CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s known as the boat that knows how to have the most fun.
“People tend to have smiles on their faces when approaching this boat,” said Captain Mark Stevenson.
The tri pontoon boat is docked at Monroe Harbor and stands out from all the other vessels that cruise up and down Chicago’s waterways.
Captain Mark Stevenson says Chicago’s original Tiki Boat was owned by a doctor who used it as therapy for his patients.
“He felt that the waterways would give them a different type of demeanor to receive his message of healing. The water brings serenity for many.” But in 2011, it sunk to the bottom of Monroe Harbor during a violent storm. Now the Tiki Boat Chicago has been resurrected and upgraded.
“Much more comfortable, much more spacious,” said Stevenson.
The boat fits 12 and has a grill, a sound system, make shift dance floor, a fully equipped kitchen galley and it’s trademark water slide.
“Everyone wants to come on the Tiki Boat and enjoy the slide.”
Stevenson says he hosts everything from bachelorette parties to family outings. The boat travels down the river, to the Play Pen north of Navy Pier and to the south end of the Museum Campus, plenty of opportunities he says for great photo ops.
“Ive been all over the world and there is no skyline that even competes with Chicago’s beautiful skyline.”
Stevenson says tourism in Chicago is at all time high and he hopes to capitalize on that.
“We are the ambassadors for the city of Chicago. When people come here from all over the world, one of the first things they do is come to the beautiful lakefront and we want to give them a good impression.”
The Tiki Boat offers three, three hour trips each day and can be booked online. It cruises the waterways from mid April until mid November each year.
“The boat turned out to be such a big hit. It’s constantly booked. We don’t take people for boat rides, we give people an experience, one they’ll never forget.”
As for the future, Stevenson hopes to add even more fun to the fleet and expects to have another boat for rent next year.
Cruises charge per hour and depends on whether its a weekend or a weekday.
For more information, log onto tikiboat-chicago.com.