Five boats set to participate in historic blessings of the Fleet activities next week

The Isle Royale Queen III, which carried passengers across Lake Superior to Isle Royale up until 2004, will participate in Blessing of the Fleet activities here next week. (Courtesy photo)

Five maritime vessels will figure prominently in historic next week’s Blessing of the Fleet activities: the Odawa canoe Jiimaan, the 1800s replica schooner Madeline, the Isle Royale Queen III and two luxury yachts, the Canim and Elegante.

The Little Traverse Bay Band’s 12-paddler Jiimaan, or canoe in the Odawa language, will once again lead the Blessing of the Fleet boat parade on June 30 in Little Traverse Bay. Once prominent modes of transportation for Native Americans around the Great Lakes, today such birch bark canoes are often handmade as training exercises to connect youth to their tribal culture.

The Madeline, a 92-foot replica of a two-masted Great Lakes schooner from the mid-1800s, will be moored at the City Marina June 29 and 30 and will offer free public dockside tours. Madeline’s volunteer crew serve as tour guides and interpreters welcoming visitors aboard for a hands-on experience from bow to stern while telling tales of life on the Great Lakes.

Above: Madeline, a 1800s replica schooner will have free hands-on dockside tours June 29-30.  Below: Elegante takes part in a previous Blessing of the Fleet.  Five ships will take part in the historic Harbor Springs Area Historical Society's annual Fleet Week/Blessing of the Fleet parade next week beginning June 28. (Courtesy photos)

Madeline, a 1800s replica schooner will have free hands-on dockside tours June 29-30. (Courtesy photos)

The original schooner Madeline was built in 1845 in Fairport, Ohio to carry freight. This replica was built from 1985 to 1990 by volunteers with the Maritime Heritage Alliance, whose mission is to preserve, interpret and promote the maritime heritage of the Great Lakes.

The first of the Isle Royale Queen ferries, which carry passengers across Lake Superior to Isle Royale National Park, was commissioned in 1938. The Isle Royale Queen III saw service up until 2004 when Queen IV replaced her. On June 30, you can cruise Little Traverse Bay on the Isle Royale Queen III to have a front-row seat for the Blessing of the Fleet boat parade. This ticketed cruise leaves from Walstrom Marine and includes a full-service bar and appetizers.

Owners of the Canim and Elegante, private luxury motor yachts that figure prominently in the boat parade, are offering a rare tour of each historic vessel on June 29, as a fundraiser for the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society. The 96-foot Canim was built in 1930; The 63-foot Elegante in 1964. The tour is hosted at the Boathouse in Harbor Springs, and tickets include a cocktail party with the captains and a commemorative gift.

Elegante takes part in a previous Blessing of the Fleet. Five ships will take part in the historic Harbor Springs Area Historical Society’s annual Fleet Week/Blessing of the Fleet parade next week beginning June 28.

For information on tickets, this year’s charity raffle and the latest updates on “Fleet Week,” “Blessing of the Fleet” and other programs offered by the Historical Society, visit www.HarborSpringsHistory.org or call 231-526-9771.

The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society, a membership organization governed by a volunteer board of trustees, was founded in 1990 and serves to ensure Harbor Springs area traditions live on by creating lasting memories.

2022 Fleet Week Events

June 28, 5:30 pm – Learn about . . . Great Lakes “Cutter Rescues” Tickets are $25 and include wine with light snacks. Presentation hosted at the Harbor Springs History Museum. Reservations required.

June 29-30, 10 am-3 pm – Learn aboard . . . The 92-foot Madeline 1800s replica schooner. Free dockside hands-on tours from bow to stern with tales of life on the Great Lakes. Hosted at the Harbor Springs Municipal Marina. Open to all ages. Reservations not required.

June 29,5 pm– Step aboard . . . luxury yachts, Canim historic and Eleganté Tickets are $250 and include a cocktail party and commemorative gift. Hosted at The Boathouse. Limited tickets. Reservations required.

June 30, 6 pm – Get on board. . . Your boat, kayak or paddleboard Celebrate our 10th annual parade and receive your blessing for a safe boating season. Site: Little Traverse Bay. Reservations appreciated for water safety.

June 30, 5 pm – Cruise on board. . . The 81-foot historic Isle Royale Queen III Tickets are $200 and include a full-service bar and light snacks to enjoy while viewing the boat parade from the inside cabin or top deck. Departs from Walstrom Marine in Harbor Springs. Limited Tickets. Reservations required.

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