2017 Summer Discovery Cruises Registration is Now Open

For the 16th summer, Michigan Sea Grant Extension will provide Michiganders (and visitors to Michigan) with the opportunity to learn about the Great Lakes by being on the Great Lakes.  Cruises depart from Lake St. Clair Metropark, cruising Lake St. Clair, and from Lake Erie Metropark, with cruises on the lower Detroit River and Lake Erie. 

The 2017 season offers more than 20 educational cruises around themes such as Fisheries, Wildlife, Wetlands, Shipwrecks, Lighthouses, Weather, Shipping and more. Cruises for educators wanting to enhance the use of Great Lakes content in their teaching are also provided, with stipends.

Some of the exciting cruises for the 2017 season include:

Birds, Boats and Booze

Note: This is a 4 hour cruise.

Many things drew people to the St. Clair River Delta Flats area. The abundant wetlands brought duck hunters and fishing, wood boats and passenger steamers brought tourism and recreation, and Prohibition brought rum runners and speakeasies to the region. Spend a little more time in “the flats” with us as we cruise farther up the South Channel and share a little of the past including stories of the big hotels, Tashmoo Park, Chris Craft boat building and more.

Cruise dates:
Saturday, July 8, 2017, at 2 p.m. 
Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 2 p.m. 

Pricing: $30 adults/$20 under 18 yrs.

Wildlife & Wetlands of Lake St. Clair

Note: This is a 4 hour cruise.

Explore further into the Flats in this extended 4-hour tour to discover the variety of plants, animals and habitats that make one of the world’s largest fresh water deltas so unique and valuable.

Cruise dates:
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 10 a.m. 
Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at 10 a.m. 

Pricing: $30 adults/$20 under 18 yrs.

Tournament Fishing

Whether you consider yourself a pro or beginner angler, anyone with an interest in sport fishing will love these two new cruises. Come cruise with us early to experience the take-off of professionals in the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament on Lake St. Clair. Or catch the boats returning for weigh-in during our afternoon cruise. Both offer a close up look at the tournament in action while learning the ins and outs of tournament fishing from a guest speaker.

Cruise dates:
Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 6 a.m.
Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. 

Pricing: $30 adults/$20 under 18 yrs.

Lake St. Clair Fisheries

This is not a fishing cruise, but it definitely is a “fishy” cruise! Learn first hand about the fish that are found in Lake St. Clair, many of which are available for hands-on examination during the cruise. We will be joined by a Michigan DNR Fisheries Biologist and perhaps rendezvous with their research vessel while out on the lake to observe fish tagging, measuring and other research operations.

Cruise dates:
Friday, July, 7, 2017 at 10 a.m. 
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 10 a.m. 

Pricing: $25 adults/$15 under 18 yrs.

Lighthouses of Lake St. Clair

Note: This is a 3 hour cruise.

Join a representative from the Save Our South Channel Lights organization to learn the history of the two lighthouses built on Lake St. Clair in 1855 to guide vessels through the treacherous St. Clair Flats. Learn about navigating the Great Lakes then and now and discover what is being done to preserve these historic landmarks.

Cruise dates:
Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 6 p.m. 
Sunday, July 2, 2017 at 10 a.m. 
Thursday July 6, 2017 at 6 p.m. 
Saturday, July 8, 2017 at 10 a.m. 
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 6 p.m. 
Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 10 a.m.

Pricing: $25 adults/$15 under 18 yrs.

The Nature of Lake St. Clair

Take an educational cruise on Lake St. Clair to discover the rich variety of aquatic life that makes Lake St. Clair so special. Plants, animals, and habitats — including one of the world’s largest fresh water delta — will be explored.

Cruise dates:
Saturday, July 1, 2017 at 10 a.m.
Friday, July 7, 2017 at 2 p.m. 
Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 10 a.m. 

Pricing: $25 adults/$15 under 18 yrs.

Channels, Islands, Bays and Reefs

Note: This is a 4 hour cruise.

The St. Clair River Delta is one of the largest freshwater deltas in the world, and its many islands, bays and channels create a truly unique feature of the Great Lakes basin. Join us as we travel up into the Middle Channel of the delta past Harsens and Dickinson Islands, and then down the North Channel, to learn about the incredible natural resources and cultural history of this fascinating area.

Cruise dates:
Sunday July 9, 2017 at 10 a.m. 
Saturday July 15, 2017 at 2 p.m.

Pricing: $30 adults/$20 under 18 yrs.

Birds of the Wetlands

Note: This is a 4 hour cruise.

The Lake St. Clair wetlands provide food, shelter and nesting areas for many migratory birds. Some of these birds are species that are threatened or of special concern but they are thriving in these wetlands. Explore the St. Clair Flats as we search for these birds and learn about the research being done to help these populations of birds of the wetlands.

Cruise dates:
Friday June 30, 2017 at 10 a.m. 

Pricing: $30 adults/$20 under 18 yrs.

The History of Lake St. Clair

We cruise Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair Flats in search of the geologic past of the St. Clair River Delta and tell the human stories that shaped the history of this unique area.

Cruise dates:
Friday, June 30, 2017 at 4 p.m. 
Sunday, July 2, 2017 at 2 p.m. 
Sunday, July 9, 2017 at 4 p.m. 
Friday, July 14, 2017 6 p.m. 

Pricing: $25 adults/$15 under 18 yrs.

Research and Restoration

A great number of scientific research and conservation efforts are taking place on Lake St. Clair and in its wetlands, ranging from fish to birds and invasive species to water quality. Join us on this cruise to observe Lake St. Clair marsh restoration, learn about the HEART lab (Huron to Erie Alliance for Research and Training) and its activities, and travel out to the Old South Channel Range Lights to see how restoration of the lighthouses has created an ideal nesting island for the threatened Common Tern.

Cruise dates:
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 4 p.m. 
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 2 p.m. 

Pricing: $25 adults/$15 under 18 yrs.

Journey Through the Straits Downbound

Note: This is a 5 hour cruise.

Park your car at Riverside Marina in Detroit and board the E/V Clinton for a fantastic five-hour voyage from the upper reaches of the Detroit River to Lake Erie. As the Clinton travels in the wake of both the early Great Lakes voyageurs and present day sailors, we’ll explore the Straits of Detroit from several perspectives.

Our cruise begins just south of Peche Isle, the first island in the straits and the site of Chief Pontiac’s summer camp. We will pass by the old French ribbon farms, Cadillac’s landing, the Detroit Riverwalk and then under the Ambassador Bridge. Then we pass the J.W. Westcott mail boat and the old Bob-Lo boats on the way to the industrial heartland featuring impressive steel mills. Finally we enter the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, with its beautiful islands and abundant wildlife. We take a shuttle bus back to Riverside Marina where you pick up your car to complete your Journey Through the Straits!

Cruise dates:
Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 10 a.m. 
Friday, September 15, 2017 at 10 a.m.

Pricing: $35 adults/$25 under 18 yrs.

Great Lakes Science for Teachers

Note: This is a 4 hour cruise.

This cruise for teachers — active teachers only please — will focus on the Great Lakes from a science education perspective. Learn how to relate biology, chemistry, geology and physics to the Great Lakes that define Michigan. This research cruise is designed to help you share the Great Lakes with your K-12 students. Also find out about opportunities for additional professional development which come with participant stipends and scholarships.

Eligible for 4 MDE SCECHs.

Cruise dates:
Thursday July 13, 2017 at 10 a.m. (Lake St. Clair)
Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 10 a.m. (Lake Erie) 

Special Pricing: $10 (adult active educators only). Contact Steve Stewart for details

Shipping Out

Sign on for a voyage into the world of Great Lakes shipping! As the E/V Clinton heads toward the shipping channels across Lake St. Clair or the lower Detroit River, you will learn about lakers and salties, legendary sailors and shipwrecks. With some luck, you might even get up close and personal to a thousand-footer or two along the way. Wear your Old Spice!

Cruise dates:
Saturday, July 1, 2017 at 6 p.m. (Lake St. Clair)
Friday, July 7, 2017 at 6 p.m. (Lake St. Clair) 
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 6 p.m. (Lake Erie) 

Pricing: $25 adults/$15 under 18 yrs.

Shipwrecks

See how the latest technology in shipwreck identification is used to discover wrecks as we investigate the remains of a sunken mystery ship. Along the way we’ll explore historic shipwrecks and the lighthouses built to help prevent them. Bring along your diving bell as we delve into the realm of underwater archaeology.

Cruise dates:
Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 10 a.m. (Lake St. Clair)
Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 2 p.m. (Lake St. Clair)
Friday, July 14, 2017 at 10 a.m. (Lake St. Clair)
Friday, July 14, 2017 at 2 p.m. (Lake St. Clair)
Friday August 4, 2017 at 10 a.m. (Lake Erie)
Friday August 4, 2017 at 2 p.m. (Lake Erie)

Pricing: $25 adults/$15 under 18 yrs.

Night Watch

Join the crew of the E/V Clinton on a late evening cruise and learn about navigating under the stars using charts, lights and the heavens themselves. The cruise will take us through the history of navigation, from the discovery of latitude and longitude to today’s Loran and GPS systems. As darkness descends, we will set sail for lighthouses, search the heavens for constellations and use the North Star to help guide us to our home port.

Cruise dates:
Saturday, July 1, 2017 at 9 p.m. (Lake St. Clair) 
Friday, July 7, 2017 at 9 p.m. (Lake St. Clair) 
Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 9 p.m. (Lake Erie) 
Friday, August 4, 2017 at 9 p.m. (Lake Erie) 
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 9 p.m. (Lake Erie) 

Pricing: $25 adults/$15 under 18 yrs.

Great Lakes Science for Kids

Learn about the ecology of Lake St. Clair or Lake Erie, by using the tools a Great Lakes Scientist uses to determine water quality by studying the plants and animals of the lakes. Try your hand at using a plankton net, bottom dredge, water testing kit, underwater camera, and binoculars to discover the exciting nature of the lake and become a Great Lakes Scientist!

Cruise dates:
Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 2 p.m. (Lake St. Clair)
Saturday, July 1, 2017 at 2 p.m. (Lake St. Clair) 
Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at 4 p.m. (Lake St. Clair)
Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 4 p.m. (Lake St. Clair) 
Friday, July 28, 2017 at 10 a.m. (Lake Erie) 
Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 10 a.m. (Lake Erie)
Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 10 a.m. (Lake Erie)

Pricing: $25 adults/$15 under 18 yrs.

Wind, Waves and Weather

The Great Lakes influence our weather, and the weather can have a great influence on the Great Lakes (ever hear of the Great Storm of 1913?). Join NOAA National Weather Service meteorologists on a cruise that explores the “why?” behind the wind, waves, and weather around us. Learn how to be safe the next time weather threatens, what some of the old sailor sayings like “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight” really mean, why we don’t have hurricanes in the Great Lakes, what kind of wave a “seiche” is, and much more! We ship out rain or shine!

Cruise dates:

Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 10 a.m. (Lake St. Clair)
Friday, August 11, 2017 at 2 p.m. (Lake Erie) 

Pricing: $25 adults/$15 under 18 yrs.

To learn about the Great Lakes by being on the Great Lakes, visit the Summer Discovery Cruises web site at www.discoverycruises.org for complete cruise descriptions, locations, dates and times, as well as directions on how to register for your 2016 Summer Discovery Cruises. Don’t miss the boat!

Link: 
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2017 Summer Cruise Series
There's no better way to spend your summer than aboard one of Infinity-Ovation Yacht Charters exciting cruises. They've got an outstanding lineup of themed menu offerings and entertainment to choose from. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience the superb cuisine, service, and amenities they have to offer while enjoying a view of the city you won't soon forget!
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