- posted in: Blog
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.
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.
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!
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 $10 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 email@example.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!