Cruises in the Caribbean advertise fancy dinners, a delightful evening on the water and live entertainment. Priced in the hundreds of dollars for a ticket, Western New Yorkers would have to travel a thousand miles just to board the boat.
With Chautauqua Lake looking more inviting as the summer season continues, perhaps it's time to check out some evening getaways on a local level.
The Summer Wind is a cruise that launches from Celoron and takes people away from the shoreline and onto the waters of Chautauqua Lake. The summer months are the best time to enjoy the pleasures the cruise offers, with special events, entertainment and food to keep everyone in the family satisfied.
The Summer Wind offers a variety of public cruises, which feature entertaining as well as historical boat rides. There are speciality cruises for sightseeing, lunches and dinners, Chautauqua Institution packages and much more.
There are a variety of public cruises offered by the Summer Wind, which feature entertaining as well as historical boat rides. There are speciality cruises for sightseeing, lunches and dinners, Chautauqua Institution packages and much more.
Chautauqua Lake has a rich history along its shoreline, and there may be no better way to see it than out on the lake. On Mondays through Saturdays (with the exception of Fridays), the Summer Wind offers sightseeing tours from 3 to 5 p.m. with food avaliable. Guests will hear stories about lighthouses, Rock Island, Sheldon Hall and other famous landmarks in the area.
"We do a narration with history, pointing out points of interest on the lake," said Marilyn Brainard, president of Summer Wind. "You can't get that from most places in the county."
Throughout the summer, the Summer Wind has also been entertaining guests on various "Rock the Boat" evenings. Featuring live entertainment, including food and beverages avaliable for purchase, there is one more night left in the series, scheduled for Sept. 2. It will have entertainment by the Oliverio Rock Band.
Dinner cruises on the boat are provided by 3C's Catering and include a buffet-style meal right on the lake. On Tuesday evenings, dinner cruises are accompanied by a special event, such as beer and wine tasting or a live performance. During dinner on Saturdays, live entertainment will be provided by bands such as the Harbour Knights, Take 2 and Pangea.
"We have waterfront dining right in the middle of the lake," said Brianard. "Few restaurants have waterfront dining, and we have a floating restaurant. You get to see what Chautauqua Lake looks like from the middle of it."
Another unique feature of the Summer Wind is its relationship with the Chautauqua Institution's summer program. On Friday nights, guests can enjoy dinner and arrive at the Institution in style, with a roundtrip cruise to and from the weekly show at the Amphitheater. Events in August include performances by Englebert Humperdinck, the Beach Boys and Sara Evans.
For the children, the Summer Wind has one more "Kid's Cruise" remaining, which is scheduled for Aug. 22. There will be face-painting, clowns, kid's music and pizza avaliable for the young guests.
Private charters are also avaliable on the boat by request. The Summer Wind has hosted a number of charters for companies, class reunions and conferences.
Next time you want to spend an evening away, don't get out that brochure for a cruise on the shores of Florida. By choosing the Summer Wind, you can learn local history, enjoy delicious food and see live entertainment, all in the borders of Chautauqua County.
For more information about the Summer Wind, including ticket prices and a schedule, visit www.thesummerwind.com or call 763-SHIP.