Night Sky Cruises

Experience an unforgettable tour of the Great Lakes night sky aboard a Shepler’s Night Sky cruise!  All aboard as we set sail under the natural beauty of the night sky.  Enjoy a relaxing cruise exploring the wonder and mystery in our galaxy and beyond.  Our 2024 Night Sky Cruise schedule includes eight (8) unique experiences scheduled around various events in the night sky, most timed to depart around sunset/moon rise.

Effective for the 2024 season, Night Sky Cruises will no longer offer narration by Mary Stewart Adams. We will continue to offer a serene experience allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere.

All Night Sky Cruises depart from and return to Mackinaw City.

All Night Sky Cruise tickets are NON-REFUNDABLE with no exceptions. Please ensure you are able to go before purchasing your ticket.


Click here to download full 2024 Cruise Schedule.


2024 Night Sky Cruise Dates


Thursday, June 20
Summer Solstice Cruise – 8:45 p.m. – 10:15 p.m.

A ceremony of Sun, Moon, and Stars
This cruise is scheduled so passengers can align with the ceremony of the first day of Summer by witnessing the nearly Full Moon rising in the East over Lake Huron as the Summer Solstice Sun sets in the West, into Lake Michigan. Cruising between the two great lights Sun and Moon as they straddle the Straits of Mackinac is an unparalleled experience, particularly passing under the center span of the Mackinac Bridge, which marks not only the dividing line between East and West, but also the North/South divide between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsula. If you seek a beautiful peninsula in the balance of the season, come on aboard!


Friday , July 5
Summer’s First New Moon Cruise – 9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

One of the best ways to take in the beauty of Northern Michigan nights is aboard an evening sky cruise when the Moon is New (so not visible to us) and the sky is tremulous with stars. We’ve timed this cruise to take in the sunset over Lake Michigan, and to catch the first stars that grace the evening twilight, Arcturus, Vega and their first magnitude companions.


Monday, July 8
By the Light of the Silvery Moon Cruise- 9:00 p.m.  – 10:30 p.m.

The waxing Crescent Moon poses in all her celestial splendor over the western edge of the world for this evening sky cruise, which will find us setting out to the West under the Mackinac Bridge, cruising beyond the sunset and into the baths of all the western stars, as Tennyson would have it in his poem Ulysses, which is a nod to the constellation Hercules, a constellation that adorns the zenith of the sky in this season.


Tuesday, July 30
A Night of Falling Stars- 9:00 p.m.  – 10:30 p.m.

Though the Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower is more prolific the further south you go on the globe, it’s still a good excuse to get out and take in the magnificent sky. Tonight’s cruise is timed for contemplating the evening sky and counting the stars as they come out to adorn the night, in anticipation of the falling stars, which are most active later in the night, after the Milky Way arcs over the zenith.


Sunday, August 11
Midnight Meteor Showers Cruise I – 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

By far the most popular meteor shower of the year, and our most popular evening sky cruise, this year’s Perseid Meteor Shower peaks during a waxing first quarter Moon. This means that not only will we get full views of Milky Way and falling stars, but we’ll see the crescent Moon as it sets into the western horizon, a dramatic scene over Lake Michigan.


Monday, August 12
Midnight Meteor Showers Cruise II – 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

The Perseid Meteor shower is active from late July to mid-August, and tonight, Monday, August 12, it comes roaring toward its peak, with Perseus mounting on high along the Milky Way of stars, the head of the gorgon Medusa in his hand, turning to stone all those who dare to thwart his quest for the good, the true, and the beautiful. Come cast your best wishes to the stars with us on a cruise you are not soon to forget.


Tuesday, August 13
Midnight Meteor Showers Cruise III- 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

Third time’s the charms and tonight we take full advantage of the season’s meteor shower show by setting out for our third midnight cruise. As on the first and second evenings, we depart from our Mackinaw City dock at 11 pm and cruise West into the starlit waters of Lake Michigan, over which the meteors race through the night.


Saturday, August 17
True Blue Moon Cruise – 8:15 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.

The traditional definition of Blue Moon is the third Full Moon in a season when four Full Moons occur, which sets it up as a much more rare celestial phenomenon than more recent definitions. Tonight, we cruise out to catch the Moon as it rises in the East over Lake Huron, two days before it is exactly Full, and before the Sun sets in West over Lake Michigan, which gives us all the opportunity to marvel at the majesty of the season before it winds down to its close


Be sure to read important scheduled cruise FAQs on cancellations and refunds, updated concession stand details, parking, boarding, and other important information before purchasing tickets.


Adult: $46.00
Children (ages 5-12): $46.00
Children (under 5):
Free (ticket required; must sit on an adult’s lap)

Please note: Cruise Terms and Conditions have been updated as of December 15, 2022.

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