Our private charters season is over for 2019
Hey there, Diamond Jack family! We hope that you’re holding up against this rainy transition into November. We would give anything for another sunny day on the water, but with the leaves falling like the temperatures, our crew has had to prepare our fleet for winter storage.
We would like to take this time and extend our sincerest thanks to all of you that made this 2019 sightseeing and private charter season so memorable. Our hope is that you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did while on the Detroit River.
Over the coming months we will be hard at work updating our tour schedule, making improvements to our boats and updating the sites to explore during sightseeing tours.
This is an exciting time for us, and we cannot wait to unveil our progress when our sailing seasons begins next year.
Be sure to check out our website for special promotions and updates in the meantime.
Private Charters Resume May 1st, 2020
It MAY seem like quite a way out, but we’ve already received many bookings for our 2020 Private Charter season. Our private charters begin just about a month before our sightseeing tours run in June.
Private charters are perfect for nearly any event including: corporate parties, weddings, family reunions, senior groups, school field trips, proms, religious retreats, organizational events and promotional parties.
Reserving a private charter through Diamond Jack gives you exclusive privileges like:
- Private Boats for Your Group
- Flexible Departure Times
- Convenient Parking
- Indoor and Outdoor Areas on Board
- Catering and Bar Available
- Three Boats to Choose From
We encourage you to read up on our private charters, so you can find the ideal combination of food, entertainment and space for your event. If at any time you have questions, please do not hesitate to call our responsive staff at (313) 843-9376 for assistance with questions and bookings.
Book now and pay in full by March 1st, 2020 to save 20% on your charter.
2020 Sightseeing Tour Dates Revealed!
We know that the boats have barely had a chance to dry, but we’re so eager to get back out on the water that we’ve announced our 2020 sightseeing tour dates.
Be sure to mark your calendars for Thursday, June 4th, 2020 so you don’t miss the first day of a great season! We’ve made some changes to our schedule, which you can learn more about below.
***SCHEDULE CHANGE: WYANDOTTE TOURS NOW RUNNING FRIDAYS-SUNDAYS ONLY***
Remember, you have the choice of three different sightseeing tours to explore.
The first departs from the Rivard (Cullen) Plaza in Detroit and takes to you great destinations like the Ambassador Bridge, Historic Fort Wayne, the Hiram Walker Distillery. These tours will still run Thursdays-Sundays at 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm.
Our next two sightseeing tours sail from our Wyandotte Dock in Bishop Park from 1:00 and 3:30 pm exclusively on Fridays-Sundays. Our Wyandotte tours explore a slew of historic and culturally significant downriver landmarks like Bob-Lo Island, Zug Island, Fort Malden and more.
Diamond Jack is sure that you will find something to marvel at during your sightseeing tour. For a full list of sightseeing sites along the way, as well as pricing options and dock directions, check out this page.
Featured Tour Site – 1906 Grosse Ile Light
It wouldn’t be a Diamond Jack Tour if you didn’t see something that wowed you! This month’s featured site is the 1906 Grosse Ile Light House.
You can catch this marvel of American engineering on our 3:30 p.m. Wyandotte tour.
During the 19th century, industry and commerce rapidly expanded throughout the Midwest, and all the ports of the Upper and Western Great Lakes were accessed by transiting the Detroit River. As traffic in the river increased, the Cleveland Vessel Owners Association petitioned Congress to establish navigation lights to enable 24-hour operations of their steam powered ships.
The request was granted in 1891 when the first pair of channel guidance lights – range lights – were established on Hennepin Point to guide up-bound ships past the sandbar off the southwest point of Fighting Island.
Three years later Congress appropriated money to establish another set of lights to serve down-bound traffic, the Grosse Ile North Channel range lights. They were lighted on July 16, 1894 and identified the Fighting Island channel north of Mamajuda Island.
The northernmost of these lights was the Grosse Ile North Channel Front Range Light, now the only remaining light on the island.
The original 1894 front range light resembled a water tower on stilts as it was constructed on wooden pilings along a 170-foot pier from the shore. It was rebuilt in 1906 and remains the classic white structure that still exists today.
The interior of the lighthouse is paneled with the traditional Michigan tongue and groove varnished pine while the exterior is painted cedar. An impressive circular wooden staircase winds to the light stanchion, now empty.
A lighthouse keeper, with his family, lived in a one room cabin near the rear tower until a larger house was built on the property in 1904 (and still stands today as a private residence).
The keeper was responsible for maintaining the lighthouse. Oil for the lamps was stored in metal structures near the lights, as was a supply of glycerin which was used to clean the windows and keep them from freezing during the winter.
In the 1920s the remaining lights were electrified, with the Grosse Ile Light an occulting (flashing) white beacon, one second on and one second off. The light was permanently extinguished in 1963 and the Fresnel lens was removed by the Coast Guard. Of the original four lights on Grosse Ile, only this light was saved from demolition.
In 1965, the Township purchased the light from the Interior Department for $350, with funds provided by the Grosse Ile Historical Society. The Society has the responsibility to preserve and maintain the lighthouse and is supported strictly by private contributions.
The Grosse Ile Historical Society now maintains the light and it can be toured by calling (734) 675-1250.
Have Fun while Learning on the Water
Diamond Jack believes in making every trip on the water a memorable learning experience. Supporting the communities within our great state is an enriching process.
If you’re a teacher looking for an exciting school field trip that brings a different perspective of Michigan’s largest city, give us a call! We can help plan a custom charter tour. Whether it be history or architecture, we have tour destinations sure to captivate and inspire.
Intrigue your students by observing the natural ecosystems along the banks of the U.S. and Canadian borders or bring the past to life with a narrated tour discussion of historic forts and establishments along the Detroit River.
If you really want to wow your students, you could choose our “Pizza 48222” catering option. It combines two childhood favorites: pizza and adventure.
Have pizza personally made and delivered by the crew of the J.W. Wescott II, the world’s only floating post office, who will pull along side our boat with the pies ready.
There is something for everyone on a Diamond Jack tour! To learn more about options for school field trips contact us today or give us a call at (313) 843-9376.