Marine News from the Great Lakes


Published: Monday, April 3, 2017

Tickets for the 24th Annual Door County Lighthouse Festival go on sale to the general public Monday, April 3, following a two-week pre-sale for museum members.

Following the successful members only pre-sale, one tour is sold out but ample tickets remain for the variety of land-based tours and boat excursions set for the weekend of June 9-11. Tickets can be obtained online on the museum’s website,, by calling the museum at (920)743-5958 or stopping by the museum in Sturgeon Bay, 120 N. Madison Avenue.

Many of the boat excursions are unique to the Lighthouse Festival weekend.  New this year is the Lakeshore Lighthouse Cruise out of Baileys Harbor. The tour will offer the opportunity to see  a number  of lights from the water, including Cana Island lighthouse, the old Baileys Harbor “bird cage” light as well at the Baileys Harbor Range Lights. The possibility of seeing several shipwrecks also exists on the tour.

Returning boat trips include the popular excursion from Gills Rock to Plum Island. There are four tours spread over Saturday and Sunday with limited seating available. The excursion includes a walking tour of Plumb Island presented by the Friends of Plum & Pilot Islands. Because of its limited capacity, this tour traditionally sells out quickly so it is advised to check online for ticket availability.

The excursion to Chambers Island is another once-a-year opportunity. Although a larger-capacity boat permits more people to visit Chambers Island, it will continue to be a hot ticket item. Participants need to be prepared for a scenic island hike covering three miles round trip to the lighthouse and back to the dock.  

Another popular weekend tour will circle Plum and Pilot islands from Gills Rock while the one-of-a-kind schooner trip aboard the “tall ship” Edith Becker from Sister Bay is also among the offerings this year with trips under sail past the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse with cannon salute.

The Chicago Fireboat will be offering its regular daily tours from the Door County Maritime Museum as well as special sunset dessert cruises both Friday and Saturday evenings.

A one-day, limited-capacity excursion on Friday, June 9, to Rock Island has sold out.

Two different day-long, land-based narrated trolley tours, visit the five mainland lights and depart from either the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay or the Door County Trolley Depot in Egg Harbor. The always popular Ghost/Mystery trolley tour leaves from the Door County Maritime Museum on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Cana Island and Eagle Bluff Lighthouses maintain regular seasonal hours throughout the weekend. Both the Sherwood Point Lighthouse and Sturgeon Bay Canal Light are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard and offer free admission over this weekend only. The range lights in the Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor, with its newly restored lower light, will also welcome visitors 10 am-2 pm Friday-Sunday for a free-will offering. Make sure to visit the sanctuary’s stunning new welcome center.

For more detailed information on tours and pricing or to request a brochure visit Tickets can be ordered on the website or by calling (920) 743-5958.

tags: Events, History, Lake Michigan

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