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Lake Tahoe's Top Party Barges and Classy Cruises

Tahoe Catamaran Cruise

All aboard the Sierra Cloud catamaran for a classy, Tahoe cruise. Photo by Action Water Sports

Lake Tahoe is a destination spot for groups looking to party and for couples who want a romantic trip and a glass of Champagne— luckily, both kinds of excursions can be enjoyed on the water. While Tahoe has many boats that take cruises around Big Blue, some are more party oriented than others. Here are three party barges and three more refined ways to tour the lake via watercraft.



Party Barge: Rum Runner Cruise

The most well known party barge on the lake is Camp Richardson's Rum Runner cruise. This 55-foot boat is named after the colorful and potent Rum Runner drink served at the Beacon Bar & Grill near the boat's marina. This cruise takes afternoon sails over to Emerald Bay twice a day for just over an hour. You can get up close and personal with the Vikingsholm Castle, Fannette Island, or the industrial sized Rum Runner drink maker at the bar. Non-alcoholic drinks, snacks, beer, and wine are also available for purchase.

Cost: $44 for adults and $19 for children (12 and under)

Classy Cruise: Bleu Wave Cruises

The 70-foot long Bleu Wave used to take millionaires around the world, but now takes tours around Tahoe. This luxurious yacht can hold up to 50 people and includes a bar with a fireplace, a private lounge and stateroom, a fly-bridge, and full restrooms. This yacht is mostly popular for weddings, but both public and private tours are available to locations all around the lake. Choose from a lunch tour that includes gourmet eats and drinks, or an afternoon tour with a happy hour.

Cost: $55-65 per person. Children 12 and under are half price.



Party Barge: The Party Boat

Just as the name suggests, this 52-foot Harbor Master is fully equipped for parties with its indoor and outdoor decks, fly bridge, two bathrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen. This boat can be rented for weddings, receptions, bachelor and bachelorette parties, corporate retreats, and private tours of the lake. Catering can be ordered ahead of time and includes hors d' oeuvres, lunch, or dinner.

Cost: Two hour rental of the entire boat is $1,350


Classy Cruise: Sierra Cloud Catamaran

Anyone who has spent time in North Lake Tahoe has seen the serene Sierra Cloud head out into the sunset. This 55-foot catamaran is an elegant way to see the lake and can be rented for private charters or public tours. Their Sunset Live Music Cruise is one of the best tours on the lake and includes a tour of the North Shore, beer, wine, soda, and light hors d'oeuvres. While watching the sun go down, be sure to lounge on the netting and watch the blue water below.

Cost: $65 for adults/$35 for children (12 and under)


Party Barge: Tahoe Thunder

For small groups who want speed and noise, the 33-foot Tahoe Thunder catamaran is Tahoe's fastest speedboat ride with 800 horsepower engines that takes you on a thrill ride from the Timber Cove Marina on the South Shore to Emerald Bay. The boat fits up to 12 people.

Cost: $45 per person


Classy Cruise: Wild Goose II

For small groups who want style and historic elegance, the 36-foot Wild Goose II, a Grand Craft Commuter wooden boat is the classic craft of the lake. The cruises on this boat include lunch cruises of the West Shore to 2-hour morning champagne and pastry cruises of the North Shore. Private charters are available for up to 12 people and includes refreshments and catering.

Cost: Private charters are $75 per person