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Starting the Great Lakes Summer Cruise Season

The Octantis of Viking Cruises was the first ocean-going ship to sail through the Saint Lawrence Seaway and begin the 2022 summer cruise season on the Great Lakes.

Going through the locks last week, the Octantis will be sailing on the Great Lakes through October, including eight-day cruises turning in Milwaukee and Thunder Bay covering Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Ports of call will include Mackinac Island, Houghton, Apostle Islands and Duluth as well as a transit of the Soo Locks between Lake Huron and Lake Superior.

Viking Octantis

The 30,150-ton expedition ship is 665 feet long with a beam of 77 feet and can accommodate 378 passengers.  (Referred to as the Seaway Max, the Saint Lawrence Seaway locks limit the size of ships going through at a maximum length of 740 feet, a beam of 78 feet, a draft of 26.5 feet and a height above the waterline of 116 feet.)

Built by the Fincantieri-owned Vard shipyard in Norway, the Octantis was delivered late last year and spent her first winter season in Antarctica.

Other cruise lines sailing on the Great Lakes this summer will include Ponant, Pearl Seas Cruises and American Queen Voyages. Hapag-Lloyd, which has sailed on the Great Lakes in the past, is absent this year, but set to return in 2023.

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