Viking Cruises recently unveiled its entry into the Great Lakes cruise market beginning in 2022, with Milwaukee selected as a primary destination.
The company’s Viking Expeditions joins the renowned Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises, offering travel experiences that highlight the destinations it visits. Itineraries on the Great Lakes are planned from April through September with approximately twenty voyages that start or conclude at Port Milwaukee.
More than 8,000 passengers from around the world are expected to board or disembark in the Cream City annually.
“Milwaukee is thrilled to have Viking Expeditions call on our city. We are eager to show off our cultural assets, our natural beauty, and our welcoming spirit,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “The cruise passengers will certainly add to the tourism portion of our economy, and the marketing efforts of Viking Expeditions will show the world many of the positive aspects of Milwaukee.”
There is increasing interest in cruising on the Great Lakes, and Milwaukee has seen significant growth in the number of passengers coming to the city aboard ships that regularly stop at the port.
Viking is building the Great Lakes’ largest cruise ship for its Expeditions itineraries. The ship will be over 670 feet in length, carrying 378 passengers and 250 crew members.
People aboard the Viking Expeditions Great Lakes voyages will enjoy in-depth immersion in the natural beauty and character of the region as well as the cultures of the cities it visits.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Viking Cruises as it planned this expansion of its offerings,” Milwaukee Port Director Adam Schlicht said. “Support from local members of the Milwaukee Cruise Collaborative has been instrumental in making our port a welcoming site for cruise companies and their passengers.”
The Cruise Collaborative is a coordinated effort of local hospitality and tourism interests along with operations and services providers that support cruise ship visits to Milwaukee.
Viking has been in consultation with a local company, Milwaukee Food and City Tours, about shore excursions for its Milwaukee visitors. Passengers will have a range of opportunities to learn about the city’s history, culture, economy, and environment.
In 2019, there were ten cruise ship stops at Port Milwaukee with 3,214 passenger visits. During this coming cruise season, the port anticipates fourteen vessel visits with more than 4,000 passengers.