A Great Lakes Moment from John Hartig

A Great Lakes Moment from John Hartig
May 15, 2018 John Hartig
Photo by Peter Mol via pixabay.com cc0 1.0

Great Lakes Cruising to Soon Include a Stop in Detroit

In 1819, the Detroit River was so busy with commercial ship traffic that the U.S. Congress designated it a public highway.

Today, it continues to be a critical link for maritime commerce as part of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System with 1,500 vessel trips coming through the Port of Detroit each year.

The big news for Detroit, however, is that it is about to get a little busier.

Photo by Victory Cruise Lines

Victory II docked in Detroit, Photo by Victory Cruise Lines

The Victory Cruise Lines has scheduled over 20 stops in Detroit between May and October of this year and over 30 stops in 2019. Victory Cruise Lines is a luxury, market-leader, all-inclusive cruise line operating two sister ships on the Great Lakes – Victory I and Victory II. When passengers step aboard these classic ships, decorated in teak and brass, they will feel like they are stepping back in time. For most North Americans the most comparable experience to this is European river cruises. Much like European river cruises, each stop on a Great Lakes cruise will be a city, some large and some small, with its own unique history, culture, and ways of life.

Capacity on these ships is about 200 with 80 staff to help provide a personal, unhurried, uncrowded experience. Fine dining is the standard, including high tea and cocktail hour. Also offered are on-board are enrichment programs by historians and naturalists who share their vast knowledge and expertise of the local history, ecology, and culture. Each port of call has a unique story and Detroit’s long history, dating back to its founding in 1701, and current revival are ones that people long to hear.

Photo by Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority

Public dock and terminal facility of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority, Photo by Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority

Victory I and II will be docking at the new public dock and terminal facility of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority. This public wharf can accommodate a variety of vessels, including cruise ships and naval frigates up to 500-foot in length. It is strategically located on the Detroit RiverWalk to welcome tourists and offer pedestrian connections to the many attractions along the riverfront.

Tourist destinations at the Detroit port of call will include The Henry Ford, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and others. The economic impact of Great Lakes cruising has not been fully measured, but Victory Cruise Lines estimates that the impact of these ships and their 200 passengers onboard, during one summer season of six months, is approximately $10 million.

This provides more evidence of Detroit’s comeback and interest in Detroit as a travel destination. Travel media company Lonely Planet agrees and ranked Detroit No. 2 on its list of ten best cities to visit throughout the world in 2018, just behind Seville, Spain.

So if you see the Victory I or Victory II docked at the public dock and terminal facility of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority or if you see one of them traversing our strait, reflect a moment about how far Detroit has come and how exciting its future is.

Featured Image: Detroit River at Sunset, Photo by Peter Mol via pixabay.com cc0 1.0

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