If you’re looking to get off your feet, bike or horse-drawn carriage for a while – Sip n’ Sail Cruises is a one-of-a-kind experience on the waters surrounding Mackinac Island. Here is everything you need to know about the iconic Isle Royale Queen and which Sip n’ Sail excursion is right for you.
Many places and experiences on Mackinac Island are rich with history and illustrious stories. Fortunately, Sip n’ Sail Cruises doesn’t fall far from the Lilac tree. Book your tickets and you will board the Isle Royale Queen III. A vessel that can carry approximately 100 passengers, has multiple viewing areas, heated cabins, restrooms, a full-service cash bar, and stellar live entertainment. Sounds nice, right? Well it is. However, the Isle Royale Queen III didn’t used to have all the amenities it did now. Actually, before it got most of that stuff it wasn’t even the Queen III yet, it was only the Queen II.
While donning the Queen II title from 1960-1988, the vessel was only 57 feet long, could carry 57 people, and found most of its use carrying cargo such as canoes, camping gear, and island provisions on its top deck. In 1989, the ship came under new ownership and gained 24 feet in length to the stern cabin area, making it 81 feet long, it’s current length, and could carry 100 passengers. Today, she is fully equipped for whatever the waters toss at her and with that came her new name, the Isle Royale Queen III.
The Queen III takes tourists and natives along the shoreline of Mackinac Island, under the Mighty Mackinac bridge and across the waters of both Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, all while allowing its guests to enjoy live entertainment from a long list of very talented musicians. Even better, the Queen III comes equipped with a full bar, “The Porthole Bar” that opens 30 minutes prior to departure and stays open while departed on the tour.
If you’re looking for something more family oriented you can see the sun set behind the Mighty Mackinac Bridge on the Sip n’ Sail @ Sunset Cruise, or you can watch the twilight sky light up over Lake Michigan on the 4th of July Fireworks Cruise. The Sunset Cruise is by far the most popular cruise offered, so if you plan on boarding for this cruise you’ll neeed to purchase tickets pretty early! Unfortunately, the 4th of July Fireworks Cruise is sold out, but you can always come to the harbor and watch the fireworks along with other Mackinac Island natives and tourists, just don’t forget to book your tickets early for the show next July 4th!
If you’re looking for something more tailored towards a date where you can enjoy tunes and magnificent sites with your significant other, the Bloody Mary & Mimosa Bridge Tour or the Bourbon under the Bridge Cruise, will be well worth your time. The Bloody Mary & Mimosa Tour is a hidden gem. Out of all the cruises offered, it leaves the earliest in the morning so you get that cool, crisp afternoon air and it’s the only cruise where a complimentary drink is included with your ticket price! As for the Bourbon Bridge Cruise, the drinks will be on point no doubt, but the music is what you won’t want to miss. Serenading you on this tour will be either Pete Kehoe or Michelle Chenard. Both are renowned musicians, known very well around the United States and especially in Michigan. You won’t want to miss their beautiful tunes.
All of the tours are roughly an hour and a half long and cost around $30 per person. If you want a better look at the tours that are offered, when they leave, and who the accompanying artist will be you can click here for more information. Believe me, you won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to cruise the Straits of Mackinac and take in one of the most gorgeous views Michigan has to offer.