William A. Irvin to re-open to public

Emily Ness
Updated: July 09, 2020 10:50 PM

One of the greatest ships to sail the Great Lakes will re-open to the public Friday for the first time in three years. And, in order to keep all who come aboard the William A. Irvin safe, the crew has established some new protocol.

Director Steve Rankila said both staff and guests will be required to wear masks and gloves as they take in all the ship has to offer.

“We will cover the complete and amazing history of the Irvin sailing the Great Lakes. We’ll be covering the engine room, the pilot house and the great estate room so we’ll be covering the entire boat like we always do,” Rankila said.

According to Rankila, the tour will now be largely self-guided, with tour guides stationed at various points throughout the ship.

“There are also some areas of the boat where we may have some literature in the rooms to read,” Rankila said.

Rankila said that groups entering the Irvin will also be spaced seven minutes apart to allow for social distancing.

Even though it will be different, staff aboard the Irvin said there is still a lot of excitement.

“The energy here has just been really, really good as we’ve been getting ready to restart,” Kaylee Matuszak, Executive Museum Assistant & Tour Guide said. “We have people asking: ‘Are you open?’ and we’re like ‘Tomorrow’ so people are really, really excited.”

Station tours will be available to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am-5:00pm through September and tickets will be available for purchase on site.

According to Rankila, the cost of tickets is $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and free for kids ten and under.

“I think that should be a pretty cool thing to see while we are here. Especially, you know, with it being open. Finding some history about the area and just checking it out,” Steven and Amber Lesher of Nebraska said.

Rankila said the Irvin did make the difficult decision to cancel the Haunted Ship this year, however, they plan to re-open that in 2021 and their theme will be ‘Terror in the Twin Ports.’


Emily Ness

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