First cruise ship to arrive in Milwaukee's Harbor in May, more than 10K passengers expected to visit this summer

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson announced the Viking Octantis will be the first cruise ship to visit Port Milwaukee as part of the 2022 season.

According to a news release, the Seawaymax vessel named "Viking Octantis" is scheduled to dock in Milwaukee’s Harbor on May 6, and begin a summer season where 33 port calls by various cruise ships are planned, bringing more than 10,000 passengers to the city. This is compared to the 10 stops made during the 2019 season, before Great Lakes cruising halted for two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Operated by Viking Cruises, the Viking Octantis can carry up to 378 passengers on voyages throughout the Great Lakes. The 2022 cruising season represents the first time this ship will designate Milwaukee as an embarkation and debarkation port for the company’s itineraries.

“Milwaukee is a great destination. It’s a city filled with attractions and hospitality. That’s what cruise passengers will find here,” Mayor Cavalier Johnson said. “As word spreads, I anticipate even more travelers will cruise to Milwaukee.”

Viking Cruises will utilize the Port’s City Heavy Lift Dock this season as their port-of-call location. The South Shore Cruise Dock, located immediately east of the Lake Express High Speed Ferry terminal, will serve as the future port-of-call for vessels the size of the Viking Octantis.

Port Milwaukee recently received $3.5 million in Capital Tourism grant funding from the State of Wisconsin to build new Seawaymax infrastructure at South Shore Cruise Dock.

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