Newest ship to sail the Great Lakes is a 105-foot schooner

The Alliance, a 103-foot schooner expected to sail the Great Lakes starting this summer. 

The newest ship set to sail the Great Lakes will look more like a blast from the past than a step into the future. 

That's because the ships that host classes taught by Inland Seas Education Association are intended to operate like the traditional schooners and sails boats that used to be a more common sight on the Great Lakes. 

The latest addition, Alliance, will make an appearance in Lake Michigan near Grand Traverse Bay this summer, the ISEA said. The 105-foot schooner has three masts and will serve as a conduit between schools, universities, nonprofits, and the ISEA's mission of fostering environmental stewardship in the Great Lakes.

"The demand for ISEA’s unique programs continues to grow and has exceeded our current shipboard capacity," said Juliana Lisuk, associate director of the ISEA. "The addition of the Alliance will allow us to deepen our impact by providing programming to more partners in Detroit, Chicago, Houghton, Green Bay, Cleveland, and other ports around the Great Lakes, while simultaneously having a larger presence throughout the sailing season at our home port in Suttons Bay." 

The ISEA teaches classes on a variety of subjects dealing with the Great Lakes, preferring to educate with a hands-on approach. 

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Some programs include learning about remote operated vehicles, introductory lessons on Great Lakes research, as well as several charter options for those that want to sail the Great Lakes. 

The ISEA's latest ship it's acquired will help it service growing interest in its programs. A lack of capacity in available programs has led to "many requests" not being fulfilled. Alliance was launched in 1995 and will arrive at its new home in Suttons Bay in May.