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What our guests are saying

 

AN ANNUAL EXPEDITION
Jim and Gretchen. We had a great four days in Northern Minnesota on the houseboat. The guys will talk about this trip for a long time. In two weeks, the honoree gets married and his bride said he has been more excited about the trip than the wedding.

We won't be making back again this year, but they are already talking about making it an annual expedition.

It was a real pleasure meeting both of you and your crews. Everyone was professional and everything was clean. Good luck to you and I hope to be talking to you again next year...Roger.

 

THANK YOU
To the wonderful "crew" at Voyagaire, THANK YOU for making our week on the houseboat such a memorable experience for our family! Everyone there is so friendly and eager to assist us in any way possible. It was greatly appreciated!

We will be telling anyone and everyone about the wonderful, relaxing experience we had! I have never in my life had such a relaxing vacation!

Thanks again for a wonderful time and I am sure we will be seeing more of you in the future!

Jason and Denise
SPREADING THE WORD
First, just want to thank you for a wonderful trip! We really enjoyed our 7 days on Gypsea! We’re spreading the word down here in the suburbs about your great houseboat rentals! I also wondered if there was any chance we could get the picture you took of our family? We won trivia one night and you took a picture of us on Gypsea. We’d love to use the picture for our Christmas card this year. If it is possible, here some info to help you identify the picture: The picture was taken on 8/26/07. Jerry & I had the blue short sleeve Voyagaire shirts on, Mason has on the red hooded sweatshirt and Kacey has on the pink shirt & of course there’s our dog Missy in the picture as well.
Thanks again and we look forward to seeing you again next year about the same time!

Chris Ferrell

 

WE'RE COMING BACK
We just wanted to say Thank You Very Much for the excellent vacation, your hospitality and professional service, we were all impressed. We plan on coming back next year.

Eric - "Halina" vessel, Aug. 25-27
OUR HOUSEBOAT WEEK
Crane Lake Houseboat at campsiteThis week's home away from home is a houseboat on the waters of Northern Minnesota's Voyager National Park. We are enjoying all the comforts of home, even hot and cold running water!

We boarded our palace afloat at the southern end of Crane Lake. Our adventure, however, began months earlier at the Minneapolis Sports and Camping Show where we met Jim Janssen, Proprietor of Voyagaire Lodge and Houseboats.

We were there to check out the latest in travel trailers and motor homes. A houseboat vacation was nowhere on our radar. Why we even stopped at Jim's booth is still a mystery. We simply had never dreamed that travel on a houseboat could be such an enjoyable experience. We are thankful to Jim for opening our minds and helping us through later period's of buyer's remorse as we began to contemplate a week without TV, Internet or telephone!

Crane Lake House Boat Rentals - Minnesota VacationsAs our departure date approached, Jim sent information describing what to expect and offering suggestions on what to bring. We found it an easy jump from Jim's info to menu planning and making wardrobe decisions.

Crane Lake is about 260 miles north of the Twin Cities, an easy five-hour drive, on mostly four lane roads. We planned our arrival for a day early to try out Jim's B&B offering. Our room was not fancy, but was clean and entirely adequate.

Following check in, we accepted Jim's suggestions to hike to Voyageur Gorge and walk about the town of Crane Lake. Following these very worthwhile experiences we retired to Voyagaire's open-air deck where we enjoyed dinner while watching seaplanes arrive and depart from a very busy, neighboring sea plane base.

By all means, plan your arrival a day early to enjoy the entire Voyagaire experience.

Voyagaire charters a broad range of boats from the most basic to four bedroom mansions, many of which sport hot tubs. We selected a Suncruiser 360 - no hot tub, but otherwise, 36 feet of compact comfort.

Crane Lake - Voyaguers Nationa Park Boarding was a memorable experience. We had packed a ton of baggage and other "essentials". Voyagaire Staff Members came running from all directions to help. Once aboard, we were instructed on all aspects of boat and sub-system operation. We even received "behind the wheel" training for the first mile of our trip.

Voyager National Park straddles the US/Canadian Border. Navigation is not difficult. We were provided marine charts, marking main navigation channels as well as off channel hazards to avoid. Each boat is equipped with a marine band radio enabling contact with other boats as well as back to base. A daily delivery service is available to cover items left behind and/or to replenish supplies. Up Lake Service stationed on Lake Namakan, extend Voyagaire's hospitality well beyond base radio range. We did not have many questions, but it was comforting to know they were there to lend assistance if needed. Up Lake Service also broadcast a daily weather and fishing report plus host a do not miss evening program billed as the "Best of Interactive Radio."

The national Park Service has established numerous houseboat specific camping sites throughout the park. Their locations are well marked and are easy to access. Most contain fire rings and have established trails leading to nearby scenic overlooks. But the beauty of this area is best seen from the water. We found a picture postcard view at every turn. Plus, we saw bear, eagles and so many loons that we soon lost count. These are primarily Walleye, Northern and Bass waters, and fishing is excellent.

Popular destinations include Kettle Falls, The Ash River Visitor Center, a waterfall at the south end of Junction Bay and a Canadian Trading Post on Sand Point Lake. Kettle Falls is an especially interesting stop since it is a working hotel and resort dating back to the early 1900's. It is accessible only by boat or by seaplane. Period furnishings bring thoughts of what life might have been like for those early guests. Be sure to visit the Tiltin' Hilton, a famous Lumberjack Saloon located within the Hotel.Visit the Tilton Hilton on your Houseboat Vacation!

A GPS with mapping software was not on Jim's "bring" list, but we found it helpful for confirming the location of landmarks. We also brought hip boots that were invaluable during evening beaching and tie up.

Will we do this again? Absolutely! We can't wait.

CRUISING IN STYLE
Thank you for giving our family the opportunity to cruise Voyageurs National Park in style. We all enjoyed the time together in one of the most beautiful places in the country. We appreciate your hospitality and your staff from the restaurant to the dock and cleaning staff. All your extra touches...trivia games, hospitality service, smores, and the upgraded houseboat helped make our trip special.
Thanks!!!

Tim and Lynn and family
A SPECIAL FAMILY VACATION
You should be really proud of the wonderful operation that you have going on there. It truly runs as smooth as it possibly could. And if not; you sure don’t let on otherwise. Gretchen we listened to you take orders from people, your patience is unbelievable.

Simon is also asset to your crew; he stopped by to check the slide and the sliding glass door handle, what a wonderful kind man he was to talk to. There were a couple of other men that stopped by after Simon to check the bolts on the slide. We did not catch their names but they were also very kind and had a few stories that we heard; which made our trip even more interesting. Being in business ourselves we understand what it takes to make a business run. You do a very fine job of it.

This was only the second family vacation that we have ever taken with our children, and being that our oldest son is 29 you can understand why it was so special to us. We could not be happier that we chose to come up to Voyagaire to spend our time together; we are already planning another houseboat trip in a couple years.

I was wondering also if you could send me another map of the lakes, (the one you give out with the campsites) we used ours until it was in pieces and we wanted to keep it for next time? I forgot to ask when I came into the office after the trip.

Any way thanks again for making this the most wonderful vacation we have EVER had.

Kirk & Jill, Neil, Val, Amanda and Benjamin

P.S. you have very beautiful little boys.
THE OZARK QUEEN
Good Afternoon, We all would like to say a big THANK YOU for a wonderful vacation. We were on the Ozark Queen this week and could not of had a better way to end the summer then on one of your boats. The houseboat was a perfect size for a family of six plus the dog. Your crew that helped us load and unload deserve a big THANK YOU also because they were fast, friendly (and according to our 2 teenage daughters cute) and very helpful. We will definitely pass around your name to everyone and you will be seeing us for sure next year. We can't wait to get our pictures back to show everyone just how beautiful it is up there.

Well again, THANK YOU! and looking forward to next year already.

Tom, Robin, L. Tom, Ashlie, Heather, Adam and Otter (the dog)
 
FLOATING HOTEL
Jim and Gretchen,

I can not think of any words that are worthy of explaining to you how much we enjoyed our recent experience with your lodge. Everyone associated with your lodge could not have been more friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and fun!

We arrived on September 22nd, Thursday afternoon to take advantage of your bed and breakfast package. Thursday evening after getting settled in our room which we found to be very clean and comfortable we enjoyed the service, information and company provided by your bartender Joan and several of your other houseboat guests and locals while we relaxed at your bar. We ordered dinner in your restaurant that night and found the variety on your menu to be very tempting. Our waitress served us promptly and everything from your salad bar to the entrees we decided on were very enjoyable. Upon waking Friday morning we took advantage of a long walk through the hiking trail behind your resort and then went to the restaurant to enjoy the breakfast that went with the bed and breakfast package which was not only tasty but very filling.

We were a little concerned about the loading and unloading procedure because as always, I "over packed" but your dock crew pitched right in and had us loaded in no time at all the next morning when it was time to board. Our introduction to the boat was very informative and by the time everything was explained to us, we felt comfortable in our ability to manage the operation of that floating hotel :-). The boat was clean, comfortable and operationally maintained so that we could enjoy every minute of our time on it.

We expected the fishing to be tough and talked to Joan on Thursday about a guide named Butch who was recommended to us and she was nice enough to give him a call to see if he was available. She provided  us with the dates he had open and then Denise set us up with him for Monday. Although the fishing could have been better, Butch gave us a lot of information on how to fish the lakes and the history of the area. He was not only a great fishing guide but a tour guide as well.

The weather even cooperated and gave us five great days out of seven, pretty good odds! The only thing wrong with the whole experience is that we enjoyed it so much that now we have to try to figure out how we can swing it again!

As much as we hate to give up the hot tub (which was perfect way to view the stars at night) we may be able to swing it with a less expensive boat depending on what this next year brings. We will keep our fingers crossed.

Please let everyone know how much we appreciated all the work and effort everyone put in to making sure our experience was as enjoyable and unforgettable as it was. .

Thank you and hope to visit again,

Mario and Kathy

 
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Voyagaire Houseboats · 7576 Gold Coast Road · Crane Lake, Minnesota · 55725
1-800-88-BOATS (1-800-882-6287) · 218-993-2266
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