Private ferry charters?

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

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Private ferry charters?

Post by julie.lynn » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:10 pm

Does anyone know of private boat/ship operators who could be chartered to transport 40-60 people to the island?

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Re: Private ferry charters?

Post by jrwiesz » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:25 pm

I would start with the park service to get an idea of the logistics of such a request.

I would also check with Forever Resorts to seek the same.

My guess is that it is not likely that the NPS would allow that many in one group/activity at one time.
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Re: Private ferry charters?

Post by Midwest Ed » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:42 pm

"Back in the day", we chartered the Isle Royale Queen II (aka Barf Barge) in mid May, before the ferries (or at least the Queen) started running back then. I can't remember how many people but it must have been 2 or 3 dozen Michigan Tech Students. It was just for an extended weekend, like Thursday to Sunday. I remember they dropped us off at Daisy Farm so it was easier for everyone to "disperse". Of course we all split up into smaller, "regulation sized" groups. This was actually my very first trip. Today the Queen IV starts running in early May but only twice a week so they might be interested in an extra trip. The park opens on April 15th. Or late in the season might work. Give the Queen a call. Similar circumstances and possibilities might exist early and late season with Capt Don and the ferries operating out of Grand Portage MN.

Even if you could find someone else with a boat large enough I think there will be logistical problems. There are all kinds of Coast Guard licensing requirements regarding boats for hire. Plus there are National Park Service requirements. It is difficult and extra expensive to even hire a fishing charter to take you to Island waters as they need special permits from the park service.
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Re: Private ferry charters?

Post by Tom » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:18 am

I'm guessing anyone you work with probably also needs to be a concessionaire of the parks, or receive an exemption, so that might complicate it.
I know Capt Don/Grand Portage Isle Royale has done similar things in the past if it works out for a day a ferry would be free.
I don't think the V-II can carry 60, but that might be close for the Sea Hunter. (Which tends to have better availability on the edges of the season, anyway.)
I would send them a note or call them via the contact info on their website.

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