Northern Lights: an experience out of the ordinary

The Northern Lights crew from left: Emily Duff, Amanda Kinneston, Haley Davis, and Charlie Kline. Missing from photograph is Captain Ed Ambranczyk.

The Northern Lights crew from left: Emily Duff, Amanda Kinneston, Haley Davis, and Charlie Kline. Missing from photograph is Captain Ed Ambranczyk.

By Sheri Duff

As soon as my lunch companion Bobbi Dirmaier and I boarded the Northern Lights we knew we were in for a real treat. Owner Kim Gobeille greeted us warmly and then whisked us off on a tour of the 115-foot cruise boat while we peppered her with questions.

A cup of Tomato Artichoke Bisque soup served with Vermont Common Crackers was the first course of the optional lunch buffet.

A cup of Tomato Artichoke Bisque soup served with Vermont Common Crackers was the first course of the optional lunch buffet.

Built in 2002 as a lake steamboat replica, the Northern Lights offers daily scenic cruises at 12, 2, and 4 pm now through Oct. 7. Narrated by Champlain Valley Union High School social studies teacher Jeff Hindes, the Northern Lights cruises into Shelburne Bay, past the Shipyard, around North Beach, and then back to Burlington’s Harbor while recalling Lake Champlain’s most historic moments. Perfect for locals, history buffs, and tourists alike, the hour and a half cruise is reasonably-priced at $15.99 for adults and $5.99 for children ages 3-11.

Eager to try something new, Bobbi and I opted for the lunch buffet, available on all noon cruises for an additional fee. While we enjoyed a glass of wine from the cash bar, a cup of zesty Tomato Artichoke Bisque served with Vermont Common Crackers arrived at our table. Appetites whetted, we made our way to the buffet to prepare a fresh deli sandwich on homemade bread and a choice of three vegetarian side salads among them a tossed salad, pasta salad, and fruit salad. No meal would have been complete without dessert, and the oversized peanut butter, oatmeal with raisins, or chocolate chip cookie and either coffee or tea did not disappoint.

Cruising Lake Champlain, I am at once in awe of its beauty and reminded that the Northern Lights is a special event venue unlike any other. Available for private functions, the Northern Light features a handicap accessible dining room that accommodates up to 149 guests and offers custom menu packages perfect for any occasion. Weddings, family reunions, office parties, special anniversaries; the options are limitless. So if you’re looking for a truly unique affair with a wide variety of palate-pleasing choices, call Northern Lights.

To book your special event or for more information about the scenic cruises please call (802) 864-9669, email info@lakechamplaincruises.com, or visit www.lakechamplaincruises.com.

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