Join Northern Breezes for a Special "Two National Parks" One Great Trip!

Start and Finish in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; Come to Appreciate Isle Royale as well!


Devil's Island Lighthouse over the sea caves

Devils Island Lighthouse above the sea caves
on a mid-September morning.

Northern Breezes Sailing School
"Best of Minneapolis - 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015"

"Two National Parks" One Great Trip!

We at Northern Breezes rarely reflect on how fortunate we are to have five National Parks in or bordering Lake Superior. We love so many things about Lake Superior from the “Northern Lights” to the pristine waters and deafening quiet and solitude of special places in both the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and Isle Royale National Park. Lake Superior is the defining geographical feature that links the five U.S. national parks bordering our great lake. We put together an opportunity to visit and showcase the natural beauty and intriguing history of two of these five National Park Treasures.

The National Park Service, the organization assembled one hundred years ago to manage the National Parks, National Seashores and Lakeshores recently celebrated a major birthday . . . Help celebrate the centennial of the National Parks by leaving and returning to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore while visiting Isle Royale National Park in between.
This special 6.5 day adventure is priced to participate, just like the parks. We will incorporate some hiking, wilderness experiences while living the life of a superior cruiser for our trip.

It's Sunset on Lake Ritchie, the lake on an island in Lake Superior!

It's Sunset on Lake Ritchie on the Island of Isle Royale. This is a very special locale in the least visited National Park!

Memories Maid at dock on Isle Royale

Memories Maid is pictured at Isle Royale. This is a three cabin, 2 head Hunter 40.5 which may help you create Memories in cruising comfort!

Is this a class?
Technically it is not. If someone wants to talk to me about Advanced Coastal Cruising as part of this adventure, I'll listen. It will be a great review and more sea time for all. It fits the category of a flotilla experience aboard the lead boat best.

None, but I'm looking for three or four folks who love adventure and are willing to sail at night. Lake Superior gets a lot smaller when folks are willing and able to sail at night.

How do I register?

Fill out the form, below, contact us by phone at 763-542-9707, or e-mail

Destination Vacations - National Parks 2017

What should I bring?
Comfortable weather appropriate clothing, athletic shoes, and offshore gear (We will send you a checklist). If you have your own PFD with a harness bring it! If you need anything else, give us a call we usually can help.

Isle Royale National Park . . . The least visited . . . The most returned to . .  . Create Your Memories Here!

Lake Ritchie's vastness in daylight!

Lake Ritchie’s vastness in daylight.

This is a sailing trip!

This is a sailing trip!

Create your memories on "Memories Maid"

Create your memories on “Memories Maid”

Edited notes from Isle Royale

Out of the vastness of Lake Superior rises an island known more for its immigrant wolves or lack thereof and moose than for its spectacular, National Geographic views as a park. The people who discover Isle Royale treat this isolated, natural paradise like no other national park: Isle Royale visitors typically stay 3.5 days, while the average visit to a national park is about 4 hours.
Most people get to the 45-mile-long island aboard a commercial ferry. As soon as they touch land in this wilderness park, they are on their own. They must pack in what they need and carry out their refuse.
This is rough, untamed country. Waterways may be fogbound and trails muddy.

"It's not like deciding to drive into Yellowstone, see Old Faithful, and drive out," a ranger says. In an entire year Isle Royale gets fewer people than Yellowstone sees in a day.
Everyone who lands on Isle Royale—even day-trippers—must stop near dockside to hear a ranger talk about low-impact hiking and camping. For example, water must be boiled for two minutes or filtered; chemical purifiers will not wipe out tapeworm cysts.

Human hikers share trails with wolves, fox and moose. They are descendants of the mainland animals that made Isle Royale an unexpected ark—moose presumably by swimming to it in the early 1900s; wolves likely by walking across the frozen lake between 1945 and 1950. Scientists have been studying the interplay of predator and prey since 1958. The study may be ending because the wolves are down to one or two.

On the trails, all you can expect to see are the animals' tracks and droppings, although quietly grazing moose do surprise hikers, particularly in swamps or dense forest. On beaver ponds you may spot the rippling Vs of the ponds' creating beavers. Foxes sometimes look for hand-outs. Feeding the animals is illegal. It is not healthy for them and increases the likelihood that they will scavenge for people's food and damage equipment later.

How to Get There
Passenger boats from Houghton or Copper Harbor, Michigan, or Grand Portage, Minnesota. Interpretive programs are held aboard the Ranger III between Houghton and Isle Royale. Isle Royale is 56 miles from the Michigan mainland, 18 miles from Minnesota's nearest shore at Grand Portage but 45 miles from Grand Marais, Minnesota the closest sailboat route.

When to Go
Late June to September; the park closes from November to mid-April. Summer nights can be a cool 40F. Blueberries and thimbleberries ripen in late July and August.

How to Visit
Although one-day visits are feasible at Rock Harbor or Windigo, you need a longer stay to appreciate the wild beauty of Isle Royale. A one-day visitor must sandwich a couple of hours of sight seeing between boat arrival and departure. Voyages take two to six hours, depending on the starting point. The best way to see the park is to backpack to campsites strung along the park's 165 miles of trails. The second best way is to see Isle Royale by boat with some hikes along the way. This is the Northern Breezes' way!

2017 Dates

July 14 - 21 (6.5 days)

Cost: $995 single/shared cabin. $1,895 single/whole cabin. Couples' price: $1,895.
$200 / in addition to bareboat charter fee, if joining the Destination Adventures on your own boat or a chartered yacht. This fee does not apply if you charter our boats or work with us to broker the charter.

***Couple Definition: Two people who wish to share a cabin.***

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Northern Breezes Sailing School
3949 Winnetka Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN  55427
Call For Free Brochure (763) 542-9707

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National Parks - Isle Royale - Apostle Islands July 14 - 21, 2017

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