The cruising season for the Great Lakes runs from late May through mid-September, from the end of the North American spring season through summer and into early autumn.
The most popular time to cruise the Great Lakes is during the generally sunny summer months of July and August when temperatures can reach into the 90s F during the day. There is higher humidity during these months, and there are occasional thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon, but these storms are short and pass quickly.
The autumn months of late August through September can be a great time to visit the Great Lakes for those who hope to see the trees in their complete colorful transition before dropping their leaves for the cold northern winters. Days during the fall season are brisk and range from cool to warm, and nights can get chillier later in the cruising season.
The same is true for the spring season of Great Lakes cruising when it begins in late May, with nights that can dip into lower temperatures (still usually above freezing) and days that are generally pretty warm but seldom hot. By summer, temperatures are typically hot.
No matter when you’re planning your cruise, be aware that high winds at the port may delay your departure.