5 things we are grateful for at Free Spirit Yacht Cruises

Happy Thanksgiving

Gratitude

Thanksgiving always makes us stop to think about all the things we’re grateful for – our health, our family, our friends and so much more.

Focusing on gratitude and giving thanks can really enhance our daily lives. It can be a struggle to keep an optimistic outlook with the cold, grey winters, traffic jams and the holiday hustle-bustle. However, starting the day writing out 5 things to be grateful for shifts our mind into a state of gratitude.

Here are the top 5 things we are grateful for at Free Spirit Yacht Cruises this Thanksgiving!

  • At the top of our list are clients and friends like you!
  • Running a business where our goal is to make people happy.
  • Providing an exceptional & wonderful experience.
  • Beautiful days and magnificent sunsets.
  • Good times and smiles.

On a personal note to practice this exercise of gratitude on a daily basis, opens us up to see how much we have and less focused on the things we don’t. It’s amazing!

All of us at Free Spirit Yacht Cruises wishes you and your family a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!!

2017 Free Spirit Yacht Cruises charter season

Happy Spring and welcome to the start of the 2017 Free Spirit Yacht Cruises charter season.

We wait all winter for this time of year. It means that our Free Spirit and Gypsy Spirit luxury yachts are back at Burnham Harbor – immaculately ready for charter season on our beautiful Lake Michigan.

Apparently, some of you feel the same way we do. We’ve already had several charters before the season even officially opened.

We have exciting news to share with you. To celebrate Spring and the 2017 yacht season, we’re having another Free Spirit GIVEAWAY. Last year’s was such a big hit that we’re doing a repeat. But this year, we’ve added some new prizes.

Free Spirit Yacht YogaHere’s what you can win!

A Private Yacht Yoga Event

1 Lucky winner will receive a Private Yacht Yoga Event for up to 6 yogis ($210 Value).

You and 5 of your friends will enjoy yoga outdoors on board the Free Spirit. Gazing out at the blue waters of Lake Michigan, it’s the perfect way to relax and focus on mindfulness.

Angela is a yoga instructor. She’s been teaching YogaSculpt for several years and it’s changed her life. Last year, she started offering Yacht Yoga classes on the deck of the Free Spirit. Classes incorporate Vinyasa yoga which focuses on movement and the breath. This practice helps you relax, unwind and breathe. And smile……you’ll probably be grinning about winning such a fun prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Merlot & Massage Cruise Tickets

2 Lucky Winners will each receive 2 Merlot & Massage Cruise Tickets ($130 Value)

Relax on board a luxurious private yacht while you enjoy melt-away-the-stress massages (foot, hand, shoulder), smooth wine and a delicious buffet. Free Spirit’s Merlot and Massage is everyone’s favorite. We only do it once a year, and it’s always fully booked.

May Giveaway

Free Spirit or Gypsy Spirit T-shirt

4 Lucky Winners will receive either a Free Spirit or Gypsy Spirit T-shirt.

Soft and comfy, these Free Spirit Yacht Cruises tees and tanks are client favorites. Now they can be yours too.

Free Spirit T Shirt

Now for the details……

Enter as many times as you want. NO limit! No kidding.

Starting May 1st and ending May 31st.

The 7 lucky winners will be selected randomly and announced on June 1st.

Winners will be notified by email and also announced on social media.

Sound like fun? That’s what we thought! Head over to our website entry page and start entering today.

Merlot and Massage Cruise

Good luck! And don’t forget to tell your friends. If one of them wins and you don’t, you might be their plus one.

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10 years since we launched Free Spirit Yacht Cruises. Hard to believe.

10 years. Hard to believe.

It’s been ten wild, where-did-they-go? years since Joe and I launched our version of Free Spirit Yacht Cruises.

The company was originally founded by Joe’s parents in 1983 and was thriving. Joe worked there for eighteen years as a captain. But his parents were retiring, and we had our own plans.

Our first plan was to get married. As it turns out, that was a great decision! Right, Joe (wink, wink)? Next, we would buy the company.

Weddings

Joe and I work well together and our backgrounds and skill sets complement one another — important because even though we both had a lot experience in the yacht charter industry, we were basically building a new company.

Our Free Spirit Yacht Cruises Journey

One particularly challenging issue – the year we launched followed on the heels of the Great Recession. Yacht charters were not exactly high on the list of necessities. People who had lost jobs were thinking about finding new ones and putting food on the table. Marketing yacht charters would require a lot of energy, creative marketing and patience.

Free Spirit Cruises

Fortunately, Joe and I both like a challenge. We didn’t let the economy deter us. Chicagoans love summer and Free Spirit Yacht Charters is a service that our clients love.

Company Cruise

Free Spirit Yacht Cruises

So we put one foot in front of the other (in deck shoes) and moved ahead. We did some redesigns on both the Free Spirit and the Gypsy Spirit. New finishes. New furniture. Lots of paint. And lots of elbow grease.

Meanwhile, we ramped up the catering, adding themed buffets and premium bar options and bringing in topnotch catering companies. We wrote a marketing plan and implemented it. Joe and I hired experts to help us in areas where we needed assistance.

At the same time, we went out and introduced ourselves to concierges and hotel managers. We joined a few chambers and did some networking (Joe was always the guy in the Hawaiian shirt, summer or winter). We passed out lots of cards and brochures and redesigned our website. A lot of work but well worth the effort.

Captain Joe

Today we are the proud owners of a company we love. And we get to spend every April through October out on Lake Michigan. Pretty sweet deal if you ask us!

So even though we’ll occasionally join in the Chicago sport of complaining about the cold, we know it’s just a matter of time before our yachts are back in Burnham Harbor.

We’re looking forward to the 2017 yachting season. We’ve already nailed down dates for some upcoming events. Merlot and Massage Cruise, anyone? Yacht yoga? Fireworks cruises? Never too early to sign up for these.

Yacht Yoga

Yacht Yoga

We’re excited about getting back on the water and hope to see you on an upcoming charter for your company meeting, client appreciation cruise, family party, wedding, shower, anniversary……you name it….if you’re celebrating an event or entertaining clients, we hope you’ll do it on a Free Spirit luxury yacht.

Merlot and Massage Cruise

Merlot and Massage Cruise

Free Spirit Yacht Cruises is already booking charter cruises well into 2017, so don’t wait too long if you’ve got specific dates in mind.

Learn more about Our Story.

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Yoga Six Flow & Free Spirit Cruise!

We’re partnering with Yoga Six for a super fun and relaxing afternoon of yoga and yachting. Join us for a Yoga Six Flow in the park and a Free Spirit Cruise!

Free Spirit Cruise

A few months ago we shared the news about a new program called Yacht Yoga. It was so well received that we extended it through Oct 2nd.

Yoga Six Flow & Free Spirit Cruise!

Now we’ve got more good news for yoga lovers!

We’re partnering with Yoga Six for a super fun and relaxing afternoon of yoga and yachting.  Enjoy an outdoor Yoga Six Flow in the park and continue flowing thru the afternoon cruising aboard our Free Spirit Luxury Yacht.

Experience a magical afternoon of connection and sea natural beauty from the other side of Chicago on Lake Michigan;)

Sunday, August 14th
11a – 3p

Yoga on land at Gold Star Memorial Park next to Burnham Harbor.
Followed by a 3-hr cruise on our Free Spirit Luxury Yacht.

Enjoy a delicious post-yoga catered lunch on-board – subs, salad and snacks, icy cold beer and soda and wine.

Sign-up now!

$75/person

Special discount for Free Spirit friends and fam.

Save $15 when you sign up with promo code yogasix15.

Sound like fun? We thought you’d like this!

Be sure to share this post with any yoga loving friends.

Yoga Six Flow

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Thank you to our Free Spirit Partners!

It was another fantastically fun Merlot and Massage Cruise this year!  And a huge “Thank You!” to all that helped make this year’s event a big success.

Stivers Coffee treated us with delicious fruit smoothies and exceptional coffee creations.  Starting this year, you can add their service to your Free Spirit Cruise!

Stivers Coffee

 

Mary is a holistic health professional offering a variety of therapies.  Thank you Mary and Jessica for the soothing hand and foot massages.

Holistic Health

 

Delos Wellness introduced and provided amazing treatments for muscle relief for chronic pain and stiffness.  If you have never tried Delos therapy, you can schedule a complimentary Delos therapy session at their 600 West Chicago Avenue location.  Or you can create your own private cruise and add a Delos therapist to your event for an additional fee.

Delos Therapy

 

We had so many Super Stars pampering and sharing great energy with our Free Spirit charter guests.  Thank you Chris Ramsey and her team of massage therapists.

Massage

 

We love Rickey Gold! Rickey has been working with Free Spirit Yacht Cruises since Joe and I took over in 2007.  She is a master copy writer and excellent marketer. Thank you for adding list checker to your resume;)

Rickey Gold

 

Thanks to Catered by Design for their tasty treats, Jansco Promotional Products for delivering our new Free Spirit wine glasses on time, VoFotos for capturing so many beautiful moments and Windy City Silkscreening for our Fun Free Spirit t-shirts!

Free Spirit T-Shirt

 

And “Thank You” Mother Nature:)

Free Spirit Cruise

How are we going to top this for next year’s Merlot and Massage Cruise?

 

Free Spirit Yacht Cruises Giveaway

We’re giving away goodies.

It’s spring. We’re happy. You’re happy. What better way to celebrate than with a GIVEAWAY! So that’s what we’re doing.

The Free Spirit Yacht Cruises Giveaway runs May 1st – May 31st.

It’s safe and secure to enter. 16 lucky people will win prizes. And there are multiple ways to enter.

What can you win?

  • 3 Lucky Winners will each get 2 Merlot & Massage Cruise Tickets
  • 5 Lucky Winners will receive either a Free Spirit or Gypsy Spirit T-shirt
  • 8 Lucky Winners will receive a Free Spirit Wine Glass

“How do I enter?” It’s easy!

  1. Go to this link: Free Spirit Yacht Cruises Giveaway
  2. Use your Facebook login or enter your email address.

Merlot and Massage CruisePrizes

Merlot & Massage Cruise

You can’t buy tickets anymore, but you CAN win 2 of them in our raffle!

Free Spirit Yacht Cruises had it’s first Merlot & Massage Cruise in May, 2010. It was a big hit and is the only open cruise we run all season. This year we have the Free Spirit and the Gypsy Spirit going out with groups to relax and unwind.

Here’s a quote from Now You Know Events blog post about their Merlot & Massage Cruise experience, “Guests were treated like royalty by Captain Joe Donofrio and family as they enjoyed cocktails and good company.”

Free Spirit or Gypsy Spirit T-Shirt

With the help of our friends at  Windy City Silkscreening, we’ve created fun new t-shirts for our clients.  We won’t be selling these t-shirts. Yes you can enter our raffle to win!

Gypsy Spirit T-Shirt

Free Spirit Wine Glass

If you’ve ever chartered the Free Spirit or Gypsy Spirit, you know, we give every charter client a gift bag with our Free Spirit Wine Glass.  Below is a photo one of ouour clients shared with us:) Guess what?  You can enter Free Spirit Yacht Cruises May Giveaway to win!

Free Spirit Wine Glass

Signature Free Spirit Wine Glass

You can enter multiple times, so don’t stop at just one. And be sure to tell your friends.

Winners will be selected randomly on June 1st. We’ll announce winning names on social media and email winners directly.

Good luck, Everyone!

Any questions, shoot us an email: info@freespiritcruises.com

Free Spirit Yacht Cruises will be back in Burnham Harbor!

Have you noticed? Despite the cold, snow and ice, spring is quietly peeking around the corner. The days are getting longer, and it’s still light after 5:30. Could there be better news?

Actually, there could.

Cause it’s time to start planning your summer fun. And in Chicago, summer fun is synonymous with Lake Michigan and our glorious lakefront. So we’re excited to share the news that we’re launching the Free Spirit and Gypsy Spirit in April. Free Spirit Yacht Cruises will be back in Burnham Harbor!

Captain Joe and the crew have been hard at work making sure everything is immaculate and in perfect working order aboard the Gypsy Spirit and Free Spirit. Angela and her team are busy booking charters and designing mouthwatering menus for the 2015 season. Come April, our yachts will be ready to cruise Lake Michigan for your private events, company outings, meetings and more.

To get you in the spring spirit, here’s a video we put together. It’s our “Taste of Chicago” but with cruises, featuring our clients and friends with images of Chicago’s magnificent skyline, Navy Pier fireworks, the Air & Water Show and of course a gorgeous Chicago sunset (remember those  😉 ) Watch ‘til the end to meet our captains and crew.

Please share the video with your friends, colleagues or anyone who’s looking forward to summer and may want to experience Chicago’s most inviting yachts.

 

What are 5 things you would give thanks for this Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving always makes us stop to think about all the things we’re grateful for – our health, our family, our friends…

Focusing on gratitude and giving thanks can really enhance our daily lives. It can be a struggle to keep an optimistic outlook with the cold, grey winters, traffic jams and the holiday hustle-bustle. However, starting the day writing out 5 things to be grateful for shifts our mind into a state of gratitude.

Good Times

Here are the top 5 things we are grateful for at Free Spirit Yacht Cruises this Thanksgiving!

  1. At the top of our list are clients and friends like you!
  2. Running a business where our goal is to make people happy
  3. Providing an exceptional & wonderful experience
  4. Beautiful days and magnificent sunsets
  5. Good times and smiles

Smiles

On a personal note to practice this exercise of gratitude on a daily basis, opens us up to see how much we have and less focused on the things we don’t. It’s amazing!

Happy Thanksgiving
All of us at Free Spirit Yacht Cruises wishes you and your family a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Have a safe and happy cruise experience

DSC04449We’ve received some Yelp! reviews that make us think they’re about another company. Especially when the feedback we’re used to getting is more like: “I cannot thank you enough for such an amazing event. It was incredible, and we intend to make it an annual party!”

Free Spirit Yacht Cruises has a large corporate clientele and many charter with us year after year. Happily a great deal of people feel their Free Spirit experience was exceptional and have shared feedback with us.

We had been cruising along…. receiving praise and positive feedback from happy clients for years. And then the storm hit! Literally.

2011 was a turbulent year with economic uncertainty, crazy weather patterns (including very choppy waves) and a few unhappy yacht charter guests. But as service providers, even one unhappy customer is too much.

It’s disheartening to know that we have had people on our yacht charters who were not happy with our service. And although we know that you can’t make everyone happy all of the time, we still hate to hear it.

Our response:

“It is our goal to provide an excellent experience to all of our charter guests. We extend our deepest apologies to the unhappy charter guests who had a bad experience with Free Spirit Yacht Cruises. To all who have sent us feedback, we thank you. We will evaluate your comments to build a company that serves you better.”

In light of our 2011 charter season, we have created a FAQs to help ensure you have a safe and happy cruise experience.

Are you a blogger?

This was DSC_7688pretty much the opening dialogue of conversation at my first tweet-up the other day, which was held at Rockit Bar & Grill.

ExploreChicago.org was a co-host, and that’s how I found out about it on Facebook. Since this is the City of Chicago’s official tourism site, I thought it would be a good fit for Free Spirit Yacht Cruises. And it was.

So much fun! It was very exciting meeting so many interesting people. Plus I learned a lot about blogging. For example, did you know there’s a local site that offers over 250 (local) blogs on almost every topic imaginable? It’s on the Chicago Now website, a great resource for things to do in our town.

Here’re a few of the fun bloggers I met and their Twitter handles as well:

arresting tales, whats a boy to do, and fine diving (not what you think). You can also follow these bloggers on twitter @joethecop, @whatsaboytodo, and @finediving.

I’m sure this is the first of many tweet-ups I will be attending. And who knows? We may be hosting one on our Free Spirit yacht this summer.

See Photos by VoFotos.