Night Sky Cruises

Experience an unforgettable narrated 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 and educational cruise exploring the wonder and mystery in our galaxy and beyond.  Our 2021 night sky cruise schedule includes ten (10) unique experiences scheduled around various events in the night sky, most timed to depart around sunset/moon rise.


All Night Sky Cruises depart from and return to Mackinaw City


Each cruise features narration provided by night sky expert and star lore historian Mary Stewart Adams.  Host of the weekly public radio segment, The Storyteller’s Night Sky, Mary was founder and program director for many years at the International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands near Mackinaw City, one of the first ten such parks in the world when it was designated in 2011.  Mary has won numerous honors personally for her work, she travels extensively advocating for dark skies, and has helped protect thousands of acres of Michigan state land for its natural darkness.


Click here to download full 2021 cruise Schedule.


2021 Night Sky Cruise Schedule:

(Please note: certain dates – specifically the Meteor Shower Cruises – do sell out quickly and we do not keep a waiting list as tickets are non-refundable)

8:45 p.m.-10:15 p.m.

This cruise is timed perfectly to catch the nearly Full Moon rising over Lake Huron as the Summer Sun sets into Lake Michigan. We’ll cruise in the evening twilight as the sunlight fades in the west, giving way to the evening star, Venus, while the Moon rises in the East.


Saturday, July 3 – Evening star Cruise
9:15 p.m. – 10:45 p.m.
Make your own fireworks under the summer stars with Venus, goddess of love and beauty, lending a hand. We’ll set out into the sunset and cruise West, following the path laid out by Venus, our evening star.


monday, july 12 – moon, venus, and mars Cruise
9:15 p.m. – 10:45 p.m.
The Moon is a beautiful waxing crescent this evening, keeping company with Venus as evening star in the West, where she is being courted by her warrior mate, Mars.


wednesday, july 28 – Wishing stars Cruise
9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
The modest mid-summer meteor shower known as the Delta Aquariids fly through the night sky from the region of the star Skat in the constellation Aquarius, the Waterman. Skat means “a whisper” or a “wish,” so we’ll cruise out to cast out wishes into the twilight and hear tales of the watery region of the sky.


Saturday, july 31 – Eve of cross quarter day cruise
9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
As we approach the midway point in the season, the giant planet Saturn approaches its annual opposition with the Sun. We’ll cruise out along the Straits and into the celebratory mood and mystery of this turning point in the season.


tuesday, August 10 – moon, venus, and meteors Cruise
9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Tonight’s cruise is designed to take advantage of the waxing crescent Moon and Venus where they adorn the western horizon, in anticipation of the Perseid Meteor Shower activity, which is most active later in the night and later in the week.


Wed, Thurs, & Fri, August 11, 12, & 13 – meteor Shower Cruise
11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

As Earth cruises along in its orbit through the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower stream, we’ll cruise out to the Straits to get the best views of one of the season’s most beautiful displays. The Moon is a waxing crescent this week, which bodes well for meteor seekers!


Saturday, August 21 – true blue moon Eve Cruise
8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Originally defined as the third Full Moon in a season when there are four Full Moons, the true Blue Moon is a rare celestial phenomena that can only occur in February, May, August, and November, and this year we’ve got one! Our cruise is timed to catch the nearly Full Moon rising just after the Sun has set, which allows for cruising west into the twilight, and then back east into the moonlight.


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: $31.00
Children (ages 5-12): $19.00
Children (under 5):
Free (ticket required; must sit on an adult’s lap)

Please note: Cruise Terms and Conditions have been updated as of February 4, 2021.

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