(2) 4-cylinder Perkins marine diesel engines. Originally Disney used Detroit Diesel engines, in the first 2 Cruisers and the 6 Launches, until 1982.




Right: The Bon Voyage during the morning, docked next to the orange Friendship II water-taxi. Photo: Greg Chin - Aug. 1982.
















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Above: The "Bon Voyage" Motor Cruiser, Watercraft pilot Cindy Stringer waves from the starboard-side windows. She is deckhanding on this trip, while another pilot, believed to be Linda Albertalli, is up in the pilothouse steering. All the pilots usually take turns steering, after making one round trip.




















These photos: Docking a cruiser - As the cruiser gets close to the dock, the deckhand, steps off onto the dock, and quickly gets a wrap of the heavy metal cleat, and secures the "half-hitch" knot. If necessary, the boat is backed-up and the knot is re-adjusted. Then the engines are engaged in 1/3 speed forward to keep the boat against the dock. The rudders are turned to the "outboard" position. Then the guests can finally disembark.








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The "Bon Voyage" Motor Cruiser
Castaways class

Length: 66'-1" long

Beam: 12'-0" wide

Draft: 3'-6" deep at keel

Displacement: 23 tons









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Above: The "Bon Voyage" Motor Cruiser, approaches the T- shaped dock at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. This dock was built for the resort hotel in 1993, so it has some great improvements over the other ones, such as a built-in drinking fountain. A valuable feature during the hot summers.

Props: (2) props and (2) rudders

Built at: The WDW Central Shops

Designed by: Ben Ostlund

Piloting the Motor Cruisers:

    The "Bon Voyage" or "Bonnie", as she is referred to by the Watercraft pilots, was the second motor cruiser built at Disney World. She is virtually identical in every way, to her sister ship, the "Castaways". Except for the reciprocal color scheme, and the gray rub-rail belt around her main deck line is parted at the bow gunnels. The gray rub-rail on the Castaways is one continuous belt around her deck line. The cruisers initially had Detroit diesel engines during their first 5 to 8 years of operation. Later, in the early 1980's Disney World bought and installed British-made Perkins marine diesel engines in all the motor cruisers and the motor launches.

     Cruiser duty is always a welcome one. The ship is a pleasure to steer, with its dual throttle and dual engine design. With its 2 rudders, the cruiser is extremely maneuverable, and because it is enclosed, it's warm during the Wintertime. Of course, this means it can also get quite warm, up in the pilothouse, during the hottest part of the Summer. The pilot can also lean back against the insulated metal casing around the smoke stack, in the rear of the pilothouse. None of the other boats afford that luxury to the pilots. Of course, this is only done when it's deemed safe to do so. The visibility is very good from the upper pilothouse windows. The steering wheel is made of stainless steel tubing, about 24" in diameter. Many of the guests on board enjoy chatting with the pilot who is currently deckhanding on the trip. The cruisers can also accommodate wheelchairs and scooters with room to spare. People are always fascinated with the workings of our vessels.

Cruiser Operations at night:

     When the Magic Kingdom has short operating hours at night, usually one cruiser is switched off of the Magic Kingdom/ Ft. Wilderness route, to do the "Hopper route" which goes between the Contemporary Resort Hotel and Ft, Wilderness. A lot of dinner guests travel across to the see the "Hoop-De-Doo Revue" at Pioneer Hall, on the north end of the Ft. Wilderness Marina and Campgrounds. Now they can also go to dinner over at the Wilderness Lodge, across the water, in Bay Lake. Buses also connect guests to other far-off destinations on the Disney property.

     It can get very dark on the lakes at night, especially if the moonlight is dim. Because the cruisers usually have to cross through the Waterbridge Channel to get to the Magic Kingdom, proper care must be given to yield the right of way, to larger and relatively less maneuverable vessels (because of their size), such as the ferryboats, the cruiseships (when they were in service), and especially the 14 barges of The Electrical Water Pageant. At night, a Watercraft pilot must constantly keep a sharp lookout, for other vessels, and watch for the green, red, and white running lights that denote that a vessel is approaching, moving ahead, or crossing.

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