Activities

Tall Ship Cruises – Great Lakes

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One of the unusual and memorable ways of spending leisure time in the area of Great Lakes is going on a sailing ship (tall ship) cruise. Surprisingly, there are a number of tall ships around that offer both short and long trips on the Inland Seas.

 

Tall Ship Cruises - Great Lakes

s/v Challenge

Lake Michigan

 

Tall Ship Cruises - Great Lakes

S/v Manitou sails into the sunset.

 

Windjammer Multi-day Cruises, Traverse City, MI – Traverse Tall Ship Co. offers 3- to 6-day long cruises, as well as short 2-hour trips. Of course, they are offered during the warm months of the year. Summer sailing season begins during the Memorial Day weekend. Their tall ship is the 114-foot Manitou, a replica of a 19th-century schooner.

Inland Seas Education Association, Suttons Bay, MI – The association offers few different 2- or 3-hour cruises with hands-on sailing experience aboard the 77-foot schooner Inland Seas.

 

Tall Ship Cruises - Great Lakes

s/v Friends Good Will

 

Michigan Maritime Museum, South Haven, MI – The Maritime Museum offers educational and passenger sails aboard the 101-foot Friends Good Will. The 2004-built ship is a replica of an 1810 square topsail sloop.

Sailing Door County, Sister Bay, WI – Their ship is the 65-foot gaff-rigged schooner Edith M. Becker. Tours vary with the weather. Generally, they are short 2-hour cruises.

 

Tall Ship Cruises - Great Lakes

S/v Denis Sullivan under full set of sails.

 

Discovery World, Milwaukee, WI – The Discover World’s  tall ship, the sailing vessel Denis Sullivan is the world’s only recreation of a 19th century three-masted Great Lakes schooner. It is a pretty large ship with the length of 137 feet. There are day and evening sails that are offered aboard s/v Denis Sullivan.

 

Tall Ship Cruises - Great Lakes

s/v Tall Ship Windy

 

The Tall Ship Windy, Chicago, IL – The s/v Tall Ship Windy is 148-foot traditional four-masted topsail schooner. The company offers day and evening sails, as well as some special events tours. The Tall Ship Windy sails from the Chicago’s Navy Pier.

 

Tall Ship Cruises - Great Lakes

s/v Red Witch

 

Red Witch, Kenosha, WIRed Witch is the 77-food two-masted topsail schooner. It is a replica of a 19th century Great Lakes ship. Red Witch offers short sails from Thursday till Sunday.

 

Lake Superior

 

Tall Ship Cruises - Great Lakes

s/v Coaster II

 

Superior Odyssey, Marquette, MI – The Coaster II is a 58-foot topsail schooner built in 1933 and sails out of Marquette. It offers two-, four-, or eight-hour charter sails for groups of up to six. The Coaster II also offers overnight sails along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

 

Lake Huron

Appledore Tallships, Bay City, MI – The only tall ships on Lake Huron –  the 85-foot, two-masted schooner Appledore IV and 65-foot , two-masted schooner Aplledore V offer a variety of day and evening  sails from its port in Bay City in Michigan.

 

Lake Erie

 

Tall Ship Cruises - Great Lakes

S/v Niagara, the only square-rigger on Great Lakes.

 

Erie Maritime Museum, Erie, PA – Their ship is the 198-foot U.S. Brig Niagara. “Sailing onboard brig is an unusual opportunity to experience the long vanished world of the wooden square rigged sailing ship.” When Niagara is in her homeport of Erie, PA, people can sign up to sail onboard. Typical day sails include four hours of sailing on Presque Isle Bay and/or the open lake (weather and time dependent), history lectures  and demonstrations.

 

Tall Ship Cruises - Great Lakes

Spirit of Buffalo

 

Spirit of Buffalo, Buffalo, NYSpirit of Buffalo is a classic 73 foot topsail schooner. It offers day sails, evening and sunset sails, pirate cruises and dinner and a sail.

 

Lake Ontario

 

Tall Ship Cruises - Great Lakes

s/v Kajama

 

Tall Ship Cruises, Toronto, ONT – Tall Ship Cruises offers cruises aboard its Kajama and Challenge ships. Kajama is a traditional 165 foot three-masted schooner and Challenge is a 96-foot, also, a three-masted schooner. Kajama offers day and evening sails every weekend from beginning of May, all the way until the end of September! You can even sail with us daily from June until Labor Day. The 2 hour day or evening sunset Toronto harbor boat cruise consists of a 30 minute boarding time, and an hour and a half sail out on the open waters of Lake Ontario. During each cruise we fire off our own ships canon.

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Rich S. is a lifetime photographer and traveler based in Metro Detroit area. He has been traveling the Great Lakes area for over 30 years. Follow his blog about his trips, interesting activities and destinations in the Great Lakes region.

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