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Luxury cruise line comes to Gull Lake

Two owners of Destiny Cruises are Jerry Johnson, left, and Liz Diedrich. Also shown is Nick Strand, a former co-owner in a similar enterprise. Photo by Sarah Rudlang

Destiny Cruises' North Star yacht, a $1.8 million, double-deck vessel that can accommodate 120 passengers, launched last week on Gull Lake, offering cruises and private chartered events to residents and tourists in the Brainerd lakes area.

The North Star is docked at Ernie's on Gull, and was expected to embark on its inaugural cruise Wednesday, June 25, having been delayed from its ideal date of mid-May because of road restrictions.

The 65-foot long, 22-foot wide vessel was constructed last winter at Skipperliner Headquarters in La Crosse, Wisconsin, one of the country's largest passenger vessel manufacturers.

The owners of Destiny Cruises are Liz Diedrich, owner of Diedrich RPM; Jerry Johnson, CEO and owner of Energy Management Collaborative; and Reid Porter, a retired business executive and former captain of vessels out of Lake Geneva.

They studied the market for more than a year looking for the ideal place to provide such a vessel. Diedrich said variables like geographic location, the number of weddings and transit populations in the Brainerd lakes area were compelling. That, coupled with Gull Lake's proximity and readiness, made it a viable location to operate.

"We want to be a compliment to this community. There are so many attractions in this area with all of the beautiful resorts and hotels, and we want to be one more reason for people to visit this community," Diedrich said.

Lunch cruises are offered from noon to 2 p.m at $29.95 per person; dinner cruises are from 6-8 p.m at $55 per person; and their moonlight/sunset cruises (times will vary) cost $24.95 per person. There are also private charter opportunities for events such as weddings, receptions and office parties.

Open cruises are available throughout the week and can be booked and paid for online at or call 1.855.95DESTINY.