Viking Octantis visits Houghton Wednesday
HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - After three previous unsuccessful attempts, the cruise ship Octantis entered the Keweenaw Waterway Wednesday morning to the delight of the Houghton community.
Prior visits earlier this year were canceled due to inclement weather and winds. Viking Cruises is Houghton’s second cruise line to visit Houghton this summer with the first being American Queen Voyages. The Octantis is scheduled to visit the Keweenaw three more times through late summer and early fall.
“The community is very excited to have the Octantis and her passengers visiting the Keweenaw today,” shared Brad Barnett, executive director of Visit Keweenaw.
“Bringing a ship of that size into the Keweenaw Waterway’s narrow channels can be a bit daunting, but the weather this morning was perfect,” explained Barnett.
Unlike the previous cruise ship visits this summer, which docked west of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge near downtown, the Octantis plans to anchor in Portage Lake tendering passengers for approximately 3 miles to Bridgeview Park in Houghton. At 665′ long, the Octantis is nearly double the size of the American Queen Voyages’ Ocean Navigator which docked twice in Houghton this June. The Octantis is capable of carrying up to 378 guests plus crew. It is expected that around 90-95% of cruise passengers will participate in pre-planned excursions organized by the cruise line.
For community members hoping to catch a glimpse of vessel, the best viewing points will be in Dollar Bay and at the Nara Nature Park boardwalk off US-41. The boat will anchor approximately 3 miles east of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge and tender passengers along the canal to Bridgeview Park. The cruise ship will depart for its next port of call at around 6 pm exiting via South Portage Entry near Jacobsville.
For more details and information regarding the return of the cruise industry to the Keweenaw follow the City of Houghton, KCVB and Chamber social media channels.
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