Alpena, MI

Take a Boat Ride on the Alpena Shipwreck Tours

Heather Raulerson

Living in Michigan, it’s not hard to find something to do with water. However, if you want to get away and experience a new adventure, take a half-day and drive to Alpena, where you can ride on the Alpena Shipwreck Tours. This trip is a two-hour ride in a glass-bottom boat through the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which has over 50 identified shipwrecks.

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Photo by Heather Raulerson

Alpena Shipwreck Tours Information and Museum

You can order tickets online and save your spots at Alpena Shipwreck Tours. The main building houses the museum. We arrived early for our time slot, so; we spent some time looking at the exhibits. Open hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays, it opens at noon.

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Photo by Heather Raulerson

The requisite gift store came in real handy since we weren’t dressed appropriately for the wind on the water. I could buy my niece, Madison, an oversized sweatshirt that she was excited to wear as a dress. There were several hands-on ships to enjoy that you can see from the below picture that my nieces, Kayla and  Madison, are such hams and were acting out their very own shipwreck! My favorites were the detailed displays on the shipwrecks in the area. I could have spent hours looking at everything in the museum.

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Photo by Heather Raulerson

Alpena Shipwreck Boat Tour

We went on a slightly overcast day and still were able to see the wrecks through the glass. On a clear day, you could see the shipwrecks from the top deck of the boat. We were one of the first people on the ship, which gave us the first crack to sit and get the best viewing of the vessel's glass-bottom portion. The short ride before you get to the open water of Lake Huron has lots of photo opportunities. The historic Second Avenue Bridge won a beauty award in 1939 from the American Institute of Steel Construction, which you happen to go right under. Plus, you go right by the Alpena Light station that has been there since 1877.

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Photos by Heather Raulerson

Thunder Bay

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Photo by Heather Raulerson

As the boat gets out in Thunder Bay, it might take a bit of time to get to the first shipwreck site. You will be able to enjoy the weather and boat ride over the water. Plus, the tour guide will give you the history of the area and the coastline along Thunder Bay.

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Photos by Heather Raulerson

The Shipwrecks in Thunder Bay

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Photo by Heather Raulerson

Once there, the captain will slow the ship and hover over the site to get as many pictures as you like through the glass bottom. The tour goes over several wrecks of barges and steamers so; you can see everything from wooden planks to metal. I was surprised at how well you could see through the glass and that the wrecks seemed to be so close to the bottom of our boat.

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Photo by Heather Raulerson

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Photos by Heather Raulerson

Summary

This tour was quite an experience that I normally would not have tried if someone hadn’t mentioned it to me in passing. Since I don’t dive underwater, this is as close to a shipwreck as I’ll get. I have every intention of going back someday and hopefully get a clear, quiet day that will allow us to see even more shipwrecks in the water. Have you seen a shipwreck underwater before?

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Photo by Heather Raulerson

Have you ever been to someplace that was unique and exciting that you would like to share?

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Freelance travel writer and photographer who loves sharing her adventures from around the world. It is never too late to pursue your dream!

Rochester Hills, MI
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