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Cruise ship making Thunder Bay and Duluth stops this summer

Jan 07, 2020 06:51AM ● By Editor
Hapag-Lloyd's Hanseatic Inspiration will visit Thunder Bay in June. It will be the first time a cruise ship has docked in the city since 2012. Photo: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

From CBC News · January 7, 2020

Prince Arthur's Landing will host a cruise ship this summer, the first vessel to visit Thunder Bay since 2012.

The Hanseatic Inspiration — owned by German company Hapag-Lloyd — is scheduled to dock at Pool 6 on June 11 as part of a 14-day Great Lakes cruise. The vessel, which holds 175 passengers, will be in the city for about 12 hours, said city tourism manager Paul Pepe.

"We're starting to see an uptick in new ships being built, globally, by a variety of different companies that are all [St. Lawrence Seaway] compliant," Pepe said. "That's certainly been one of the challenges we've had in the past in getting ships into the Great Lakes, and into Lake Superior."

"They might be a bit too wide for the locks, or they have things like bridges or light posts that stick out the sides, which makes them ineligible to get through the locks safely."

The interest comes as cruise companies look for new places to bring their customers, Pepe said.

"The Great Lakes is really one of the last untapped global destinations for cruising," he said. "We feel our time has come to really take advantage of that."

While in port, passengers on the ship will be touring the city, Pepe said.

"We anticipate some of them will be going to Fort William Historical Park, to Kakabeka Falls, some of them will just want to wander and explore the downtown," he said. "These companies work with shore tour operators to build a variety of shore excursions."

Pepe said the cruise is selling very well, but there's no word yet on whether the Hanseatic Inspiration will return to Thunder Bay after its June visit.

According to Thunder Bay News Watch, The HANSEATIC Inspiration, will depart Toronto on June 3 before making about 10 stops en route to Chicago. The 13-night cruise will hit all five of the Great Lakes and both sides of the border, with other stops including Tobermory, Parry Sound, Sault Ste. Marie, and Duluth. With a second voyage taking the same route in reverse from Chicago to Toronto, the ship is expected to make two stops in Thunder Bay in June. 

The great lakes route is an apparent success, with the company’s website listing both voyages as sold out on their website. Packages for the Great Lakes cruise range from $10,000 to over $20,000. The ship has a capacity of 175 passengers.

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