Raise the mast, and set sail in West Michigan! With both the Great Lakes and the many inland lakes, you’re never too far away from an opportunity to be on the water. If you don’t have much boating experience, fear not! Many places will take you and your crew out on the water, and do most of the heavy lifting for you. Of course, you can also rent everything yourself and set your own course. No matter your skill level, take some time to trek West Michigan’s waterways!
Specialty Ships in Northern West Michigan
The Beaver Island Boat Company in Charlevoix is ready to help you start planning your spring and summer adventures. Book a tour of one of Michigan’s most beautiful hidden treasures, and explore the island with the experts. Let Beaver Island Boat Company be the start to your island getaway!
With access to both arms of the Grand Traverse Bay in addition to inland lakes, Traverse City is home to many specialty ships. The Traverse Tall Ship Company welcomes you and your family aboard their 114 foot schooner, and offers three different two-hour cruises every day of the week. For some added adventure, their “Floating Bed & Breakfast” packages give boat enthusiasts a truly unique stay in one of West Michigan’s most renowned cities.
If you’re in need of some quality ship education, the Inland Seas Education Association in Suttons Bay is a great place to start. Become a sailor as your raise the sails and steer the ship on one of their specialty sails. These include trips that are centralized around astronomy/meteor showers, music, and more. You can even become a scientist as you trawl for fish, collect plankton, test the water quality, and view microplastic samples. There are programs for all ages, so grab your notebooks and don’t forget to ask questions!
Does winter have you dreaming of shimmering summer waters of St. Ignace? If so, you’ll know that there’s nothing like a lighthouse cruise on the Straits of Mackinac. Visit multiple beacons, ride beneath the incredible Mackinac Bridge, and visit the islands and shoreline of the Straits area. It’s a boat cruise unlike any other. Shepler’s Ferry offers lighthouse cruises and other specialty outings, including fireworks cruises. Star Line offers sunset cruises, fireworks cruises, and other custom itineraries. St. Ignace is the perfect launch for the specialty cruise that you’re looking for!
Water, Water, Everywhere! Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire is just minutes from Torch Lake, one of the remarkable 75-mile string of lakes and connecting rivers called the Chain of Lakes. Stretching 19 miles and covering nearly 30 miles, Torch Lake is where Shanty families head for days of sunshine and water. From water skiing to tubing, fishing or just floating around, Torch Lake is a must for anybody looking to be on the water.
More Ships in the Northern West Michigan
- Glen Craft Marina & Resort
- Great Turtle Kayak Tours
- Insta-Launch Campground & Marina
- Pictured Rocks Boat Cruises
- Portage Point Inn and Marina
- S.S. City of Milwaukee
- Sommerset Pointe Yacht Club and Marina
- Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry
- Windjammer Marina
Specialty Ships in Central West Michigan
Begin your West Michigan adventure with a boat excursion aboard the Holland Princess. Tour beautiful Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan as you cruise past the Big Red Lighthouse. Enjoy a scenic cruise with lunch or dinner, while you pass by picturesque lake homes, historic landmarks, and nature at its finest. The Holland Princess is designed for tourists, visitors, and locals alike!
MACkite Board Sports Center in Grand Haven specializes in kiteboarding and paddle board gear, rentals, and lessons. Their crew, by and large, are people who found their way to MACkite because they were already experts and wanted to share their knowledge with others and make sure customers get the right gear for their style. Whether you’re just getting your sealegs on a kiteboard or paddle board or you’re a seasoned pro, you’ll find the best gear and knowledge at MACkite!
The S.S. Badger in Ludington offers the largest cross-lake passenger service on the Great Lakes and an authentic steamship experience. The relaxing four-hour, 60-mile cruise takes passengers, autos, RVs, tour buses, motorcycles, bicycles, and commercial trucks across Lake Michigan between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
CoHooker Charter Fishing Service in Holland offers a hands-on experience for anybody looking to have fish for dinner. They specialize in wholesome recreational fishing for the whole family on Lake Michigan. Once you’ve caught something that you like, you can have one of three restaurants in Saugatuck cook the fish for a meal that night. Gift certificates are available and make a great present for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and more. Hit the waters of Lake Michigan for your next meal with the help of CoHooker Charters!
Muskegon County is a premier destination for all things on the water in West Michigan! They offer fishing charters for novices and season anglers alike. Enjoy the sun and waves while your crew does all the work! If you’re looking for more watersports, Muskegon has watercraft rentals throughout the area, where you can rent kayaks, kite boards, and more! After some time on the water, visit the Port City Princess for lunch, dinner, cocktails, or a themed cruise on Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan! For history buffs, historic cruises include a narrated history of the major shipping port of Muskegon, the 1904 S.S. Milwaukee Clipper, the USS LST 393, and the USS Silversides submarine. Hit the water in Muskegon however you please, with fishing pole and sunscreen in hand!
More Ships in Central West Michigan
- Nancy Anne Sailing Charters
- Nelson Charters
- Pickerel Lakeside Campground and Cottages
- Port of Ludington Maritime Museum
- Stowaway Charters
- Therapy Too Sport Fishing Charters
Specialty Ships in Southern West Michigan
Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven has three different on-water experiences for visitors this year with their tall ship, river cruiser, and US Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat. Their new exhibit, Lake Michigan’s Call to Duty, is all about the role of Lake Michigan’s people during World War II. In addition to this exhibit, the museum will also be offering their STEM Kids Summer Camps during the summer. The camps are for students in third through fifth grade and feature hands-on lessons and experiences relating to maritime sciences. There’s plenty of fun to be had at the Michigan Maritime Museum, whether you’re looking to take the seas, learn about Lake Michigan’s role in WWII, or bring the kids to learn from the museum’s experts at their day camp.
The Michigan Princess in Lansing provides the best entertainment value in the region with a wide variety of great food and entertainment options. You can also charter the Michigan Princess for your party or meeting. Set up your cruise today! Their main dock is located just south of Downtown Lansing.
The Star of Saugatuck Boat Cruises is an authentic sternwheeler which operates on the Kalamazoo River, enters into Lake Kalamazoo, and then heads back down the Kalamazoo River to view the private homes and cottages, boats of every shape and size, and the natural beauty of the Kalamazoo River. You may catch a glimpse of wildlife, including deer, wild turkey, fox, blue heron, seagulls, and eagles. Hop on a cruise soon when they open starting the first full weekend in May!
With its rich maritime history, iconic lighthouse, working drawbridge, and marinas amid the downtown, South Haven is a boating paradise. The diverse boating scene means that there are excursions for every taste: fishing charters on the big lake and on the river, sunset cruises, sailboat charters, and even boats that you can rent and captain yourself!
More than 100 lakes, including two chains of lakes, help make Coldwater Country a haven for relaxation on the water. Bring the family and friends and rent a pontoon or kayaks to get out and enjoy the day. Anglers will find a hot spot for reeling in that day’s catch. With so many options, plan your trip to Coldwater Country today!
More Ships in Southern West Michigan
- Bay Pointe Inn Lakefront Resort
- Marina Grand Resort
- Originator Sport Fishing Charters
- Sea Hawk Sport Fishing Charters
Statewide Resources in West Michigan