Cal Fremling Boat

The Cal Fremling Interpretive Center & Floating Classroom is a state-of-the-art vessel dedicated to creating a greater understanding of the broad multi-faceted nature of the Mississippi River.

The boat provides a distinctive, high-quality application of knowledge to students of every age within the region.

The Mississippi River is a unique resource, worthy of education and conservation. WSU’s Dr. Calvin R. Fremling Floating Interpretive Center & Classroom is much more than a boat.

It’s a partnership of students, educators, organizations, businesses, individuals, and community groups who share a commitment to the river that flows through our landscape and our lives. It’s about creating relationships, not only with the river, but with those who share the same passion for the mighty Mississippi. 

It’s also an opportunity to honor the legacy of Dr. Calvin Fremling– a man who devoted his life to the Mississippi River habitat and was passionate about educating future generations about his greatest passion.

A Tested Educational Tool
The Cal Fremling enables WSU faculty and staff to inspire and educate future generations about the significance of the Mississippi River, providing experiential learning opportunities through varied curriculums. 

We seek greater knowledge of the history, environment, literature, natural and social sciences, folklore, visual and performing arts and economics of the river through research, teaching, and outreach.

Another benefit is greater awareness and stewardship of the river as a national resource.

Two students look out on the Mississippi River from the Cal Fremling boat.
Hands-on River Experiences
Past experience has shown many and varied hands-on learning experiences on the river can be provided. 

Over 15 academic programs and departments within WSU use the Cal Fremling to enhance learning opportunities.

Students participate in a class aboard the Cal Fremling boat.

For example, faculty in the Colleges of Education involved both pre and in-service teachers on interpretive excursions regarding instruction on environmental curriculum design. Also, education and science faculty collaborated to host various K-12 classes in “Project Wet,” “Project Wild,” and “Project Aquatic Wild” activities on the river that involved water sampling and identification of species among other things.

Further, the College of Liberal Arts faculty teach courses on photography, literature, theatre, and the sociology of the environment while on board. 

In some cases, overnight trips can be scheduled that engage students more completely with studying a variety of aspects of the river’s ecosystem.

The Cal Fremling is not only a floating classroom, but also a perfect option for events.

We host several events each year. We also encourage you to host your next event aboard the Cal Fremling, giving your guests a unique experience. 

People chat on the deck of the Cal Fremling boat during an event.

Special Events

Plan Your Event 

Consider having your next board meeting, social gathering, birthday celebration, wedding reception, corporate event, or family reunion aboard the Cal Fremling. 

Share the beauty of our Mississippi River with your guests. The boat can accommodate up to 49 passengers, and the main deck is handicap accessible.

Rates & Reservations

To learn current rates and make a reservation, contact us at 507.457.2628 or

When making your reservation, please indicate if wheelchair or walker assistance is required.

Your party is required by State of Minnesota to provide your certificate of insurance that reflects your general liability coverage of $2 Million or a combination of general liability, umbrella and/or excess coverage. 

Within your insurance certificate, please ensure under certificate holder it states: The State of Minnesota, acting through its Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities, on behalf of Winona State University, 175 West Mark St. Winona, MN 55987.


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Support the Cal Fremling
Become a part of this project that will educate, inspire, preserve, and provide opportunities for future generations. 

Make an investment in the future of the Mississippi River by partnering with WSU.

Make a Gift
Two students have a conversation on the deck of the Cal Fremling boat.

You can make a difference by supporting a project that will educate, inspire, and encourage collaboration throughout the region.


Looking to schedule an event, ask a question, or just find out more information? Don’t hesitate to reach out!