New cruise boat to make its debut on Lake Winnipesaukee

Published: 5/2/2021 12:40:34 PM

WEIRS BEACH, N.H. — A new cruise boat will soon be making its debut on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee.

The 100-passenger, 56-foot Winnipesaukee Spirit is the first expansion of the fleet since 1962. It includes two decks, indoor/outdoor seating, and two small lounge areas that can be rented for semi-private gatherings. It will launch at the end of May. Tickets are available starting May 3.

Another vessel, a mail delivery boat on the lake celebrating its 75th year, is making a return after repairs and renovations.

The U.S. Mailboat Sophie C. was last in service in 2018.

Launched in August 1945, the M/V Sophie C was named for the mother of Byron Hedblom, then owner of the Winnipesaukee Flagship Corporation. In 1969, the boat took over a seasonal postal route out of Laconia for the island residents on the western side of Winnipesaukee.

The boat is the fifth vessel to carry the postal contract for the route, and holds the longest tenure.

Generations of families and campers on the islands have relied on the vessel’s daily visits for letters and packages from the mainland. In more recent years, the vessel also offers snacks and ice cream novelties, similar to a floating ice cream truck.

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