Photo courtesy of Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet® Ferry
Photo courtesy of Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet® Ferry

Michiganders will celebrate Mackinac Island’s new pirate ship ferry in style June 20 with costumes, competitions and more. 

MACKINAW CITY, MI — “Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate’s life for me … ” 

Attend the totally immersive, first-ever Great Lakes Pirate Festival in Mackinaw City on June 20 and you might find yourself singin’ that very shanty as you settle into the traditions of pirate life: eating and drinking, talking fancy, dressing up, and having a blast. 

Last week, The ‘Gander reported on the new pirate ship ferry that will take passengers to and from Mackinac Island six times a day starting June 19. 

Photo courtesy of Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet® Ferry

Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet® Ferry, the Mackinaw City-based company that owns and operates the Good Fortune pirate ship, is sending the ship off on her maiden voyage in style. 

They’re hosting the first Great Lakes Pirate Festival on June 20th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at their Mackinaw City boat dock (801 S. Huron St., Mackinaw City, MI). 

Aye, Aye, Captains! Get ready for a week of Good Fortune fun! Tune in everyday at 1PM for exciting pirate tales straight…

Posted by Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry on Monday, June 15, 2020

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Star Line’s 2020 summer season kickoff centers around the Great Lakes Pirate Festival, including a blowout pirate-themed party on the Mackinaw City Dock, which will feature: 

  • A live DJ spinning salty sea shanties 
  • Pirate trivia 
  • Family-friendly photo opportunities
  • Grub and grog 
  • Two competitions: Talk Like a Pirate and Dress Like a Pirate 

And you know pirates take their treasures seriously: Festival participants of all ages in the Dress Like a Pirate competition are expected to wear a pirate-themed outfit and will receive a free hot dog and drink, a buy one/get one free discount on any pirate cruises that day. 

The big prize for the best-dressed pirate: a free private cruise on the Good Fortune Pirate Ship for up to 50 people. And the winner of the Talk Like a Pirate competition will earn four VIP tickets to any pirate cruise of their choice. Blimey! 

Star Line’s Good Fortune pirate ship will leave the festival at 4:45 p.m. and head to Mackinac Island where it will depart at 6 p.m. for a pirate cruise under the Mackinac Bridge. The night cruise will include pirate music and dancing, crew members dressed and talking like pirates, water cannons for kids on board, and the cruise will culminate with the firing off the Good Fortune’s cannon. Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase during the cruise.

Photo courtesy of Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet® Ferry

Spinning Yarns

If your little mateys can’t wait ‘til this weekend for a taste of the pirate life, they can join in on the celebration now. 

Beginning Monday, June 15th a social media video series hosted on Star Line’s Facebook page will lead up to the Great Lakes Pirate Festival and will include three virtual readings by award-winning authors of popular children’s pirate-themed books. 

The video series will start off on Monday, June 15 with an introduction from Good Fortune’s pirate deckhand Toussaint Ross explaining Star Line’s week-long festivities and allowing viewers to catch a glimpse of what it will be like to ride on the Good Fortune. 

Then, on Tuesday through Thursday special guest authors will be featured on social media:

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! Don’t ye forget – “@Brian Yanish” will be joining us here at 1PM to read his tale, Pirate Chicken: All…

Posted by Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry on Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Hygiene on the High Seas

On June 19, the Good Fortune will kick off the summer with five trips to and from Mackinac Island for visitors, and June 20 marks the first-ever Great Lakes Pirate Festival.

“We wanted to create an event that will give visitors an exciting reason to shake off the cabin fever that’s been building over the last few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jerry Fetty, CEO of Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet® Ferry. “And what better way to do that than with a pirate festival! We know there’s a little pirate in everybody, and this festival is a fun, family-friendly event that both adults and children can enjoy.”

All Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet® Ferry boats are sanitized, and common areas on the boats are also wiped down and sanitized. 

Passengers are asked to wear masks and to social distance during the festival and on all the boats. Pirate cruises on the Good Fortune ship will be limited to 80 people, while trips to and from Mackinac Island will be limited to 100 people.

For tickets and information, go to

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