Training ship State of Michigan departs May 21

TRAVERSE CITY — Forty-two cadets from Northwestern Michigan College’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy plus a chef intern from the Great Lakes Culinary Institute will depart aboard the T/S State of Michigan on the first of three training phases this Saturday, May 21.

The training ship will be at sea for five months, through Oct. 28, providing an opportunity for about 160 cadets to earn required sea time. Each phase will also include a culinary intern.

“The use of the training ship for an extended period of time, coupled with cadet berths on commercial vessels provided by our industry partners, will allow us to meet our goal of ensuring all cadets will have the ability to graduate as per their model schedules, regardless of the challenges caused by COVID,” said Academy Superintendent Jerry Achenbach.

Cadets must earn 360 days of required sea time during their four-year program. GLMA and GLCI have also collaborated for several years to offer internships to NMC culinary students during the sailing season. Cooks are in high demand by the shipping industry. A maritime culinary certificate that will expand opportunities for students in this niche area is expected to be offered in Fall 2023.

As the state maritime academy of Michigan, the Great Lakes Maritime Academy at Northwestern Michigan College educates and trains deck and engineering officers for the U.S. Merchant Marine. Graduates earn a bachelor’s degree, and an unlimited tonnage/horsepower merchant marine license. Read more about the Academy and see the cruise itinerary and map at

Release date: May 18, 2022

For more information:

RADM Jerry Achenbach
Great Lakes Maritime Academy Superintendent
(231) 995-1203


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.