We encourage guests traveling with us this season to review the following operational FAQ prior to arrival.  Thank you in advance and we appreciate you choosing to #RideSheplers in 2020 during our 75th season.

Will signage clearly state the expectations for guests visiting?
Yes. Shepler’s has clearly marked signage near boarding areas, at ground transportation stops, in guest bathrooms, and other critical high traffic areas assisting guests in navigating our new normal.

What should guests do to assist in assuring a safe and comfortable experience?
Mind your space. We ask that guests respect their own personal space and the space of those around them by maintaining adequate space whenever possible. When in lines or while boarding we also ask that guests keep an appropriate distance from the guests in front of you at all times.

Are there new cleaning processes in place?
Yes. While housekeeping and maintenance have always been top priorities, guests will now notice even more cleaning and sanitizing of our motor vessels, high touch areas, guest bathrooms, ground transportation vehicles and more.

Will motor vessels be cleaned regularly?
Yes. Each motor vessel will be completely sanitized via a backpack hydro sprayer at the conclusion of every one-way arrival. In addition, each motor vessel will be thoroughly deep cleaned every evening.

Will masks be required?
Yes. All Shepler’s cast members in high traffic public areas will be required to wear masks.
In addition, all Shepler’s guests are required to wear masks while visiting, including while underway aboard a Shepler’s ferry boat.

Will Shepler’s ferry boats be full to capacity?
No. Shepler’s will be working diligently this summer to assure that departures are below load capacity, offering an even more comfortable 16-minute ride between Mackinaw City, St. Ignace and Mackinac Island.

What is Shepler’s doing to assure that cast members are healthy?
Monitor, monitor, monitor. Each cast member is completing a good faith health questionnaire at the beginning of every shift to provide critical information in determining symptoms and possible infection.

Will ground transportation be cleaned regularly?
Yes. Our ground transportation drivers as well as our seasoned maintenance team will be cleaning all high touch areas on vans, shuttles, and trams regularly throughout each day.

Will tram stops also be cleaned regularly?
Yes. Tram stops will be thoroughly disinfected every hour on the hour throughout the day.

Will luggage retrieval be handled differently this season?
Yes. Shepler’s will be limiting the number of guests permitted entry into the luggage retrieval areas at a time.Please be patient and courteous as guests in front of you retrieve their bags during your wait.

Will hand sanitizer be available for guest use?
Yes. Shepler’s has installed 77 hand sanitizer stations throughout the operation in Mackinaw City, St. Ignace, and Mackinac Island.

Have sneeze guards been installed at ticketing and other guest contact areas?
Yes. This includes installation inside our Mackinaw City and St. Ignace office areas.

Will Shepler’s still accept cash for ticket purchase?
Yes. However, Shepler’s is encouraging online purchases and the use of credit cards in person at all ticket windows.

Will Mackinac Island State Historic Park guidebooks be available for sale this season?
Yes. Guidebooks will be sold on all departures via a new process.

Will valet be available at either location?
No. As to prevent additional exposure to possible germs, a decision has been made to cease all valet services until further notice.

Does Shepler’s have a COVID-19 preparedness plan for cast members?
Yes.  Click here to download our Shepler’s Preparedness Response Plan.

Does Shepler’s have a COVID-19 Infectious Disease Control Policy and Procedure Plan?
Yes.  Click here to download the Shepler’s – Infectious Disease Control Policy 052820 for Website.

Will I be safe while visiting Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry?
Please remember that the risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people gather.  At Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, we’re working diligently to make constant changes to our operation, continually working to provide a safe environment for our guests.  We ask that guests do their part by following the guidelines below when visiting:

  • Should you be displaying symptoms of COVID or known to be COVID positive or should you have been exposed to someone displaying symptoms or someone known to be COVID positive, we ask that you refrain from visiting.
  • Please be sure to wash your hands often throughout the day.
  • Please be respectful of other guests, and be mindful not only of your personal space but the space of others, keeping reasonable distance whenever possible.
  • Please note that masks are required for all guests of Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry.
  • Please avoid touching unnecessary common objects whenever possible.

Updated Monday, June 2 at 6:30pm.


Nicole grashik

Hello, Will there be any changes to the lighthouse cruises?


Thank you for developing and adherence of safety protocols to protect your staff and customers. Glad to have you back in service. Hope you have a successful season.

MariAnne Guidobono

I would love to give my daughter a visit to Mackinac Island as a law school graduation gift and that would include a trip to the island on your ferry. Do you have gift cards available – so that she will only have to select the date for her trip?

Debbie Kowalczyk

We are hoping to come from the Chicago area in July (end). It is an 8 hour trip to get just to the docks, with no stops. Of course we will have to stop. Is 4:30 going to be the latest ferry for the whole summer?

Gary Kozlowski

I often come up to work on the Island during the week and I always leave on the last ferry out back to Mackinac City. How do I assure that I’ll be able to take that last ferry if you might be lowering the amount of people on board. Many times last year, the ship was filled to capacity.

Stephen Lattmann

I applaud your commitment to safety for passengers and crew. In this time of controversy as to what’s appropriate it is better to err on the side of caution and protect everyone as best as possible. We are summertime residents of Petoskey and usually enjoy at least several trips to the Island. Thank you for your professional and expert service!

Katie Asken

If we buy a ticket on line will we be guaranteed passage? We have reservations on the island and want to be sure we can make it there. What can I do to ensure our place on a boat?

Deb Haning

If you are going to have “guest requirements” to wear masks and social distance, then you need to enforce it. It was very upsetting to see the signs, yet be on a boat with unmasked guests, and be shoulder to shoulder with them on the upper deck. We also took one of the boats that goes under the bridge so we could learn something about it, but we couldn’t hear a thing the captain said.

Kathleen Johnson

Hello Deb and thank you for posting. We apologize if you were uncomfortable. The reality exists that leaving your home, offers the possibility for contact with a known virus which is potentially fatal. We understand that not everyone is comfortable taking this risk and we suggest visiting at a later date. Thank you again for commenting and we hope to see you again when the time is right for you.

Jennifer Whalen

We are looking for a family of 4 package to mackinaw Island, buggy tour, Fort tour, butterfly house, boat ride over and back to main land.

Kathleen Johnson

Hi Jennifer. We currently are not offering packages. Thank you for asking and we look forward to seeing you!

James Deealt

My family and I took the ferry to Mackinac today – we didn’t feel safe. Ferry and lines we’re over crowded, no social distancing in lines and the boats were sold at capacity instead of selling less seats to allow for distancing.

Kathleen Johnson

Hi James. We’re terribly sorry that you didn’t feel comfortable. We understand that not everyone has positive feelings about traveling right now. Hopefully we’ll see you again soon when the time is right for you. Thank you again and we do apologize.

Comments are closed.