Getting to the Islands

Though Apostle Islands National Lakeshore features several points of interest located on the mainland, most people consider the islands themselves to be the most rewarding destination.

Getting to these islands on Lake Superior can be a challenge, but there are several ways to go about it:

Skip ahead on this page:
On Your Own
Apostle Islands Cruises
Commercial Services - boat tours, kayak outfitters, water taxis, & fishing charters
Car Ferry to Madeline Island

Campsite GPS Coordinates (62.8kb pdf)


On Your Own

If you'd like to take your own boat out onto Lake Superior, or paddle a kayak to one of the islands, visit one of these pages for essential information:

Boating in the Apostle Islands

Kayaking in the Apostle Islands


Ride the Excursion Boat - NPS Concession Operated Tours and Trips

  • Up to 140 passengers
  • Narrated Sightseeing Tours and Island Shuttles (no island shuttles in 2021)

Island Tours/Shuttles
Apostle Islands Cruises (AIC) is authorized by the National Park Service and U.S. Department of the Interior as a park concessioner to serve the public within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

AIC offers a variety of narrated sightseeing cruises and island shuttles to islands and offshore locations throughout the national lakeshore. The most popular is the 55-mile "Grand Tour" which travels through the heart of the Apostle Islands archipelago. Trips leave from Bayfield daily from late May to mid-October.

Cruises provide views of most of the islands, as well as close looks at dramatic sandstone cliffs and historic lighthouses. Other cruises are available in the afternoon and evening with the opportunity to see sunsets, sea caves, and lighthouses.

Daily shuttles provide visitors with boat transportation services to specific islands, where you can visit a lighthouse, hike, picnic, bird-watch, or explore natural and cultural areas on your own.

For a complete schedule of this year's cruise offerings, visit their website at

The AIC office is located in the Bayfield Pavilion near the city dock at the bottom of Rittenhouse Avenue in Bayfield, WI. All cruises depart from the Bayfield City Dock. Reservations are recommended. For more information call 800- 323-7619 or visit on-line at

For more information:
Apostle Islands Cruises
P.O. Box 691
Bayfield, WI 54814


Commercial Services - Tours, Kayak Outfitters, Charters, and Water Taxis

Commercial services in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore provide a variety of ways to see and enjoy the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. They offer opportunities to learn, explore, and experience the park through unique and specialized trips, tours, adventures and expeditions. The commercial services page has a full listing of all the authorized commercial services allowed in the Lakeshore.


Car Ferry to Madeline Island

Madeline Island, the only one of the Apostle Islands accessible by automobile, is not within the National Lakeshore. Attractions on Madeline Island include Big Bay State Park, with its lakeside campground, and the Madeline Island Historical Museum, with its exhibits about the fur trade era. The island offers full tourist services. Scheduled car ferries from Bayfield run from spring breakup to winter freezeup.

For further information on Madeline Island, contact the:
Madeline Island Chamber of Commerce


Last updated: June 9, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

415 Washington Avenue
Bayfield, WI 54814


(715) 779-3397

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