Detroit River Tours Stories from Our Sightseeing Tours
Diamond Jack’s is following the governor’s order to stay safe and wait to safely offer tours.


June 2018 Newsletter: Get Ready to Set Sail as Sightseeing Tours Begin!

All Aboard for Sightseeing Tours!

With June comes the excitement of long summer days loaded with endless outdoor fun! Be sure to include a Diamond Jack’s sightseeing tour as part of your summer outdoor activities this year! We will be setting sail starting Thursday, June 7th from both our Detroit and Wyandotte docks. Our two-hour narrated sightseeing tours will be running every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday departing at 1:00 PM and 3:30 PM … Rain or shine. No passport required.

There’s nothing like a breezy cruise along the Detroit River with breathtaking views of the GM Renaissance Center, Ambassador Bridge, Boblo Island, waterfront mansions and more! Enjoy drinks and snacks from our bar on board and experience the city of Detroit like you never have before.

Get in on our June Coupon while it’s still available! Save 25% on all sightseeing tours, Thursday-Sunday at either dock! Visit our coupon page for more details and to grab yours today!

Detroit River Days Festival

The 12th annual Detroit River Days Festival will be taking place June 22-24, 2018 and we can’t wait to take part in it once again! This year, River Days will be featuring exciting family-friendly activities and performances all weekend long including air shows, zip lining, a performance by Kool & the Gang and so much more!

Visit us at the Detroit Rivard Plaza Dock during the festival days as we will be open to the public for 1-hour tours! $10 for adults and just $5 for children! No reservations needed. Boats will be boarded first come, first served. Coupons can not be applied.

*Detroit cruises are SOLD OUT on Thursday, June 21st and Friday, June 25th for fireworks. Wyandotte cruises will run on normal schedule.

Diamond Jack’s Photo Contest

Diamond Jack photo contest 2018

Diamond Jack’s photo contest is back again for 2018! Share a photo from your last cruise with us using #SailDiamondJack for a chance to win 2 FREE tickets! Get your cameras ready starting June 7th!

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Post your favorite photo aboard a Diamond Jacks’ sightseeing tour on Facebook using hashtag #SailDiamondJack.
  2. Each week, we’ll go through all of the submitted photos and choose one lucky winner!
  3. We will get in touch with the winner and send the free tickets.
  4. One entry per person.
  5. With free WiFi available on all three of our boats, you can now enter the Photo Contest instantly while on board! We can’t wait to see all your sailing photos!

    Meet the Fleet Engineer: Jon-Paul Kubala

    Our Diamond Jack’s fleet engineer, Jon-Paul Kubala, is a graduate of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy and has been a valuable member of our team! We rely on Jon-Paul to keep all of our boats running smoothly and safely. We asked him your questions and he answered!

    Q: How often does the oil need to be changed on the boats?
    A: Every 500 hours is the rule of thumb, but with a good lubrication oil analysis program the hours can be stretched further to get the most use out of the oil.

    Q: How many gallons of oil does the boat need?
    A: Depending on the boat, we need between 60-100 gallons of oil.

    Q: What is the most expensive part of a boat that needed to be repaired or has been lost in the water?
    A: With a good preventative maintenance program installed we have kept repair costs low but like any machine, repairs are needed occasionally. The Main Engine and Transmission are the most important part of the boat and can be costly depending on repair.

    Boat engineer leaning on yellow engines

    Q: Are there any environmentally friendly measures taken when maintaining/conducting the boat?
    A: Being environmentally friendly is a top priority since we all like to keep the beautiful waters we work on clean. Everything that is pumped off from the boat is put into a tank and later on processed at a facility whether it is oil, antifreeze coolant, bilge water, or waste water. If it did not come from the water, it does not go into the water.

    Q: What is the top speed your boats can go? And how are knots measured in terms of miles per hour?
    A: Our boats can go anywhere between 10-12 knots, depending on the water current and weather conditions. A knot is measured based on nautical miles which takes in effect the curvature of the earth and is longer than a statute mile, the mile we are all used to using. So 1 knot is equal to 1.15 MPH.

    Ask The Captain a Question!

    Do you have questions for the Captain? We have answers! Submit your questions to 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. 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!

May 2018 Newsletter: Anchors Aweigh for Private Charters!

Lifting the Anchors of Our
Private Charters!

Sailing season is finally here and we’re kicking off with a fun and exciting group of students! Our first private charter ride of 2018 is scheduled the morning of May 2nd for a school field trip where young explorers will get a chance to cruise the Detroit River and learn about its rich history. We’ll then welcome a group of seniors later that day for a relaxing, breezy afternoon. We have another private charter scheduled on May 4th for a wedding rehearsal dinner.

If you haven’t booked your private charter boat yet for an upcoming special occasion, we still have dates available through October 31st! Private charters departing from our Wyandotte dock sail up the Detroit River to the GM Renaissance Center and back down. Boats departing from the Detroit Rivard Plaza dock stay within Detroit and can go out to Lake St. Clair. Both offer beautiful views of the waterfront giving your friends and family an experience like no other!

Sightseeing Tours on the Way

What better way to start your summer than out on the water? Join us Thursday, June 7th for the launch of our sightseeing tours! Our sightseeing tours will run every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday departing at 1:00 PM and 3:30 PM from both our Detroit and Wyandotte docks. Get a view of Detroit like you’ve never seen before as our boats cruise past the Ambassador Bridge, Belle Isle, waterfront mansions and more! Also keep your ears opens for the mysterious Windsor Hum that’s been haunting our Canadian neighbors for the last few years! No passport required.

Can’t wait to climb aboard? Get ahead of the game! Coupons are now available for June sightseeing tours! Save 25% on all sightseeing tours, Thursday-Sunday at either dock! Visit our coupon page for more details and to grab yours today!

Captain’s Corner: Featuring Jack Frost

Captain Jack in front of Diamond Belle boat

We are pleased to present Captain Jack Frost this month, our Diamond Belle captain! Jack’s interest in boating began at the young age of six years old as he grew up around boats on Lake St. Clair. When he got older, he worked different boating jobs including a deckhand, oiler and wheeling on tug boats. A captain on the boat he worked on was the one to encourage Jack to become a captain himself.

“A captain suggested I take classes to obtain my Master’s License. I worked as captain for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers running survey vessels and tug boats,” Jack said.

Today, as the captain of the Diamond Belle boat, Jack has several responsibilities. Aside from navigating the boat on Detroit River cruises, Jack is also responsible for ensuring the safety of all passengers and crew on board. He also makes sure all necessary supplies are on board and that the repairs and cleanliness of the vessel are fully taken care of.

Jack has worked as a captain for Diamond Jack’s River Tours for over 5 years and he’s made many wonderful memories during that time.

“There have been great times…but my greatest joy comes from children coming on a boat for the first time in their lives,” Jack said.

Ask The Captain a Question!

Q: Where do you get gas for your boats?
A: The fuel for our boats come from Warner Petroleum at Mistersky on the Detroit River.

Q: Where do you store the boats in the Winter? Do they come out of the water?
A: We winter the boats on the Rouge River at 13000 Denmark Street in Detroit. No, they do not come out of the water – we are working on them all winter long.

Q: Where do you take the boats for maintenance?
A: We do all of our own maintenance with our Fleet Engineer.

Q: Do you ever have cruises that are longer than the usual 2 hours? For example, would you ever go across Lake St. Clair to the Flats?
A: We used to do them once a month but now they are a thing of the past.

Q: Will you ever have sunset cruises that are not part of a chartered event?
A: Sunset cruises will not be something in the future. We like to keep the evenings available for charters.

Q: What happens if the boat breaks down during a cruise?
A: We hope the boat does not break down …. LOL

Q: How many gallons of paint does it take for the exterior of each boat?
A: Approximately 5-10 gallons of each color except for the red ribbon.

Do you have questions for the Captain? We have answers! Submit your questions to 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. 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!

Detroit River Days Festival

The weather is finally warming up and we have our sights set on fun in the sun! We are so excited to take part in the Detroit River Days Festival again this year taking place June 22-24, 2018. Enjoy a weekend full of family-friendly activities, music, food and much more! Be sure to visit our Detroit dock at Rivard Plaza for 1-hour tours! $10 for adults and just $5 for children! No reservations needed. Boats will be boarded first come, first served. Coupons can not be applied.

Detroit cruises are SOLD OUT on Thursday, June 21st and Monday, June 25th for fireworks. Wyandotte cruises will run on normal schedule.

April 2018 Newsletter: Mark Your Calendars with Upcoming Sailing Dates

Private Charters Run in One Month!

Dates Still Available to Book

GM Renaissance Center at sunset from boat

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!

Ask the Captain a Question!

Do you have questions for the Captain? We have answers! Submit your questions to 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. 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!

Where’s the Windsor Hum Coming From?

This year, be sure to listen for the mysterious Windsor Hum as you sail with us! Our Canadian neighbors across the Detroit River have reported hearing a strange rumbling sound that scientists have not been able to explain. The noise experienced by Windsor residents has been unpredictable, each instance differing in timing, duration and intensity. Watch a video featured on The New York Times of one resident’s experience. A professor at the University of Windsor has described trying to find an answer to the Windsor Hum “like chasing a ghost”. Our sightseeing tours will cruise right into the inexplicable Windsor Hum. Will you hear it? Join us this upcoming season starting June 7th to listen for yourself!

Lots to See (and Hear) on Our Sightseeing Tours

The 2018 sailing season is quickly approaching and we’re beyond ecstatic to have you on board for our sightseeing tours come June 7th! There’s no other way to kick off the summer than on the waters of the Detroit River! Gather your friends and family for a sightseeing tour you won’t forget. Our two-hour narrated tour along the Detroit River is fun for all ages as you cruise past various Detroit attractions like the Ambassador Bridge, Manoogian Mansion, GM Renaissance Center, Belle Ilse and much more! Be sure to also keep your ears open for the mysterious Windsor Hum! Join us at either our Wyandotte Dock or Rivard Plaza Dock Thursdays – Sundays starting June 7th! Sightseeing tours depart at 1:30pm and 3:30pm. We look forward to seeing you then! All aboard!

Become a Diamond Jack’s Crewmember

Group of Diamond Jack’s employees

Diamond Jack’s River Tours is looking for friendly, smiley people to join our team for this upcoming 2018 sailing season. If you love sunshine, being out on the water and meeting new people, you’ll love being a part of the Diamond Jack’s crew! Starting pay is $10/hour. Must be 18 years or older and pass a US Coast Guard mandated drug test. If you are interested, please call (313) 843-9376 or email

March 2018 Newsletter: Start of Spring Means Warm Days Ahead on the Detroit River

Captain’s Corner: Featuring Mike Nicholls

We’re happy to introduce Captain Mike Nicholls, our Diamond Queen captain. Mike’s interest in boating stems from his father who served in the U.S. Navy in World War II.

“My siblings and I would ride around the Downriver area with him in the summer,” Mike said.

“When we stopped for lunch, it was always at the Detroit River.”

His brother, who is now a naval architect, also had an impact on Mike’s interest in boating. His brother would make note of ships that passed by during those summer days on the river in 1967, commenting on their different characteristics – size, colors and national flags.

Mike learned how to become a captain after retiring from General Motors. He was hired by the Gaelic Tugboat company as a deckhand and after a year’s experience, he was eligible to take the United States Coast Guard Captain’s Test. He passed and received his captain’s license in 2003. Today, he takes great responsibility and pride as captain on the Diamond Queen.

“By Coast Guard decree, I am the master of the vessel. Safety, crew training and navigation are the most important of my duties,” Mike explained.

Captain Mike Nicholls of the Diamond Queen

As captain of the Diamond Queen, Mike has enjoyed conducting tours for school students who often call the large wooden steering wheel a “pirate ship wheel”. He also shared a fond memory of meeting a gentleman who sailed to Mackinac Island aboard the Diamond Queen when it used to be the Mohawk of the Arnold Transit Co.

“He was quite familiar with the Mohawk and noted the differences in the Diamond Queen,” Mike said.

Ask The Captain a Question!

Q: What kind of costs are incurred for fuel? – Janet H.
A: Depending on how hard we are running engines, we burn about 30 gallons per hour. Fuel costs can vary depending on when you purchase.

Q: Which of the four inlets near Great Lakes Steel is the one that the Edmund Fitzgerald was launched into? – John G.
A: It is the second inlet or “slip” south or downriver of the Great Lakes Steel Boat Club.

Q: What has been the most unusual wildlife or water creature that you have encountered on your journeys? – Darlene L.
A: On our downriver tour from Wyandotte, we have spotted on numerous occasions, bald eagles, herons, cormorants and, of course, seagulls. Captain Paul says he has spotted a pair of eagles on top of rock piles in Windsor.

Q: What training/qualifications do you need to become a captain/pilot on a boat like the Diamond Jack? – John G
A: To obtain a license to run a boat, you must have a minimum of a “100 Ton Master License”. In order to receive that license, you must have at least 365 days, in the previous 5 years, of pilot house training and supervision under a licensed captain. Then you take a comprehensive coast guard written exam.

Do you have questions for the Captain? We have answers! Submit your questions to 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. 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!

Spring Events in Detroit

With March comes the hope of bright, warmer days! As spring approaches, us Detroiters are all too familiar with that itching feeling to get outdoors after the long winter months. Slush-free streets mean it’s time to get out and celebrate! Our sightseeing tours don’t start running until June 7th, but the city of Detroit offers festivals and events like no one else to hold you over until then! We’re here to round up the must-do events to kick off the 2018 spring season!

March 29: Detroit Tigers Opening Day game versus the Pittsburgh Pirates starts at 1:10pm.
April 29 – May 2: Metro Times Blowout celebrates over 200 unique musical artists over the span of 4 nights!
May 26 – May 28: Movement Electronic Music Festival brings thousands of people from around the world together to celebrate the birthplace of Techno music, Detroit.

The Mysterious Windsor Hum

Our neighbor across the Detroit River has been experiencing an unusual, persistent noise for years now, which has become known as the Windsor Hum. No one is able to detect the origin of this noise, described as a distant rumbling sound, that has plagued Windsor, Ontario residents. The hum’s unpredictable nature, varying in timing, duration and intensity, has made the city increasingly agitated, desperate for answers and is even destructing the people’s quality of life.

The Windsor Hum has been under investigation since first reports of the noise in 2011. The Canadian government, The University of Western Ontario and the University of Windsor have all attempted to find a solution to the crippling sound but have come up short. Lead researcher and Professor of the University of Windsor Colin Novak described their investigative efforts, “like chasing a ghost”.

There have been many conspiracy theories generated on Facebook pages dedicated to discussions on the Windsor Hum. People have suggested the noise is coming from UFOs or secret government operations. The most likely explanation as to the source of the hum has been the furnace operations on Zug Island on the Detroit River. Our sightseeing tours will cruise right into the hum. Will you hear it?

Private Charter Dates Still Available to Book

We still have great dates available for our 2018 sailing season, so be sure to book your private charter now! Diamond Jack’s private charters are the perfect way to celebrate family reunions, host fundraisers, enjoy corporate or holiday parties, and even give students a day of educational fun on a school field trip! Give your friends and family a unique experience they won’t forget!

Our private charter boats will run from May 1st to October 31st and will be available to rent 7 days a week. We welcome groups of all sizes up to 250 guests and have catering, beer and wine available for your party to enjoy. Choose from the Diamond Jack, Diamond Queen or Diamond Belle to cruise the Detroit River or a destination of your choice. We look forward to sailing with you! All aboard!

February 2018 Newsletter: Preparing for Summer Cruisin’ on the Detroit River

Ask The Captain a Question!

Do you have questions for the captain? We have answers! Submit your questions to 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. Each month, we will pick 5 winners and publish those questions (with the answers) to our website. The winners will receive two free tickets for a scenic cruise with Diamond Jack’s River Tours!

Jack’s Happenings

New Gangway

Gangway for The Diamond Queen

Here at Diamond Jack’s River Tours (DJRT), we look forward to our summer boat rides, but we’re also busy during the winter months. We’re currently working on getting our boats in good shape for the coming sailing season. Our visitors can look forward to new carpeting in all three of our boats: The Diamond Queen, The Diamond Belle and The Diamond Jack. The Diamond Jack will be going into drydock shortly for its check-up and overhaul, and The Diamond Queen will be getting a new ceiling. Climb aboard our new gangway on The Queen this upcoming season and experience our revamped mini-ships. We hope you enjoy the new improvements we’ve made to our boats!

Boat Facts
Featuring: The Diamond Jack

Catch a ride on The Diamond Jack, one of our three mini-ships. Whether you’re looking for some entertainment with a group of friends, family, coworkers or a school group, a 2-hour cruise on this delightful mini-ship is the perfect choice. The Diamond Jack, originally named “Emerald Isle,” was first constructed in 1955. The boat had a few different homes before it arrived at Diamond Jack’s River Tours. It started off being used by the Beaver Island Ferry Company located on Lake Michigan.

In 1962, the Emerald Isle was used as a ferry for the Arnold Line Ferry Company, and in 1982, the boat was used for charters in Milwaukee. Finally, in 1991, the mini-ship was bought by Diamond Jack’s River Tours and renamed “The Diamond Jack.” Now, you can book a Private Charter or take a Sightseeing Tour on The Diamond Jack. Enjoy a serene cruise down the Detroit River in a Private Charter including delightful catering options or try our Sightseeing Tours narrated by one of our staff members. Book your Private Charter on The Diamond Jack now for a celebration to remember with a group of friends, family, colleagues or schoolmates.

Themes For Our Private Charters

There are so many different ways to enjoy a celebration on our Private Charters. We’ve seen a multitude of exciting themes over the years from our guests. Take a trip to Margaritaville in a cocktail-themed celebration with a group of close friends. Try your hand at golf in a putt-putt gathering with your sports buddies. Get spooky in October with a Halloween costume party, or make some magic with a magician-themed river boat Private Charter. Another popular festivity we like to see is the ever-popular prom party! Whatever your theme idea may be, our Private Charters are the perfect place to make it happen.

Our Private Charters are fun for all ages – small children, teenagers, adults and seniors. Grab your coworkers, friends, family members and classmates for a tranquil cruise along the Detroit River or a destination of your choosing. Whether you’re putting together a wedding celebration, a family reunion or a school field trip, at DJRT we can accommodate Private Charters for any of these occasions.

Save 20% On Your 2018 Private Charter

It’s the last 30 days to get 20% off on your 2018 Private Charter when you book and pay before March 1st! Be sure to book your Private Charter as soon as possible and we’ll see you this upcoming sailing season.

Newsletter: 90 Days Left To Fit-Out. Here Before You Know It!

Captain’s Corner:
Featuring Paul LaMarre

Captain Paul LaMarre of the Diamond Jack

Captain Paul LaMarre of Diamond Jack’s River Tours.

Meet Captain Paul LaMarre, a member of our crew who captains the Diamond Jack from Wyandotte, MI. Paul has been interested in boats since he was a young boy. His dad did work for a local shipyard, Great Lakes Engineering, where ships were worked on and repaired. Two of Paul’s uncles were freighter captains, thus strongly reinforcing the boating family tradition. In time, Paul began doing artwork of popular lake ships. Paul also had friends who worked on tugboats and ships, and eventually met Bill Hoey, who was formerly the owner of Diamond Jack’s River Tours.

“I eventually wound up taking fill-in deckhand jobs aboard Hoey’s tugboats and on freighters,” Paul said. “Captain Hoey eventually offered me a management position in 1978, and I have worked for him and his family full time ever since for 40 years!”

Paul learned the duties of being a professional captain while working aboard tugs and freighters. He has been a captain for 21 years now. Some duties the captain handles include navigation of the boat, making sure the passengers and crew are safe, vessel deck maintenance and cleanliness, otherwise, “seaworthiness,” inventory, coordinating daily activities, supervision of boarding and making customers happy! Plus, Paul said that there’s always more to learn.

“I was very fortunate to have veteran mentors along the way,” Paul said.

Paul explained that there are so many exciting stories about fun times had with Diamond Jack. The crew at Diamond Jack tours with thousands of people with different stories to share. He loves hearing stories about people who have experienced hard times and tragedies but were blessed to make it through. It makes him happy to be able to see these people enjoy a day out on the boat with Diamond Jack.

“Every day is different – Every day brings a new story,” Paul said.

Save 20% on Your 2018 Private Charter

Save 20% on your 2018 Private Charters when paid in full by March 1, 2018. A small deposit is required, and it’s worth it when you have your summer festivity planned in advance. Book your private charter now. The Diamond Jack is still available for the Detroit Fireworks display. The boat sails out of the Wyandotte dock where it will then cruise to an area for viewing the fireworks. Enjoy a five-hour long boat ride with ample time to admire Detroit’s annual fireworks display. $90 per person, 55 people minimum. Book this or any other private charters now while prime weekend dates are still available. Call (313) 843-9376 for details.

Jack’s Happenings

Catch up on what we’re working on at Diamond Jack’s River Tours right now! We’ve been working non-stop on revamping our boats for the coming season. You can look forward to a new feel for our boats with our new equipment. During the 2018 season, you’ll get to experience the power of our new generators and board more effortlessly with our gangways installed. We’re also working on engine overhauls so you can be 100% satisfied with your Detroit River tour experience. During the engine overhaul, we remove the boat engine to examine it and clean it, and then take the necessary steps to repair it if needed. With so much excitement awaiting in 2018, we’re so eager to tour with you guys!

Don’t forget that Wi-Fi is now installed in all our boats! Upload the pictures you take immediately to social media while touring with us. Share group photos and picturesque views of the Detroit River with your friends and family on social media.

Boat Facts
Featuring: The Diamond Queen

One of our boats here at Diamond Jack is the Diamond Queen, formerly known as “Mohawk.” The boat was built in 1956. Like the Diamond Belle, the mini-ship used to operate as a Mackinac Island Ferry for the Arnold Line Ferry Company. Arnold Transit Company has served residents of Mackinaw Island longer than any other boat company. Diamond Jack bought the mini-ship in 1995, and renamed her the Diamond Queen. The boat is used for a variety of activities including group tours, school fieldtrips, special cruises and private charters.

Catering Menu:
Highlighting A “Taste of Italy”

Are you interested in starting off your 2018 summer with a river cruise featuring some delicious food? Reserve a private charter with us so you can cruise along the Detroit River while enjoying a mouthwatering meal. We offer gourmet catering with your private charter so you can have an exquisite meal all while admiring picturesque views from the Detroit River.

You won’t have to travel far to sample some of Italy’s finest cuisines. Get a taste of Italy from right here in Detroit! One of the specials on our catering menu is a “Taste of Italy.” The “Taste of Italy” menu offers tasty delicacies such as baked chicken parmesan, vegetable and beef lasagna, penne pasta marinara and rotini pasta alfredo. Add a side of meatballs or grilled sliced chicken, some delectable vegetables, and your feast is complete! So plan your event now for next year, and savor an Italian meal to remember on the Detroit River.

Diamond Jack’s River Tours Newsletter Nov. 2017

Captain’s Corner:
Featuring Steve Carrothers

Captain Steve Carrothers of Diamond Jack’s River Tours.

Meet Captain Steve Carrothers, one of Diamond Jack’s captains. Steve entered the marine business in 1991 when Diamond Jack’s River Tours was started. He began his work with DJRT running the bar and concession stand on the Diamond Jack.

“My father in law and owner at the time, Bill Hoey, said that the only way to run a business was to be able to do all the jobs on the boat,” Steve said. “So, I started paying attention to our captains and started driving boats under their supervision.”

Steve learned to become a captain from working as a crewman and practicing alongside experienced captains. To become a captain, you have to take a written test through United States Coast Guard to prove you know the rules and navigation. Steve received his captain’s license in 1995. Now, his duties as captain include knowledge of the engine room, loading and unloading passengers, managing the crew and everything else that’s involved with manning the boat.

Steve said that he loves getting celebrities on board. Some celebrities who’ve sailed with Diamond Jack include Jimmy Fallon, Drew Barrymore, Ray Liotta, Eminem and some prominent Red Wings hockey players. He said that his most cherished sailing moments, though, are when kids from children’s hospitals sail with Diamond Jack.

“Knowing that these kids were dealt a pretty tough go in life, and to see them smile and forget some of their problems for a few hours with us on the boat is pretty special,” Steve said.

Jack’s Happenings

Even during the off-season, we’re very busy over here at Diamond Jack’s. We’re currently working on renovating the boats before the 2018 cruising season arrives. Our river boats – The Diamond Jack, The Diamond Queen, and The Diamond Belle – will all be in spectacular shape for our passengers next year. All of our boats are getting new carpeting, and we are installing a new ceiling on The Diamond Queen. The Diamond Jack will be going into dry dock with Nicholson Terminal & Dock Company in Ecourse after January 1st for its check-up and overhaul. The Jack will remain at the dry dock for maintenance and a U.S. Coast Guard Inspection, along with a complete re-painting of the bottom of the boat!

Our staff is looking forward to the 2018 sailing season, so we are doing everything we can to get the boats prepared for our riders. Wifi is now installed in all boats for summer 2018 for your pleasure. You can upload the photos you take to Instagram and Facebook during your exciting boat ride. We can’t wait to see you all again in 2018!

Save 20% on your 2018 Private Charters when paid in full by March 1, 2018. (Small deposit required).

Boat Facts
Featuring: The Diamond Belle

Diamond Belle Boat

The Diamond Belle is a “mini-ship” that holds up to 225 passengers. With quite the history behind it, and several name changes over the years, the ship was built in 1958 and originally was used as a Mackinac Island ferry by The Arnold Line Ferry Company. Also known as Arnold Transit Company, the company has served Mackinac Island longer than any other ferry boat company in history. The Belle was originally named the Mackinac Islander because of its time spent on Mackinac Island.

The Belle was later bought by a charter company in Chicago during the 1980’s. During The Belle’s time spent chartering with this company, the boat was referred to as The Sir Richard. After Diamond Jack bought Sir Richard, we named it The Diamond Belle. Now that The Belle belongs to Diamond Jack’s River Tours, this mini-ship has even more of a history behind it. The chronicles of The Diamond Belle continue to grow with every new sailing season!

Summer 2018 Events in Detroit

Already planning for your summer in Detroit? We don’t blame you! It may be cold out now, but there’s always summer to look forward to. Every year in Detroit, you can participate in GM River Days in June. 2018 will be the 12th year of the annual festival. Experience an exciting celebration of the Detroit RiverWalk with fun activities for people of all ages.

The Ford Fireworks in Detroit will be taking place June 25, 2018 at 9:55 p.m. at the Hart Plaza. The Diamond Jack is our only boat still available for charter. It departs from Bishop Park in Downtown Wyandotte. We hope you enjoy your summer in Detroit, but for now, snuggle up by the fire, drink some warm hot chocolate, and enjoy your holiday celebrations! Season’s greetings from all of us at Diamond Jack’s River Tours!

2017 Detroit River Public Tours Recap

Lined up for Diamond Jack’s Detroit River Tour

The votes are in! 2017 was another wonderful year for our sightseeing tours along the Detroit River. We enjoyed giving our passengers tours of Detroit and watching the smiles on their faces as we cruised along the river. Let’s recap a few of our most treasured moments of 2017:

This year, our passengers enjoyed free wi-fi on our river boats so they could feel free to upload pics of the tour for their friends and family to see on social media. One of the best parts of sailing the Detroit River is snapping pictures along the way. Documenting your travels is a way to look back on fond memories and a way to share your experiences on social media. We truly hope you enjoyed sharing your pictures of your time spent on Diamond Jack’s tours during our photo contest. We had a blast seeing all the pictures you guys posted from our public sightseeing tours, and we always love to see more!

Witnessing History On Our Detroit River Cruise

2017 on the Detroit River was a sailing season full of history lessons, that’s for sure. This year, our passengers got to observe replicas of Christopher Columbus’ Niña and Pinta—the famous ships that he sailed the seas in. This August, the two ships made a stop in Wyandotte, Michigan. While passing by on our sightseeing tours, our passengers got to have a look and get a feel for the 15th century!

Another historic boat came to visit Detroit in 2017… This year, our customers got to see the Boblo Boat during our Detroit River tours. A historic icon of Detroit, Boblo Boat first launched in 1910! We were more than happy to share another piece of Detroit history with our passengers.

Detroit Events on the River

From events like Detroit River Days to watching the Detroit fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday, it was certainly a season to remember. We truly appreciated being in your company during our Detroit River boat tours, but even more importantly, we’re glad to have provided you with a fun time. We hope you’ll join us again next season for our 2018 Sightseeing Tours starting June 7th!

Christopher Columbus’ Ships the Niña and Pinta Sail Detroit!

Columbus Ship Replicas

Explorer Christopher Columbus sailed the seas and discovered the New World in 1492. His famous ships the Niña and Pinta allowed him to embark on his long voyage and you can get a chance to jump back in time to see what it was like!

Get a feel for what it was like to travel in the 15th century this weekend! The most historically accurate replicas of Columbus’ two ships will be sailing the Great Lakes and they’re making a stop in Wyandotte from Thursday, August 10 to Sunday, August 13. Make your way to our Wyandotte Dock in Bishop Park where you can do some exploring of your own on board these giant floating museums.

Both ships, operated by the Columbus Foundation, are open to the general public from 9am to 6pm. It is not often that the Niña and Pinta come around our parts of town. The ships last visit to Michigan was in 2014, so don’t miss out on this exciting and educational opportunity! Bring out your friends, family, kids, and of course the explorer in you!

La Niña La Pinta by Thomas R Machnitzki used under CC BY 3.0

2017 Sailing Season

diamond jack boat on the detroit river

The sun is out and the chill in the air has turned into a refreshing breeze! Sailing season is upon us once again! It’s time to get out to the docks and climb aboard one of Diamond Jack’s River Boats. Be sure to book your Detroit River Tour on the Diamond Jack, Diamond Queen or Diamond Belle! Reserve a Private Charter for a special event or join in on a Sightseeing Tour along the shores of U.S. and Canada.

Whether you’re celebrating a graduation or a wedding, hosting a family reunion, or holding a corporate event, give your guests an experience they won’t forget! With a full catering menu, beer and wine, a Detroit River Private Charter is the perfect way to spend time with family, friends and coworkers. Our private charters are available 7 days a week and great for large groups of up to 225 guests. Book a private charter river tour with Diamond Jack this year for an unforgettable event!

Public Sightseeing Tours begin June 1st at our Wyandotte Dock and Detroit Rivard Plaza Dock. Experience the sights of Detroit from a new perspective. Enjoy a 2-hour narrated ride and learn about Detroit’s rich history as you take in the summer breeze. Now that all our boats come with free WiFi, be sure to take photos and share on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter while sailing! Don’t forget to tag us!

We want you to kick off your summer right, so we’re offering a coupon for 25% off all public river tours in June! Grab your coupon now and we’ll meet you at the docks!