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Sault Ste Marie's Blog

Finding Freighters in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Posted on April 29th, 2019

The Soo Locks Visitor Center (SLVC) opens for the season on May 12, 2019, and will be open for our enjoyment from 9 am-9 pm until mid-October. You can call the SLVC hotline at 906-253-9290 for an estimated freighter schedule for boats that are three hours out from the Soo Locks. However, if you want to know further than three hours out, check out these great resources to staying updated on the freighters. Soo Locks at Night by Mikel Classen

If the SLVC is closed but you still want to find freighters, check out these tools to help you! First, head to Marinetraffic.com!
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Marinetraffic.com uses the onboard satellite trackers that most freighters are equipped with to provide information on boat locations all over the world. Marientraffic.com provides a basic option, but there are also paid options. For the die-hard boat enthusiasts, there is a smartphone app with a one-time charge ranging from $3.99-$5.99 depending on your phone or tablet. Here’s how to navigate finding the freighters headed to The Soo. 
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First, visit Marinetraffic.com and locate the body of water you want to start finding boats in! Zoom in and out to see the different shapes clearer. Rest your mouse over an item for a short description of the boat, and click on the shape for more information. All shapes provide information, but most importantly green shapes are freighters.
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When you click on the boat icons each has an information card that tells you how fast the boat is going, its forecasted route, and vessel details.Marine Traffic Finding Freighters in Sault Ste Marie

This is all great information, but many people wonder what time the boats will arrive at the Soo Locks. Here is where our second tool comes in handy to help you estimate arrival times. Remember this is only an estimation.
Finding Freighters Map

If you are traveling to the Soo without a computer we have a secret method for estimating arrival times at the Soo Locks. Call Us! The Sault Convention and Visitors Bureau’s office is open Monday -Friday from 8:00 am-5:00 pm and we’ll do the work for you! You can reach us at 906-632-3366. The Marinetraffic.com web page and map are tons of fun, but during the spring and summer if you’re in a pinch for time you can always take a  shortcut and call the SLVC hotline recording at 906-253-9290.

Make your next trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan freighter filled with these great tools! When you post your fantastic freighter photos on social meial make sure to tag them #ILovetheSoo so we can see them too!