Mailboat Tours in Lake Geneva
On June 15, the US Mailboat begins its 100th year delivering mail to mailboxes perched on piers of residents who live on the shoreline of Lake Geneva, Wi. Now, it’s a novelty for residents to receive their mail by boat while up to 160 passengers go along for the ride. Back in 1916, it was a necessity for mail to be delivered by boat since the rugged roads were set back too far from the shoreline.
For 100 years, high school and college students turned jumpers leap from the Walworth passenger boat to deliver mail and retrieve mail from dockside mailboxes. The catch? The boat never stops and the mail never comes back undelivered. It’s the only continuous marine mail delivery, with jumpers, in the world.
Jumpers narrate the tour in between leaps from the boat to about 60 piers. They describe the historic estate homes that passengers see up close as the boat nears the piers. Many of the mansions were once owned by Chicagoans of fame and fortune, including the Swifts, Maytags, Bordens, and Wrigleys. The century tour also features bits of its rich history, including the excitement of the mailboat arriving to resident docks during both world wars, when families could learn the latest news and hope for letters from their loved ones fighting overseas.
Passengers are invited to write a postcard while taking the tour on the iconic Mailboat which is hand canceled with a special U. S. Mailboat stamp, the only spot in the world where this postmark is available.
Cost to celebrate the century mailboat cruise is $35 for adults, $33 for seniors age 65 and over, $20 for passengers 17 and under. Group rates are also available.