Door County Wisconsin's Premier Vacation Guide

Shoreline Charters - Scenic Cruises & Boat Rides

8132 Hwy. 57 / Baileys Harbor Village Marina, Baileys Harbor, WI,
Property ID #
If you want to have some genuine Door County fun, see Door County from the water – with a knowledgeable crew aboard The Shoreline Charters / Scenic Cruises boat.  And the fleet is now bigger and better!

Shoreline Charters / Scenic Cruises Door County
Shoreline Charters Door County

Shoreline Charters/Scenic Cruises offers narrated daily sightseeing cruises from two locations and has three different size and style boats to accommodate individuals, families, or groups.  This is a fun adventure – so plan on taking a scenic cruise now! Read on (and save money)!

2019 s their 25th anniversary!   They keep doing things right!

Captain Jim (who owns the business) tells us that Shoreline covers 16 to 18 miles of coastline per cruise, and stops at all the scenic areas so people can get the photos they want. Jims says, "we get our passengers up right next to the cliffs, caves waterfront estates, lighthouses etc. -  and in fact with our motorized tour boats can guarantee it."  

Their newest addition to the fleet is a boat named
“Water Taxi" which departs from Baileys Harbor, with Captain Geoff.  The Water Taxi was an actual water taxi in the Chicago River for many years. 

Shoreline Cruises Water TaxiIronically the company who owned it in Chicago was named Shoreline Sightseeing (no relation).  Captain Jim who owns the boat now tells us he has taken the Shoreline Sightseeing Cruises in Chicago and highly recommends them to anyone visiting the Chicago area.  It is a former Navy Launch or Liberty Boat and is a Coast Guard certified vessel for 42 passengers.  Shoreline Charters/Scenic Cruises is the oldest sightseeing cruise company in Door County offering their narrated scenic cruises since 1994.  We just went cruising on it and it is a fun boat!

In 2017, the Sister Bay operation moved to Baileys Harbor.  From Baileys Harbor, Capt. Geoff is running the Water Taxi there and taking passengers to Cana Island Lighthouse, The Bird Cage Lighthouse (Old Baileys Harbor Lighthouse) and the Baileys Harbor Range Lights.  You will also see a lot of scenic coastline and go by several shipwreck sites and may see one if conditions allow.  A shorter Harbor Cruise is planned as well as sunset cruises.  They will be running cruises from Baileys Harbor with the Water Taxi and Gills Rock with The Shoreline.

Shoreline Cruises Water Taxi at sunset

Lighthouses and More - from Gills Rock

Shoreline Charters/Scenic Cruises also offers scenic cruises from their other dock in Gills Rock at the tip of the Peninsula.  The location is:

Shoreline Marina (Below Shoreline Restaurant and Motel)"
Gills Rock, WI  54210"
(920) 421-0922

Here they have another Navy boat - this boat named "The Shoreline,” is also a Coast Guard certified vessel for 16 passengers offering a more personal cruise.  If is lighthouses you want this is the trip for you.  They have a Death’s Door Lighthouse Cruise where you will see four of Door County’s lights:  

The lighthouses on

  • Plum and
  • Pilot Islands
  • the Plum Island Range Lights and
  • the Detroit Harbor entrance light 

New Cruise!  They now offer a 30 minute stop ON Plum Island where passengers can get off the boat and walk around the historic Coast Guard Station and Boat House, built in 1896.  The Shoreline staff will accompany the passengers to inform them about the history of this important Station “The Guardians of Deaths Door”.  This is in conjunction with one of regular Deaths Door Lighthouse, Islands and Shipwreck Cruise, they run the regular 2 hour cruise and add an additional 30 minutes to see these buildings.

Plum Island Coast Guard Station


Plum Island Boat House

Begun in  2015, you can see the wreck of The Grapeshot, which sank in 1867.  It is rare to be able to get into these shallow waters to see it.  So check it out, out of Gills Rock.  See picture below.

Wreck of The Grapeshot - sand in 1867 with people smaller

You will also see the over 100 year old historic Plum Island Coast Guard Station.  Talk about nautical history, this cruise is loaded with it.  On top of all that you will go over the site of several shipwrecks including three just at Pilot Island.  

"The Shoreline" is also used as Dive Boat so you will be able to see the outlines of some of the wrecks on their Hummingbird Side Scan unit.  Very cool.  You will also see the coastline of Detroit and Washington Island on this cruise and some interesting caves on the way back to Gills Rock.  

Additional Cruises
Aside from the Death’s Door Lighthouse Cruise they offer a Bay To Lake Cruise that covers the entire NorShoreline Charters in Door County With Coast of Door County from Death’s Door Bluff on the Green Bay side to Northport on the Lake Michigan side.  Aside from more towering cliffs and caves and neat houses you will see the Islands mentioned in the above Death’s Door Cruise from a distance and, if conditions allow, your Captain will position the boat directly over the hull of The Fleetwing which sank in 1888 and you will be able to see parts of the ship underwater from the boat.   

Also departing from Gills Rock is an optional private Sunset/Lighthouse Cruise that circles Plum Island where you can enjoy the sights there as well as enjoy a patented Door County sunset from the water.   Spectacular.

Staying on Washington Island and want to take one of these cruises?  Shoreline Charters can pick you up on the Island for a private charter either for a Deaths Door Lighthouse and Shipwreck Cruise or a tour up and around the north side of Washington Island or even Rock Island.  See their website under the Gills Rock location for private charter information.

Private Charters too!

Have your own group and destination in mind?  Shoreline Charters/Scenic Cruises has the boats to get you there for a personal private charter.  For larger groups from Baileys Harbor the Water Taxi can accommodate up to 42 passengers with plenty of seating and a large table.  They work with area caterers or your favorite restaurant for snacks, beverages, and food - or you can bring your own.  If you have a little smaller group, the 16 passenger "The Shoreline" is available from Gills Rock, Sister Bay, or Washington Island.  Have boat will travel! 

"The Shoreline" is also available for specialty cruises such as the "Out Island Adventure Cruise" that takes you into the waters of Upper Michigan and includes 6 lighthouses and 8 islands or an overnight trip to Escanaba, Michigan for a casino trip.  You can book a private charter for an hour, or a whole day! Call Captain Jim!  

And people love these cruises. Here are just a couple of the many accolades they receive:

1. “The narrator was a wealth of knowledge on the area and history".
2. "We have been coming to Door County for years and this is the best thing we have done".

Save Money $$$$$
We know you will enjoy your scenic cruise or private charters aboard Shoreline Charters/Scenic Cruises!  So check out their website for additional information and when you book your cruise please tell Captain Jim that the crew at sent you, and you will save $3.00 off your excursion.  Please tell them sent you - that helps keep this site alive and well for you - thank you.

For your convenience, here is a peek at their website. To open it fully, click the link on the lower left of the frame.

Click here