Treat your staff. Wow your clients.

This photo pretty much says it all. Late afternoon cruise. A glimpse of the world-famous Chicago skyline in the background. Relaxed and happy group enjoying a Chicago summer cruise on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

Company CruiseThis summer, we’ve already had more than a few charter cruises that looked like this. Company outings to treat staff to something special. Or companies entertaining clients on a corporate charter that says: “We value your business and want to show you how much!”

Whether you’re doing a company party, a corporate meeting or a client appreciation party, few venues can top a private luxury yacht charter.

Three hours relaxing as you cruise Lake Michigan. The spectacular Chicago skyline in the distance. A delectable buffet. Music in the background (live, DJ or iPod). Hanging out with people you like and enjoying a summer afternoon (or morning brunch or evening). Your call – we do them all.

After being cooped up all winter, hosting a company meeting on a luxury yacht is probably the nicest thing you can do for your staff. And from what we hear from corporate clients who book with us year after year, the payback in employee engagement is huge.

This is the kind of feedback we get:

“Thank you – everyone on the team had a great time at our outing! The service, experience and everything exceeded expectations. The #1 surprise was how good, helpful and organized all the staff on the boat were. We never had to ask for anything – they were always one step ahead.

Thank you for helping me organize the outing! Hope to do another one again in the future.”

Dean Gordon
FTI Consulting

Want to do something really special for your team or clients? Call us today to find out how to book a private charter for your group.




Already thinking about next season.

Christmas trees are appearing around town (a little early if you ask us). Store windows are suddenly decked out for the holidays. And people are busy planning family gatherings and cozying in for the winter.

Here at Free Spirit, we’re busy planning, too. For next year. Oh sure, we manage to do all the fun holiday stuff and love spending time with family in Florida (yay, warm!) and Chicago. But as one season ends, we’re already starting to plan for the next.

Speaking of next season…..2014 will be the first time in a number of years that we’re raising our rates. With higher fuel, equipment and vendor fees, we need to adjust our rates as well.

But we wanted to let all of our clients and friends (that includes you if you’re reading this blog) know that if you book a 2014 charter before 2013 ends, we’ll hold the 2013 rates.

So if entertaining on a private luxury yacht is in your plans for next season, why not lock in the 2013 rates now? Cause few things are as much fun as hosting a company party or celebrating a special occasion or family event on the blue waters of Lake Michigan. Viewing the magnificent Chicago skyline just doesn’t get much better than that!

Spectacular Chicago Summer

Labor Day is just around the corner. Kids have started back to school. Backpacks have replaced beach towels as another summer draws to an end.

This has been a spectacular Chicago summer! Blue skies, sunshine, strings of perfect 70-something temperatures. “Like San Diego” we keep hearing people say.

The good news is that there’s still another month of boating season on Lake Michigan. And you better believe that a September afternoon…. relaxing on a private yacht taking in Chicago’s breathtaking skyline…. is pretty wonderful.

So If one of those “meant to do’s” that you never got around to was to book a yacht charter, you’ll be happy to know there’s still a little time before the season officially ends. You just might be able to squeeze in a fun family gathering, a get together with friends, or a company party before the boats go to bed for the winter.

To check dates, give us a call at 708.361.2220 or email

We wish you a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Never cruised with us?

A guest on a recent client outing commented that she had no idea there were yachts like our Free Spirit or Gypsy Spirit available for charter on Lake Michigan. So it occurred to us that unless you’ve cruised with us, you might NOT know what our yachts are like.

We’re not a “big ship” cruise company. Our yachts are smaller and much more intimate than the boats you see docked at Navy Pier…..which is why our clients love our yachts for smaller parties, meetings and events.

To give you a better idea of what a Free Spirit Yacht Cruise is like, we thought we’d share this video with you. It was taken on our recent Merlot & Massage Cruise….one of our favorite summer events.

Proud to be an American

Our country’s birthday is a day filled with celebration. Fireworks and picnics. Hanging out with family and friends around the grill. Hot dogs, burgers and corn-on-the-cob. + Mega 4th of July sales.

But what we’re really celebrating is our freedom – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The dream of our forefathers over 200 years ago. The dream of every immigrant coming to America. The reality that makes us proud to stand up and pledge allegiance to the flag — the symbol of all that we hold dear in this country.

We’re proud to fly the American flag on our yachts. We never get tired of watching it  wave in the wind as we cruise Lake Michigan. It reminds us every day of how fortunate we are to live in a land where “we the people” are free to choose our own destinies.

All of us at Free Spirit Yacht Cruises wish you and your family a very happy and safe 4th of July.

Be Kind to the Captain

Please don’t yell at the yacht captain.

Historically, captains are known to be salty dogs, surly and just plain odd.  Look at Captain Bligh, Captain Jack Sparrow and mean ol’ Captain Hook. Even our favorite sea captain, Captain Joe, has been called “mean” once or twice. But we gotta push back on that one.

Is it mean or misunderstood? We think it’s the latter.

Here’s why: when you and your guests charter one of our yachts, aside from wanting to make sure that your cruise is absolutely wonderful, we want you all to be safe. And the ultimate responsibility for the safety of passengers and crew falls on the ship’s captain.

So on those every-once-in-a-while instances where a group is partying hard –drinking heavily and ignoring the ship safety rules, the captain WILL ask guests to stop whatever they’re doing that could endanger their safety. Sitting on railings. Standing on tables. Insisting on being served more liquor when you’ve clearly had more than enough. When it’s happening on open water, it becomes dangerous (Lake Michigan is very deep).

Captain Joe…and our other highly experienced yacht captains… will never ever compromise putting passengers at risk.  We like you too much!

You can read about our Guidelines for Safety on our website.

P.S. Did I mention that the Captain and I are married?

Ready to get out on Lake Michigan?

Who’s ready for summer? Besides us!

We know it’s a tad cold out, but we’ve already started getting calls asking about open cruises (can you believe it!). So we want to share what we’ve got planned for 2013.

Back by hugely popular demand, our Merlot & Massage Cruise will be on June 18th.

2-1/2 hours of pampering, relaxing, enjoying a yummy light buffet and hanging out with your friends. It’s the ultimate tranquil treat. But it books up fast (hint: don’t wait to buy your tickets).

Equally high on our clients’ lists of Chicago Summer Must Do’s is our annual Mother’s Day Cruise. This year, it falls on Sunday, May 12th.  Want to give your mom (wife, daughter, significant other) something truly special? It’s hard to top an afternoon on our luxurious Free Spirit yacht. Just think: 3 hours with family (or friends) basking in the view of our glorious Chicago skyline, enjoying mimosas and a delicious brunch buffet. This cruise fills up quickly as well, so check with the rest of the family and book fast.

And here’s a shameless plug…..speaking of booking up fast, we book private charters all year long…both corporate (office parties, client entertaining) and celebrations (weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, bachelorette parties, showers). If you’ve got a date in mind for a private charter, call us…..before someone else books your date.

To check dates, give us a call at 708.361.2220.

We’re excited to welcome you aboard in 2013!

Saying goodbye to summer.

We probably say it every year, but this summer flew by awfully fast.

Probably because this was a super season for yacht charters. Those sweltering 90 and 100 degree days are just a whole lot cooler out on Lake Michigan. So our crew, Joe and I  were happy campers (well…. cruisers).

If you didn’t get a chance to hang out on Lake Michigan, you still have a little time before the snow hits. And if you were meaning to book a charter but never quite got around to it, you’ll be happy to know there are still a few openings before the season officially ends.

Free Spirit cruises through mid-October. You just might be able to squeeze in a fun family gathering, a get together with friends, or a company charter before the boats go to bed for the winter.

To check dates, give us a call at 708.361.2220 or email.

What a weekend!

First and foremost we hope you had a safe and joyous weekend. Chicagoans are passionate about summer and Monday was incredible. It was the perfect day to be out on Lake Michigan and that’s where we were, enjoying the day with friends and family. All I can say is “F-U-N”!

Yes we did work this weekend. Our clients celebrated wedding anniversaries, birthdays and enjoyed the first fireworks show of the summer. It was spectacular!

Did you know? There are fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday by Navy Pier. And if you’re looking for a great way to entertain clients or celebrate with your family and friends, come watch an awesome Chicago fireworks display aboard one of Chicago’s most comfortable and inviting yachts. Our captains will get you front row, take a look:

Give a Cruise This Christmas

When the weather is cold and blustery, our thoughts turn once again to sunshine and blue skies and cruises (we’re yacht people…we’re always thinking cruises).

So we came up with a great idea for Christmas gifts this year. Something different. Unexpected. That won’t cost an arm and a leg but will still make your special someone smile.

Gift certificates. Merlot & Massage Cruise Gift Certificates.
2-1/2 hours of delightfully decadent cozy comfort on one of our private luxury yachts, cruising Lake Michigan. Scrumptious light buffet. Fabulous wines. Blissful massages.

Sounds great right now, doesn’t it? At this price, why not buy one (or two) for yourself as well. Then you have this to look forward to in five months:

2011 Merlot & Massage Cruises

Tuesday, May 24th 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Tuesday, June 21st 5:30pm – 8:00pm

Chair, hand and foot massages provided by Lincoln Park Massage Spa, one of Chicago’s top-rated spas.

Captain’s Delight Menu: Free Spirit Ciabattini Sandwich Platter (a gourmet assortment of chilled sliced tenderloin, smoked turkey and ham steak), Gazpacho Salad, Sun-Kissed Grape Salad and Chips.

$50 per person