Reservations are recommended and can be made up to 30 days in advance. We hadn't planned ahead that far, but fortunately, the WorldMark manager at the South Shore resort was able to reserve two tickets for us on the M.S. Dixie II’s Sunday Brunch Cruise along Lake Tahoe’s South Shore. We arrived at the pier a half-hour early to pick up our tickets and take our place in line.
At 9am, the largest, most comfortable passenger vessel to ever cruise Lake Tahoe pulled away from the pier and started her 90-minute cruise along the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. We had seen Lake Tahoe many times before, but never from the deck of a paddlewheeler. The state-of-the-art, 570-passenger M.S. Dixie II was constructed on the headwaters of the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Then, in sections, it was shipped about 2,000 miles to Lake Tahoe on tractor-trailers almost 300 feet long. It was reassembled in Zephyr Cove and launched in the spring of 1994.
Lake Tahoe, North America’s largest alpine lake, is the perfect location for this marvelous vessel. The 22-mile long basin was formed when the continental plates lifted, glaciers worked their magic, and volcanic flows plugged the cracks and gaps, allowing it to fill up with melting runoff, creating a sapphire-hued lake with an average 1,000-foot depth, bottoming out at 1,645 feet. The deepest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior, averages only 500 to 600 feet by comparison. Vista points along the 72 miles of shoreline offer spectacular photo opportunities for vacation albums. "Tahoe" is a mispronunciation of a Washoe Indian tribe word Da ow, meaning "life-sustaining water".
With sunny skies and clean, clear autumn breezes, we had a wonderful time talking to other happy vacationers, viewing videos, and enjoying the champagne brunch. To make reservations for the Sunday champagne brunch cruise or one of their other cruises, call 800-23TAHOE or 775-589-4906. You can visit them online at zephyrcove.com or laketahoecruises.com.