The Viking Octantis, opening up the cruise season for the Port of Milwaukee on the Great Lakes on May 6, was met with exuberance by city dignitaries, politicians, tourism representatives and press.
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson welcomed its first cruise ship since 2019 and a first time visit from Viking.
The new Viking Octantis is making the city its turnaround port and will be one of 33 cruise calls from a number of cruise lines expected in the city – the birthplace of Harley Davidson – bringing 10,000 guests to this Lake Michigan port.
The 665-foot, 378-passenger, 257 crewed Octantis is the largest cruise ship to sail the Great Lakes and dock in Milwaukee.
In February, around $6 million in improvements were announced at Port Milwaukee to accommodate large cruise ship traffic, including a $3.5 million state grant to expand maritime infrastructure.
Cruise traffic this year is expected to generate over $2 million in economic impact according to port officials.
“Milwaukee is a great destination. It’s a city filled with attractions and hospitality. That’s what cruise passengers will find here,” Mayor Johnson said. “As word spreads, I anticipate even more travelers will cruise to Milwaukee.”
Viking is now offering seven-night/eight-day cruises that include Milwaukee, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Detroit, and Mackinac Island and start at $5,995.
Photos: Top: The Viking Octantis makes its way under the Hoan Bridge in Milwaukee; Bottom: (from left) Milwaukee Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevicl Adam Tindall-Schlicht, Director, Port Milwaukee; Anders Steen, Captain of the Viking Octantis Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Theresa Nemetz, Milwaukee Food & City Tours.