Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum Virtual Tour | Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe From The Most Powerful Icebreaker in the World! | USCG Mackinaw WAGB 83 Photos, History, Video of Top Attraction in Mackinaw City, Michigan

SO COOL! Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum Virtual Tour | Photos, Video of Top Attraction in Mackinaw City, Michigan | See The Largest Icebreaker on the Great Lakes!

By: Sherry Trautman | | Last updated: April 3, 2023

OMG, you guys.  Do you love touring HUGE ships, learning fascinating maritime history of our Great Lakes, shopping in gift stores, and diving into new adventures?  ME TOO!  You will LOVE the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum located in downtown Mackinaw City! 

  • Oh, and their gooey soft Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe is DELICOUS!

This ship tour is self-guided, so you can learn, read and explore at your own pace.  Chris and I love that! You will learn all about the United States Coast Guard's Icebreaker Mackinac WAGB-83 that was famously known as the “Queen of the Great Lakes” and “The Largest Icebreaker on the Great Lakes”.

While You Are There: See all that Mackinaw City has to offer! This Northern Michigan city is rich in history, adventure, great restaurants and so many fun things to do! 

Where is the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum? Know Before You Go

Address: 707 N. Huron Ave. #2, Mackinaw City, MI 49701

The Mackinac WAGB-83 is located on the eastern end of the old railroad dock. It is south of the Shepler’s Marine Service and north of the Hook Restaurant.  The walk to the ship's entrance is gravel so we recommend wearing closed toe shoes.

  • Just so you know, the ship does not have restroom facilities so be sure to use the porta-potties near the ship entrance.  I always pack toilet paper or Kleenex just in case it's out.
  • The ship has very limited handicap-accessibility and there are several narrow entrances and ladders. 

Discover the Fascinating History of the USCG Mackinaw WAGB 83 in Mackinaw City

On December 30, 1944, the United States Coast Guard Cutter, Mackinac WAGB-83, began her life as an important part of the World War II efforts.  During that time, iron ore, limestone, and coal were actively transported to the nation’s steel mills by ship throughout the year. As you can imagine, things got tricky in the cold winter months. Hence the need for an Icebreaker vessel to become a part of the war effort.

The USCG Mackinac WAGB-83 kept tonnage on the move by breaking ice and maintaining shipping lanes on the Great Lakes during the cold winters.  

Per Wikipedia, the Coast Guard determined that extending the shipping season by just ten days in the winter allowed the delivery of an additional three and a half million tons of iron ore, coal and limestone to the steel industry, or alternatively of 120 million bushels of grain to food markets.

  • The Icebreaker Mackinaw served the United States Coast Guard for a 62-year career before being decommissioned in 2006.  

So, How Much Ice Could the Icebreaker Break?

Kinda like, how much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood? (Sorry, I amuse myself)

During her time in service, the Icebreaker Mackinaw was known for reliability and strength. Per Wikipedia, it was capable of breaking through up to 42 inches of solid ice and up to 38 - 40 feet of shattered, heaped-up ice. HOLY COW!

How on earth is this possible? The ship's hull was armored with 1.625-inch-thick steel plating from her keel up to several feet above her waterline. Such an incredible feat to keep the Great Lakes open for commerce and transportation. I'm humbled!

Did you know

The USCG Mackinaw WAGB 83 was the MOST POWERFUL and Capable Icebreaker in the WORLD!!

Touring the Incredible 290 Foot United States Coast Guard Cutter

The USCG Mackinaw WAGB 83 opens for public tours in Mackinaw City mid-May and closes in the fall.  Check their website for hours, tour information, prices and accessibility information. 

June, July and August are fantastic months to tour the museum ship during your Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island vacation!

Wow! These Sailors Ate Well! See the Menu, Galley and the Mess Deck!

I just love getting an inside peek of the lives of those living aboard the Icebreaker Mackinaw.  During the week of November 29, 2004, sailors could enjoy a breakfast of made to order eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, blueberry muffins, chilled fresh fruit, pancakes and yogurt!! YUMMY!  

Lunches were just a hearty!  They could chow down on rib sandwiches, BBQ, vegetables, soups and delicious desserts.  The same great fare was offered for dinner of which one could choose (depending on the day) sweet and sour chicken, egg rolls, brisket, fish, baked potatoes, vegetables, pizza and so much more!  

Being well fed keep everyone happy, healthy and strong!

So, how many cooks were there?  3 cooks were on duty at a time but there were 6 cooks total.

Get The Icebreaker Mackinaw - WAGB 83 Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe!

How cool is this?  Here is the famous WAGB 83 Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe that was made for the sailors aboard the ship!  You can make them in your own galley at home!

What was the Food Budget for the Mackinaw?

The food budget for the WAGB 83 was $20,000 per month!!  It cost approximately $2.78 per meal, per crew member. 

U.S. Coast Guard Rank Information

Very interesting info regarding United States Coast Guard ranking. This information was posted inside the Executive Officer's Office aboard the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum.

Tour the Captain's Quarters During Your Tour of the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum

These are the Captain's Quarters aboard the USCG Mackinaw WAGB 83.

What Does the Bathroom (or Head) Look Like On a Ship?

Here is the ship's head (bathroom)

See The Berths (Sleeping Quarters)

When the Mackinaw was commissioned in 1944 the crew was all male.  In 2000, women started serving and had their own berthing area. 

Walk Through The Ward Room

The Ward Room is a space just for the Executive Officers.  It was considered "Officers' Country" and was a meeting spot, hang out and where the Officers enjoyed their meals.  As a perk, the Officers were served meals family-style directly from the galley.

See Yourself as an Executive Officer!

Chris was feeling like an Executive Officer today!  The area is open for tourists to sit behind the desk and pretend to be an Executive Officer.

Shop in the Ship Store

The museum also features a Ship Store where visitors can purchase souvenirs and gifts to remember their visit. From t-shirts and hats to models of the Icebreaker Mackinaw, there's something for everyone!


If you're planning a trip to Mackinaw City, be sure to add the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum to your itinerary. You'll have the opportunity to explore the ship's rich history, learn about its role in important events, and purchase unique souvenirs to remember your visit. So plan your visit today and discover the fascinating history of the Icebreaker Mackinaw!

You Will Also Love the Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven!

If you love ships, you will absolutely LOVE the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival!  Grab our Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival guide for the event schedule, parade info, concert tickets and fun things to do!

If You Love Ships, Check out the USS Edson!! Super Cool Ship to Tour in Bay City Michigan!

Tour the USS Edson!! Super Cool Ship to Tour in Bay City Michigan!

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

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We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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