Touring in Detroit by boat is fun and interesting. Plus, a fresh-air cruise on the Detroit River will get you to places that are hard to access by bus or car. There are several tours to choose from that vary by propulsion, theme, waterway, and entertainment. To help you get started, here is a list of highly rated Metro Detroit boat tours and cruises. In each case, please call or consult the operator's website for current prices, hours and itineraries.
Type: Top narrated tour aboard former Mackinac Island ferryboat
Captain Bill Hoey hosts Diamond Jack's narrated, two-hour tours on the Detroit River from either Bishop Park in Wyandotte or Rivard Plaza in downtown Detroit. The company's tour boats were once part of the Arnold Line, the Mackinac Island ferry service, and they provide spectacular views of both the Windsor, Ontario and the Detroit skylines. The family-run tours are available Thursdays through Sundays. Snack on munchies for the boat’s snack bar as you cruise.
Address: 1340 Atwater St, Detroit, MI 48207
Type: Themed dinner cruise on a five-decker boat
If you crave a bigger boat, the Detroit Princess Riverboat is a five-decker vessel that resembles an old-time Mississippi paddle boat (sans paddle). In fact, the Princess (aka Players Riverboat Casino II) actually served as a gambling boat for several years in Illinois. It has a full restaurant, holds 1,500 passengers and hosts themed cruises on the Detroit River, including Motown Dinner Cruises and Moonlight Cruises. Celebrate the holidays with one of their special holiday cruises.
Address: 201 Civic Center Dr, Detroit, MI 48226
Type: Two-hour kayak tour
If you don't mind providing the propulsion, Riverside Kayak Connection hosts several tours departing from various locations on the Detroit River, including a Detroit River sunset tour, a Detroit Historical Canal tour, and island circumnavigation tours. There are tours for beginners and advanced paddlers. Custom tours are also available.
Address: 4016 Biddle Ave, Wyandotte, MI 48192
Type: Dinner and lunch cruise down the Clinton River
The Clinton Friendship, a double-decker vessel, hosts several cruises down the Clinton River from May 1 through October 31. During the week, the Clinton Friendship hosts lunch with a buffet and cash bar. The weekday dinner cruise also includes live entertainment. Weekend dinner cruises are a charming way to spend your downtime.
Address: 152 N River Rd, Mt Clemens, MI 48043
Type: Themed party boat
The Summer Cruise Series aboard the sleek, 138-foot Ovation Yacht comprises several themed party cruises during warm weather. The cruises, which can accommodate up to 300 guests, depart from various locations along the Detroit River in downtown Detroit. Most of the cruises are three hours long and have an open bar, live entertainment, and a strolling, three-course dinner with beautiful views of the skyline. Guests will be treated to themed music events like jazz, golden oldies, Motown and Reggae which varies by season.
Address: St. Clair Shores, Michigan