Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet Ferry

Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet Ferry

Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet Ferry
4.5
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
See what travelers are saying
  • Stacy C
    1 contribution
    The two companies are NOT the same
    We had used the other ferry company (Shepler’s) on our last trip and figured we would try this one for a comparison. We waited nearly 2 hours in their parking lot in line to board. In the mean time, we could see the competitors dock. They had 3 ferries leaving their docks and Starline had 1 leave. Same scenario on the return trip. We will not use this company again.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 3, 2023
  • Alexander M
    5 contributions
    Not the best for impatient people
    It was a very long wait to get there. Got a reservation for around 9:30 in the morning; got on the ship around 11 instead. Lines are extremely long, everything is confusing, staff do not seem like they want to be there. We sat around the edge, where someone almost puked over the edge (if I looked at how close we were to the water, I'd freak out, too). Once we went to leave at around 8 at night, we found ourselves waiting until around ten at night. Needless to say, it was not great, but nevertheless, we got there, and we got back, so it was OK.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 28, 2023
  • Travel17_2004
    147 contributions
    Soaked suitcase
    I believe this is rare but my luggage was completely soaked through the suitcase to all the clothes. EVERYTHING! I had one piece of luggage. Had I know this was even possible, I would have hauled it on with me. When I got there they were like, hmm, weird. I called but no one could talk to me from management. Pretty disappointing to start your trip with completely wet clothes in October, not to mention a suede dress that was ruined. Other than that they were on time, but it was pretty disorganized getting back. They removed our bikes from the ferry and four more times tried to load them back onto the ferry. We had to stand guard to make sure they didn't put them back on until our car got there to pick up everything.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 16, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
637 reviews
Excellent
424
Very good
134
Average
46
Poor
18
Terrible
15

Cowboydavy115
Spokane, WA302 contributions
Aug 2021
I like Star Ferry since their dock gets us closer to the hotels we use. This is the first time that I had cruised under the Mighty Mac and it awesome. Morning was pleasant and the Lakes were smooth so the ferry ride to the Island was very special. And when we docked we were right across the street from our hotel. Very convenient.
Written November 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rose C
Dayton, OH97 contributions
Sep 2020 • Couples
Friendly staff and fun ride. Not all rides go under the bridge so ask before you book about specific times. Staff did ensure all we’re wearing masks on the trip but you could potentially be spaced closer than 6 feet. We’re being very cautious and felt safe.
Just get a bike once on the island and avoid the mass of crowds.
Written September 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for leaving us a review! Glad you enjoyed the true beauty of Mackinac Island. See you again soon!
Written September 28, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lakegirl1261
40 contributions
Oct 2023
We took off from the St Ignace side and the captain took us under the bridge and slowed way down so we could see the majesty of the bridge. Great crew, efficient, friendly and I love the rooster spray tail on the back. So beautiful,
Written October 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Griffin R
Chicago, IL10 contributions
Sep 2020 • Family
Waited in line for almost 1 hour to buy 4 tickets. Missed the boat because there was only one person selling tickets. Then waited for a boat at 11 boat didn’t come back to pick us up until 12:15. Leaving the island was just as bad of an experience. They give no refunds for boats not being on time, definitely hard to plan a trip if the boats don’t follow any kind of schedule
Written September 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello, thank you for leaving us an honest review. Please contact our office with more details of this situation. There has not been a time this year that anyone has had to wait an hour to purchase tickets in either Mackinaw City or Saint Ignace. We can be reached at 800-638-9892 *200. We look forward to hearing more about your experience.
Written September 28, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Allen B
Muskegon, MI1,149 contributions
Jun 2021
They said masks were required since it is regulated by Federal Transport Administration regardless of whether you are vaccinated. That was fine with us since some people would not be honest, but people downstairs inside were pulling them down once inside so we went up-top in the fresh air. The seats are leaned back so far that I needed help getting pulled out of it when we stopped. Very uncomfortable. Next time we are going to stick with the other line.
Written June 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alexander M
5 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
It was a very long wait to get there. Got a reservation for around 9:30 in the morning; got on the ship around 11 instead. Lines are extremely long, everything is confusing, staff do not seem like they want to be there. We sat around the edge, where someone almost puked over the edge (if I looked at how close we were to the water, I'd freak out, too). Once we went to leave at around 8 at night, we found ourselves waiting until around ten at night. Needless to say, it was not great, but nevertheless, we got there, and we got back, so it was OK.
Written September 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gregandkelly
Freeland, MI70 contributions
Jun 2020 • Couples
Waiting 1 hour for a trip to the island. Apparently a ferry broke down while we waited. Then we’re advised 7 minutes for the next to arrive. We might make it we might not.

Oh and no refunds, “says on the ticket.” Even though they cannot provide service.

Head to Sheplers!
Written June 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travel17_2004
Minnesota147 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
I believe this is rare but my luggage was completely soaked through the suitcase to all the clothes. EVERYTHING! I had one piece of luggage. Had I know this was even possible, I would have hauled it on with me. When I got there they were like, hmm, weird. I called but no one could talk to me from management. Pretty disappointing to start your trip with completely wet clothes in October, not to mention a suede dress that was ruined.

Other than that they were on time, but it was pretty disorganized getting back. They removed our bikes from the ferry and four more times tried to load them back onto the ferry. We had to stand guard to make sure they didn't put them back on until our car got there to pick up everything.
Written October 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stacy C
1 contribution
Jul 2023 • Family
We had used the other ferry company (Shepler’s) on our last trip and figured we would try this one for a comparison. We waited nearly 2 hours in their parking lot in line to board. In the mean time, we could see the competitors dock. They had 3 ferries leaving their docks and Starline had 1 leave. Same scenario on the return trip. We will not use this company again.
Written July 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

copperdragon66
Pittsburgh, PA662 contributions
Jul 2017 • Family
Unless you own a boat, or can afford a plane, you're going to need a ferry ride to get you to Mackinac Island. Star Line is one of two services you can take, and while they are about the same, running at similar frequencies, the Star Line have exclusively used the "hydro-jet" boats. These go a bit faster than the competitor's ferries, and create a distinctive "rooster tail" plume of water behind the ferry.

We took the ferry from St Ignace. My comments here refer to that service only.

If you've taken other cruises on the great lakes you might be used to narration, or friendly interpreters. The staff at Star LIne are friendly and helpful, to be sure, but they don't feature any narration on the trip. It's all strictly business, as you might expect taking any other public transportation.

If you have luggage, drive to the "drop off" point and unload your car and passengers. Then drive across the highway under the large sign that says "Star Line overnight parking" This is the only free parking lot and is inside a fenced area. Star Line locks this up at night when the ferry boats aren't running.

Tell the baggage handler what hotel or B&B you're staying at. They will tag your bags for you. You then stand in line and wait for the next ferry.

The trip takes about 20 minutes. When boarding you have a choice of upper (open) or lower (enclosed) seating. You aren't allowed to stand when the ferry is underway, although we did see a few people moving seats. Standing is strongly discouraged.

When you arrive, you will meet a porter from your hotel (the ferry calls ahead after tagging your bags). The porter will take your luggage to the hotel while you walk. I recommend you do NOT watch the porter taking your luggage as they will probably balance 5 or more suitcases on a flimsy looking bicycle basket and take off for your hotel. Don't dawdle, go straight to your hotel, the porter is waiting for you with your bags. Once having arrived it's customary to tip the porter between $2-3 per bag. They will have taken your bags up to your room already.

Top Tips:

If you buy your tickets at home, you can save money. The online system also has discounted packages for families, or several adults traveling together. You don't need to specify a time/date and many print-at-home tickets don't require you to visit the ticket office prior to boarding if you printed them online.

If you sometimes get seasick, note that while it's a short ride to the island, the straits can be choppy. Sit on the upper deck (fresh air) or take dramamine if the weather is poor - the lower deck was stuffy (no air movement) on our trip.

A few trips a day will detour to go under the "Mighty Mac" bridge. Look online at the ferry schedule for your travel day and see which ones go there if you're interested in a close up view of the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world. There is no extra charge for these ferry rides.
Written August 4, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet Ferry - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet Ferry

Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet Ferry is open:
  • Mon - Fri 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sat - Sat 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM



Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet Ferry Information

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