In Kids & Family

During the cruise, kids battle "real" pirates.

In Kids & Family

Yo-ho-ho, it's the pirate cruise staff.

Take your kid on a pirate cruise

Last Halloween, the Edelweiss public cruise line introduced a new concept: a family-friendly cruise with a "Pirates of the Caribbean" theme. Because the cruise was a success, it's now offered on a regular basis throughout the 2009 summer and fall.

The next cruise is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 22 at 11 a.m. The September cruise is set for Sept. 19 and in October, the cruise runs every Saturday. The cruise is one hour and the cost is $25 per person.

"The pirate cruise has been really popular for birthday parties, family outings and schools," says Edelweiss co-owner, Dan Jorgensen.

The cruise is led by a Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator, and during the event, the crew either attacks or is attacked by another pirate ship or barge inhabited by unruly pirates. The kids engage in "battle" with water cannons and other water related weapons to defend the Edelweiss against the attacking pirates.

"Sometimes I think the parents are having more fun fighting the pirates than the kids," says Jorgensen.

Lunch -- featuring hot dogs and tacos -- and soda are served during the event.

Matt Schmidt took his 5-year-old son, Darby, on a pirate cruise in June. Schmidt says the weather will make or break the experience.

"We had decent weather which really helped," he says. "My son had a great time and still talks about it when we ride past the lake."

Jorgensen and Rob Carr are the owners of the Milwaukee River Cruise Line and they purchased The Edelweiss Cruise boats in 2007.

The business duo expanded Ederweiss' cruise options to appeal to a variety of demographics, and now they now offer the Milwaukee Beer 'n' Brat Cruises, Martini Cruises, Wine and Cheese Cruises and Taste of the World Dinner Cruises, as well as high-end corporate and pontoon rentals.

The Edelweiss will also host a Halloween cruise in October.

"It is the mission of the company, as we continue our expansion, to offer an entertainment solution for every given entertainment need," says Jorgensen.

Schmidt says he'll return next season.

"It's a unique opportunity," he says. "To be on a boat is one thing, but to get to add in imaginative play takes it to another level."


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