Summer is a'coming! And with tall glasses of lemonade and lightning bugs just around the bend, our cool, clear waters are calling, breathtaking scenery beckons, and boating escapades are yours for the taking! The time is now to dip, dive and drink it all in, as you feel the Pure Michigan lake effect turn your summer daydreams into reality.
Step aboard the custom-built, shallow draft boats of Johnny Panther Quest Adventure Tours, and prepare to experience nearly 10,000 acres of National Wildlife Refuge, or the "Everglades of Michigan" as Panther Quests calls it! Anticipate unforgettable sunsets and wildlife sightings galore.
- Tours take about 3-5 hours, and are fully customizable; Pricing varies by boat size.
- Scholartrips: Leisurely outings, focusing on ecology, history, and wildlife.
- Marathon Trips: Active adventures, including paddling and portaging.
- Romantic Escape: Prepare for serious "Lovebird" spottings on these custom, tranquil tours with bed and breakfast packages.
Sail into Summer
Experience Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay like never before aboard BaySail's majestic Appledore IV tall ship schooner! This beauty is simply awe-inspiring... as is the story behind the name: Original owner Herb Smith named the tall ship as a tribute to his wife, Doris, whom he first saw as a teenager sailing by her home of Appledore Island on a sunny Maine morning. (Swoon.)
Dates, times and ticket prices vary depending on the sail you set your sights on:
- Dinner Sails: Sunsets, sails and fully catered three-course dinners.
- Stargazer & Moonlight Dinner Sails: Live programs by astronomers from the Delta College Planetarium; view constellations, learn to navigate by the stars.
- Family Ecology Sails: Afternoons of hands-on experience and family-friendly science fun.
Friday Night Fun Boats
Dancing the night away aboard a cruise ship sounds like a summer daydream, right? But the experience is real (and readily available!) along the Saginaw River aboard Bay City Boat Line's converted car ferries during Friday Evening Entertainment Cruises on the Princess Wenonah.
- Bay City Boat Lines' season runs from May 15 - October 15; check out the full schedule of public cruises and events!
- Entertainment cruises are Friday nights from 7 - 10 p.m. Tickets are $40; memories made are priceless!
- Private charters are also available, mid-May through early October
Psst! Bay City Boat Lines also offers a limited number of Free Narrated History Tours from 10 a.m. - noon, Monday - Friday throughout the summer! For example, did you know that John F. Kennedy's yacht, the Honey Fitz, was built in Bay City?
Sip, Swirl, Cycle
Experience the beauty of the Cass River aboard a 12-passenger, electric boat with Frankenmuth Fun Ships, and for ultimate enjoyment, board the Wine & Chocolate Tasting Cruise! May through October, a friendly host will guide you through the 1-hour, intimate cruise:
- Includes five Michigan wines, paired with five handmade chocolates (and a glass of wine)
- Cruises are $20 per person; reservations recommended
Groups up to four might consider Frankenmuth FunShips' Paddlewheel Aqua Cycle rental, too! The self-directed, water adventure is $20 for 45 minutes, $10 for each additional half hour, and guests are welcome to bring a picnic aboard!
Kayaks are most-often boats made for one, though Ike's Mobile Kayak Rentals offers group guided tours in sturdy, 12-foot sit-on or sit-in kayaks, single and tandem. Ike's drops explorers at selected launch sites and picks up after paddling - no worries, no hassles and no reason not to get on the water and experience the magic of a Pure Michigan summer!
- Tours include: Sunset Paddles, Ladies' Tours and After Work Group Paddles, to name a few.
- Single Kayak Rates and Tandem Rates differ slightly
- Group rates are available and are longer excursions (including an overnight option, and even fishing outings!)