Cruising Tahoe’s East Shore

By Jenn Sheridan  ·



Callie Crawford  ·

There are many ways to get out on the water at Lake Tahoe, but none give you the feeling of gliding just above the surface of the water like the “Sierra Cloud” catamaran. The dual-hulled design leaves an open area over the bow where passengers are seated on an open net just feet above the water. A more enclosed area in the rear offers passengers cushioned seats and a bit more protection from the elements.

Catamarans are boats that consist of two hulls connected by a frame. The decreased surface area allows the boat to track faster in the water than a traditional, single-hulled boat. Catamarans can be powered sails or engines, depending on the design. The “Sierra Cloud” is primarily a sailing vessel, but there is the option to turn on the engine should the winds take an unexpected turn.

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Mael Passanesi

The “Sierra Cloud” is operated by Action Water Sports with daily cruises at noon, 2:30 and 5 p.m. leaving from the Hyatt in Incline Village. On a recent afternoon, The Weekly staff took a break from the office and enjoyed the sights of the East Shore from the deck of the “Sierra Cloud.” We launched from the Hyatt pier at noon and cruised south taking in the sandy beaches, granite outcroppings and bright, green pines along the shoreline.

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Mael Passanesi

As the boat skimmed over the water, we enjoyed the variety of cheeses and fruits offered and listened to the crew give us an overview of the area. They pointed out the scarred hillsides explaining how the landscape was once the route the flumes followed carrying timber from Tahoe to Virginia City during the mining boom. Additionally, they shared the story of George Whittell Jr., the wealthy recluse who built the legendary Thunderbird Lodge. We enjoyed cold beverages and friendly conversation with other passengers as the boat began the return trip to Incline Village. On weekends, the “Sierra Cloud” hosts live music during a sunset cruise at 5 p.m. Enjoy the tunes of Patrick Major while watching the sun drop below the horizon aboard the ship. Private charters are available for many events and occasions. Brunch tours also are available complete with mimosas and hors d’oeuvres.

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Mael Passanesi

If the winds are calm or sailing just doesn’t sound appealing, Action Water Sports offers plenty of other options for summer fun. Experience the lake from 800 feet up while parasailing with Action Water Sports, or rip around the shoreline on a personal watercraft.

Anglers will appreciate year-round, guided trips on the 28’ Bertram Sportfish. Experienced guides know just when and where to catch the biggest Kokanee Salmon, Mackinaw, Rainbow and Brown trout. As a bonus, one of the executive chefs at the Hyatt’s Lone Eagle Grille will cook up the catch.

Take the steering wheel into your own hands with one of Action Water Sports power boat rentals for a day of waterskiing or wake boarding. First-timers also have the option of water ski and wakeboard lessons.

For a human-powered adventure, Action Water Sports offers kayaks and paddleboard rentals with local discounts and off-peak season rates.


For more information, visit