When Winter Comes To Lake Geneva, We Move To Williams Bay
One of the truest signs of our transition to winter on Lake Geneva, and the exciting time of Santa Cruise, is when our office boat heads to Williams Bay to our winter harbor.
If you’ve been cruising with us for almost 25 years, you might remember our set-up before we had our ticket and office boat. We had a small ticket office on the Riviera docks, an office at the Geneva Towers where we received phone calls and held meetings, and storage space in the Riviera building. Having the Office Boat built allowed us to consolidate all of those spaces into one location. We were also able to expand our offices to include our growing ticket sales, group tour sales and charter sales.
We use the bilge of the barge (which is like a basement) for storage. We also acquired the old Water Safety Patrol building on the Riviera docks for additional storage.
Our Moveable Office
The best feature of the Office Boat, which is technically a barge, is its ability to be with us no matter where we are for the season. In the Summer, it’s docked at the Riviera where most of our cruises depart. In the Fall, the Office Boat comes back to Williams Bay with us (and all of our cruise boats) to dock for the Santa Cruise and the off-season.
Since the Office Boat doesn’t have any engines – remember, it’s a barge – one of our other cruise boats tows it to Williams Bay. It’s quite a sight seeing the Lady of the Lake or the Grand Belle slowly towing the Office Boat to Williams Bay every Fall and back to the Riviera in the Spring.
Once the Office Boat gets to Williams Bay, the barge and the tow boat can’t maneuver into the space we moor the Office Boat during the Winter, so we use human muscle power to guide the Office Boat around the piers.
Naming the Office Boat
Even though the Office Boat has been around since the 90s, it was just recently named. In 2015, Harold Friestad retired as General Manager after more than 50 years of service to Lake Geneva Cruise Line. When Harold retired, the Gage family dedicated the Office Boat to him by naming it the Harold J. Friestad, or as we affectionally call it – the HJF.
Winter on Lake Geneva Operations
Lake Geneva starts to freeze right after our Santa Cruises are over, but the water around the Office Boat and several of our cruise boats is circulated to keep it from freezing. While our cruise boats take a break for the Winter, we’re still around to help you plan your time on the lake for 2020. Contact Us to plan your group outing, corporate event or lake wedding!