Your next Mackinac Island adventure can easily both start and conclude in St. Ignace – Your Home Port – whether you’re approaching from the north or south. As one of the few places with direct access to the car-less Mackinac Island, St. Ignace is the perfect shortcut: a fun, fast, and incredibly scenic 16-minute cruise away. Plus, frequent trips mean that you can easily avoid bridge tolls and crowds that build up in other ports.
Both Shepler’s and Star Line ferry services offer round-trip rides to and from the island and have transported many island-goers safely over the years. Ferries to the island are conveniently located downtown with close proximity to shops, restaurants and hotels. The most convenient, affordable, and, in our humble opinion, overall best way to travel to Mackinac Island is through St. Ignace.
Here’s everything you need to know about the ferries to Mackinac Island.
Photo Cred: @grandhotelmichigan
Shepler’s has been one of the easiest ways to travel to Mackinac Island since 1945. Loaded with history, the ferry service hopes to add-to and enhance the Mackinac Island experience for each passenger. On the voyage over, the ferry slows down at points to enjoy breath taking views of the Straits of Mackinac and the island. Enjoy hassle-free day and night parking. Since you’re leaving your car, Shepler’s allows bikes, tandem bikes, bike trailers/burley’s/wagons, and strollers.
Photo Cred: @sheplersferry
There’s a variety of ticket options and combinations for adults and children. Infants and Pets ride Free! Which means you can bring your dog on the ride over to experience the island with you and the whole family. Ticket combinations and add-ons are available to ensure there is a ticket option for everyone to experience the island to its fullest;
- Three Adult
- Two Adult, One Child
- Mack and Back (unlimited departures in 1, 2, & 3-day options)
- 2-RoundTrip Combo
Add-on’s (Adult & Child Options)
Other Shepler Cruises
Photo Credit: @SheplersFerry
The Ferry line doesn’t just transport travelers from St. Ignace, they offer ways to experience all the surrounding areas have to offer. Discover Lake Huron, Countless Lighthouses, and the only way to see the Les Cheneaux Lighthouse. These cruises are available for everyone and are the best way to cruise the Straits of Mackinac and Lake Huron!
- Westbound Lighthouse Cruise – 3 Hours
- Extended Westbound Lighthouse Cruise – 4.5 Hours
- Eastbound Lighthouse Cruise – 3 Hours
- Extended Eastbound Lighthouse Cruises – 4 Hours
- Evening Lighthouse Cruise – 3 hours
- Les Cheneaux Lighthouse Cruise – 5 Hours
- Night Sky Cruise – 1.5 Hours
- Private Charter Cruise
Order your St. Ignace Visitors Guide today or view online.
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Star Line is the area’s only fast, frequent, fun and friendly Hydro-Jet Ferry service with a direct line to and from Mackinac Island. Founded in 1978, the Star Line Ferry Service offers rich history, with a new, comfortable flare. Centered around making the experience the most memorable, the ferry service offers 3 different rides. Star Line is the only ferry service that uses a Hydro-Jet. Everyone will love watching the water-jet Rooster Tail from the back of the ferry. Perfect a more classic ride? Choose from the Catamaran or the Classic Ferry! With free over-night and day parking, Star Line leaves the worry out of traveling.
Photo Cred: @starlinemackinacislandferry
The perfect time to explore Michigan is often the easiest to miss: the glorious summertime. Star Line Ferry offers Specialty Cruises like the Mackinaw City and St. Ignace Sunset and Fireworks Cruise , Pirate Ship Cruise , and the 4th of July Fireworks Cruise. Each offers their own unique aspects to ensure a memorable trip.
- fastPass - Hydro-Jet Ferry
- classicPass- Take a Classic Ferry round trip
- flexPass - Take a Classic Ferry to Mackinac Island and a Hydro-Jet back
- mackPass - Round trip with a Carriage Tour on Mackinac Island
- Fort Mackinac Admission
- Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet
- Mackinac Island is car-free to help keep the historic feel of the destination. Feel free to bring your bike with you on the ferry over to the island for easy exploring.
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St. Ignace is your first stop to start your next Mackinac Island excursion. Just a short ferry ride separates the car-less island to the Upper Peninsula’s most treasured destination. Both ferries offer a variety of accommodations meet all of your needs. Be sure to check out Shepler’s and Star Line Ferries Operational Updates for capacity levels, safety precautions and guidelines.
Additionally, St. Ignace has plenty of places to stay during your next Mackinac Island adventure. Lodging option in St. Ignace offer rich history and comfortable accommodations at an affordable price.
Be sure to wear your masks in public as courtesy to you and other visitors’ health. A friendly reminder to regularly wash your hands and if you’re sick – stay home! Feel free to request a visitor guide, sign-up for our newsletter, and book your stay today!