fb-p Diamond Jack’s Detroit Riverboat Tours | 05.02.19 Blog Entry

May 2, 2019

May 2019 Newsletter

Sailing season is finally here!

Diamond Jack's Detroit riverboat, the Diamond Belle, cruises the Detroit River on another sightseeing tour!

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 crew mates 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!

Ask the Captain

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's River Tours