2011 Christmas Cruises

This year the Campbell River Museum chose to celebrate their annual staff party on the Columbia III. As we were bringing the boat to town for our Christmas Tea Cruises anyhow, it seemed a perfect fit. Lights, holly, homemade egg nog and “action”!

Fern had to come out of winter retirement and “chef” the galley for the group.

This was our “6th annual Christmas Tea and Cruise”. And as usual, after the “word” got out, we had the 88 spots (4 tours over two days) filled and a huge waiting list. When the announcement hit the local newspaper, our phone literally rang non-stop. As I tried to answer one call, the phone was beeping as other calls came in and and the answering messages were stacking up. I gather the locals like coming on the Columbia III! Luckily we had good weather as you can see.

If you are unfamiliar with our tea cruises, we put lots of Christmas lights on the boat, inside and out. I hung holly sprigs around inside and hung as many candy canes as possible about the ship. Then I baked a zillion Christmas cookies in all kinds of shapes and sizes and filled the salon with tea and coffee and opened the doors for locals to have a two hour harbour cruise in Discovery Passage. Because of our Transport Canada certification we can’t take more than 22 guests at a time so we ask people to book ahead. The tours fill very quickly!

You have to look closely to see the candy cane cookies. This year was a bit different. Fern was away visiting her father and the task of making about 10 million Christmas cookies fell on my broad shoulders. So when I gave the introduction and safety briefing for each tour I mentioned that I would accept no complaints if the cookies were a bit over done on the edges or if my 2-toned hand-shaped candy cane cookies were a little lumpy and funny looking. “Too bad!” I declared . . . It certainly seemed like a great technique for eliciting compliments for my baking!

Now that’s sensible attire for a Christmas Cruise!

This fellow’s father use to own the Columbia III in the ’70s and he had many good memories of being on the ship as a boy. He was thrilled to see the “old girl” being so well taken care of.

It might be only a 2 hour cruise, but Fern still seems to earn hugs at the dockside after we secured the lines back in harbour.

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