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Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center News

Winter Fleet: Breathtaking Sights Are Headed Our Way

Bum Bum Bum Bum Ba Bum Bum Ba Bum! (sung to the tune of Star War’s “The Imperial March”). The force is strong with the 2018 Winter Fleet, and it's no wonder Sturgeon Bay is named the “Shipbuilding Capital of the Great Lakes.”

Every year a group of ships ranging from 500’ to 1000’ travel through the Canal of Sturgeon Bay to dock up for annual repairs at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.

Repairs can range from new coats of paint and inspections to vessel repowering. The Winter Fleet runs on a tight schedule and is dependent upon the weather, so repairs are crucial to their voyages.

Winter Fleet Heading Up the Canal

View the Winter Fleet in Action

Regardless of the weather, locals and visitors will get out their cameras to get a photograph of this breathtaking experience.

These massive barges are one-of-a-kind and absolutely stunning pieces of machinery that make their way through the canal and under all three Sturgeon Bay bridges. All of the freighters are guided by tugboat to ensure a safe journey to dry dock.

Plan a winter wonderland getaway to Sturgeon Bay

Admire the incredible freighters for yourself! Graham Park, trails along the canal station, and Sawyer Park offer some of the best and closest sights to view the Winter Fleet arrival.

Take a look at the Winter Fleet Schedule for 2018 along with our snow conditions report.

If you can’t make it to the water view in time to catch the freighters go through, make sure to check out Door County Maritime Museum’s live feed of the Sturgeon Bay Canal!