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 2020 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 and return to Mackinaw City


Each cruise features narration (unless noted otherwise) 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 of 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.


2020 Night Sky Cruise Schedule:

Friday, July 3 – Sun & Moon Cruise
8:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

The Moon comes to its first Full Phase of the Summer this holiday weekend, and we’ve timed our cruise to catch it rising in the east over Lake Huron just as the Sun is setting west into Lake Michigan, with the elegant Mackinac Bridge draped between them.


WeDnesday, July 22 & Friday, July 24 – Giants in the Sky Cruise
9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Saturn and Jupiter are on their way to their rare and mighty Great Conjunction later in the year, and for this week, we get to catch them at their opposition with the Sun, rising up in the east as the Sun sets in the west, and starring on the evening sky stage all night long.
Saturday, August 1 – Cross Quarter Cruise
8:45 p.m.-10:15 p.m.
Halfway through the season we come to the “cross quarter”, a terrific time to be out on the Straits where the great lakes meet. In addition to seasonal tales connected to the sky at cross quarter, we share locally baked bread on this cruise, in honor the first wheat harvest that is celebrated in this season.
Sunday, August 2 – Full Moon Eve Cruise
8:45 p.m.-10:15 p.m.
For a true experience of the Great Lakes State, it’s hard to beat being out on the Straits when the Sun is setting, the Moon is rising, and the Mackinac Bridge finds itself draped against the background of Summer stars.
Tues & Wed, August 11 & 12 – Meteor Shower Cruise
11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.
Each year from August 11 to 13 the Earth rolls through the trail of cosmic debris left in the wake of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which appears to us like stars falling through the sky, more commonly known as the Perseid Meteor Shower. Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to cast your wishes to the sky from the top deck while the Milky Way arcs over head and the hero sends his meteors through the night.
Sunday, August 30 – Wine Moon Cruise
8:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
When the Full Moon closest to Autumn Equinox happens in October, then the last Full Moon of the Summer gets the name “Wine Moon.” Join us, for the romance of the evening sky where we’ll see the thickest region of the Milky Way, the planets Saturn and Jupiter, and the late Summer Wine Moon.



Be sure to read important scheduled cruise FAQs on refunds, cancellations, dress, and more before completing your purchase.


Adult: $29.00
Child (5-12):
Child Under 5:
Free (ticket required; must sit on an adult’s lap)


Please note: Cruise Terms and Conditions have been updated as of July 10, 2020.

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