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Two Weeks Late, Wendella Boat Tours Cruising River Again

Wendella tour boat "Lila" floats along the Chicago River on Friday, for its maiden voyage of 2014, two weeks later than normal due to the harsh winter. (Credit: CBS)

Wendella tour boat “Lila” floats along the Chicago River on Friday, for its maiden voyage of 2014, two weeks later than normal due to the harsh winter. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The Windy City’s aquatic sign of spring, Wendella tour boats, finally made it down the Chicago River for the first time this year, stalled for two weeks by thick ice in the harbor at Dolton.

“We created a barge with a drone melting the ice, that we sent out to clear a path out there,” Wendella manager Craig Wenokur said.

Among those eight aboard this year’s maiden voyage of the tour boat “Lila” was the family of Manuel Montoya from Madrid. They have been visiting for a soccer tournament in Appleton, Wis.

“This is the last chance to see the city,” he said.

Also board were Adam Snyder and Caitlin Tangine, from Arapahoe, Neb. They were totally unfazed by the weather, with temperatures in the 40s and gray skies.

“We’re pretty used to it by now,” Snyder said. “We’re not coming from Florida, or anything.”

The first official tour got underway around 10 a.m.