After a two-year hiatus, Great Lakes cruising returns with nine ships.

Pearl mist

Pearl mist

CHICAGO, June 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — After a two-year hiatus, Great Lakes cruising is back with more cruise ships and passengers than ever, according to Cruise the Great Lakes. In 2022, cruise passengers will make nearly 150,000 visits to Great Lakes ports. The number of passengers is up by more than 25% compared to 2019.

“Cruising the Great Lakes makes traveling easy, without the need to pack and unpack here. Travelers will find great value and a premium experience where someone else can drive,” said David Lorenz, president of Cruise the Great Lakes and vice president of Voyage Michigan. “The Great Lakes cruise offers a unique destination experience between two nations, including a diversity of people and places.”

Great Lakes Cruise is the region’s cruise marketing program aimed at attracting more passengers. Governors and Premiers of the region launched Cruise the Great Lakes, and it is now managed by the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. Partners such as cruise lines, ports, convention and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, associations and others work toward common goals with participating states and provinces.

Great Lakes cruising is a growing industry and brings economic value to ports and communities in the region. In 2022, nine ships will cruise the Great Lakes, including Pearl Seas, American Queen Voyages, St. Lawrence Cruise Lines and, for the first time ever, Viking Cruises. In total, these cruises will generate an economic impact of over US$120 million.

Great Lakes cruises have fewer than 200 passengers on average and typically call at 5-10 ports in the region. Cruises visit communities large and small such as Cleveland, Ohio; Duluth, Minnesota; Milwaukee, Wis.; Detroit, Muskegon and Mackinac Island, Michigan; Thunder Bay, Toronto and Niagara Falls, Ontario; and Chicago, Illinois.

Learn more at www.cruisethegreatlakes.com

“Cruising brings real energy to our Port and to downtown Cleveland,” said Will Friedman, president and CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. “The Port has invested in a new customs facility which, along with our great city, will make Cleveland a cornerstone for cruising in the region for years to come.”

“Great Lakes cruises are a great way to introduce new visitors to Wisconsin,” said Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary-designate Anne Sayers. “Whether cruise passengers are interested in culinary adventures, world-class golf, exploring rich history and cultures showcased at festivals and museums, and more, Wisconsin is ready to make sure they create memories that will last a lifetime.”

“2022 is a banner year for Great Lakes cruises in Detroit,” said Kyle Burleson, director of port operations for the Port Authority of Detroit/Wayne County. “We will have 50 port calls in 2022, with a previous record of 25. Building on increased cruise ship activity, the Port Authority is hosting a “Port Day” event on July 9 in coordination with a port call of cruise ships to highlight the heritage of cruising on the Great Lakes, both as a commuting option as it was in the past, as well as the recreational activity it is today. We are excited to share this legacy with the general public and invite everyone to come to the Detroit Riverwalk outside the DWCPA offices to learn more and enjoy the fun activities planned.”

“The growth of cruise shipping and the arrival of ships like the Viking Octantis and the Ocean Navigator on Lake Superior this year has provided our communities, the Lake Superior basin and the entire Great Lakes region to reach new audiences of global travelers as a premier must-see destination.This tourism segment growth demonstrates the power of Canadian and American communities, states and provinces and industry around the Great Lakes working in collaboration,” said Paul Pepe, Director of Tourism Thunder Bay.

“Like so many Great Lakes towns, the Port of Muskegon has a rich history to share with travelers. Passengers are interested in learning more about the Michigan Lumber Barons and all the products made here. They are excited to see the lighthouses and the beautiful freshwater beaches on Michigan’s west coast,” said Cindy Larsen, president of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.

“Travellers from around the world are taking Milwaukee to notice. With our growing number of cruise ship visits and rotating service from Pearl Seas and Viking, Port Milwaukee is ready and eager to show international passengers all the great things our city has to offer” , said Port Milwaukee manager Adam Tindall-Schlicht. “With summer festivals on the shores of Lake Michigan, attractions in our neighborhoods, and arts and culture to spare, we know cruise passengers will fall in love with Milwaukee upon arrival. We are grateful to Cruise the Great Lakes and our many partners for making Milwaukee an exciting hub for recreation, tourism and economic success.”

CONTACT: Craig Clark, [email protected]

Related images

Image 1: Pearl mist

The Pearl Mist departs Holland, MI on a Great Lakes cruise

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