the boat handicapped accessible? We have been able
to access persons using crutches, canes, walkers, and
non-motorized wheelchairs in the past. Standard sized
wheelchairs, no wider than 27" can be boarded, and will
be seated on our lower deck. We can not accommodate
motorized wheelchairs or scooters. A written narration
is available for those with a hearing impairment.
your cruise run if it rains? We usually run if it
rains. We abide by Coast Guard weather advisories if
the weather turns stormy. We also monitor weather radar,
and if it appears that we are in the path of an approaching
storm (heavy downpours, electrical, strong winds or
tornado) the cruise will be canceled. Refunds or ticket
exchange for later the same day will be issued for purchased
tickets if we cancel the cruise due to stormy weather.
the boat covered/enclosed? The lower deck of the
Star has 20 screened windows and is climate controlled
(a/c or heat). The upper deck is totally open, but does
have a partial canopy over 2/3's of it. The bow of the
boat is open.
time is sunset? Our evening departure is set so
we may catch sunset on Lake Michigan. May departures
are at 8:00 p.m. – June 8:15 p.m. – July 8:00 p.m. –
August 7:30 p.m. – September – Call times vary each
week. These times may vary somewhat according to sunset
time – we will not leave earlier than times listed.
Call for additional information.
it better to take the cruise in the daytime or evening?
Our route is the same on all of our cruises. On our
evening cruises you will catch sunset on Lake Michigan,
as long as Mother Nature does her job! It will be turning
dusk/dark as we return from our evening cruise.
does your cruise go, and what do you see? Our dock
is located at 716 Water Street in downtown Saugatuck,
on the corner of Water and Spear Streets. The Star leaves
from and returns to this dock, with no scheduled stops
along the way. We travel up the Kalamazoo River into
Lake Kalamazoo (how far depends on water levels), back
down the Kalamazoo River and enter Lake Michigan with
permitting lake conditions. You will see the harbor
of Saugatuck, Mt. Baldhead, private homes
and cottages, boats of all shapes and sizes, wildlife,
woodlands and wet lands, pass by the site of Singapore,
as well as entering Lake Michigan, with permitting conditions.
Our live narration will point out local landmarks, points
of interest, and tell you some history of the Saugatuck/Douglas
area along the way.
the boat enter Lake Michigan? The Star will enter
Lake Michigan if lake conditions permit. The captain
makes a trip-by-trip decision when they can actually
see the physical condition of the lake. The exact amount
of time we spend on the lake may vary, depending on
lake conditions, and time remaining in the cruise. If
the lake is too rough, we make every effort to take
the boat to the shoreline, but the decision is up to
the captain’s discretion - there is no price difference
if the boat does not enter Lake Michigan.
you serve alcohol? The Star of Saugatuck carries
a state of Michigan watercraft liquor license. We sell
beer, wine, wine coolers, and mixed drinks (blended
drinks are not available). We carry bourbon, gin, rum,
peach schnapps, scotch, vodka, and whiskey onboard.
According to the state of Michigan’s LCC laws,
you may not bring your own alcohol onboard,
and must be 21 or older to be served. You may be request
to provide picture identification – valid driver’s license
(with photo), state identification cards or passports
are accepted. Please drink responsibly. We reserve the
right to refuse service to anyone that appears or acts
intoxicated. Cash only is accepted on the boat.
there anything to eat or drink onboard? Onboard
we serve chips, candy, juice, water, and soft drinks,
as well as alcoholic beverages. You are welcome to bring
your own snacks onboard. All
coolers are subject to inspection prior to boarding.
All beverages must be in an unopened (sealed) container.
Payment: cash only accepted.
there restrooms onboard? Yes, the Star has restroom
facilities for both women and men. These facilities
are located on our lower deck, at the rear of the boat.
NOTE: Our men’s restroom also serves as a unisex handicapped
long has the Star of Saugatuck been in business?
Star of Saugatuck Boat Cruises was established in 1978.
The original Star, was named the Queen of Saugatuck
and held 82 passengers. She was sold in May of 2002,
and is currently in Waco, Texas. The Star of Saugatuck
II went into service on June 23rd, 2000. The Star II
is an authentic sternwheel paddleboat, holds a total
of 150 passengers – 70 on the lower deck and 80 on the
there group rates? Group rates are available for
groups of 20 paying passengers or more, with advanced
reservations, and meeting pre-established requirements.
See Group Rate Information
for additional details. Payment accepted: cash or check.
early do I need to purchase tickets? Tickets are
sold on a daily first come – first serve basis. We will
take over the phone reservations for groups of 20+ or
private charters. Our ticket counter opens at 10:00
a.m. daily May through Labor Day. After Labor Day and
through October we open at noon (10:00 a.m. on Saturday’s
in September). Our busiest days during July and August
tend to be Saturday’s, Sunday’s and holiday’s. On these
days we suggest that you purchase your tickets no later
than one hour (or earlier if you’re in town) prior to
departure. For most cruises, you can walk in and purchase
tickets until departure. It is recommended you arrive
20-30 minutes prior to departure for ticket purchasing
and boarding. NOTE: On occasion the Star is privately
chartered, or a deck may be privately chartered and
not available to the general public. If you have a specific
day or time in mind you would like to take the cruise,
please call in advance to make sure it is available.
do you accept for payment? We accept Visa, Master
Card, Discover, debit cards, cash and checks (personal
or travelers) with I.D.. Payment made by cash or checks
receive a cash discount.
I need reservations? We do over the phone reservations
for groups of 20 or more or private charters. All others
are on a first-come first-serve daily basis. We recommend
calling ahead to check on the availability of a cruise
if you have a specific day and time in mind that you
would like to go. On occasion we are privately chartered
or have large groups where limited seating is available.
time may we board the boat? Boarding is on a first come/first service basis. Boarding usually begins 10 minutes prior to departure. When there is standing room only on the dock, we will begin boarding early for passenger comfort. We have boarded up to 45 minutes prior to departure. (Usually this happens during the months of July and August, on our evening trips).
Your entire party must be present when boarding if you wish to sit together - there are no saving seats, nor is there line cutting. We do this as a courtesy to all passengers who have been standing in line waiting to board. A crew member will do a head count of passengers going to the upper deck. It is imperative that, if there is an area in which you wish to sit, your party remains and boards together.
Persons with special needs, such as wheelchairs, walkers, canes, vision or walking impairments will be boarded first. Please let our staff know if you require assistance to board when you purchase your tickets. On occasion we have groups that charter a deck/partial deck – you should be informed of this prior to purchasing your ticket.
Please remember the everyone, including infants, requires a ticket for boarding.
Does the boat make any stops? You will board and disembark the boat at 716 Water Street, Saugatuck. The boat does not make any scheduled stops during the cruise.
cell phones allowed to be used on board? We respectfully
ask that you turn all cell phones off or to vibrate,
as a courtesy to other passengers. If you must take
a phone call, please go to the bow of the boat.
I take my children onboard the boat? Yes, we welcome
children of all ages. An adult must accompany children
where ever they go, at all times onboard the Star –
this is for safety purposes. You are free to move around
the boat with your children, and we use the “reach out
and touch policy” – you should be able to reach out
and touch your child at all times. For safety purposes,
passengers are not allowed to stand on chairs, or sit
or stand on tables. We would suggest that you bring
a few items for smaller children such as a book, card
games, small toy etc. to help pass the time. We do carry
a few books, crayons, and games onboard the boat for
your child to use. We respectfully ask if your child
becomes distraught while on board please take them to
a less crowded area of the boat to console them as a
courtesy to other passengers. Please let our crew members
know if they can provide any assistance to you.
you have fireworks cruises? Saugatuck offer’s fireworks
on the 4th of July, Venetian Festival (last Saturday
in July) and New Year’s Eve. We do not offer special
cruises for the fireworks. You will be back at our dock
prior to the fireworks, so you may walk to a spot in town where
you may view them.
you have security checks? We do random security
checks onboard the Star during the course of our day,
as well as a security system onboard. Due to security
measures being enforced the by U.S. Coast Guard we can
no longer allow passengers to bring packages onboard
the boat. Backpacks, diaper and camera bags, coolers,
purses, etc. are subject to random search. During heightened
security levels packages, backpacks and coolers will
not be allowed onboard the boat, and purses, camera
and diaper bags etc. will be subject to search prior
to boarding. Persons may also be subject to random search,
and asked to remove an article of clothing such as,
but not limited to a jacket or coat, shoes, etc. At
heightened levels of security levels picture identification
may be required of all adult passengers, and passenger
roster list kept dockside. Anyone refusing to a random
search or unable to produce picture identification will
not be admitted entrance to the vessel. No weapons are
is the proper attire? We suggest a light coat or
jacket for your cruise. It is usually 5-10 degrees cooler
on the water than on land. Shirt, pants and shoes are
required. Shirts and shoes must remain on at all times,
per health ordinance requirements. Shoes are required
for boarding. PLEASE NOTE: Some shoes on wet,
steel decks can be very slippery - PLEASE move about
with caution and care, using handrails. Ladies shoes
with heels over 1 inch, leather soled shoes and flip
flops are NOT recommended to wear onboard.
type of seating is onboard? The lower deck has padded,
cloth seating. The upper deck has polyurathane chairs for seating.
we bring our pets onboard? Pets are not allowed
on the Star.
Is there a narration? Our captains provide a live narration for your enjoyment. Local landmarks and points of interest are pointed out, and we'll also tell some local and maritime history - each captain has their own style and narration, and we try to point out "real time" activities on the river/lake. Our crew members are willing to answer any questions you may have about the area. Since this is a live narration, we respectfully ask that you please be respectful of those passengers around you who are listening to the narration - "Courtesy is Contagious." The narration does not continue for the entire cruise, and there is ample time to enjoy the companionship of your friends and family.
Is smoking allowed onboard? Due to state law, smoking is not allowed onboard the vessel. This includes e-cig's and any other type of smoking devices. Smoking is allowed outside of the building.