Please take a moment to look over our FAQ’s before you continue on to the schedule! All questions will be answered here. Thank you so much in advance!
These questions formulate our company policy. If its here it is the way it is. If it is not that way then your ticket is free. So.. We go from zero phone calls 10 months out of the year to handling over 10,000 people in July and August, This page answers 99% of your questions-if its not here leave us a message and we will make every attempt to return your call/message in 24 hours. We can not answer every single email, we simply do not have the staff.
I have a general question about your schedule and times you are running.
Please check our website! On our homepage the message box is updated by 9am daily to make sure you have the most current schedule! If it is on the message box, we are going from that location and that time! No need to call.
Where are you located?
We are located at multiple docks through out the summer season. YOU MUST check our schedule or read the message box on our homepage for today’s schedule, times, and port of departure. Our different dock information is as follows:
Chautauqua Institution: We come ashore at the Miller Bell Tower, (yes that’s down on the lake) directly adjacent to the swimming beach. If you are not staying inside the Chautauqua Institution grounds we suggest you board in Mayville or you will have to pay a $30 day pass to enter the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution.
Mayville: We are located at the Lake Side Park/ Steamboat Village (78 Water St. Mayville, NY 14757).
Bemus Point: The Belle leaves from 1 Lakeside Drive Bemus Point NY. The dock is right beside the Bemus Point Ferry next to the Village Casino Restaurant.
Midway State Park: We are located in Midway Park down by the Merry-go-round. (and yes that also is down by the lake, not up in the amusement park) GPS address…4859 NY-430, Bemus Point, NY 14712
Do I need a reservation for your regular daily in season cruise?
Reservations are not required however, we suggest online reservations be made if you are coming from any distance OR want to make sure you get on your desired trip OR would like a picnic on the paddle wheel lunch. We strongly suggest making a reservation- it is the ONLY way we can contact you in the unlikely event of a weather cancellation.
How long is the trip?
Historical and cocktail cruises are approximately 1 hour 30 mins – 1 hour 45 mins long, depending mostly on lake winds.
I have a free ticket, or other coupon… do I need to confirm over the phone with you?
All Free ticket/gift certificate/coupon questions can be answered HERE!
No! We update the message box on our homepage daily. Please check there for today’s schedule. If you do not see the date you are interested in going, please check the calendar on our website, www.269belle.com. If you are unclear about when you can use your free tickets please read the free ticket.
What is the difference between a Historical Cruise and a Cocktail Cruise?
Cocktail cruise passengers get the same historical tour, music and fun as any historical cruise.We have a cash bar with beer, wine on ALL trips. DRINKS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN ANY TRIP UNLESS YOU PRE-PURCHASE THEM WHEN MAKING A RESERVATION.
Can I buy lunch on board?
There MAY be some lunches available for purchase on board. We DO NOT have a kitchen on board. The only way you can guarantee a lunch is by preordering ahead of time by booking online. When booking online be sure to tell us exactly what type of wraps you would like. Options for lunches are: Turkey, Ham, Italian, and Vegetarian. Picnic on the paddle wheel lunch includes the wrap of your choice, chips, a dessert, and a non-alcoholic beverage from our on board bar. Again to reserve a picnic on the paddle wheel lunch please book online ahead of time.
Can I disembark at Chautauqua Institution if I board in Mayville Park?
In order to disembark in Chautauqua Institution, all passengers must present a valid Chautauqua Institution Gate Pass before exiting the gangway. Since each cruise is round-trip, passengers with valid Gate Passes who board in Mayville and disembark in Chautauqua Institution may board the Chautauqua Belle at a regularly scheduled time later in that same day to complete their round-trip fare. Please check the online calendar in order to ensure later cruises have not been canceled and notify the crew of your intentions to board on a later cruise. To purchase a Gate Pass, visit the Chautauqua Institution website, found in the Partner Links page. (Approx $30.00)
Do you have restrooms on-board?
Yes, we have men’s and women’s restrooms available on-board the Chautauqua Belle, and at our home dock in Mayville.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, we accept all major credit cards. Please remember that we prefer cash payment and ask anyone paying with a credit card to wait until all cash passengers have been boarded before approaching the gangway. We take all credit cards through “square” on our phones –which takes a little bit of time, so we always do credit cards last- thank you for your cooperation in advance.
What is your cancellation policy?
The steamboat runs at approximately $650 an hour. Therefore a general minimum passenger count of 20 may be required for all trips. Please see ‘What is your weather cancellation policy?’ for more about our weather cancelation policy.
Do you have a group rate?
Yes, we have group rates available for parties of 20 or more. Groups of 20 or more receive a discounted rate of $20.00/adult. Arrangements for your group must be made in advance by sending us an email request, please include a phone number. The group discounted rate must be paid in full by 1 person only.
Is the boat handicap accessible?
Yes, The Chautauqua Belle is one of the only tour boats in western NY which is handicapped accessible. Designated space is available on the main deck for wheelchair passengers and those individuals are generally given priority boarding.
Is the boat air-conditioned?
The Chautauqua Belle is an open-air vessel with no air-conditioning. It is covered to provide shade, often experiences a cool, refreshing breeze across the second deck, and has side curtains in the event of inclement weather. Most passengers find a ride on the Chautauqua Belle to be very comfortable on warm or hot days and prefer to bring a jacket along on cool days or for most evening/night cruises. Please dress accordingly.
Do you have priority seating?
We offer priority seating & boarding for several reasons. Passengers with disabilities may be offered priority seating on the lower deck to circumvent any stairwells. Bus groups, group reservations, and season ticket holders may request priority reserved seating at the time of their reservation, including access to tables. We ask that all other passengers please respect crew member instructions and priority seating guidelines. We board and ticket at the gangway in the following order: reservations/ cash customers, coupons or complimentary tickets, and credit cards last.
Can we bring our own food or drinks?
No, we are licensed by the Chautauqua County board of health. We kindly ask all our guests to refrain from bringing outside food or beverages on-board the Chautauqua Belle. We have a full-service bar with snacks, water, soft drinks, juices, beer, wine, & mixed drinks on-board and open during every cruise for your convenience. If you would like a deli lunch, please reserve a Picnic on the Paddlewheel by booking online.
Do you have food or drinks available for purchase?
Yes, we have chips, cookies, pretzels, large deli sandwiches, chicken barbecue dinners, & your favorite soft or hard drinks. Lunches can onlybe purchased when booking online.
What time do we need to arrive?
Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled cruise to allow for ticketing, boarding, and a timely departure. Remember that passengers with reservations, or those paying in cash are ticketed first and have priority seating, while passengers paying with credit card or check are ticketed and boarded after all cash passengers.
What is your weather cancellation policy?
It is our goal to run every trip posted. We occasionally need to delay, postpone or cancel a trip due to weather. We try to rarely do this as we are not making any money just sitting at the dock and it is certainly not very fun, we love and want to be out on the lake just like you! Please check the weather for Chautauqua before leaving NOT where you live! In general we do not go out in thunder, lightening, heavy rain, and /or winds forecast up to 20+ MPH. Safety is a number one priority for us. PLEASE— ALWAYS, check our website message box and calendar as we update both regularly! If you are coming from any distance…PLEASE…check the message box to make sure there are no anticipated weather cancellations.
What are the age limits for the children’s rate?
Children age two (2) and under are free. Children age 3-12 fall under the children’s rate of $10 per child. Teenagers and seniors fall under the adult rate of $22.50 per person. We do not offer any discounts on individual tickets.
Do I need reservations for the specialty cruises (dinner, fireworks, etc.)?
Yes, all specialty cruises require reservations. Please book online using our reservation system. Payment must be made at the time of reservation before tickets may be issued.
Do you serve alcohol?
Yes, we have a full-service cash bar available on-board for every cruise with a fine selection of beers, wines, and liquors. Photo identification required. No alcohol may be served before noon on Sundays.
I made a reservation and I'm running a little late, how do I call and get ahold of you so that you can hold the boat.?
You can’t. the Belle runs a time schedule, it is tight, and every minute is accounted for. Once the gang way goes up it is very difficult to put it back down and bring the boat back in without losing 10 or 15 minutes. So. If you pull in a little bit late, you very well may have to wait till the next trip. Your ticket is good for any other historical tour. Watching the belle as she pulls away from the dock brings all new meaning to “missed the boat”
Do you allow pets?
At the Captain’s discretion, we can allow small, well-behaved, leashed pets aboard the Chautauqua Belle. If allowed aboard, passengers must purchase a boarding pass for the pet at the $10 child rate. Pets may not be a nuisance to other guests and are the sole responsibility of the individual that brought the pet aboard. Please remember that the Chautauqua Belle is an open-air vessel. Pets must be kept from jumping off the side of the vessel, running around the vessel, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of any person on-board. They must be fully cleaned up after by the person that brought them aboard and supplies to do so must be brought aboard along with the pet. Note that it is at the sole discretion of the Captain as to whether an animal is well-behaved, small, or generally allowed aboard. Any passengers that refuse to cooperate with the Captain will be asked to disembark the vessel at the Captain’s convenience without refund and/or return transportation to port of origin.