Did you know Santa Claus has a special hideaway in Lake Geneva? Last Friday, my family and I rode on the Santa Cruise to find Santa’s secret hideaway on the Lake Geneva Cruise Line. We had a holly jolly good time experiencing this unique way to see Santa.

Disclosure: Our family was provided complimentary tickets. I was not required to express a particular point of view, and all opinions are my own.

Our Santa Cruise Experience:

The excitement started from the very beginning when we were parking, and the kids spotted the lights at the entrance.

Holiday Fun: Santa Cruise in Lake Geneva

After we checked in and got our boarding pass/tickets, we had time to peruse the Ten Charities of Christmas Tree Festival (located in Gage Marine’s Wood Boat & Event Center), which has trees decorated by local non-profits. For an additional cost, you can also enjoy hot chocolate and cookies ($2) while you wait to board the boat.

Holiday Fun: Santa Cruise in Lake Geneva

When it was time to board, we followed the elf through the restaurant and to the pier. We even passed through “a portal” (fog) that activated our Santa vision. We were super excited to see the boat and pier all decked out with twinkling lights. The inside of the boat was full of merrily decorated as well.  And yes, the boat is enclosed and heated.

Holiday Fun: Santa Cruise in Lake Geneva

Credit: Visit Lake Geneva

Holiday Fun: Santa Cruise in Lake Geneva

On our cruise, we were told that we were going to Santa’s North Pole hideaway. On the way there we passed by several lighted scenes and displays, while the cheerful elf narrated the entire ride giving us little facts and tidbits about each display. Unfortunately, my photos don’t do it justice at all.

Holiday Fun: Santa Cruise in Lake Geneva

Holiday Fun: Santa Cruise in Lake Geneva

The highlight though was when we finally reached Santa’s hideout. Bundle up and make sure to head out to the deck to see and hear him better. Santa comes out and greets everyone and even reads a list of children’s names who have made the “Nice List.” I appreciated the fact that the staff reached out ahead of time to confirm the pronunciation of their names.

Holiday Fun: Santa Cruise in Lake Geneva

Credit: Visit Lake Geneva

Although we didn’t get to meet Santa personally, this was still a fun and unique way to see him. As we headed back, elves came around and stamped their boarding passes to officially mark them on the nice list. We also sang holiday songs. After all, our boat was fueled by plenty of laughter and cheer needed to reach back to the pier. We all had a jolly good time!

Tips:

  • Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure time to allow time to view the Santa Cause Christmas Tree Festival. You’ll need to check-in at the Christmas Tree Festival first and get your tickets for boarding. 
  • Boats used for the Santa Cruise are enclosed and heated but you will be outside between the check-in area and the dock. Dress appropriately.
  • You can buy souvenirs, drinks, and snacks on the boat.
  • For a truly convenient dinner option head to Pier 290 Restaurant on-site. Psst. Kids get a free dessert with a Santa Cruise ticket.

Bottom Line:

What a unique way to celebrate the holidays! Visiting the Santa Cruise is indeed a great way to spread holiday cheer.

Nitty Gritty:

Website: santacruiselakegeneva.com
Location: All tours for the Santa Cruises will depart from Gage Marine at 1 Liechty Drive in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.
When:  Santa Cruise tours depart November 23 through December 31 every evening beginning at 4:30 p.m. The 8:30 p.m. weekend tours, known as the Naughty or Nice cruise, are for adults only. There are no tours on December 24 and 25.
Tickets: Purchase tickets online.Weekend ticket prices are $28 for adults, $26 for seniors (65+ years), $18 for youth and children (4-17 years), and free for infant (0-3 years). Monday through Thursday ticket prices are $18 for adults, $18 for seniors (65+ years), $9 for youth and children (4-17 years), and free for infants (0-3 years).

Find Santa's Secret Hideaway aboard the Santa Cruise in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.