New Details Revealed in Search of Mysterious Lost Voyage, After-Dark Boat Adventure Sails Again in Wisconsin Dells

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Follow a team of scientists into the creepy Cold Water Canyon of Wisconsin Dells in search of the truth about a missing tour boat nearly 70 years ago and the disappearance of three teenagers who recently discovered the site. Passengers dare to solve the mystery of the Lost Voyage as they explore the nearly pitch-black canyon on foot, the drama unfolding around them.

Expedition Leader

Dells Lost Voyage Expedition Leader

walk into the nearly pitch-black canyon to face a terrifying encounter with the unknown.

The daring and curious will venture out onto the darkened Wisconsin River once again this summer in search of clues to unravel the bizarre mystery surrounding the Lost Voyage. A new branch in the storyline will emerge for passengers of this after-dark boat excursion in Wisconsin Dells, as they head upriver to the eerie Cold Water Canyon, the ancient gorge where the long-lost Badger tour boat has reappeared, after being missing for nearly 70 years.

“Our puzzling story continues to come to life this summer as Chapter One of our experience intensifies with new information and even more scares, surprises and revelations along the way,” said Amanda Glime of Dells Boat Tours, which produces the interactive and dramatic experience.

The Lost Voyage adventure, which premiered last summer, reveals clues to the decades-old mystery surrounding the strange disappearance of the Badger tour boat and all of its passengers during a storm on July 4, 1943. As the legend goes, witnesses at the time saw the boat get struck by lightning and vanish in a green mist near Cold Water Canyon, a place that according to Native American legend is haunted and should be avoided.

Flash forward to present day and a new twist in the fictitious tale begins. Three teenagers exploring the deep, dark gorge found the Badger intact, on dry land. Now they’ve gone missing too, but have left behind a video recording with some intense moments and a few frames showing a strange being. The video and many other clues are the keys to unlock our mystery.

Lost Voyage adventurers begin their 1½-hour nightly journey at the Upper Dells Boat Tours main landing building where they see the ominous footage; get some background information and parting instructions from our crew; and then head upriver by boat. Docking in the gorge, the guided expedition heads out on foot to walk into the nearly pitch-black canyon to face a terrifying encounter with the unknown.

“During our first season our exploration revealed that Cold Water Canyon was once the site of a top-secret military base. But what was its purpose? And what do the strange disappearances have to do with it?” said Glime. “This year’s adventure peels back more of the layers of this detailed and strange mystery as we follow a team of odd scientists into the canyon to see what they have uncovered.”

The premise behind Lost Voyage is to engage participants in the process, to become part of the investigation. The experience can begin online at before you even arrive and can continue long after the excursion is over. Passengers can download a cryptic clues sheet online or pick it up at the dock. Throughout the experience, adventurers are encouraged to find the answers to several questions that will help them decipher a code word. When the correct code word is entered online, it unlocks the latest part of the story, bringing Chapter One to a close and setting up the adventure to evolve even further next season with the beginning of Chapter Two and exciting new riddles to solve.

Some evidence and information will also be featured online and will be revealed as the summer season progresses. Dedicated Lost Voyage enthusiasts may want to take the tour more than once and can also follow along on Facebook and Twitter where more clues may be revealed to help in the quest for the truth.

The payoff can be more than just solving the mystery. Everyone who cracks the code can enter it online to be eligible to win prizes. The 2012 grand prize is the new iPad. Two runners-up will each receive $100 gas cards.

Glime says newcomers can easily jump into the experience, knowing some basic background; they can simply join the hunt for answers to what strange events have happened in Cold Water Canyon. A short introductory video can be viewed on the Dells Lost Voyage YouTube channel.

The entire mystery will be revealed in stages, over several seasons. Developers hope this new kind of interactive experience builds a following of fans that will share their theories and thoughts online about the fate of the Lost Voyage and those connected to it.

Lost Voyage will begin Memorial Day weekend with a regular schedule of nightly trips running June 8 through September 3. Tickets are $21.60 for adults and $16.90 for students ages 11 and under. Due to some of its ominous themes, the expedition is not recommended for children age 10 and younger. Reservations are recommended.

Lost Voyage is a presentation of Dells Boat Tours, one of Wisconsin Dells most historic and long running attractions with more than 150 years of operation. For more information and reservations, please call (608) 254-8555 or visit

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Andrea Novotny
Novotny Communications
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