Fun on the Lake
Barbara J Cruises
The Barbara J is an iconic real sternwheeler built in Michigan in 1955 and cruising on Conneaut Lake since 1972.
She has a covered lower deck and open-air upper deck. She is 62 ft. long and weighs in at 45,000 Lbs. Seating placement provides excellent viewing during the 1.5 hour cruise around the shoreline of Conneaut Lake. A fun and relaxing attraction, unique to NW Pennsylvania.
Trees of Light
The 2023 Barbara J “Trees of Light” winter cruises ended December 10th. 10 public and private, 1.5-hour cruises carried more than 1,200 passengers over a 17-day period along the lakeshore to view over 185 beautiful trees. We will announce our plans for the 2024 “Trees” cruises in the fall of 2024.
Barbara J Cruises, LLC is a non-profit corporation.
It was formed with the objective of preserving and operating the historic Barbara J sternwheeler on Conneaut Lake for the long-term pleasure of the general public. The corporation is comprised of ownership and sponsors/volunteers who are dedicated to the future of the Barbara J on Conneaut Lake.
The modest fees collected for public rides and charters initially cover the costs to service and operate the boat. Profits are advanced to the “CLCDC Fund” which was established to accept tax deductible donations for the specific goal of providing maintenance funds for the revitalization work that is underway in the borough and Fireman’s Beach.
In July, 2015 ownership of the Barbara J changed as Barbara J Cruises, LLC acquired the iconic cruise ship from Silver Shores Restaurant.
The boat is permanently moored at the south side of the lake and is available to the public for regularly scheduled cruises and for private, chartered parties. Catering can be arranged for the chartered cruises. Please refer to the Catering tab of this website section.
Since Barbara J Cruises, LLC acquired the Barbara J. many renovations and improvements have been made to the boat including fresh paint and varnish, ADA boarding ramps, windows, sound system, improved facilities, lower-level heating, and improved, more trustworthy power/navigation system.
A broad calendar and public ride schedule have been established and will be maintained to provide the opportunity for people to take advantage of a nostalgic boat ride around Conneaut Lake while enjoying the scenery, and history of Conneaut Lake.
The Barbara J is a perfect way to entertain friends or to just enjoy a relaxing cruise. Many people prefer to charter the Barbara J for their private party, event, or meeting. This has become a popular way to enjoy the ride and the lake at the same time and reservations can be made by simply calling 814-382-RIDE.
The Barbara J was designed by Jack Spicer of Meadville, PA and built in Benton Harbor, Michigan in 1955.
It is 62 feet long and 12 feet wide. Her estimated weight is 45,000 pounds empty. The empty draft is 12 inches and loaded is 24 inches. The boat is powered by an 80 horsepower Perkins marine diesel engine with hydraulic pump that turns the paddle wheel.
The flat-bottomed, all-steel hull resembles a typical river barge. She is a TRUE sternwheeler. There are no hidden props or controls. The paddles do it all. Touring capacity is 69 passengers, including crew.