Arnold Transit Company

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The Mackinac Express catamaran - these were run until 2013, but no longer run

Arnold Transit Company is the longest running ferry boat company serving Mackinac Island in Michigan. Also known as "Arnold Line," the company has docks in Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, in addition to the docks on the island.


Arnold Transit Company was started in 1878 by George Arnold (1846-1921). Coal-fire steam boats transported passengers and goods for almost 70 years to various Michigan ports and islands.[1] Mrs. Arnold brought in Otto Lang and Prentiss Brown to manage the business.

After World War II, Arnold Transit Company, now owned by Lang and Brown, started to add modern diesel boats to its fleet. In June 1946, Arnold, which ran from Mackinaw City to Mackinac, merged with Island Transportation Company which ran a St. Ignace to Mackinac Island route.

In 1987, the first of three catamaran ferries was added to the Arnold Line fleet.


  • Traditional Ferries: Chippewa, Algomah, Huron, Ottawa, Straits of Mackinac II.
  • Non-Passenger Freight: Corsair and Mackinac Islander.


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