There happens to be a beautiful river flowing right through the heart of some pretty cool cities, in a wonderful state, in the Midwestern U.S. People don’t usually think about it in terms of vacation opportunities. This is all the better for you, because you have found your way to a best-kept secret.
Let us show you what Wisconsin hospitality and a boat that floats will do to your psyche. Stress? Schedules? Deadlines? None exist when you are on River Tyme, our newly renovated, 55-foot Riverboat, just waiting to take you and yours out on the Fox. We bet you are wondering how, on this whole site, there is not one photo of the boat! How sneaky are we?!?! That’s because we have been busy rehabbing it all fall, winter, and spring to be worthy of your visit, your re-visit, your – wow, let’s do that again!
The Lower Fox River begins at the north end of Lake Winnebago and flows north to empty into Lake Michigan at Green Bay. The river drops about 164 feet over this 40-mile stretch – if you think about it, that’s the drop of Niagara Falls!
The Fox River features a system of 17 recently restored locks. Historically, the elevation change encouraged industrial development and urbanization along this river section. Today, the locks make recreational navigation possible along portions of the Lower Fox.
Communities found along the Lower Fox River (South to North): Neenah, Menasha, Appleton, Kimberly, Little Chute, Kaukauna, Wrightstown, De Pere, Ashwaubenon, Allouez, and Green Bay.
Start your journey in De Pere, a city that just can’t seem to let go of its heritage, no matter how hard it is for Siri to understand where you are trying to go. Our official address is 101 James Street in De Pere – click on the blue letters below to be taken to Google Maps. Don’t let your GPS take you to James St in Green Bay – We won’t be there! Make sure it says De Pere!
We have the loveliest docking spot on the entire river! Seriously, some days we don’t even want to go out on a cruise because our home port is so nice. (We promise to only act on those feelings when you aren’t on board.)
Most cruises – both Public and Group Tours – are 1 1/2 hours – the perfect amount of time to relax but not get bored. When we go through the locks, though, the cruise is 2 hours so that you still get enough river time. The lock thru experience adds it’s own unique entertainment! Private Chartres are 2 0r 3 hours, or more if you want to add on! We will go all day ……..
Goooooood question – if you have read this far, you deserve to know the whole truth. Our Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection allows 49 paying passengers. We state 45 passengers as the maximum on each of our cruises. This is because it seems like quite often, when we are fully booked, people ask – could you please fit the 2 or 3 or 4 of us on this cruise, we really want to go …… and we are able to say “Why, Yes of Course!”. Cool reasoning, hey?
Again, our Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection allows 24 passengers up top at one time. This number has no fudge factor in it – 24 is the max (unless we have a lot of little munchkins on board with their parents — they weigh a lot less — but that is the Captain’s call).
Please arrive about 10 minutes before the cruise. That will allow plenty of time to check in and get a seat. If you come earlier than that, you will be watching us getting the boat ready – vacuuming, stocking the bar, bringing on ice – all very exciting!
Parking is directly across the street from the dock – we are so fortunate an grateful for that City lot. It is open to the public, is free, and has no time limit. No worries at all —-
Yes it is! We researched and searched until we found the perfect ramp to help get people of any ability from the dock to the boat and back out again. The ramp is stable and we will have plenty of staff on hand to help you, if you need it. Upstairs is another matter though – because the only way to get there is to ….. go up stairs.
Yes we do! As fine a restroom as you are able to find on a 1953 boat anywhere!
Our most traveled, and most picturesque route is heading up-stream from De Pere. But for those non-river rats (we realize that’s most people) who have no idea what that means – it means South (contrary to popular belief) – to Little Rapids dam and lock. This takes about 45 minutes, which is perfect, because then the roundtrip lasts an hour and a half. And that just happens to be how long our cruises are! (Math is a funny thing.) This route is called the Main De Pere Route – how clever are we?
We also travel down-stream – bet you can guess which way that means (come on, give it a try) – and this cruise varies depending on the day. This way is more urban and industrial. There are different places to stop, different things to see, the only guarantee is that we will go through the De Pere lock. Not just once, but twice. Very cool experience in and of itself! This route is called the Locks Route.
Please note: the Wrightstown Route is put on hold for this year – we don’t have a dock in that town that is able to reliably accept us during all water levels. We hope to rectify this for next year’s cruising season.
And then there’s Wrightstown. Equally picturesque as the Main De Pere Route, but it begins half-way between Green Bay and the Fox Cities. Wrightstown Park to the other side of the Little Rapids Dam and back (or a shorter route if we are coupling it with watching the Waterboard Warriors). This route is called the ….. Wrightstown Route.
River Time, our inspiration for the name of our floating boat, is a concept often used by Dave Peck, one of our fearless crew. It is a phenomenon that is almost a law of nature. You cannot control everything when you are on the water. There will be eventualities that cannot be managed, and will mean that you may not get to your destination at the exact time you planned. Part of the magic of being on the water, on a boat, is accepting this as reality, relaxing about it, and letting go.
So add some buffer time into your planning. Don’t let the need to rush off to the next thing steal the magic from your cruise experience.
What makes us special, you ask? Well, we just are!
And, we will work to make sure you have the best, most relaxed, most enjoyable, most fun, most informative, most surprising, most interesting – whichever of these float your boat – cruise experience possible. We will work to have you fall in love with the river and River Tyme, so that we see you again and again.
Oh, and part of what makes us special is that we listen to you – we put out a survey, our customers took it:
Thank you for taking our survey! Your time and caring is an integral part to helping us live up to our motto of Whatever Floats Your Boat! See the results now: Click Here 😉
This old girl really has gotten around in her 60 plus years. The vessel was built as a one-of-a-kind in 1953 in Jeffersonville, Indiana and operated as a tour boat under the names Miss Green River on the Tennessee River from Chattanooga, Tennessee and Sea Witch on the Mississippi River from Vicksburg, Mississippi.
In 1986 she was moved to Sodus Point, New York, and operated on Sodus Bay off the south shore of Lake Ontario by the Arney Family. Her paddlewheel was removed and she was renamed Rose Lummis after Madame Rose Lummis, a prominent Sodus Point Catholic missionary in the mid 19th century who was known as the woman “who did the work of eleven priests”.
In 2001 she was purchased by Captain John Cooper who completed major renovation work including the completion of the upper observation deck. Captain John kept the name Rose Lummis and ran tours in Sodus Bay. Later, he moved the tour to Spencerport, New York where it operated on the Erie Canal and Geneva, New York, and where he offered tours of Seneca Lake.
In October 2015, after an extensive countrywide search, she was purchased by Fox River Tours, LLC. Hauled by truck for 845 miles to the shores of the Fox River, she underwent extensive renovations during the winter/spring of 2016 and began tours of the Fox River in May 2016.
Back to the actual answer to the question – We will be more than fair to you, and we know how life happens. If you can’t make your scheduled public cruise, just call and let us know, we’ll work it out with you. Refund? Credit towards a future cruise? We’ll figure out the best way to go.
For Private Charters, same thing. We know how life happens when you are making plans. We will work with you the whole way, and if something unfortunate gets in the way of getting your group out on the water, we will just need to collect for the expenses already paid out for the planning, catering, etc. We will be more than fair to you, and will work to make your event an eventual floating reality.
The Captain is the captain is the captain. This is his floating boat and when we are on it, he is responsible for our safety – lock, stock, and barrel. His word is law, and we bow and say ‘Yes, Captain’ at every opportunity. It’s his call if the weather is too nasty to go out, or if it really isn’t ok to go out with that one engine smoking like that (Oh, you’re still reading?!). We will let you know as soon as we know via email, we’ll apologize profusely, and who knows. We might invite you out to sit on the boat at our lovely dock with us, and will make sure you have a brand new ticket for a future cruise not hindered by these unfortunate events.
Nope …………….. oh, you probably would like a reason why …….. because we want to sell you ours! 🙂 Also, the health department and liquor licensing agency have strict codes that we much follow for all food and beverages. We need to supply them all. On Public Cruises, there is bar mix available and sometimes light appetizers. There is a full bar on board that offers water, soda, juice & alcohol of almost any variety. If you book a Group Tour or a Private Charter however, you may choose to have appetizers, boxed meals, or plated meals. Again, we will work with you at every turn to get you what you want – if it is within our power.
If raining: Cruise will commence as we have an interior deck area, and will have ponchos available for purchase.
If severe weather, which is rare: It is within the Captain’s discretion to cancel the cruise. Notification will be given via email and a credit for a future cruise, or a refund will be arranged.
We work to accommodate people of all needs on our cruises, and have modified the vessel to be wheelchair-friendly, but we are not ADA-compliant. Ramps into the vessel are present, access to upper deck is by stairwell only. Please call us with your particular needs and we will work with you to see what we are able to do.
We do not allow smoking anywhere on the vessel. We can arrange to have nicotine gum on board for purchase if that will help you enjoy your time with us.
Safety is our first priority. We want you to enjoy our beverage services, however, at the discretion of the bartender, overly intoxicated customers will have the pleasure of wearing one of our fashionable life vests.
Please arrive 20 minutes prior to departure time to allow for ticket sales and safe boarding.
Public Tours: We ask that you give 48 hours notice if you need to cancel, we will credit your account to be used towards a future purchase.
Private Charters: We ask that you give as much notice as possible if you need to cancel, at least 30 days is greatly appreciated. We will need to collect for the expenses already paid out for planning, catering, etc. at the time of cancellation and will credit your account to be used toward a future purchase or refund the balance if preferable.
Special Events: We ask that you give 14 days notice if you need to cancel, we will credit your account to be used towards a future event or purchase.
** Do you know where the phrase “lock, stock and barrel” came from? Per Wikipedia – and dare I say, I respect Wikipedia; “The effective portions of a rifle are the lock, stock, and barrel. Collectively they are the whole weapon, and therefore everything. In the early days of firearms manufacturing, individual craftsman made individual components one at a time. One craftsman made the lock, the next craftsman made the barrel, and the last craftsman, who was a woodworker made the stock. At some point, a craftsman or a merchant started advertising, ‘Lock, stock and barrel,’ meaning that you could get your entire gun at one location and did not have to go from craftsman to craftsman to get it finished.” Cool.