Viking Cruises to enter the Great Lakes in 2022
HOUGHTON — In a major announcement Wednesday evening, Viking Cruises unveiled its entry into the Great Lakes cruise market beginning in 2022. The company’s Viking Expeditions joins the renowned Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises, offering premier travel experiences that highlight the destinations it visits.
The Viking Expeditions itineraries on the Great Lakes are planned from April through September with approximately twenty voyages. The City of Houghton, Michigan, located in the heart of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, will be a featured port of call included in Viking’s 2022 Undiscovered Great Lakes Itinerary.
“Seeing the high level of interest and excitement about our area during their visit; their appreciation of the big lake, our landscape, our historic resources – a lot of the things we take for granted because we get to live here,” said Eric Waara, Houghton City Manager. “It should remind us that the Keweenaw is unique and considering the other ports for this cruise – we should be proud of our area.”
Viking’s arrival to the Great Lakes will bring the newest and most modern vessels ever to explore this region of North America and will mark a major commitment to local tourism and economic development for the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as the Canadian province of Ontario.
Viking is building the Great Lakes’ largest cruise ship for its Expeditions itineraries. The ship will be over 670 feet in length, carrying 378 passengers and 250 crew members.
People aboard the Viking Expeditions Great Lakes voyages will enjoy in-depth immersion in the natural beauty and character of the region as well as the cultures of the cities it visits.
Compliant to all guidelines and regulatory requirements from AECO, IAATO, the Antarctic Treaty System and the Governor of Svalbard, Viking’s expedition ships minimize environmental impact and meet the most stringent emissions and biosecurity standards. Additionally, the straight bow reduces fuel consumption, and a dynamic positioning system enables the ship to hover over the seabed without anchoring, allowing access to pristine environments without damage.
Viking has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), whose scientists will join expeditions in the Great Lakes to conduct research focused on changes in the region’s weather, climate and ecosystems. NOAA scientists may also offer lectures about the Great Lakes’ unique environment to Viking guests during these voyages. In addition to NOAA, Viking has also partnered with the University of Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology to develop the new expedition voyages.
“It’s been very exciting to work with Viking Cruises to connect their passengers with the Keweenaw,” said Brad Barnett, Executive Director of the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Being selected as a highlighted destination speaks to the amazing natural, cultural and educational experiences our area has to offer.”
More information about Viking Cruises is available at vikingcruises.com.