Climb Aboard the First-Ever MilMag Cruise

Anchors aweigh! A new cruise hopes to mend political divisions using deckside entertainment.

When news broke in February that a weeklong Alaskan cruise featuring Gov. Scott Walker and his wife, Tonette, had been canceled, we at MilMag decided it was high time to sponsor a pleasure-boat ride of our own. So consider yourself cordially invited to join the first-ever “Milwaukee Talky” cruise, which will brave the Kinnickinnic River aboard the unsinkable, unswerving USS Reconciliation.

Highlights* include nightly cupcake-decorating competitions between Sheriff David Clarke – who agreed to leave his Stetson on shore in favor of a toque blanche – and his journalistic stalking horse, Journal Sentinel political columnist Dan Bice. Who can top his confections with just the right amount of powdered records requests and snowflake sprinkles? To offer a healthful alternative, the normally hard-bitten Ald. Bob Donovan will be running a juicer. Still not enough nosh for you? State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) will demo spanakopita (aka spinach pie) for all aboard, be they Greek yayas or not.

To work off those stubborn calories in the ship’s weight room, join outdoorsman state Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) and runner state Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), whose spirited arguments will provide entertainment as you lift. (Please interject bad Hans and Franz impressions as needed.) U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan will lead marathon training on deck each morning, sharing the secrets of his patented “conversion calculator.” Shave an hour or two off your best time without even having to run!

For each evening’s main course, Bartolotta Restaurant Group will deliver dazzling plates to your table via drones, and “Top Chef” Heather Terhune will hand out freshly imported, appropriately sized Chicago ice, which we guarantee is worth the price.

Insomnia? We’ve got you covered. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will be performing Shakespearean monologues throughout the night. ◆

Buy tickets for the Milwaukee Talky Cruise here.

*Boat guests had not been confirmed by our pub. date of April 1.

‘Anchors Aweigh’ appears in the April 2017 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning April 3, or buy a copy at

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Daniel Simmons grew up in St. Paul, Minn., the “good twin” city. He started his writing career covering the midsection for the Mayo Clinic. Since then he’s written about human smuggling by sea in San Diego, the coyote invasion of Chicago and the political circus in Madison. He also got to write about his childhood idol, Larry Bird, for Runners World. He’s the managing editor.