DULUTH, MN-- Here in Duluth we're used to seeing Lakers, Salties, and even sailboats pass under the Aerial Lift Bridge.
But for the first time since 2013, Duluthians will see a cruise ship docked at the port this June.
Cruising the Great Lakes. It's a 14-day, 13-night adventure that takes passengers through the 5-mighty bodies of water stopping at cities, big and small along the way.
On June 3, the Hanseatic Inspiration - owned by a German cruise ship company, will set sail in Toronto, Canada and make its way to Chicago.
The ship will make a stop at locations including, Lake Michigan, Straits of Mackinac, Soo Locks, Lake Superior, Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, Detroit River, St. Claire River, Lake Erie, Welland Canal, and Lake Ontario.
This year, Duluth is a destination.
"Great Lakes cruising has really become much more organized in the last 5-years and now we're seeing those results," said Anna Tanski, President and CEO of Visit Duluth.
The cruise line has scheduled two visits to Duluth this year. The second on June 12, from Chigaco back to Toronto.
If you were hoping to get your hands on tickets, you're out of luck.
Tanski said, "we're aware at this point that the cruise is sold out which would mean 376 passengers and about 240 crew."
What's the cost of this luxurious cruise? Anywhere from $10,570 to $22,370 a ticket, depending on the cabin and package you choose.
Duluth is one of the four-ports on the Great Lakes that's eligible to clear international passengers. That was approved 2-years ago by the council of Great Lakes Governors and Premiers, according to Tanski.
She said, "having international guests here is just a great opportunity for them to get a taste and flavor for Duluth and we hope that will entice them to want to come back in the future."
Visit Duluth's role is marketing the cruises. The team will manage and welcome visitors and ensure they are getting the best experience while in the city.
The cruise line is responsible for developing shoreside excursions for passengers while in the port, Customs and Border Protection will process international customers, and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority is in charge of all the logistics.
Visit Duluth said with the ship docking behind the DECC, officials are working to clear the way. "We're working very closely with the city and the port and the DECC to make that we have the infrastructure in place," said Tanski.
There is a price tag associated with providing the proper infrastructure in the Duluth port. Tanksi said that price is unknown at this time.
As for the city, there's optimism about how much more tourism money will be cruising into port. Tanski said, "it's certainly a great day for us to have several hundred people to come into our community and experience what we have to offer."
Visit Duluth says the city has eight-cruise lines that have expressed interest in Lake Superior and Duluth specifically.
They say they hope to see the next wave of ships come in 2021.
Picture Credit: Great Lakes Cruise Company