Dockporters on Mackinac Island

Published on September 30th, 2021

Ahhh…you’re taking a vacation to Mackinac Island. It’s time to leave your worries and your vehicle behind.

But wait?! What about your luggage?

Never fear, that’s where our friends the Dockporters come in.

Dockporters on Mackinac Island transport luggage from the ferry to your hotel room.

When you visit Mackinac Island, you’re sure to encounter someone riding down Main Street with an impressive load in hand. Suitcases stacked high on the front of their basket, luggage bags from each side, and suits laid carefully on top of it all. Dockporters are the folks who get your luggage from the ferry to your room.

And while these Mackinac Island figures have become something of a legend thanks to the newly released book, The Dockporter: A Mackinac Island Novel, they serve an important role on Mackinac Island. And one thing is certain: Dockporters have a ton of fun doing what they do.

It’s long days and hard work, sure, but they spend their days outside, interact with guests from all over the world and ride their bikes up and down the streets of Mackinac Island. It doesn’t get much better than that.

We sat down with three Mackinac Island Dockporters to get the inside scoop on all things dockporting: Meet Robert Chambers from Windermere Hotel, Gabe Hepker from Lake View Inn and Brady Litzner from Harbour View Inn.

Robert was previously a Dockporter for Windermere Hotel for 10 years and currently runs a variety of operations with the hotel.

Gabe started as a Dockporter in 2019, the same year he graduated from Mackinac Island Public School. He works as a Dockporter in the summer and attends Grand Valley State University in the offseason.

Brady has been with Harbour View Inn for the past six seasons and recently was voted by his peers Dockporter of the year in 2021!

Please note: Not all hotels and places to stay on Mackinac Island have Dockporters or get your luggage transported via bicycle. Luggage carts, horses, and other modes of transportation are also used. It is best to talk with someone from the property you are staying to get more accurate details.

What happens after the ferry arrives? Check out this Mackinac Island blog post for everything you need to know!


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