LAKE MINNETONKA, MN – Paradise Charter Cruises is celebrating its 25th year of cruising with the launch of the 2009 season. In 1985 Paradise Charter Cruises started with one leased 51-foot yacht on Lake Minnetonka and a business plan on a napkin. That first year owner David Lawrance and his crew successfully navigated 26 private charters and guaranteed pre-bookings for the following season. As market share grew, so did Paradise Charter Cruises and in the fall of 1989 Lawrance purchased a second boat, the Paradise Princess.
The mid-1990s brought tremendous growth, with more than 300 private charters per year, and the purchase of the third yacht, the Paradise Lady. In the fall of 1996 the company upgraded to a new style of motor yacht, which set the stage for the addition of five SkipperLiner-built vessels, starting with the Paradise Grand, Paradise Destiny, and the Paradise Princess II. Paradise Charter Cruises implemented the “Grand Class” cruising program igniting substantial growth into the new century.
In 2003 expansion plans included the addition of the largest custom motoryacht in the Twin Cities: the 149-passenger, 96-foot flagship yacht, Paradise Lady II. She was put into service on the Mississippi River departing from scenic downtown Minneapolis. The following year, the new 125-passenger paddleboat Minneapolis Queen joined the Paradise Lady II on the Mississippi. This Mississippi River launch-point in Minneapolis created a one-of-a-kind cruising venue featuring the largest lock on the Mississippi River, views of the upper and lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam system, the new Guthrie Theater, the Mills Ruins area, U of M campus, and the stunning Minneapolis Skyline.
In spring of 2007 the new “Elite Class” SkipperLiner motoryacht, the Paradise Destiny II, was christened with great fanfare in Excelsior on Lake Minnetonka. With her floor-to-ceiling windows, 360 degree views, large outdoor deck areas, and state-of-the-art amenities, the Paradise Destiny II provided a one-of-a-kind cruise experience that remains unrivaled.
Paradise Charter Cruises and the Minneapolis Queen provide both public and private cruise experiences. Public cruises begin Mother’s Day weekend and run through October 18. Cruises include Sightseeing and Lock, Happy Hour, Pizza and Lock, Friday Night Dinner and Lock, and Sunday Brunch and Lock cruises. Private cruise events are booking now, and are ideal for corporate and personal parties, birthdays, anniversaries, client and corporate entertaining, graduations, Bat and Bar Mitzvahs, and more. The private charter seasons runs from mid-April through the end of October.
Paradise Charter Cruises is a family-owned business operating luxury cruises on Lake Minnetonka and the Mississippi River. They've piloted more than 18,000 cruises since 1985. Paradise Charter Cruises employs 27 crew members and staffers on Lake Minnetonka and 25 on the Mississippi River. For more information or to schedule a boat tour, please visit our profile