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The 312-passenger Tahoe Queen, a glass-bottom paddle wheeler, departs from South Lake Tahoe daily for 2½-hour sightseeing cruises year-round by reservation and 3-hour dinner-dance cruises daily from late spring to early fall (weekly the rest of the year). Fares range from $46 to $75. In winter the boat becomes a waterborne ski shuttle: $125 covers boat transportation from South Lake Tahoe to the Hyatt Regency dock at Incline Village and back again, a bus transfer to Northstar Ski Resort, a half-day lift ticket, and breakfast. From May through September, the Sierra Cloud, a 41-passenger catamaran, departs from the Hyatt Regency beach at Incline Village and cruises the north shore area. The fare is $60. The 520-passenger MS Dixie II, a stern-wheeler, sails year-round from Zephyr Cove to Emerald Bay on sightseeing, lunch, and dinner cruises. Fares range from $39 to $69.
Also in Zephyr Cove, Tahoe Boat Cruises operates the Woodwind II, a 50-passenger catamaran that sails on regular and champagne cruises from April through October. Fares range from $34 to $49. The company's Safari Rose, an 80-foot-long wooden motor yacht, departs from Tahoe Keys Marina for half-day cruises around the lake; $105, including lunch.
Lake Tahoe Balloons flies over the lake from May through October; the hour-long trips cost $250. The entire experience takes four hours total.
Lake Tahoe Balloons (530/544-1221 or 800/872-9294. www.laketahoeballoons.com.)
MS Dixie II (Zephyr Cove Marina, 760 U.S. Hwy. 50, near Church St., Zephyr Cove, NV, 89448. 775/589-4906 or 800/238-2463. www.zephyrcove.com/cruises.)
Sierra Cloud (Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, 111 Country Club Dr., Incline Village, CA, 89451. 775/831-4386. www.awsincline.com.)
Tahoe Queen (Ski Run Marina, 900 Ski Run Blvd., off U.S. 50, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 96150. 530/543-6191 or 800/238-2463. www.zephyrcove.com/cruises.)
Tahoe Boat Cruises (Zephyr Cove Resort, 760 U.S. Hwy. 50, near Church St., Zephyr Cove, CA, 89448. 775/588-1881 or 888/867-6394. www.tahoecruises.com.)
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