In 2023, four cruise ships brought over 4,000 passengers to Duluth, including the Ocean Navigator, Octantis, Polaris, and Hanseatic Inspiration. This influx of visitors had a significant economic impact on the city, contributing nearly $600,000 in direct spending to local businesses.
Regionally, nearly 25,000 passengers made 800 visits to Great Lakes ports, representing a more than 20% increase from the previous year. These cruises supported a variety of businesses in Duluth and other ports, including shops, restaurants, transportation providers, tour operators, and small businesses.
Dan Hartman, Executive Director of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center expressed enthusiasm about the influx of visitors to Duluth. “Many of these passengers would not have come to Duluth otherwise,” he said. “Now they have discovered our city’s appeal and we are thrilled to welcome them back again.”
Anna Tanski, Tourism Director of Cruise the Great Lakes emphasized the organization’s commitment to promoting unique cruising experiences available in the region. “The growing popularity of Great Lakes cruises as a destination is evident with this increase in visitors,” she said.
Cruise the Great Lakes serves as a platform for various stakeholders such as states, provinces