Pirate ship Good Fortune sets sail for 2021 Mackinac Island trips, sunset cruises – MLive.com


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The Good Fortune, a pirate ship with a costumed crew, motors through the Straits of Mackinac. Photo provided by Star Line Ferry.MACKINAC ISLAND, MI - A big group of friendly pirates is back on the water now that The Good Fortune ship has kicked off its 2021 season.Part of the Star Line ferry fleet, this wooden pirate ship decked out with water cannons and flying a skull-and-crossbones flag makes five trips a day between Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island. In the evenings, it offers a family-friendly pirate cruise that motors under the Mackinac Bridge, then launches an adults-only Nauti Pirate Cruise that’s BYOB and designed to catch the sunset.If you’re booking passage on The Good Fortune, know that this is not one of Star Line’s speedy Hydro-Jet ferries. The trip to or from the island will take about a half hour aboard the pirate ship. Its costumed crew likes to draw out the travel time a bit to leave room for fun, especially for some pirate games and songs geared toward their pint-sized passengers.“We slow the boat down on purpose so there is time for kids to have some fun and play some games and do some pirate things,” said Star Line CEO Jerry Fetty.The Good Fortune makes daily trips to and from Mackinac Island, and also has evening family-friendly cruises, and an adults-only Nauti Pirate Cruise. Photo provided by Star Line.The ferry service added The Good Fortune to its lineup last year. In 2017, Fetty had worked with the ship’s former owners and allowed it to dock at Star Line. After getting “10,000 questions” from little kids who saw The Good Fortune tied up near the faster ferry boats - wanting to know if they could ride it to the island - Fetty saw the advantage of what could be a fun business move. The ship’s former owners took it to the Upper Peninsula for a couple seasons before Star Line purchased it in 2020. Once it was under the ferry service’s umbrella, it could legally be used for trips to and from Mackinac Island instead of just cruising around the Straits of Mackinac.“I thought with a couple of little changes, people would enjoy it better,” Fetty said. “We made a deal, and Star Line added it to our fleet.”The pirate ship is a Southern transplant. Originally built in Alabama, The Good Fortune was later operated as a pirate-themed cruise in Pensacola, Florida before heading Up North. Last year’s initial season went well under Star Line’s ownership. Passengers seemed to love the open-air concept, knowing there was an interior space if the weather was not cooperating. And the youngest passengers turned out to be some pretty vocal fans.“It was the reason I was so persistent. I saw so many people - thousands of kids - interested in this. I just thought we had to try this.”Small pirates feel right at home on The Good Fortune. Photo provided by Star Line.And it works for the grown-up passengers, too. Probably because when it comes right down to it, cruising the Straits is never a bad option. And being aboard a pirate ship is just more fun.“Being on the deck of a boat in the middle of the Straits of Mackinac in the summertime, there’s not many places in the world that are better than that to me,” Fetty said.For daily schedules, pricing and more information on The Good Fortune, check Star Line’s website here.For regular Star Line ferry schedules and online tickets, check here.Headed to Mackinac Island this summer? Read more about what’s new: Cabanas and weekend brunch, 8 new things at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel in 2021Welcome to The Lawn, new picture-perfect Mackinac Island spot for food, funNew Winchester’s Whiskey & Bourbon Room brings speakeasy atmosphere to Mackinac IslandNote to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.
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