour season is finally here! Starting Thursday, June 6, our sightseeing tours will start setting sail every Thursday through Sunday at 1 PM and 3:30 PM. From ship watching to history lessons to food and drinks, Diamond Jack can offer you the unique experience you’re looking for.

Our 2-hour narrated tours are the perfect activity on a hot summer day. Whether you’re hosting guests from out of town or looking for a date idea, Diamond Jack is perfect for everyone. Kids, adults, grandparents – everyone has a great time when they set sail with Diamond Jack!

And with college students finally out for the summer, we’ve finalized our summer staff and are almost done with all the training. Our workers go through extensive Coast Guard drills as well as learning all about the history of Diamond Jack and the Detroit River.

Diamond Jack Staff

If you’re interested in joining us for a sightseeing tour, don’t wait too long! We currently have a special June coupon for $16 sightseeing tours all throughout the month. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – all days are just $16!

Just go to our coupons page and print off the coupon. Present it when you purchase your tickets at the dock and remember that each coupon is only good for one passenger.

Note from the Diamond Jack team: On June 30th, 2019, the Detroit Rivard (Cullen) Plaza Dock will be closed due to a private event. Therefore, both the 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM Detroit tours will be closed for the day. However, the Wyandotte tours will still be going out at their scheduled time.

Private Charters in Full Swing!

Diamond Jack Private Charter

Even though we’ve been impatiently waiting for sightseeing tours to start, our private charters have been in full swing for over a month!
We’ve hosted school field trips, corporate events and many more! Over Memorial Day Weekend, Detroit hosted the Movement Music Festival and we even hosted many of the festival goers!

If you’re trying to find out what to do for your next group outing, don’t hesitate to call Diamond Jack! We strive to give each guest a unique experience with stellar customer service. We want to make sure everyone on board has a great time and will stop at nothing to ensure that happens.

Diamond Jack Boat Under Bridge

We offer a variety of catering menu options, from “Motown BBQ” to “Taste of Italy” to “South of the Border”. With a bar available, flexible departure times and convenient parking, it is the perfect activity for any group!

Highlights of the Tour: Belle Isle Bridge

The Belle Isle Bridge, officially named the MacArthur Bridge spans the Detroit River between Detroit, MI and Belle Isle. The bridge was completed in 1923 for just over $2.5 million and it replaced an iron bridge with wooden decking that caught fire and was destroyed in 1915.

It was originally named the George Washington Bridge but was renamed after General Douglas MacArthur in 1942.

Diamond Jack Boat Under Bridge

Belle Isle Bridge features 19 total arches that span across 2,193 feet. It carries five lanes of East Grand Blvd. and was restored in 1986 for $11.5 million.

In 1913, William Edmund Scripps (of the Scripps publishing family) flew a flying boat underneath the original Belle Isle Bridge.

The historic bridge is one of the very first attractions you see on the Detroit Tour that departs from the Rivard (Cullen) Plaza Dock. We’ll take you right underneath!

Ask the Captain a Question

Diamond Jack Presentation

Do you have questions for the Captain? We have answers! Whether you’re curious about the inner-workings of a boat or have any other sailing-related inquiries, we’ll provide you with answers straight from one of our captains. Submit your questions to info@diamondjack.com.

Each month, we will pick a select few as winners and publish those questions (with the answers) on our next newsletter and on our website! The winners will receive two free tickets for a scenic cruise with Diamond Jack’s River Tours!

Congratulations to this month’s winners – Stacey, Barbara, and Cynthia!

Q: How many coats of paint do you think are on the Diamond Jack hull & railings?

A: There are 1 to 2 coats for paint on most of the vessel and as it chips – we will clean the area to the bare steel and apply primer & repaint.
The hull gets a fresh coat of paint every 5 years so there is at least 5 coats on the bottom.

Q: When you are docking the Diamond Jack boats, it seems to me, the boat is moving sideways. How is this possible?

A: The Diamond Queen is a twin screw boat – meaning it has 2 propellers – by putting the 1 engine on go ahead and 1 engine in reverse you can make the boat move sideways

On the Diamond Belle & Diamond Jack which are single screw (1 propeller) we use the current & wind to make the boat move sideways.

Q: If you are out on the water and an unexpected thunder & lightning storm pops up, is it better to drop anchor and stop the boat, or better to keep moving and head for shore?

A: Since we are in the Detroit River and always close to shore and docks it is better for us to keep moving & return to our docks.

Featured Reviewers

Diamond Jack Boat Under Bridge

With the new season finally here, we figured it would a good idea to see what some of our 2018 customers had to say! We love giving Michiganders and visitors a fun and unique look at Detroit. Check out what some of our guests had to say following their trips and tours:

“Rented the boat for a function. We did an evening cruise. It was early September. It was a little cool so bring a jacket or sweater. Had a catered dinner on the ship the food was good. You could walk around the 3 levels. The lights were very nice to watch. The staff was friendly and helpful. Like any captive place drinks were a little pricey. Overall very nice.”
– Elizabeth

“I highly recommend the Diamond Jack and the Diamond Belle boat trip to anyone that wants an outstanding experience on the Detroit River waterfront. The staff is friendly and helpful, the catered food on the boat is great and you cannot find a better way to show off the beautiful waterfront that Detroit and Windsor share. This is an experience that is different from any run of the mill corporate event and also provides a great opportunity to take customers on. Don’t wait to take your friends, family, visitors or customers for a boat ride on the Diamond Belle or Diamond Jack!”
– Mary Anne

“This tour is a good way to entertain out of town guests. I have done this 5 times in the past 2 years and doing it again tomorrow… and every time I enjoy it as if it’s my first time. Thanks for services”
– Salem

“A great way to spend a short afternoon with family and friends seeing the Detroit River and finding out about things you never knew existed”
– Daniel

Diamond Jack Boat Under Bridge

May 2019 Newsletter – Sailing Season is Finally Here!

2019 Sailing Season is Finally Here!

Spring is here and so is Diamond Jack season! We are officially open for charter tours on the beautiful Detroit River. With the weather turning and our river boats primed up, don’t wait any longer to book your private party with Diamond Jack.

From end-of-the-year school field trips to senior groups to corporate outings, Diamond Jack loves giving our guests a one-of-a-kind experience. With beautiful sights, great food and good company, we have an easy time doing it!

We still have charter dates available through October 31st, but they will fill up fast. Private charters from our Wyandotte dock will sail up the Detroit River to the Renaissance Center and back down. If you choose to depart from our Detroit Rivard Plaza Dock, you will stay within Detroit but can go out to Lake St. Clair.

However, you can create your own custom route along the Detroit River for an additional cost!

Both are unique to themselves and offer great sights and history along the way. Our boats can accommodate up to 225 guests and we provide a variety of catering options, beer and wine.

Sightseeing Tours Start June 6th

Those looking to hop on the Diamond Jack, Diamond Belle or Diamond Queen for a sightseeing tour have to wait just a little bit longer. All three of our sightseeing tours begin on June 6th, with four total tours running every day between Thursday and Sunday.

View a side of Detroit that you’ve never seen before. From the mysterious Windsor Hum and legendary Post Office Boat to the beautiful waterfront mansions, your neck will be sore from all of the sightseeing!

If you are a ship lover, make sure to take our Wyandotte-Detroit Tour that departs every Thursday through Sunday at 1 PM.

Note from the Diamond Jack team: On June 30th, 2019, the Detroit Rivard Plaza Dock will be closed due to a private event. Therefore, both the 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM Detroit tours will be closed for the day. However, the Wyandotte tours will still be going out at their scheduled time.

We’re Still Hiring for the 2019 Summer Season!

We still have a have a few openings for our summer staff! If you’re a college student or teacher off for the summer, or just looking to stay active in the nice weather, Diamond Jack is the perfect summer job.

You need to have a flexible schedule, reliable transportation and good customer service skills. Since our crewmates help captain the ship, you will need to be active and on your feet for all your shifts. You must be at least 18 years old and must be able to pass a drug test upon hiring.

It is a great opportunity to stay active and outdoors throughout the summer! Pay starts at $11/hour plus tips, and the opportunity for daily overtime. If interested, please e-mail your resume to info@diamondjack.com.

Highlights of the Tour: Grassy Island

One of the sights on our Wyandotte-Detroit Tour, Grassy Island is a small, uninhabited 72-acre in the Detroit River. Located just north of Gross Ile, the island is a part of the Wyandotte city limits.

Grassy Island is also part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and should not be confused with Grass Island, an island of Ontario on the exact opposite side of the Detroit River.

The island was first noted by French explorers in 1796 as they dubbed it Ile Marecageuse (Marshy Island). At the time of its discovery, the island was only 6 acres.

Unfortunately, from 1960-1982, the island was used as a disposal facility for millions of cubic meters of toxic soil scoured from River Rouge. It’s because of this that the island’s size increases so dramatically, and also why it remains uninhabited.

The decades of Detroit’s unregulated industrialism have had a profound impact on Grassy Island and the life that surrounds it. It is now contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, and lethal amounts of harmful heavy metals such as mercury and lead.

Public access to the island is prohibited but not enforced very often. The soil contains 28 different contaminants that exceed state and federal limits.

Efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior are being made to restore the island. Nevertheless, it is up to residents like us to take action and protect the beautiful sights around Detroit.

Ask the Captain a Question

Do you have questions for the Captain? We have answers! Whether you’re curious about the inner-workings of a boat or have any other sailing-related inquiries, we’ll provide you with answers straight from one of our captains. Submit your questions to info@diamondjack.com.

Each month, we will pick a select few as winners and publish those questions (with the answers) on our next newsletter and on our website! The winners will receive two free tickets for a scenic cruise with Diamond Jack’s River Tours!

Congratulations to this month’s winners – Carolyn, Paul, and Cathy!

Q: Where are the boats kept during the winter? Have you ever been stranded due to a breakdown and had to call for help? Does the Coast Guard come or a tow service? Is there a memorable cruise for you that you will never forget? Why?
A: We lay up the vessels in the Rouge River at the Gaelic Tugboat Company Yard. The owners of Diamond Jack also own Gaelic Tugboat and have property on the Rouge River for layup. That leads to into your answer for the second question regarding towing. We own a tugboat company so we can tow our own boats. Most memorable cruise for me was the time we did a move wrap-up party and had Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore onboard.

Q: Dear Captain, I would like to know how does your largest vessel compare in size to the old Boblo boat? My family would frequent the island when I was a youngster, and I’ve been going on the Diamond Jack boats for over 20 years. In my mind, the Boblo boat seems bigger. But that could be because I was a teenager and everything probably seemed big as a youth.
A: You are correct, the Boblo boats Columbia and Ste. Claire were much larger than our vessels. The Boblo boats were 208 and 197 feet long compared to our boats the Belle and Queen (90 feet) and the Jack (65 feet). The Columbia and Ste. Claire were 60 and 65 feet wide compared to ours at approximately 28 feet. Also, the Boblo boats each held approximately 2,500 passengers, compared to our Belle which is the biggest at 250.

Q: The Diamond Jack, I believe, cruises partly on the Canadian side of the river while on a tour. What is the understanding between the two countries regarding entering and exiting the two countries while on the river cruise?
A: As far as traveling on Canadian waters, the two countries have a mutual agreement that you can be in each other’s waters with no notice or problems. However, if you touch Canadian shore or tie up, you must go through the proper agencies such as customs and immigration. That would also apply to you coming back from the Canadian shore. You would have to do the same to reenter the USA.

Featured Reviewers

With the new season finally here, we figured it would a good idea to see what some of our 2018 customers had to say! We love giving Michiganders and visitors a fun and unique look at Detroit. Check out what some of our guests had to say following their trips and tours:

“We go on several tours each year, from the Wyandotte dock. I think the price is very reasonable for all that you get: both tours are several hours long, (and narrated), staff is fun, friendly and helpful, a small bar is available (with pop, beer, wine, chips), restrooms, and a variety of seating. Tip…if at boarding, you don’t get the seat you would like, wait awhile and go back and check. People move around throughout the tour, giving everyone an opportunity for favorite spots. Ive sat in every section and was never disappointed. Heres a few more tips: get in line early if you absolutely must sit in a certain seat. Groupon has discounted tickets (read instructions carefully. Its worth it) Sunscreen…always a good idea, no food/drinks allowed, bags may be searched. Bring sunglasses, binoculars, a light jacket or go below if you get cold. Be respectful, relax, and be ready to do it again! I go often and still see/learn something new each time!”
– Dawn

“This was my second time taking the boat tour. We love it! It is a great price and you get to see the beauty of Detroit and it even goes into Canada! Such an enjoyable time and we met so many nice people! I will definitely go back!”
– Jennifer

“I work for Berkley Schools and we took our AT class on a tour. Now the weather was wonderful and the people where even better. One young lady really stood out her name is Megan she was the best! Very comfortable with our students and very kind. She gave the tour of all the things we saw!”
– William

“Our ride got a little hairy when a sudden storm swept up on us. Thought I was going to be full Gilligan’s Island for a second. But the crew was great, they were all super nice and friendly, and the ride was scenic and enjoyable even through the rough weather.”
– Dean

Diamond Jack Belle under Rainbow

April Newsletter

2019 Season is Coming Up Quick!

The weather is finally starting to turn in Detroit which can only mean one thing: Diamond Jack’s tours are right around the corner! Starting May 1st, you’ll be able to start taking our private charters that are perfect for a family or group outing.

For those that want to skip the socializing and just take in the mystic features of the Detroit River, our sightseeing tours start on June 6th. This is always one of the most exciting times of the year for our team. We’re training our new employees, making the finishing touches on our three famous riverboats and counting down the days until we can get back out on the water!

Our goal is to showcase the city and state we love in a unique way. When you cruise with Diamond Jack, you’ll see Detroit from a whole new perspective. Whether you’re booking a private event on one of our charter boats or just want to join us for a fun summer sightseeing tour, you’re guaranteed to have a blast with Diamond Jack.

Charter Tour Dates Still Available

We are one month away from launching our private charter boats! We’re excited to begin the sailing season by hosting your special event whether it be a corporate party, family reunion, field trip or any other occasion! Our boats are prepped and ready to hit the waters on May 1st.

If you’re still looking for a venue to host an upcoming event, we still have dates available to book through October 31st. Give your family, friends and guests a unique experience on the Detroit River. Our three private charter boats, the Diamond Jack, Diamond Queen and Diamond Belle are available 7 days a week and we can accommodate groups of up to 250 passengers.

We offer flexible departure times for your convenience and even provide full catering menus, beer and wine. Don’t miss out on a one-of-a-kind experience! Give us a call at (313) 843-9376 to book your private charter today!

We’re Still Hiring for the 2019 Summer Season!

Are you a college student looking to make some money during the summer? A teacher trying to fill your summer schedule? A retiree looking to stay busy? No matter who you are, Diamond Jack’s wants you to join our crew this summer!

You need to have a flexible schedule, reliable transportation and good customer service skills. Since our crewmates help captain the ship, you will need to be active and on your feet for all your shifts. You must be at least 18 years old and must be able to pass a drug test upon hiring.

It is a great opportunity to stay active and outdoors throughout the summer! Pay starts at $11/hour plus tips, and the opportunity for daily overtime. If interested, please e-mail your resume to info@diamondjack.com.

Highlights of the Tour: Manoogian Mansion

A highlight of our Detroit tour, the Manoogian Mansion is the official residence of the Detroit Mayor. Build in 1928 for $300,000, the mansion was not always under the city’s ownership. The original owner lost the home to the banks during the Great Depression. It sat vacant until 1939 when Alex Manoogian, founder of the Masco company, purchased it at an auction for $25,000.

Manoogian later donated the mansion to the city of Detroit in 1966. Former Detroit Mayor Jerry Cavanagh and his family became the first mayoral family to live in the mansion.

The Manoogian Mansion found itself in the middle of a controversy in the early 2000s. With infamous former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick sitting in office, he threw what was rumored to be an excessive party at the Manoogian Mansion. Several lawsuits resulted from the party that night.

Following Kilpatrick’s resignation, new mayor Dave Bing held off on moving into the mansion due to the taboo surrounding Kilpatrick’s time there. Aside from its rich and muddy history, the Manoogian Mansion is a site full of beautiful architecture and stunning landscape.

Backed up to the Detroit River, the Manoogian Mansion is easily visible as part of our Detroit Tour

Featured Reviewers

With the new season so close, we figured it would a good idea to see what some of our 2018 customers had to say! We love giving Michiganders and visitors a fun and unique look at Detroit. Check out what some of our guests had to say following their trips and tours:

“A few days ago I had the pleasure of bringing a small bus load of senior citizens down for one of Diamond Jack’s boat rides/tours. I believe this is the 4th time I have brought a group down and, as always, the boat ride and narrated tour was just great. Yet, the boat crew should be applauded because of the extra care and attention they give to people that need assistance loading on to the boat. Whether it was a guest that was just a little unsteady on the ramp, or a guest using a walker, or a manual wheelchair – the staff took good solid measures to make sure the guest was comfortable and safe getting loaded on and off the boat. And I loved some of the chatter on the bus on the way home; ” That is the best $15 I have ever spent and the most fun I have had in years! And I learned a lot!” Keep up the great work Diamond Jacks!”
– L.J.

“I highly recommend the Diamond Jack and the Diamond Belle boat trip to anyone that wants an outstanding experience on the Detroit River waterfront. The staff is friendly and helpful, the catered food on the boat is great and you can not find a better way to show off the beautiful waterfront that Detroit and Windsor share. This is an experience that is different from any run of the mill corporate event and also provides a great opportunity to take customers on. Don’t wait to take your friends, family, visitors or customers for a boat ride on the Diamond Belle or Diamond Jack!”
– Mary Anne

“A great way to spend a short afternoon with family and friends seeing the Detroit River and finding out about things you never knew existed.”
– Daniel

“The boat tour was fun. I liked the facts that the announcer said about the certain buildings and landmarks we sailed by. We saw places like: Kid Rock’s vacation home, the Bob-lo boat dock, and the hotel where the Beatles stayed! Great family fun.”
– Brooke

Ask the Captain a Question

Do you have questions for the Captain? We have answers! Whether you’re curious about the innerworkings of a boat or have any other sailing-related inquiries, we’ll provide you with answers straight from one of our captains. Submit your questions to info@diamondjack.com.

Each month, we will pick 5 winners and publish those questions (with the answers) on our next newsletter and on our website! The winners will receive two free tickets for a scenic cruise with Diamond Jack’s River Tours!

March Newsletter

Spring is Right Around the Corner!

Our crew and boats at Diamond Jack are getting primed up for the 2019 season. We’re less than 2 months away from the charter season, and less than 3 months from the start of sightseeing tours! Diamond Jack is Detroit’s first and foremost passenger fleet for over 20 years.

Our goal is to showcase the city and state we love in a unique way. When you cruise with Diamond Jack, you’ll see Detroit from a whole new perspective. Whether you’re booking a private event on one of our charter boats or just want to join us for a fun summer sightseeing tour, you’re guaranteed to have a blast with Diamond Jack.

Sit back, relax, enjoy the summer breeze and have fun learning about the unique history of the Detroit and Windsor shorelines.

Apply Now for the Best Summer Job

Are you a college student looking to make some money during the summer? A teacher trying to fill your summer schedule? A retiree looking to stay busy? No matter who you are, Diamond Jack’s wants you to join our crew this summer!

You need to have a flexible schedule, reliable transportation and good customer service skills. Since our crewmates help captain the ship, you will need to be active and on your feet for all your shifts. You must be at least 18 years old and must be able to pass a drug test upon hiring.

Sightseeing Tours

Diamond Jack offers three unique tours that are sure to please all ages. Every tour offers something different, but all are worth seeing. The tours are all two hours long and are narrated by our expert guides. Tickets are $21 for adults, $19 for seniors and $16 for children. They run Thursday through Sunday, departing at 1:00 PM and 3:30 PM depending on which tour you choose.

Since each tour is so different, here is a snapshot of each one to help you decide.

Detroit Tour

Our only tour that goes off on our “mini ship”, the Diamond Queen. It departs from Detroit Cullen Plaza at 1:00 PM and 3:30 PM, and takes you around Belle Isle, under the Ambassador Bridge and back to the Cullen Dock.

Other sights along the way include the Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbor, Historic Warehouse District, Detroit Boat Club, Peche Island and Waterworks Park. Two of the most popular features of our tours are the JW Westcott Mailboat and the Curtis Randolph Detroit fireboat.

The Westcott company was founded in 1874 by Captain John Ward Westcott who ferried supplies and mail to passing ships. It is the only floating ZIP code in the United States! The Curtis Randolph was launched in 1979 and can pump 11,000 gallons per minute.

After the Detroit Tour, make time to stroll the Riverwalk, ride the carousel, or relax and enjoy a meal in the pavilion. Plan on spending the day downtown!

Wyandotte-Detroit Tour

Departing from Wyandotte Bishop Park at 1:00 PM, the Wyandotte-Detroit Tour sails on the Diamond Jack cruiser. Enjoy the two-hour round-trip cruise to the Ambassador Bridge and back. This is always ship-watchers favorite tour with sights including downriver marinas, giant Great Lakes and ocean ships, and shipyards and marine terminals.

Other sights include Grassy, Fighting and Mud Islands, USS Ecorse, Nicholson Terminal and Dock, and USS Zug Island.

Wyandotte Bob-Lo Tour

Also departing from Bishop Park on the Diamond Jack vessel, this tour departs at 3:30 PM and offers plenty of nostalgia.

For almost 100 years, thousands of people rode the famous SS Columbia and SS Ste. Claire ferries or their own craft to enjoy a day of amusements, picnics, swimming and dancing on the Canadian island of Bob-Lo. If you look closely, the last remnants of the once famous amusement park can still be seen. On our cruise, you’ll view the new, exclusive island community of waterfront mansions.

You’ll pass ships, pleasure crafts and miles of scenic shoreline. Enjoy the riverside landscapes of Bob-Lo Island, Grosse Ile and Amherstburg.

Starting June 6th, you can take any and all our sightseeing tours. Free Wi-Fi on board, no passports are required, and we highly recommend you bring your camera. You never know what you might see!

Charter Tours: Book Your School Field Trip Today!

Starting on May 1st, Diamond Jack will be sailing away for our Spring and Summer charter season. The experience is perfect for school field trips to end or start the school year. Thousands of teachers, students and parents have enjoyed an exciting learning experience with us. Get a fun history lesson while enjoying the cool breeze and beautiful views.

Our tours offer a unique and closeup look at Detroit and Windsor’s most iconic landmarks. Gain a perspective of the two historic cities that you just can’t get from anywhere else. We travel 16 miles of US and Canada shoreline highlighting sights such as the Renaissance Center, Belle Isle, US Coast Guard stations, Ambassador Bridge and a floating post office. Your students will not forget it!

Prices are $9 per person with snacks and drinks available on board. Call (313) 843-9376 to reserve your outing soon! The sooner you book, the better!

Highlights of the Tour: Bob-Lo Island Amusement Park

With the amusement park officially closing in 1993, Bob-Lo Island still stands today and is the highlight of one of our Wyandotte tours. The abandoned amused park opened in 1898 and was open for nearly a century! The park was famous for its two steamers, SS Ste. Claire and SS Columbia that carried passengers from the foot of Woodward Avenue to the island. Both could hold about 2,500 passengers.

In its heyday, the park was highlighted by rides such as the Nightmare, Falling Star, Wild Mouse, Sky Streak and Screamer. Other features included a Ferris wheel, zoo, carousel and a small railroad to move visitors around the park.

Moreover, Henry Ford helped construct a dance hall that was the second largest in the world – holding 5,000 dancers at once. The dance hall also featured one of the world’s largest orchestrions as it was 16 feet tall and 14 feet wide with 419 pipes.

In 1952, visitors of the park were finally introduced to Joe Short, more commonly referred to as “Captain Bob-Lo”. Short had previously worked for Ringling Brothers Circus and was able to mesmerize children and adults alike with his antics. Equipped with colorful clothing, a large Captain’s hat, adventurous tales and riotous jokes, Short became a local favorite at the amusement park. He finally retired in 1974 at the age of 90!

Ask the Captain a Question

Do you have questions for the Captain? We have answers! Whether you’re curious about the inner-workings of a boat or have any other sailing-related inquiries, we’ll provide you with answers straight from one of our captains. Submit your questions to info@diamondjack.com. Each month, we will pick 5 winners and publish those questions (with the answers) on our next newsletter and on our website! The winners will receive two free tickets for a scenic cruise with Diamond Jack’s River Tours!

February 2019 Newsletter: 20% Off All Charter Prices

20% Off Your Summer Charter

Diamond Jack Charters

That pesky Punxsutawney Phil delivered us some good news on Groundhog’s Day. It’s going to be a short winter which means we get to start preparing for the 2019 charter season! Even though our charter season officially starts May 1st, we’ve been working all offseason to give you the best cruising yet. And don’t miss out on the opportunity to save BIG on charter prices. We are offering 20% off your boat charter price if you pay when full by March 1st. That means if you book the Diamond Belle for three hours, you’d be saving a minimum of $600!

Don’t miss out on this limited time offer. Call our Detroit office at (313) 843-9376 to start booking your private charter today! You can choose between our three famous Detroit River boats: Diamond Jack, Diamond Queen and Diamond Belle.

We can provide soda, snacks, beer and wine at our snack shops on board. However, no party is complete without a full spread of food for all the guests. We offer an extensive catering menu with several options to choose from. Sign up for “Motown” BBQ menu and dive into angus beef hamburgers, chicken wings, baked beans, corn on the cob and potato salad. Salivate over our “Taste of Italy” menu or keep things simple with our “Hors D’oeuvres” special menu. No matter what the appetite is, Diamond Jack’s can fill it.

The charter and sightseeing tour seasons are just around the corner! Our preparations are already ramping up. We’ve scheduled “fit outs” for all our boats starting April 1st. During this process, we will water down and repaint the boats, clean all the carpeting, and have everything thoroughly inspected by the Coast Guard. From the engines to the life jackets, the Coast Guard combs through every element of our riverboats to make sure you are safe for your Detroit River fun.

Painting the Tour Boat

It may not sound all that exciting, but we know it means the season is right around the corner! Whether you’re hosting a corporate outing, a wedding or a fundraiser, Diamond Jack’s charters guarantee everyone never-ending fun and long-lasting memories.

We’re Hiring for the 2019 Season Now!

Hiring Now

Are you a college student looking to make some money during the summer? A teacher trying to fill your summer schedule? A retiree looking to stay busy? No matter who you are, Diamond Jack’s wants you to join our crew this summer!

You need to have a flexible schedule, reliable transportation and good customer service skills. Since our crewmates help captain the ship, you will need to be active and on your feet for all your shifts. You must be at least 18 years old and must be able to pass a drug test upon hiring.

Hiring for 2019

It is a great opportunity to stay active and outdoors throughout the summer! Pay starts at $11/hour plus tips, and the opportunity for daily overtime. If interested, please e-mail your resume to info@diamondjack.com.

2019 Sightseeing Tours

Our tour season dates for our 2019 sightseeing tours are now live on our website. Explore Detroit with the Diamond Jack crew, whether it’s your first time or not. We will begin our Diamond Jack sightseeing tours for 2019 on June 6th and end our season on September 1st. We relish the opportunity to have a fun environment for young and old to enjoy the breeze and learn a little bit about Detroit history on the way. Our river boat guides will point out the buildings and structures you will see in Detroit and in Canada. Get to sail with our excellent captains and crew as they run the ship while you get to enjoy the sights on this up close and personal trip. Make sure to watch our website and read our newsletters for special discount coupons!

Diamond Jack

Do you want to get a preview of what you’re going to see on the tour? Check out this detailed list of major sites on each tour. Remember that each tour is a little bit different. Our Wyandotte boat tours feature different sites for the 1:00 and 3:30 tours. Head down to Wyandotte or Detroit to take a tour you won’t ever forget. Each unique tour has many sites you may not have seen before. So come down and sail with us again in 2019. We promise you won’t have the same experience with us twice.

We strive to give you the richest Detroit experience possible. Learn about the history of the buildings and Detroit itself. Every time you tour with us you have the option to get a new perspective of the city. Each boat offers soft drinks, beer, wine and snacks available for purchase on board at the snack bar.

The 1:00 PM Wyandotte Dock tour will sail past many industrial sites, big ships headed for large-bodied waters (Great Lakes, Atlantic Ocean) as well as:
Wyandotte Waterfront
Mud Island
Zug Island
Nicholson Terminal & Dock
Morterm Terminal & Dock
LaFarge
Detroit Fireboat
J.W. Westcott II Post Office Boat
Historic Fort Wayne
Ambassador Bridge
Ojibway Salt Dock
Grassy Island
Marinas
Dieppe Park
Aggregate Docks
ADM Elevators
USS Ecorse
Fighting Island

The 3:30 PM Wyandotte Dock tour is our Bob-Lo Tour where you’ll see the remains of the Bob-lo Amusement Park, an array of private waterfront properties along with:
Bob-Lo Amusement Park Pavilion Building
Bob-Lo Island Marina Resort Community
Livingston Shipping Channel and Light
James Vernor & Charles Fisher Homes
Grosse Isle
Yacht Clubs and Marinas
Fort Malden Historic Site
Amherstburg Riverfront
King’s Navy Yard Park
Stony Island
1906 Grosse Isle Lighthouse
Canadian Coast Guard Station
Canadian Shoreline and Wetlands

Our Detroit Dock tour has a beautiful view of the skyline of Detroit including spectacular views of iconic landmarks like the GM Renaissance Center and the Ambassador Bridge. Bask in these sights and more including:
Cullen Plaza – formerly Rivard Plaza
GM Renaissance Center
Belle Isle Bridge
Hart Plaza & Dodge Fountain
Ambassador Bridge
Historic Warehouse District
Tri-Centennial State Park & Harbor
Peche Island
Stroh River Place
Cobo Center
Joe Louis Arena
Kid Rock’s House
Detroit Boat Club
Detroit Yacht Club
J.W. Westcott II Post Office Boat
Downtown Windsor
Manoogian Mansion (Mayor’s Residence)
Water Works Park
Bayview Yacht Club
Detroit Fireboat “Curtis Randolph”
Canadian Club Plant
Windsor Hum
Historic Fort Wayne
Dossin Great Lakes Museum
Hiram Walker Distillery
Detroit People Mover

Prices for the 2019 season are as follows:
Adults: $21
Seniors: $19
Children: $16
4 and Under: FREE!

Highlights of the Tour: Milliken State Park

If you are taking the Detroit Tour, your tour starts the moment you step out of the car. With the tour departing from the Detroit Rivard Plaza Dock, you will be a few steps away from the recently renovated Milliken State Park and Harbor. As the first urban park in Michigan, the state park is named after former Michigan Governor William G. Milliken.

The park features 31 acres of green sanctuary in the urban landscape. With walking and biking trails right along the Detroit River, it has become a haven for active Detroiters. Along the RiverWalk portion of the park are fishing platforms and a memorial to Peter Stroh. Stroh was a noted conservationist who was at the forefront of reclaiming Detroit’s riverfront for its residents.

With covered pavilions and grills open to the public, it has become a popular destination for city events, picnics and company outings. One of the first things you’ll notice upon entering the park is the 63-foot lighthouse that serves as a replica to the Tawas Point Lighthouse. It is the only representative of a true Victorian-style era station on the Great Lakes.

Milliken State Park was a landmark development in Detroit. It opened the doors for more agencies to push for urban parks and other nature conservatories. If you are taking the Detroit Dock tour, make sure to arrive early or leave some time after to explore this beautiful park.

Ask the Captain a Question

Tour Captain

Do you have questions for the Captain? We have answers! Whether you’re curious about the innerworkings of a boat or have any other sailing-related inquiries, we’ll provide you with answers straight from one of our captains. Submit your questions to info@diamondjack.com. Each month, we will pick 5 winners and publish those questions (with the answers) on our next newsletter and on our website! The winners will receive two free tickets for a scenic cruise with Diamond Jack’s River Tours!

2019 Charter Season

Remember to book your next Diamond Jack charter soon. As a bonus, if you reserve and pay for a charter cruise by March 1st you get 20% off your Charter cost. Our 2019 charter season begins again on May 1st and will continue until October 31st. Save money by booking ahead. With all that extra money you can save on booking your event location early there should be a surplus available to splurge on your friends, guests and co-workers. Make memories for them by sailing with Diamond Jack in 2019.

Sunset Over Detroit River