By Vin Sparks
Madison, WI One would think it impossible but, “Not so”, says Darrell Stubing, Captain of the Monona Princess, a 3,000-passenger cruise ship making ready to set sail on its maiden voyage in June 2018 from Cannery Row. “If it is impossible, I’m out of a job”, explains the commander of the luxury vessel.
When asked about the apparent problem with the depth of Lake Monona, the Captain explained, “The cruise ship displaces 72,000 tons of water but only about 30 feet of the ship’s hull is submerged.” He went on to explain, “Lake Monona at it’s deepest is 74 feet, well within the parameters.”
The two areas of the lake that are 74 feet deep are both dead center of the western half of the body of water and, together, cover an area of the surface of approximately 250,000 square feet. To put that in perspective the boat itself has a LOA (length over all) of 1,003 feet and its breadth spans 156 feet. That is an area of 156,468 square feet.
Randall Ismay, Executive Vice President for New Cruises at Fantasy Worldwide, said, “We are acutely aware of the spatial challenges presented by the prospect of floating a ship that size in a body of water the size and depth of Lake Monona.” He argues that the ship’s itinerary does not require any more.
The itinerary of the maiden cruise aboard the Monona Princess is as follows:
- Friday, June 1, 2018 1600 – Depart Cannery Row, Madison to set sail on the maiden voyage!
- Saturday, June 2, 2018 0700 – Put in at Frost Woods Beach, Monona
- Saturday, June 2, 2018 2100 – Depart Frost Woods Beach
- Sunday, June 3, 2018 0700 – Put in at Olbrich Beach, Madison
- Sunday, June 3, 2018 2100 – Depart Olbrich Beach
- Monday, June 4, 2018 – Enjoy a wonderful day at sea (on the lake)
- Tuesday, June 5, 2018 – Put in at Cannery Row
When asked about the turning radius of the Monona Princess, Captain Stubing paused…then said, “I do have to confess”, he began, “a ship of this size cannot completely turn around in the area available on Lake Monona.”
This reporter was wondering what is taking place at night when the ship is supposed to be setting sail. The bewildered looking captain said, “Well, the ship never really goes anywhere. We just have passengers disembark and board the ship again via shore boats.”
Why then spend time, money and effort on a venture of this size, you might ask? We asked Mr. Ismay that question. “It was breath taking” he said. “The artist renditions of what the Monona Princess would look like on Lake Monona were breath taking,” he mused. “People will come from all over the world to see it!”
Umm, I am sure they will.