Detroit River Tours Stories from Our Sightseeing Tours
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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!

Final Weeks


Join us for a tour on the Detroit River as we wind down with our final few weeks of cruises in 2016.

If you haven’t had a chance to join us yet, hurry down to one of our two locations—the Detroit Dock or the Wyandotte Dock—before September 4th and climb aboard one of our famous tour boats.

It’s been a great season of sailing on the Detroit River! For those of you who remain on dry land, welcome to our new website. Take a look around, and we hope to see you soon.

Fall Charters


Fall is finally upon us, but it isn’t too late to book a private charter with Diamond Jack’s River Tours. We have our fair share of social, family or business events throughout our sailing season, but the months of September and October lend themselves to so many unique sailing ideas! Why not make your Oktoberfest celebration special by spending it with us on the Detroit River, with the history of this great city as your backdrop? Or throw a Halloween party aboard one of our tour boats that will be remembered for years to come? Fall is a special time of year, so hold an autumn-themed work party as you take in the beautiful sights of the Motor City. The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to get creative!

We’re also honored to announce another successful year of having Captain Cathy’s Cruise for Kids on the Diamond Belle. We’d like to share with you some pictures of the wonderful children from the Children’s Hospital of Michigan enjoying the annual cruise hosted by Captain Cathy’s friends and family.

We look forward to spending time with you this fall season on our one-of-a-kind riverboat tours. Take your pick of the Diamond Belle, Diamond Queen or Diamond Jack for an experience you won’t forget! Our private charters run seven days a week until October 31, so hurry up and book your private charter with us today. It’s going to be an eventful fall season, and we hope to see you soon. All aboard!

The 2016 Sailing Season is Finally Here

Spring time for the Diamond Belle

The weather is finally turning, trees and flowers are blooming and summer is almost here. You know what that means, it’s time to book your Detroit River tour with one of our three vessels. Join us for a public tour
or a private charter as we get started on a magnificent summer on the Detroit River! There’s never been a better time to sail!

Public tours start on June 2nd at both of our Detroit area docks. Come down to the Rivard Plaza Dock near the Renaissance Center in Downtown Detroit, or our Wyandotte Dock at Bishop Park to experience one of Diamond Jack’s unique sightseeing experience on the Detroit River. We couldn’t be more excited for a season of fun in the sun. For the first time this summer, we’re proud to announce all of our boats now come with free WiFi so you can stay connected while sailing. That’s not all though, we’re also offering 25% off of all tours public in June, so make sure to bring our coupon with to the dock.

It’s going to be a hot summer, get it off to a great start by booking your cruise now with Diamond Jack’s River Tours. Start making your summer plans now and take advantage of our great deals and new features. All aboard Detroit!

A Detroit tradition for 25 years

When Captain Bill Hoey launched Diamond Jack’s River Tours in 1991, few put their trust behind the idea of touring the Detroit River. But Mr. Hoey was determined to share his adoration for the Great Lakes by offering a family-oriented and affordable way to enjoy the River during the summer. Sadly, Mr. Hoey passed away in December of 2013, but his spirit is still very much present as Diamond Jack’s begins its tours once again, running Thursdays-Sundays. In this, the legacy of Captain Bill Hoey continues with each trip on the Detroit River.

Major League Baseball And Mapquest Features Diamond Jack

Major League Baseball and Mapquest have combined efforts to create a city-by-city video guide for baseball fans, titled “Key To The City.” Hosted by comedian and baseball enthusiast Matt Fisher, the series is setting its sights on Comerica Park and surrounding local hotspots found in Detroit. Fisher makes his way through the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Lafayette Coney Island, Nemo’s Bar & Grill, The Motown Museum, and, of course, down to our very own Diamond Jack’s River Tours. Detroit is a beautiful city, rich with history and a fervent sense of pride, and we applaud Major League Baseball and Mapquest for letting us be a part of their stunning web series, shining a light on some of the exciting places in the city we love most. So be sure to watch Matt soak up the sun on the Diamond Belle and his other Detroit adventures showcased on the episode, “Key To The City: Detroit.”

Major League Baseball Features Diamond Jack

Major League Baseball is running a new series showcasing things to do in cities around major league ballparks. In a segment titled “Things to do Around Comerica Park”, you’ll get to see things, for fans of the Detroit Tigers, to do around Detroit. The episode shows fans how to make their way to Diamond Jack’s River Tours and spotlights a tour boat of students on a school field trip. Diamond Jack is proud to be a part of the city of Detroit, and is delighted Major League Baseball chose our Detroit River tour to feature in their show. Be sure to look out for Diamond Jack’s River Tours on and a chance to see one of our famous river boats!

HBO “Togetherness”

The Ambassador Bridge over the Detroit River

The Ambassador Bridge over the Detroit River

Producers Mark and Jay Duplass of the hit HBO series “Togetherness” contacted Diamond Jack’s earlier this year about filming a portion of a new episode at its Rivard Plaza dock on the Detroit River in Downtown Detroit. Diamond Jack’s was ecstatic to hear about this opportunity and jumped head first at the chance to be included in the program. On April 25, the production crew filmed a short scene on the Diamond Jack’s dock while 300 “glow bikers” watched as part of the background of the scene. The star of the series had ridden to the Rivard Plaza with all of the glow bikers from the Eastern Market as a part of the story-line in this episode. If you want to watch the scene, it will be in Season 2, Episode 3.

“Togetherness” is a comedy about two couples living under the same roof who are trying to balance their relationships with the pursuit of their individual dreams. Recognized writer/actor siblings Mark and Jay Duplass are creators of the series while Mark also occupies a starring role. Other members of the cast include Amanda Peet, Steve Zissis and Melanie Lynskey. Season 1 was very well received by critics and fans alike, and Diamond Jack’s is proud to be a part of the second season and wishes the best for all involved. With the Season 1 finale just behind us, be sure to keep an eye out for Diamond Jack’s appearance, and the star boat of the episode, the Diamond Belle, on “Togetherness” in January 2016.

If you’d like to book a private charter, or if you have any questions about our river tours, give Diamond Jack’s a call at (313) 843-9376 or use the Live Chat feature at the bottom of the screen.