What time do I need to be there?

Please check the schedule for boarding and departure times. It is recommended that you arrive one-half hour prior to boarding time. You can go directly to the vessel. We have eliminated the need for paper tickets so please proceed directly to the vessel. You will just need to provide the name of your party to the crew to board. The cruise will depart 5 minutes prior to the departure the time listed.

What is the cancellation policy?

IF YOU CANCEL: No cash or credit refunds will be issued. If cancelled up to 24 hours prior to your scheduled cruise, an exchange of date, time or cruise may be permitted. If a reschedule is not possible, a gift card refund can be issued. If you cancel within 24 hours from the cruise no exchange, cash or credit refunds will be given. A ticket protection is available for purchase on all dining cruises that allows you to cancel or transfer your ticket within the 24 hours if you are unable to cruise. All ticket protection reschedules and cancellations will need to processed by calling a Guest Service Representative at (218) 722-6218 during normal business hours.

IF WE CANCEL: For all cruises we require a minimum number of passengers to set sail. In the event that the cruise does not meet the minimum , or if weather conditions are too poor to set sail per Coast Guard safety requirements, we will notify you a s soon as possible by the phone number or email address provided when the reservation was made. You will be asked to reschedule or if that is not possible a refund may be issued. A full refund is the limit of our liability for cancellations by this company.

IF YOU MISS THE BOAT: We have a strict departure time and cannot hold the boat for you if you do not arrive in time to board the cruise and miss the boat’s departure. Please arrive a minimum of 30 minutes prior to departure time. If you miss the boat on a sightseeing cruise, go to the Zenith Adventure shop or call (218) 722-6218 for rebooking options prior to the next cruise departure for that day. If you miss the boat on a dining or specialty cruise no exchange, cash, gift card, or credit refunds will be given.

What happens if it rains?

The Vista Fleet boats are fully enclosed for your comfort. This ensures comfortable sailing, rain or shine, in the spring, summer, and fall. You may want to bring an umbrella for the boarding process and for sightseeing on the outer decks.

What should I wear?

Passenger dress ranges from comfortable and business casual to dressy. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Shoes and shirts are mandatory for all passengers. Evenings in the Twin Ports can be chilly, so you may want to bring a sweater or light jacket for sightseeing on the outer decks.

Is the Vista Fleet wheelchair accessible?

The Vista Queen is not wheelchair accessible. The first deck of the Vista Star is wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair accessible bathrooms are located on shore in the Vista Shop and are available prior to and after your cruise. Please notify the Vista Fleet in advance at 218-722-6218 if someone in your party has trouble walking up stairs or uses a wheelchair or motorized chair. This will enable our crew to ensure you have a comfortable cruising experience.

Can I bring a stroller on board?

We have limited space on board to store strollers. Highchairs and booster seats are available by request. Please notify the Vista Fleet in advance if you will need space at your table for a highchair or booster seat. In order to ensure a correct passenger count, it is important that we know in advance exactly how many passengers will be in your group, including infants and toddlers.

Can I bring pets on board?

Sorry, no personal pets. Only ADA recognized service animals.

Is the trip narrated?

Our Sightseeing Cruises are narrated. You will hear the exciting history of the Twin Ports Harbor and learn about the many foreign and Great Lakes ships that are in port. We will provide limited narration that focuses on the highlights of the Harbor during our dinner cruises.

Where does the Sightseeing Cruise go?

The Vista Star and Queen leave from the waterfront dock at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC). During your Grand Sightseeing Cruise you will see grain elevators, coal, taconite and powdered cement docks, lake freighters, tug-boats, and more. We travel throughout the Duluth-Superior Harbor and up the St. Louis River. Our Duluth Waterfront Tours and Express Tours do not include the St. Louis River and coal, taconite and powdered cement docks. We stay primarily in the main harbor.  Depending on the water and time of the year, the cruise will include a trip under the Aerial Lift Bridge, onto Lake Superior.

Please note: This is not 100% guaranteed as we cannot control lake and weather conditions. Refunds are not issued if we cannot go onto the lake. Our tours are not only about the lake they are also about the surrounding waters, harbor activity and the history of the Twin Ports.

How do you get to the Vista Fleet?

The dock is located on the harbor side of the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC). Visit our location page for more information.

Where should I park?

The Vista Fleet does not have its own parking lot. We suggest parking in the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) parking lot. The entrance for the lot is approximately 200 yards north of the Vista Fleet on Harbor Drive. It is only $10 to park at the DECC for the entire day.

What should I expect throughout the boarding experience?

Pre-boarding – Before boarding feel free to look around the Zenith Adventure shop, there will be an announcement when you should make your way to the boat. This is located right across the street. Once at the boat we ask that you wait to be checked in by a crew member.
Boarding – A crew member will ask for the name on the reservation and confirm the party size, along with inspecting any bags, purses or backpacks you have with you. Please have these open and ready for inspection. We do not allow outside food or beverages on board, along with weapons of any kind.
Once on board – We suggest visiting the bar and concessions on the 1st deck of the vessel prior to departure. However, bars and concessions will be available throughout the cruise.
Prompt Departure – The boat departs promptly at the designated departure time. As we depart we ask all passengers to stay on whichever deck they are on keeping all stairwells and the back of the vessel clear until the safety announcements have concluded.
Docking – 5 minutes before docking we will ask everyone to stay on the deck they are currently on, keeping all stairwells and the back end of the vessel clear. Once we are docked and the captain has checked the lines, We will make an “All Ashore” announcement and at that time guests are free to disembark the vessel safely. On your way off of the vessel a crew member will be at the end of the gangway to answer any questions you had from the tour.

Will I get seasick?

The Vista Fleet travels in the Duluth-Superior Harbor and St. Louis River, which is very calm water. Our boats proceed onto Lake Superior only if the lake is smooth with very few waves. The boats in the Vista Fleet are very stable and, in most cases, you can barely feel the ship moving.

What type of beverages do you serve?

The Vista Fleet provides concessions on board our 2 vessels along with fully-stocked bars of draft and bottled beer, mixed drinks, wine and champagne. Receive discounts on concessions when you pre-book them during your reservation process!

Can I bring my own alcohol?

Our liquor license does not allow for outside alcohol to be consumed on premise.

Are there any age requirements for the cruises?

Everyone is welcome on our cruises unless specified for a special event. A child must be accompanied by an adult if under the age of 16. Identification is required for alcoholic beverage purchases. Alcohol will only be served to those 21 years of age and older.

What are the sizes of the tables?

The Vista Fleet features family style seating. Tables can accommodate two, four or six people. We cannot guarantee specific seating, but all tables are great for viewing the sights.

In an emergency, can someone reach me while the ship is out?

Yes. Call the Vista Shop at 218-722-6218. Ask our reservation specialist to contact the boat by radio. If the Vista Shop is closed, you can call the Great Lakes Marine Operator for Western Lake Superior at 813-433-2128 and ask for the Excursion Boat vessel Vista Star operating in the Duluth-Superior harbor.

How do I make reservations?

You can book your reservations online or call the Vista Fleet Ticket Office at 218-722-6218. Individual reservations require a credit card payment at the time the reservation is made. Schedules, menus, and prices are subject to change. Weather conditions and special circumstances may cause cancellations. If a trip is canceled, you will be notified by phone and asked if you would like to reschedule to another time/day. If that is not possible, a gift certificate will be issued and mailed to you.

How far in advance should I make reservations?

Reservations can be made as late as the day of the cruise, provided there is still space available.

If you have any other questions, please call the Vista Fleet Ticket Office at 218-722-6218.
We look forward to seeing you soon!