Shipwreck Tours In Alpena

shipwrecksmIt’s funny how you can live near a place for your whole life and never even realize what you are missing. Nowhere was this more obvious to me than when we packed a cooler and headed to Alpena for a shipwreck tour.

For many of us, when we think of shipwrecks, images of Goonies or even Swiss Family Robinson pop into our heads. For later generations, Pirates of the Caribbean and Johnny Depp  may come to mind; and while the Great Lakes may not be known for pirates, shipwrecks  abound especially in the “boneyard” found right here along the Northeastern coast of Michigan.

Alpena Shipwreck Tours The Legends of Thunder Bay, offers visitors a unique way to explore the history of the Great Lakes of the area. Two hour tours of Thunder Bay allow you to stare down through the glass viewing area in the bottom of a boat to the depths below and see the remains of some of the hundreds of shipwrecks caused by man and nature throughout the area.  The tour itself allows you to relax and enjoy the beauty of our great lakes from above board where a guide introduces you to the area and its history. Upon reaching the marked sites which have buoys attached at each one as a mooring site for others, visitors head downstairs to take a look as the ship passes over the wreck below.  The tour continues to a couple more sites around the bay which is referred to as the “boneyard”, until the ride back to port. Highlights of the tour include the history of the area shipwrecks, the beautiful weather and stunning views and for the kids and the kids at heart, the shipwrecks of course.

The tours begin from the Shipwreck Museum which is located in the National Marine Sanctuary. Considered one of the most treacherous stretches of water in the Great Lakes, “shipwreck alley”, as it is referred is home to around 200 of the best preserved shipwrecks in America. The preserve itself is 448 square miles and is home to over 100 shipwrecks which are considered historically significant. Created in 2000, the preserve and the Maritime Heritage Center are definite must sees for anyone who enjoys Great Lakes history and the Great Lakes themselves.

Alpena is a considered a commercial and cultural hub in this area of Northeastern Michigan. Home to between 10,000 and 12,000 residents, the city swells with visitors in the summer months. Founded in the late 1800’s Alpena was a boom town much like the other small towns. However, thanks to its location on the Bay, unlike other towns of its era, Alpena continued to grow and today survives in part to the Lafarge cement plant and the Besser Company, but increasingly due to tourism.

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Filed Under: Northern Michigan


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