After a more than 22-day journey, traveling from New York to Cleveland, the Lady Caroline arrived at the West Bank of the Flats to become Cleveland’s newest leisure cruise option.
The ship, which can welcome 300 people onboard at a time, held a christening ceremony on Monday, featuring a range of guest speakers that included radio personality Mark Nolan, Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne, Cleveland city councilman Kerry McCormack, Jacobs Entertainment CEO Jeffrey P. Jacobs and Jacobs’ daughter Caroline Jacobs — the namesake of the ship.
Lady Caroline is stationed next to the Nautica Queen, a 42-year-old ship which joined Jacobs Entertainment in 1992, on the boardwalk next to Jacob’s Pavilion and the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. It will take the Nautica Queen’s place, according to a press release.
The predecessor holds a special place for both Jeffrey and Caroline Jacobs.
“When Caroline was younger, we would walk the boardwalk and we would go on the Nautica Queen. She enjoyed sitting up on the captain’s chair and honking the horn,” Jeffrey says. “She has a connection here.”
“Some of my fondest memories are from the Nautica Queen,” Caroline says. “I have many pictures up in that captain’s chair.
The Lady Caroline, at 120 feet long and 15,000 square feet, will offer four decks of fun for Clevelanders when it opens for cruises in mid-June. At the christening ceremony, those levels included dinner areas, lounge spaces, a dance floor and multiple bars. Some upcoming remodeling and redecorating will change the current look of the Lady Caroline before it’s open for business this summer.
When it does open, Lady Caroline will offer a variety of cruises, including meals (lunch, brunch and dinner), weddings, corporate outings and special event cruises — all of which will offer views of downtown Cleveland and the Cuyahoga River's twists and turns.
Both Ronayne and McCormack thanked the Jacobs family for its development and investment in Cleveland over the years, and acknowledged the city’s water systems and their work to improve infrastructure around it.
“We all know our own story, 55 years ago, when the Cuyahoga River burned,” Ronayne says, “but the good story today is about the river that returns."
McCormack referenced the Vision for the Valley Plan, a proposal to reimagine the Flats and Cuyahoga riverfront in downtown Cleveland. “We’re excited to continue the momentum on the Cuyahoga River, and what better way than to welcome Lady Caroline?” McCormack says.
Find more details about the new ship at ladycaroline.com.