SAUGATUCK, Mich. — One of the most classic CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival) tunes of the late 1960s (and a wedding favorite) was Proud Mary, talking about the famous Mississippi River Boats with the giant paddle wheels. Listen to the song here. Now you can enjoy such a boat right here in West Michigan in Saugatuck.
It’s called the Star of Saugatuck. The boat has giant sternwheeler paddles and takes several trips down the Kalamazoo River out to Lake Michigan each day. The trips operate from May through October and leave daily from the dock in Saugatuck. It’s a huge tourist attraction and a must on most people’s list. Even local Michiganders should experience the ride, rest, and relaxation of the paddle wheeler boat.
The 51 ton vessel only sits about three feet in the water, and takes more than a one hour trip down the Kalamazoo River rain or shine. It can seat 150 people and has a mainly open upper deck, an enclosed climate controlled lower deck, and everything from refreshments, to snacks, to alcohol is served with its crew of three.
The views from the river are fantastic, including the upscale homes, local landscape, and the boats moored along all the docks. If there are no huge waves on Lake Michigan, the Star will actually head out briefly in to Lake Michigan and cruise south to Oval Beach. There’s even sunset cruises available to help capture the final daylight moments before, during, and after the setting sun on beautiful Lake Michigan. Don’t forget the fall color cruises too!