About an hour south of Grand Rapids is the beautiful city of South Haven. We recently toured the Maritime Museum and had two great experiences on their unique boat tours.
The museum is located right by the water with a beautiful landscape.
Our pirate chaser tour took place on a replica of the 1810 “Friends Good Will” tallship. Upon arrival, we first checked in to get our tokens and the kids received their pirate scarves and swords.
The kids immediately got into character and began challenging each other as we waited to board the ship.
While we were waiting to board the ship, we witnessed pirates stealing treasure from one of the museum’s nearby buildings and then flee in a speed boat.
Our mission was to chase the pirates and get the treasure back. After receiving safety precautions from the crew, we were on our way.
The channel we sailed through to get to Lake Michigan is only 12 ft. deep and the our tallship had an 8 ft. draft. This made the navigating skills of the crew even more impressive.
The crew modeled teamwork and even gave the passengers opportunities to assist them during the sail.
Adults and kids alike got to become part of the experience.
The ride was absolutely beautiful and our captain told us we were sailing at the “speed of discovery.”
During our sail, we finally caught up to the pirates and one of our crew members returned the treasure to our ship after a sword fight on the pirate’s boat. After returning with the treasure chest, the crew set off a few more warning shots so that the pirates would know to never return again. In the meantime, the kids were each rewarded with a piece of candy from the treasure chest.
The sail is 90 minutes long and includes admission to the museum. The experience was something that I will always treasure with my family.
The themed pirate chaser cruise is scheduled on certain days and there are also non themed crusies available. Children must be at least 4 years old to ride the “Friends Good Will”. Tickets range from $30-$40 per person depending on the time of day and theme.
If you family has younger children or you are bringing grandparents, the “Lindy Lou” river launch would also be a great option.
The ride up the Black River is super relaxing and slower paced. The cruise is around 6 miles and lasts about an hour. Older kids are given a scavenger hunt list of items to look for on their trip.
The boat is beautiful and gives you the feel of traveling back to the 1890-1930’s. Highlights of the cruise include seeing a covered bridge,wildlife, and hearing about the history and stories of the area from the tour guide.
We also loved reading all of the creative names of the boats we passed while going up and down the river.
The cost of the Lindy Lou River Cruise is $20 per person.
The Friends Good Will sail and the Lindy Lou cruise both include admission to the Michigan Maritime Museum. If you are just visiting the museum, the cost is $6 for adults,$4.50 for kids and $5 for seniors.
The museum has a lot of history and interesting artifacts to see spread throughout several buildings.
There are many beautiful boats on display with interesting stories.
There is also a hands on kids section where kids can role play the chores on a tallship.
I highly recommend checking out the Michigan Maritime museum for a memorable family experience.
Check out the Michigan Maritime Museum website to plan your visit. You can also like them on facebook.
Nedra McDaniel is Adventure Mom.
Encouraging people to try something new is number one on her list. She writes, “I have always loved to try new things because of my quest for variety. I’m more like an ADD adventure sampler. I like to try, taste and experience different things and places all the time. I will try just about anything and bring along my friends and family for many of the adventures I experience.”
Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I did receive admission for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
You can read about more of her exploits and adventures at her blog, Adventure Mom. [line]