Frequently Asked Questions

Thank You for considering Pearl of the Lake for a public cruise or private charter. Below is a FAQ list that might help answer any questions that you may have;

Where does the boat go? Our cruises are all on Lake Pepin, the largest and most scenic part of the Mississippi River. Normal sightseeing cruise’s are narrated and take us in a circle around Lake Pepin near both sides of the River (MN & WI) where passengers see and learn about the local attractions, environment, history, Mississippi River commerce and lore.

Where do we park?  We are located at the Willows on the River Condominium Complex at the intersection of Highway 61 and Central Point Road at the north end of Lake City (across the highway from Americ-Inn and Burger King).  Park in the parking lot, enter the main entrance to the building and proceed down the hall past the Lake House Restaurant to our booth where you purchase tickets and/or pick up your boarding pass.  After picking up your boarding pass you will proceed out the rear exit of the building to the boat.

When should we show up for our cruise? We start boarding our public cruises about one hour before departure and leave precisely at the stated departure time so make sure that you allow for plenty of travel time to arrive on time.

How far out should I make reservations? We recommend making reservations as soon as you know the date you’d like to cruise with us. Our cruises tend to sell out quickly and we would hate for you to be left out on your preferred date! We strongly recommend that you visit our Public Excursions calendar on our website and then purchase your tickets online.  You can access our calendar by clicking on any of the “BOOK NOW” buttons.

Does the boat sail in inclement weather? We sail rain or shine. In the event of severe weather, it is up to the captain to make the decision on whether to leave at the designated time, or to wait a few moments while the storm passes over. All areas where food is served are enclosed, as well as heated and air conditioned, so you will definitely stay dry and comfortable!  In the very rare circumstance that we would have to cancel a cruise we notify everyone with a reservation as soon as possible and refund their payment.

Do you have a dress code? We do not have a dress code. Our customers dress in everything from casual to formal. We encourage everyone to dress based on the situation they are celebrating, HOWEVER, keep in mind that we are a boat that you access from a dock so wearing high heel shoes is strongly discouraged.

Can we bring food or beverages on the boat?  No food or beverages can be brought onboard. We sell snacks (hot dogs, chips, treats, etc), soda, water, coffee, wine, beer and mixed drinks.

Can I use my own caterer for a private charter?  All catering goes through us. We utilize a couple of different caterers.  Our ultimate choice of caterer(s) depends on your menu choices and the desired price point as we can provide anything from a “make a sandwich buffet” to a formal filet mignon sit down dinner.

Are you handicapped accessible? Because of their unique design and regulatory characteristics, excursion vessels are not subject to the same ADA Accessibility Guidelines that buildings are. That said, we make every reasonable effort to assist and accommodate passengers with special needs. Coast Guard regulations require raised thresholds in doorways for water barriers.  Our onboard Restrooms are not large enough to accommodate wheelchairs.