Riverboat Tours
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Discover Michigan in a New Way on These Exciting River Cruises

Michigan may be known as the Great Lakes State, but Michigan river cruises offer a unique and enchanting way to experience natural beauty and rich history. From the gentle slapping of water against a boat to the churn of paddlewheels to the majesty of scenic views, Michigan’s riverboat cruises promise a delightful blend of relaxation and discovery.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, these cruises offer something for everyone.

From the mighty Grand River to the tranquil Kalamazoo River to the scenic Detroit River, visitors can enjoy everything from breathtaking sunsets to gourmet meals and good company aboard a Michigan riverboat.

Michigan Princess Riverboat-Lansing
Michigan Princess Riverboat | photo via cowboy53

Michigan Princess Riverboat | Lansing

Operating out of Grand River Park, the Michigan Princess has been a Lansing mainstay for several decades, offering passengers spectacular views of the Grand River.

The three-deck boat offers elegance and all the comforts of a luxury hotel right on the water, including arched windows, chandeliers, dance floors, heat and air conditioning, and three dining rooms.

The Princess can accommodate any size event ranging from 10 to 500 people, so if you don’t have a huge party, you can book space for events like the Mother’s Day Cruise, a murder mystery cruise, and fall color cruises.

The Michigan Princess offers regular cruises from May 1 to mid-December, depending on the weather, along with special off-season events.

Grand Lady Riverboat | photo via nickfletch16

Grand Lady Riverboat | Jenison

Docked in Steamboat Park, just minutes from downtown Grand Rapids, the Grand Lady offers scenic views and tranquility on the Grand River. With two decks and a capacity of 130 passengers, it’s a perfect ride for small and large groups alike.

The Grand Lady is constructed in the style of 1800s steamboats and retains many characteristics that made steamboats so successful on the Grand River during that time, including two independently steered stern paddlewheels.

The boat operates from roughly mid-May to the end of September. Passengers aboard the boat can enjoy sightseeing cruises and live music cruises.

Ausable River Queen-Oscoda
AuSable River Queen | photo via russkaya80

AuSable River Queen | Oscoda

Nestled on the shores of Lake Huron in Oscoda, known as the “birthplace of Paul Bunyan,” the Au Sable River Queen paddlewheel riverboat is the only boat of its kind in northern Michigan and offers scenic tours of the Au Sable River

The two-decker, red, white, and blue-painted boat is a popular mode of transportation for color tour enthusiasts who can see vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow while enjoying the river’s natural beauty.

Passengers can enjoy the views as the boat captain narrates the area’s fascinating history. The boat can accommodate special events and large groups and operates seasonally into the fall.

J.w. Wescott Detroit Andrewdeandetroit

J.W. Wescott | Detroit

The J.W. Wescott’s claim to fame is as the nation’s only floating zip code and Michigan’s floating post office.

In its heyday, the Wescott delivered one million pieces of mail each season. When it’s not operating as a maritime workhorse – which is open 24 hours a day – delivering everything from mail to pizza to mechanical parts, the Wescott offers tours on the Detroit River.

On a tour of the river, passengers can see the award-winning Detroit Riverwalk from a new point of view, enjoying views of Hart Plaza, Belle Isle, the RenCen, and more. The boat also offers tours that include passing by the Gordie Howe Bridge, the Rouge River, and the Zug Island.

Star Of Saugatuck	Saugatuck
Star of Saugatuck | photo via salvador63108

Star of Saugatuck | Saugatuck

Visitors can sit back, relax, and glide along the Kalamazoo River as water circles its way through paddlewheels. The boat offers a variety of daytime and sunset cruises along with special events such as Wine on the Water and Beer on the Boat.

A ride on the Star of Saugatuck is fun for all ages and the perfect way to enjoy views of the river, Lake Michigan, and local wildlife. No matter which cruise you select, it’s a way to escape the pressures of everyday life and enjoy scenic views of West Michigan.

The boat is typically open seasonally from May through October and schedules may vary depending on private cruises, special events, and weather.

Detroit Princess-Detroit
Detroit Princess | photo via j_malx2

Detroit Princess | Detroit

For 20 years, the Detroit Princess has been a familiar sight on the Detroit River and is one of the biggest and best riverboats in the Midwest for those seeking a sense of adventure.

It features five decks, the largest dinner cruise in the Midwest, and offers a variety of daytime and sunset cruises. Visitors can enjoy taking Titanic-style photos, soaking in views of Detroit’s iconic skyline, and enjoying Motown music from local bands.

Bay City Boat Lines-Bay City
Bay City Boat Lines | photo via adventures.with.kayla

Bay City Boat Lines | Bay City

Visitors of all ages can board the Princess Wenonah in downtown Bay City to enjoy cruises on the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay. Whether you’re looking for an out-of-the-box date night idea, a fun night out, or a guided tour, there’s an excursion for everyone.

The Princess offers a downriver cruise (north toward Saginaw Bay), which averages about 45 minutes. The upriver route (south to Zilwaukee) offers more natural scenery. Public events typically are offered from June through October.

Princess of Manistee | Manistee

Built in 1973, the Princess has been everywhere in Michigan, from Mackinac Island to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and arrived in West Michigan in 2021.

The two-deck Princess offers several public cruises, including a 501 Cruise down the Scenic River Boardwalk in downtown Manistee on the way to the Lake Michigan shoreline. The Family Day Cruise offers a two-hour excursion on Lake Michigan and the Manistee River.

The Princess also offers private and special event cruises and operates seasonally.

Frankenmuth Funships-Frankenmuth
Frankenmuth FunShips | photo via princessmippy

Frankenmuth FunShips | Frankenmuth

Michigan’s Little Bavaria offers plenty to see and do and one can’t-miss excursion on the Cass River. The company’s electric boats create a relaxing environment and tours are offered from the beginning of May through October, depending on the weather.

Visitors can enjoy one of several tours. The Wine & Chocolate River Tour offers a one-hour guided tour with five wines paired with handmade chocolates. Thirty-minute and one-hour tours of the river are also available, which are perfect before or after you’ve enjoyed one of Frankenmuth’s famous chicken dinners.

Huron Lady Cruises-Port Huron
Huron Lady Cruises | photo via tseyi_son55

Huron Lady Cruises | Port Huron

From May to September, visitors can step aboard the Lady Huron to enjoy the Saint Clair River and a scenic expanse of Lake Huron. Visitors can catch glimpses of Great Lakes freighters, the Bluewater Bridge, and the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse.

In addition to public sightseeing cruises, passengers can enjoy Sunday brunch cruises on select weekends, dinner cruises, a Sarnia Bay fireworks cruise, a cruise during the annual Port Huron to Mackinac race, and more.

Par-Te-Tyme Cruises-St. Joseph
Par-Te-Tyme Cruises | photo via bjorn.and.co

Par-Te-Tyme Cruises | St. Joseph

Hop aboard the 60-foot, double-deck Par-Te-Tyme and prepare for a good time! While the boat eventually makes its way to Lake Michigan, the journey begins with a jaunt on the St. Joseph River, where passengers can soak in the beautiful scenery.

The boat can accommodate special occasions and large groups, but it works just as well for small groups. Single passengers, couples, and families can enjoy regular sunset cruises from June to September in addition to special events.

Embark on a Michigan River Cruise

Embarking on a river cruise in Michigan offers an opportunity to explore the state’s natural beauty and history from a unique perspective. With options ranging from the bustling Detroit River to the serene settings of the Kalamazoo and Grand rivers, these cruises provide both relaxation and discovery.

Each journey promises scenic views, interesting local history, and the enjoyment of Michigan’s waterways. Whether you are looking for a family outing, a romantic escape, or a solo adventure, Michigan river cruises are a compelling way to experience the Great Lakes State.

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