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Lady Caroline Lets You Leave Land and Bland Behind

Lady Caroline — a 120-foot, multi-level luxury vessel taking the place of the retiring, 40-year-old Nautica Queen cruise ship — cruised into Cleveland in May 2023.

Over the course of its inaugural run, Lady Caroline welcomed more than 17,000 guests during more than 100 memory-making voyages along Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River.

Helmed by Captain Jim Dale, who sailed with the Nautica Queen for roughly a decade, Lady Caroline boasts 15,000 square feet of fun for passengers to enjoy. Three climate-controlled, enclosed decks feature elegant dining spaces for brunch, lunch and dinner, with a chic dance floor and lounge area for guests to cut loose on the third deck.

Above it all sits an open-air observation deck offering panoramic views of the Cleveland skyline — made even more exciting for guests who catch a glimpse of passing barges, historic bridges or even fireworks in the sky from a Guardians’ home baseball game. 

“We’re raising the bar,” Captain Dale says. “We want to provide guests with the best possible experience from the time they make a reservation to the time they head back to their cars. A Lady Caroline cruise is about seeing the sights, for sure, but it’s also about food, service, ambiance and fun.”

“That’s exactly why Lady Caroline is such a perfect space to enjoy with friends, family and colleagues,” says operations manager Ellen Kelley. “We say every cruise is a celebration, and there’s a celebration for every cruise. Our team can provide all the party elements, including the backdrop, meal, drinks and music. All you need is your guest list.”  

Private charters run on weekdays (based on availability) and Saturday afternoons and Sunday evenings through the season. Guests can host reunions, corporate gatherings, holiday functions and fundraisers for more than 200 people with the boat all to themselves and choice of a bountiful, customizable buffet or heavy hors d’oeuvres. 

The cruise ship also makes for a romantic wedding destination. Whether you’re looking to board with a small group of close family and friends or scheduling a grand affair with up to 200 wedding guests, Lady Caroline’s attentive crew will go above and beyond to make your day special.

Being involved in memorable moments for passengers is something Captain Dale says he cherishes. He’s officiated more than 150 weddings as a captain over the years and looks forward to these special connections he’s made with his guests.

“Navigating Lady Caroline and bringing smiles to our guests’ faces is the perfect match for me both personally and professionally,” he says. “It’s gratifying showing a side of the city some people have never experienced.”

Cruises run from early spring through early winter. For voyagers looking for more than breathtaking views and good food, the Lady Caroline hosts themed cruises through the year — including its popular Yacht Rock Karaoke Brunches and the annual Air Show Viewing Dinner, where you get an unmatched view of the iconic event.

“Every cruise is different, that's the fun of it,” Captain Dale says. “I can’t wait to discover what each new day holds and share that appreciation with fans of our Great Lake.”

Lady Caroline sails Tuesday through Sunday, with brunch, lunch and dinners on select days. Tickets range from $0 (children under 2) to $89.95. To schedule your voyage or learn more about private charters, visit