Waterborne ski shuttles provide unique experience for Tahoe snow lovers
LAKE TAHOE andamp;#8212; The Tahoe Queen and the Tahoe Bleu Wave cruise ships are offering package products for snow enthusiasts and sightseers looking to combine transportation with the skiing and lake cruising experience. The Queen has teamed up with Northstar California Resort, and the Bleu Wave has joined forces with Homewood Mountain Resort. While the Bleu Wave and Homewood have a flat-rate for their product that includes a lift ticket, breakfast and a seat on the boat, the Queen offers various pricing packages to accommodate skiing, as well as other activities.At 72 feet, the Bleu Wave can hold 40 passengers and their gear. The boat departs from Round Hill Pines Marina at 8 a.m. and, after a one-hour trip, arrives at West Shore Caf across the street from Homewoodandamp;#8217;s base lodge and lifts. En route, coffee and pastries are provided. The return trip leaves from West Shore Caf at 4 p.m. Drinks are available at the Bleu Waveandamp;#8217;s fully stocked bar. andamp;#8220;We have a very attractive price point,andamp;#8221; Homewoodandamp;#8217;s Brad Barth said. andamp;#8220;For the price that other resorts are charging for a (lift) ticket, we include a unique transportation experience.andamp;#8221;The Queen, a Mississippi-style paddle-wheeler, leaves Ski Run Marina at 7:30 a.m. and returns about 12 hours later. The boat has room for 150 passengers and their gear. Almost doubling the mileage of the Bleu Wave, the Queen travels for 2.5 hours along the length of the lake, docking at the Hyatt Regencyandamp;#8217;s pier in Incline Village. From there guests are shuttled to Northstar via bus. This is an all-day affair with 4 to 5 hours of skiing sandwiched between the two legs of the journey. The Queen bills the return trip as an aprs ski party. Manager Tony Lyle said andamp;#8220;the camaraderie on the way back combined with the energy from a day skiing is unique.andamp;#8221; Last Tuesday was the first ski shuttle service that the Queen has offered in several years. On that trip the guests totaled 70 and andamp;#8220;there wasnandamp;#8217;t a single person sitting downandamp;#8221; on the way back to the South Shore, Lyle said.The Queenandamp;#8217;s return trip includes entertainment provided by Dyna-mic-Duo which includes interactive games and music. Evening meals and drinks are also available on board. The Queen and the Bleu Wave are now accepting reservations for the 2012 winter season.