The Beaver Island Boat Co. (BIBCO) provides the chief means of trasnportation from mainland Michigan to tiny Beaver Island. The firm offers round-trip ferry service for passengers from early April through mid-December (twice daily in peak season). Boats depart from Charlevoix and land at St. James Harbor.
During the pleasant, 2.5-hour one-way trip, passengers can eat in the snack bar—or their own picnic lunches. On the island, visitors fill their time shopping, eating, beachcombing, swimming, fishing, bicycling and relaxing. Day visits might be a bit of a rush; overnight stays are more common. You’ll find several hotels within walking distance of the ferry terminal, but most hotels will pick up and deliver their guests at no charge.
One-way adult fares run $27, children $15, pets $10, bicycles $10, passenger vehicles $80 and up. Prices dip a bit during offseason. For passengers traveling without a car, the crew will tag and stow luggage at varying freight fees.
Passengers must arrive at least one hour prior to departure, 90 minutes beforehand for with automobiles. Passengers don’t require reservations, but all vehicles do.