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Approx when would the 2020 schedule release?

Questions about how to get to the island and where to stay near points of departure.

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Approx when would the 2020 schedule release?

Post by NoaNadeem »

Based on past year experiences, when approximately does the ferry schedule release and is bookable for the 2020 season?

Bonus question if you're from the area and know from past experience - approx when would the schedule release and be bookable for national park boat tours for Voyaguer Lakes National Park also?

Trying to plan out a long itinerary which has a lot of moving parts and need to lock in some dates, but need the schedule.

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Re: Approx when would the 2020 schedule release?

Post by Ingo »

For the park service boat, the Ranger III out of Houghton, it's Jan 2. ... ctions.htm
From Grand Portage (Voyageur II and Sea Hunter), when their schedule is approved, but I believe it's been in Jan the last couple years:
From Copper Harbor (Queen IV), they say mid-December:

As far as planning, the boat schedules haven't changed much in years (or decades). For planning purposes the only real question becomes first and last trips, and when they switch from reduced to full schedules. Unless you're close to those dates, you can use last year's schedules and be pretty confident as to the days of the week.
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 13: RH-PI, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF

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Re: Approx when would the 2020 schedule release?

Post by Midwest Ed »

In general, the trend seems to have been that additional days/voyages keep getting added a bit each year, so I doubt you'll see a reduction from last year's schedules. Don't pay attention to the historic dates, instead observe the weeks of the months of interest. The days of a given week for service has never changed much.

Your starting point is knowing the Houghton, MI boat (NPS Ranger III) and one of the Grand Portage, MN boats (Voyageur II) go out on one day, overnight on the Island, and then return the next day, while the Copper Harbor, MI (Isle Royale Queen IV) and the 2nd Grand Portage, MN (Sea Hunter) go out and back in one day. Weather can very occasionally cause delays from a few hours to an entire day. This is quite rare and occurs more frequently late in the season but it's good to not plan something super important close to your schedule. Very early season and very late season do vary from these general schedules.

Another noteworthy thing is the Voyageur II offers a wide variety of pickup and drop off points. These can help create a more desirable hiking experience. Even if Michigan might be closer for you it could be worth the additional drive to Minnesota.

The combined schedule at the top of this forum should help. Each page represents a change in weekly schedules.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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Re: Approx when would the 2020 schedule release?

Post by chippy »

In regards to your question about Voyageurs National Park boat tour tickets- you can almost always buy them the day of. That being said, if you have a very specific plan and want to guarantee yourself a seat, you can absolutely reserve them ahead of time. I just don't think you'll have any problem getting what you want on basically any day you want haha. I live at Voyageurs, btw.

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