MACKINAC ISLAND, MI – The sun is shining. The days are warming. And the Straits of Mackinac waters are flashing their signature blue hues. You know what that means: It’s almost Pirate Ship season.

The Great Lakes Pirate Ship festival is planned for June 17 on the Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry Company’s dock. There will be food, drinks, music, pirate-themed contests – and someone might even be walking the plank.

“Going to Mackinac Island is all about experiencing something new and making lasting memories. And when you see the pirate ship at the Mackinaw City dock, it’s an opportunity to add a unique and exciting adventure to your trip,” said Jerry Fetty, CEO of Mackinac Island Ferry Company.

The centerpiece of all this festival fun will be The Good Fortune pirate ship. It has been part of the Star Line/Mackinac Island Ferry Company fleet since 2020. Fans of this wooden pirate ship decked out with water cannons and flying a skull-and-crossbones flag have been delighted with its summer schedule in recent years. In the summer, it typically makes several trips a day between Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island. In the evenings, it offers a family-friendly pirate cruise that motors under the Mackinac Bridge, and also has an adults-only Nauti Pirate Cruise that has a cash bar and snacks, and is designed to catch the sunset.

This year, pirate season on the Straits officially kicks off June 16, with cruises running Tuesdays through Saturdays, right through Sept. 3. But the festival has turned into a great way to highlight the fun atmosphere The Good Fortune brings to the area. Festival admission is free. Here’s how it will work:

Great Lakes Pirate Festival

  • When: June 17 from noon – 4 p.m.
  • Where: Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry Company’s Mackinac Island Main Dock 1

“The Mackinac Pirate Adventure Tour with the Good Fortune pirate ship will feature water cannons for the kids as well as a bar for adults. The pirate ship will be ferrying passengers from our Mackinaw City Dock to the Festival on our Historic Mackinac Island Dock #1, in the morning, with a ticket purchase.

“The Pirate Ship will end the day by offering evening and Nauti (21+) cruises at 5:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., departing from the Mackinac Island dock #1 with a ticket purchase.”

For more details, check Mackinac Island Ferry Company’s website here.

If you want to go out on the water with the Good Fortune, Pirate Ferry and Cruise tickets are available for purchase. If you buy tickets, you can ride the pirate ship from Mackinaw City to Mackinac Island at these times on the day of the festival:

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