Rotary clubs first to book excursion on Diamond City

Published 7:12 am Saturday, October 20, 2007

By Staff
Vessel expected to provide cruises during Nov. 13-18
By CLAUD HODGES, Senior Reporter
Three Rotary clubs in Beaufort County have booked a cruise on the Diamond City, the first booking made for the ship’s visit to Washington’s waterfront next month.
The ship is slated to be docked on the Washington waterfront from Nov. 13-18. The clubs have reserved Nov. 15 as their cruise date.
Downtown Washington on the Waterfront’s fliers publicizing the ship’s stay in Washington tout the Diamond City as an excellent place to have a brunch, lunch, dinner or party. Each cruise will last about three hours. DWOW has formed a partnership with the Historic Downtown Washington Merchants Association to offer catering, which may be provided by downtown restaurants, for cruises on the ship.
There are up to 15 time slots available from Nov. 13 through Nov. 18, according to people promoting the ship’s visit to Washington. Cruises are open to charities and not-for-profit groups for fundraisers; businesses and associations for holiday parties for employees or customers; restaurants for lunch and dinner cruises; and individuals, families and groups for private parties.
Mystery Tours, based in Beaufort, owns and operates the Diamond City, a 70-foot-long excursion vessel with a capacity of 149 passengers.
The Diamond City will be in the area trying to “drum up business” in Washington, said William Taylor, Wachovia’s Washington market president, “especially in the downtown section of Washington.”
As president of the Washington Noon Rotary Club, Taylor pitched the idea of booking the ship to other Rotary clubs in Beaufort County Rotary. They bought into the idea.
Taylor said he believes this type of entertainment, with a variety of cruise types for people to choose from, “will take off and help the area for downtown merchants.”
The Rotarians’ cruise will be a fellowship event, one that allows Rotarians an opportunity to meet and greet other Rotarians and their guests, Taylor said. Taylor suggested other organizations should consider booking similar cruises.
Taylor said from 80 to 100 Rotarians should be able to make the cruise.
The first booking for the Diamond City’s time in Washington has Bob Trescott, executive director of Downtown Washington on the Waterfront, feeling good about efforts to bring the ship to the city.
Trescott hopes the Rotary clubs’ booking of their cruise will stir up interest in the Diamond City and result in more cruises being booked.
Trescott said he wants others to “step up” and book cruises on the ship to help infuse Washington’s downtown and waterfront with strength and vigor to help merchants and shoppers benefit from a healthy central business district.