Great Lakes cruises come in many forms, and one of the fastest is the Seadog. By fast, I don’t mean the length of the cruise, I’m talking horsepower. Two thousand horsepower to be exact. The Seadog is operated out of Chicago by Entertainment Cruises, Inc., which also operates The Spirit of Chicago, Mystic Blue and Odyssey cruises.

The Seadog is a fleet of three speedboats, and the cruise is a 30 minute thrill ride on Lake Michigan. Or, there is a 75 minute Lake and river tour. Both tours include stops at major landmarks and the longer tour includes an architecture tour.

The 30 minute tour combines high-speed runs from point to point. At each point, the ship stops and the passengers are introduced to a particular Chicago landmark, then the engines crank up and Seadog races off to the next stop. The rides don’t stop with just daytime landmarks, there is also an after dark thrill ride with Seadog racing over the waves.

If a Seadog Great Lakes cruise sounds too slow, how about the Seadog Extreme? This speedboat has twin 1400 horsepower engines. Seadog Cruises claims the Seadog Extreme is “the most horse powered commercial passenger vessel operating on the Great Lakes. In a vessel this size, this claim is very probably true, at least I haven’t run across another cruise company offering anything like this with similar horsepower.

Seadog is an open speedboat, which means there is no cabin to sit in, so you may get wet, or you may not. The cruise line advises that the ship is handicap accessible except for extra large motorized wheelchairs. That said, they do make a few limitations about potential passengers. You must be at least 48 inches tall to ride, and they caution against people with bad backs, bad hearts or late term pregnancy. One thing Seadog does that other cruise ships may not, is allow dogs.

The cost for this cruise is well in line with other cruises in the Chicago area and throughout the Great Lakes. The listed 2009 price is About $30 for adults and children under 12 at a reduced rate. Seadog is also available for group charters for schools, church groups, Scout outings or corporate outings. Contact the company with any questions and to find schedules and special events.

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