Ocean Navigator makes inaugural visit to Marquette harbor

Great Lakes sees busiest cruise season in over a decade
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 8:34 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2022 at 3:37 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Ocean Navigator cruise ship is in Marquette Thursday, docked at Mattson Lower Harbor Park.

The vessel is expected to bring passengers from across North America and Western Europe as they tour the Great Lakes. The Ocean Navigator’s visit to Marquette Thursday and Houghton Friday is part of a 16-day roundtrip itinerary departing from Chicago. The Vice President of Vessel Operations, Bill Annand said this trip is a special occasion for the cruise line.

“This is the first time that this ship’s ever been to this area. It’s the first time American Queen Voyages has been visiting ports on Lake Superior. So this is the inaugural visit if you will to Marquette for us,” Annand said.

While the ship is docked at the Lower Harbor, passengers have access to excursions in the area partially thanks to Travel Marquette. The organization partnered with the cruise line to organize trips to museums and local attractions. The Executive Director of Travel Marquette, Susan Estler said creating a lasting impression could bring those tourists back to the area.

“Well certainly highlighting Marquette and the Great Lakes gives people an opportunity to come back and maybe visit some of the places they really enjoyed and on a beautiful day like this who doesn’t love Marquette,” Estler said.

The cruise includes stops at destinations like Duluth, Green Bay, Holland, and Thunder Bay as the ship makes its way through three Great Lakes. Fares start at $6,299 per passenger. Annand said while the ship itself boasts lavish dining rooms and lounges the main appeal of the trip is the cities the ship visits. He said the demand for cruise trips like this one is on the rise.

“It’s increasing. There’s more and more ships on the Great Lakes; we have two ships, this one and the Ocean Voyager as a sister ship. Then there’s other lines that are on the lakes now. Actually, this is the busiest cruise season on the Great Lakes in probably decades,” Annand said.

The Ocean Navigator was built in 2001, but was recently refurbished in 2019. At 286′ in length, the ship is capable of transporting up to 202 guests plus a crew of up to 84.

Learn more about American Queen Voyages on its website.

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