Ferry trip features 32 Lake Michigan lighthouses


MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) — A five-day ferry tour will feature visits to 32 different Great Lakes lighthouses this summer.

There are 80 available spots for the all-inclusive trip that takes place on northern Lake Michigan between June 5 and June 9.

The tour is sponsored by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, which oversees the maintenance of two lighthouses in the region. The group hopes the tour will raise enough money restore the roofs of the St. Helena Island Lighthouse of St. Ignace and the Cheboygan River Front Range Lighthouse of Cheboygan.

“Those were in pretty bad shape when we got them,” association executive director Terry Pepper said. “We need to raise that money. Putting on these cruises is one of the ways that we raise those funds. Any profit that results from these cruises goes to help with our lighthouse preservation and education initiatives.”

Guests would board the Shepler’s Ferry vessel HOPE at Mackinaw City and stay at multiple resorts along the way. The trip costs nearly $1,400 per person for double occupancy and nearly $1,650 per person for single occupancy.

The price includes transportation, meals, snacks, soft drinks and gratuities. People who aren’t already members of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association would need to buy a membership to participate.

The nonprofit association, which has nearly 2,000 members, was founded in 1983 and is one of the country’s longest-lived lighthouse preservation groups.

The group’s mission statement calls for “the preservation of lighthouses, the stories of those who kept them, and developing a new generation of preservationists.”

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press:MLive.com, http://www.mlive.com

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