A new cruise ship has arrived on the Gloucester waterfront, bringing a Caribbean/Polynesian flair to the port.

The boat, Gloucester’s Friki Tiki, was designed to give off an “island vibe”, owner Ginger Attaya of Gloucester said.

This 36-foot aluminum boat was used to cruise the Snake River west but, in this iteration, Attaya had a vision to turn it into a thatched-roof lounge-type space.

The ship made its maiden voyages last summer and Attaya found that people were looking for it for all sorts of reasons.

“Everything is allowed on board,” Attaya said. “We’ve had bachelorette parties, a little memorial service, a proposal, a rehearsal dinner, a birthday, any excuse for a party. A woman brought a Spanish chef, Spanish music, and everyone wore white.

Attaya decorated the thatched roof with colorful birds and monkeys with a touch of the island’s turquoise color.

“I wanted you to feel like you were sitting in a room circling the harbor and relaxing. Seeing Gloucester from the water is a whole different experience. Gloucester Harbor is beautiful,” Attaya said.

Visitors to the boat can bring their own food and drink, and the boat is equipped with Bluetooth so they can play their own music or do karaoke. and there is a bathroom.

“I want people to feel like they’re in another world,” Attaya said. “People seem to really like it. I want people to see it as a fun outing and a way to bring laughter and happiness.

There are two options for a port visit; one is with individual tickets, or the boat can be chartered depending on the day of the week.

Tours are starting to book up and a similar port tour by another company in Salem is pretty much sold out for the season.

Attaya came up with the idea for the Friki Tiki after a trip to Key West, Florida. She was with friends at a restaurant where they watched a tiki boat go by.

“We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have Gloucester,’ and after I got back I got a call that this boat was for sale,” she recalls.

She assembled a team of captains, each bringing their own maritime experience.

Captain Mark Sinkinson is a Coast Guard Certified Boat Captain and holds a 25 Ton Captain’s License. He has years of fresh and salt water experience and now resides in Gloucester.

Captain Forrest Turner, a graduate of Gloucester High School, started lobster fishing when he was 11 years old. He also fished in Alaska for four years.

Attaya added that there are two part-time captains, Jessie Amero and Wes Budrose. and she serves as a companion on board, as do Lois Budrose, Jayne Zeamer, and Christopher Neubert.

Peter Webber, Senior Vice President of the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber was delighted to welcome Attaya and the crew of the Friki Tiki as a new member.

“The chamber wishes the Friki Tiki many successful seasons ahead and hopes residents and visitors can join them on the water for their fun and creative journeys,” he said.

For more details visit thefrikitikiofgloucester.com.

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-675-2706 or [email protected]