After a two-year pause, 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% from 2019.
“Great Lakes cruising makes travel easy, with no need to pack and unpack here. Travelers will find great value and a quality experience where someone else can do the driving,” said David Lorenz, Chair of Cruise the Great Lakes, and Vice President of Travel Michigan. “Great Lakes cruising offers a unique two-nation destination experience including a diversity of people and places.”
Cruise the Great Lakes is the region’s cruise marketing program focused on attracting more passengers. The region’s Governors and Premiers launched Cruise the Great Lakes, and it is now managed by the Conference of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. Partners such as cruise lines, ports, convention and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, associations and others work toward shared goals with participating States and Provinces.
Cruising on the Great Lakes is a growth industry and brings economic value to the region’s ports and communities. In 2022, nine ships will be cruising on the Great Lakes, including Pearl Seas, American Queen Voyages, St. Lawrence Cruise Lines and, for the first time ever, Viking Cruises. Altogether these cruises will generate an economic impact of over US$120 million.
Great Lakes cruises have fewer than 200 passengers on average and typically each calls on 5-10 ports around the region. Cruises visit both large and small communities such as Cleveland, Ohio; Duluth, Minnesota; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Muskegon and Mackinac Island, Michigan; Thunder Bay, Toronto and Niagara Falls, Ontario; and Chicago, Illinois.