Cruise ship Yorktown arrives Duluth

The cruise ship Yorktown arrived in Duluth at 5:56 on Wednesday morning, August 1st, 2012, ending a 11 day cruise that started in Detroit on July 21st. The ship has about 95 passengers in her 69 cabins, all facing the water. The itinerary: Detroit, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, Manitoulin Island, Sault Ste. Marie, Charlevoix, Mackinac Island, Soo Locks, Whitefish Point, Keweenaw Peninsula, Apostle Islands, Bayfield and Duluth. The ship will depart around 10 pm, originating a new cruise, all boarding from Duluth and following the same path going back to Detroit.
The ship was built in Florida in 1988 for coastal cruising but her small size allows her to enter many smaller ports, rivers and other waterways that yorktown20120801_4730larger cruise ships cannot get to. She is owned and operated by Travel Dynamics International, the same company that brought another of their smaller vessels, the Clelia II, to Duluth in 2009 and 2010. The Yorktown, like the Clelia II, is an educational cruise. They have guest lecturers on board to provide more in depth information about many of the sites and science the passengers will see on their trip.

No crowds for Columbus visited Duluth twice in September, 2011
If you visit the Columbus while she is in town today (September 14, 2011), you will notice she is in a cage. Not sure whether we are being protected from them or are they being protected from us. If the latter, it seems to have worked.
The Vista Star, usually the big guy behind the Decc, is not so big tucked in front of the Columbus

Clelia II arrives Duluth early Saturday morning, August 29, 2009.

clelia20090829_1964 After waiting for the Cason J. Callaway to depart under the Lift Bridge, the cruise ship Clelia II arrived for the 5th of 6 trips she will make to the Twin Ports. The Marinus Green can be see at anchor off the Duluth piers to the left of the ship.

Coal out; passengers in and out

cleliatregurthacollage20090801_0095 The collage above combines the cruise ship Clelia II with the Paul R. Tregurtha. The Clelia II, seen above after tying up at the DECC, arrived at 5:41 on Saturday morning, August 1st while the Tregurtha departed 2 hours later, at 7:40 (above). The Tregurtha was taking 64,000 tons of coal to Detroit Edison. The Clelia II discharged passengers coming from Toronto and will board another set of passengers for the return trip to Toronto later this afternoon. This is the 3rd of 6 trips the cruise ship will make to Duluth this summer.

Two ways to look at the Clelia II

The cruise ship Clelia visits DuluthThe Clelia II will be back early Saturday morning with a new group of passengers who boarded in Toronto and will get off here, after which a new group will board here for Toronto, leaving Duluth late Saturday afternoon. It is a one week trip each way. The cruise ship will be back in two weeks for her 4th of 6 trips here this summer.

Early in the morning of July 18, I was driving madly toward the Lift Bridge so I could get over it before it went up for the approaching cruise ship Clelia. I wanted to have the sun behind me, like it always is when you are on the Park Point side of the ship canal. As soon as I parked my car, and ran out to the ship canal and then to the South Pier light at the end of the south pier, I noticed something strange, the sun was on the wrong side, I was facing the sun. I knew these were bad times but I hadn’t heard that anyone was moving the sun around.

I of course realize now one of the things that happens every summer, in fact, it is the reason we have summer; the sun reaches further to the north, giving us summer and giving Australia winter. Well, live and learn; I tried to make the best of it, and took a lot of pictures anyway.

While I was chasing the sun in the wrong direction, Nina Padden was just waking up in her room at the Sheraton Hotel. Nina is a tour manager for Travel Dynamics International, owners of the Clelia and she had flown in to join the ship in Duluth.

I found out later that day, when Nina was giving a group a tour of the ship, that she is one incredible person, and is certainly the best tour manager in the world. As befits such a person, that morning, she jumped out of bed, put on her running clothes, picked up her camera and started to run to the ship canal.

She lucked out by staying in a hotel on the sun side of the ship canal. She got some great pictures. Of course, I on the south pier, had no idea that someone from the ship was here before the ship itself arrived, much less taking pictures just across the ship canal from me with the sun behind her.

I thought about the rest of us, and how many of us would jump out of bed at 5 am in the morning and run down to the ship canal. Why would Nina be so excited about the arrival of her work place on the water. Remember what I told you, she is the best tour manager in the world, and good tour managers have lots on enthusiasm and that’s how much enthusiasm she has.

Now after a run, most of us probably go home and take a shower, totally forgetting we live right next to the largest freshwater lake in the world. On her way back to the hotel she jumped in the lake to cool off. Perhaps she wouldn’t have done it if like us, she knew how cold it was, but knowing Nina, that probably didn’t faze her. She was born in Moscow and knows all about winter and cold.

Flash forward to midafternoon; I arrived at the ship for my tour and met Nina. I like to impress people who are visiting Duluth on a ship and often give them a photo I took of the ship when it arrived. She told me that would be nice but she ….

… and she told me the story I just shared with you. Happily she sent me her pictures and I have used both in the collage above (click picture for larger version).

The big picture of the ship at the left is of course hers since you can see the sun shining directly on it, while my picture at the right is dark. Lining the bottom is a picture she took after making a quick stop in her run down to the ship canal. Finally, I had waited long enough for the sun to shine ‘correctly’ and got the side shot, lower middle, as the ship was lining up at her dock at the DECC.

Waiting to board Clelia

The cruise ship Clelia arrived at 5:30 Saturday morning on the second of six visits to Duluth this summer. It departed at 6:30 Saturday evening. On arrival, Duluth was a destination port for passengers that boarded the ship in Toronto and disembarked in Duluth. Twelve hours later, Duluth was the port of origin for a new group of passengers boarding here (pictured) and going to Toronto. The cement boat Alpena also arrived on Saturday morning. It opened the shipping season, arriving on March 30. Shortly after returning from the Twin Ports, the Alpena went into temporary layup. Most years, the boat brings cement here about every 3 weeks. The Alpena’s second trip here this season may be a hopeful sign, perhaps for the local construction business. It is out of layup and back to work. Photo taken on July 18, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-19-2009