Maritime Tours

  • On Michigan's maritime tours, the legends live on. Our bays, canals, and Great Lakes share their wisdom and famously chart the course of history. Along the world's largest freshwater dune system and more than 115 lighthouses that bear witness to timeless nautical stories. 
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Explore the Eastern Lights of Michigan
The Blue Water Area along the eastern shores of Michigan has a multiplicity of lights, guiding sailors past and present. From Algonac to Port Austin you can sightsee, tour, drive or boat to ten of the area lights. Enjoy your journey of the history presented by these beacons of nautical lore. Four of the lights have guided tours. The shoreline will complement your tour with unique restaurants and accommodations.

Echoes of the Edmund Fitzgerald
At 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 9, 1975, the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald left Superior, Wisconsin, loaded with 26,116 tons of iron ore. She overtook the Arthur M. Anderson just beyond Two Harbors, Minnesota. The two captains discussed the worsening weather and decided to take the northerly route across Lake Superior to Whitefish Bay and the Sault Locks. Our maritime heritage tour follows the progress of the two ships from the south shore of Lake Superior, where stories of shipwrecks and survival draw visitors to museums, glass-bottom boat tours, lighthouses and the big lake itself.

Exploring Michigan's Beachtowns
Since the last ice age about 10,000 years ago pounding surf and incessant winds have created the largest freshwater dune system in the world along Lake Michigan's eastern shore. There the rising sands eventually blocked the original river mouths and created inland lakes. Then new channels broke through the sands to the big lake. When Southwest Michigan's early European settlers looked at the sheltered lakes and the channels, they imagined towns, safe harbors and commerce and Southwest Michigan's Historic Harbortowns were born.

Great Waters Lake Superior Trail Tour: Rugged Shores and Falling Water
The Lake Superior Trail, Rugged Shores and Falling Water, will lead you on a quest inland through deep forests to the mighty Tahquamenon Falls or along the shore to secluded, historic lighthouses and the glorious cliff-side display at Pictured Rocks.

Lights of Northern Lake Huron
In the days before ship-to-shore radios and global positioning systems, lighthouses were the only signposts guiding travelers on the Great Lakes. If you couldn't see them, or the stars and the sun, you were driving blind. This tour visits the Lights of Northern Lake Huron that disappeared from view during the great storm of 1913.

Northwest Michigan Ports of Call
Northwest Michigan Ports of Call have served shippers and summer's people for over 150 years--though at first, in places like Frankfort, goods and people had to debark their schooners in small boats, and pigs and cows were simply shoved overboard to swim for shore. This tour is filled with opportunities to experience historic boats, fishing villages, harbors and lighthouses. It starts at Ludington and works its way toward the Straits of Mackinacbut any place along this 250-mile shoreline is a good place to start.

River Country Heritage Water Trail
Navigate the streams and rivers of St. Joseph County in southwest Michigan and catch a glimpse the past, discover historic and natural sites, and charming small towns. It a lazy or not so lazy day going with the flow.

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