Discovering Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore with Pictured Rocks Cruises

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore hero image

I always ask the #AdventureParternForLife if he has any “special requests” for a new itinerary I’m crafting. Aside from him wanting to officially visit all fifty states, this trip, it was to visit Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. (Locally known as “the UP,” and where the “Yoopers” hail from.) “I have to see the UP. I have to visit the UP and meet some Yoopers.” Roger that, Hubs. So, off to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore we went. And I couldn’t have been more thrilled when Pictured Rocks Cruises agreed to host us!

Turquoise waters at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore


Welcome to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

When you Google “Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore,” the results will leave you stunned. Or you can just look right here. Yep, that’s the Lake Superior shoreline in northern Michigan. Just south of the Canadian border. Nope, all that color is not Photoshopped in. (Okay, I did a little Photoshopping, but that color is legit in real life.) And the tiny city of Munising is basically HQ for the whole shoreline. You’ll find Pictured Rocks Cruises right in the middle of its historic center at the Munising City dock.

Pictured Rocks Cruises boat

Our Pictured Rocks Cruise Excursion

We were told to arrive about 45 minutes early. Which seemed a little ludicrous at the time, to be honest, but we did it anyway. Sure enough—there were already two families standing in line when we got there. This was going to be an excellent excursion, I thought to myself.

The staff announced a variety of Coronavirus measures (outlined below) before allowing us to board. We were fortunate to get a couple of seats on the top level, and were even advised to sit on the right side “with that camera.” (This is funny since I purchased a new camera right before our trip. I had no idea it would be as obnoxious in size as it was. But, dang, that 125x zoom, though…) At any rate, more sound advice since the right side is the side with all the rock formations.

Once the cruise set sail, we learned all sorts of fun facts from our Pictured Rocks Cruises host. Like, how Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. Or, how it contains half the water of all the Great Lakes. And, that the Empire State building would sink beneath the lake’s lowest point. I mean… it’s pretty impressive.

And, the Spray Falls Cruise stops at pretty much every notable spot on the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore—Miner’s Castle, Caves of All Colors, Lover’s Leap. All incredibly colorful rock formations bursting out of the water’s surface. My personal favorites were Indian Drum (the featured image), Painted Coves (see insane rock wall with kayakers), and the East Channel Lighthouse on Grand Island.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Cruise Options

Pictured Rocks Cruises offers three different cruise options at a bagillion different time slots. The Classic Cruise is, well, the classic. It’s been offered for seventy years. Add a waterfall to the end of it and you have the Spray Falls cruise. And who can forget the Sunset Cruise?

Excursions range anywhere in price from $38–$45 per person, and kids 6–12 years old ride for $10. Under 6, and you only pay $1. Seriously. For two and a half hours and unforgettable views, that’s one heck of a deal!

Spray Falls at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks Cruises’ Covid Measures

Pictured Rocks Cruises took multiple measures to ensure the health and safety of its guests amidst a global pandemic.* It’s a bonus that the cruise was outdoors, of course, but regardless, the staff (and a number of guests) wore face masks throughout the trip. Cruises operated at half capacity and had every other seating row cordoned off. They disinfected the boats between every cruise, focusing on frequently touched areas, like handrails and bathrooms.

*Note: Health protocols have since been updated requiring both staff and guests to wear masks. Please visit the company website for the most up-to-date information.

Kayaks on Lake Superior

A Recommendation for Pictured Rocks Cruises

While the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is stunning all on its own, you can’t see much of it without hopping on a cruise. And I’m so glad we did just that with Pictured Rocks Cruises. Aside from receiving some great advice (more than once!), the cruise was entertaining and well put-together. The staff was knowledgeable and fun. And the company cared about its health measures, which I was very appreciative of.

If you’re ever in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a must-see. And, Pictured Rocks Cruises is perfect if you want a fun, family-friendly activity. The #AdventurePartnerForLife and I had a terrific time and highly recommend their services.

Undulating shoreline with rocks

Contact Information

Pictured Rocks Cruises logo
Pictured Rocks Cruises
100 City Park Drive
Munising, MI 49862
P: 906-387-2379

Did You Find This Post Helpful?

Support my coffee addiction and my blogging habit all in one fell swoop. Chip in with a one-time amount of your choosing. (Forever in gratitude, hugs in advance.)

Cheers, Jordan