Media Kit

The 2024 Ghost Ships Festival is a community gathering for those interested in the thousands of historic lost ships that lie on the bottom of the Great Lakes.

Founded in 2000, the festival attracts explorers of all ages who wish to learn more about the nautical time-capsules preserved in the cold, fresh water of the Great Lakes. The Lakes have preserved the remains of thousands of lost ships, including everything from working tug boats to giant four masted sailing schooners and lavish passenger steamships. Today, their remains lie in the clear depths of the Lakes, often undiscovered for centuries.

The Ghost Ships Festival treats attendees to a wide range of technologies, exhibits, artists, musicians, scuba divers and explorers whose work focuses on Great Lakes shipwrecks.

  • Take a virtual walk down the deck of newly discovered lost ships through the magic of 3D virtual reality headsets.
  • Visit exhibits and attend performances by Great Lakes maritime artists and musicians.
  • See hands-on exhibits of the technologies used to locate, document and tell the stories of lost Great Lakes ships. Exhibits feature side scanning sonar, remote operated vehicles and 3D photogrammetry.
  • Attend presentations from professional underwater archeologists whose job it is to record, preserve and tell the stories of historic shipwreck sites.
  • Hear talks by the explorers and wreckhunters who spend their summers on the water searching for and finding historic lost ships on the Great Lakes.
  • Be the first to learn of a major new shipwreck discovery on Lake Superior, as wreckhunters reveal a new a deep new wrecksite, live at the festival.

Advance tickets for the full, two-day event are available at for $20 or can be purchased at the door for $25. People under 18 will be admitted for free.

All events will be held at the Inn on Maritime Bay, 101 Maritime Dr., Manitowoc, WI. All attendees will receive a $5 discount on admission to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, which is adjacent to the hotel. When booking a room, be sure to ask for the Ghost Ships Festival rate or use discount code TE321R.

Ghost Ships Festival 2024 Schedule of Events

Friday, March 1st, 2024

  • 6:00 PM: Exhibition & Vendor space open to the public
  • 7:00 PM: Wayne Lusardi, Michigan State Underwater Archeologist: Lake Huron Red Tails! The Tuskegee Airmen Project
  • 8:00 PM: Lee Murdock, Great Lakes Maritime Musician & Storyteller: Live Musical Performance
  • 9:00 - Midnight: Social Gathering in the Hotel Bar

Saturday, March 2, 2024

  • 8:30 AM: Exhibition & Vendor space open to the public
  • 9:00 AM: Roundtable Discussion: Using 3D Photogrammetry for Documentation and Interpretation of Shipwrecks – Panelists: Ken Merryman, Stefan McDaniel, Andrew Goodman, Zach Whitrock
  • 10:00 AM: Kendra Kennedy, Underwater Archeologist, Wisconsin Historical Society: Protecting Ships, Shipwrecks and Maritime Cultural Landscapes
  • 11:00 AM: Caitlin Zant, Underwater Archeologist, Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary: Two Years Before the Mast: Shipwrecks, Heritage, and the Future in the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary
  • Noon: Lunch - Catered Box Lunch available for purchase
  • 1:00 PM: Ken Merryman & Jerry Eliason: The Search for and Discovery of the Henry Steinbrenner
  • 2:00 PM: Brendon Baillod & Robert Jaeck: Discovery and Documentation of the Schooner Trinidad – A Case Study in Managing Shipwreck Finds
  • 3:00 PM: Yvonne Drebert & Zack Melnick, Inspired Planet Productions: All Too Clear: Using ROVs to Explore the Great Lakes
  • 4:00 PM: Dan Fountain: He Went Down with His Ship: New Discovery in Lake Superior
  • 5:00 PM - Midnight: Social Gathering in the Hotel Bar

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Brendon Baillod, WUAA President – – cell phone (608) 438-7246

Kevin Cullen, WUAA Vice President - - cell phone (608) 469-4898