By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Apr 25, 2011 at 12:08 PM

The start of the 2011 Lake Express sailing season will be delayed by approximately three weeks as work is done to complete an off-season engine maintenance program, according to a release sent out today.

This program is part of ongoing efforts by Lake Express to maintain optimal operating efficiency and in accordance with state, federal and international environmental and emissions regulations.

Over the next three weeks, Lake Express will replace one of its ship's engines based on the results of performance checks conducted the week of April 18. While the Lake Express is able to operate with fewer than four engines, the decision to swap out the engine reflects the company's commitment to offering the fastest possible service on Lake Michigan's only high-speed ferry route, the release said.

A return to service date has been set at May 23 and will be confirmed as work progresses.

Passengers who purchased tickets for travel during the initial weeks of the travel season will be able to reschedule or to receive a full refund.