Cruise the Great Lakes expects to welcome 600 port calls and over 20,000 passengers in 2024

Passenger numbers have more than doubled in a decade while the economic impact is expected to increase by 50 per cent compared to 2022 

Cruise the Great Lakes expects to welcome 600 port calls and over 20,000 passengers in 2024

Cruise the Great Lakes

Pearl Seas Cruises’ Pearl Mist at Port Milwaukee on Lake Michigan

By Laura Hyde |

Over 140,000 cruise passengers are expected to visit the Great Lakes of North America in 2024, according to predictions from Cruise the Great Lakes, the region’s cruise marketing organisation. 

Cruise ships will make nearly 600 port visits, bringing over 20,000 individual passengers to Great Lakes port cities in the USA, such as New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. 

The regional economic impact generated by these cruise passenger visits is expected to surpass $200 million in 2024. This figure, which is an increase of almost 50 per cent compared to 2022, is driven by the “upward trend” in passenger numbers, port visits, shoreside spending, and the growing domestic and international appeal of Great Lakes cruises, according to Cruise the Great Lakes. 

“As we look ahead to 2024, we remain committed to sustaining the vitality of our region’s cruising sector,” said Anna Tanski, tourism director of Cruise the Great Lakes. “In just a decade, the number of cruise passengers has more than doubled, and Great Lakes ports continue to thrive as hubs for visitors. We are focused on maintaining this momentum as we navigate the future.” 

Cruise the Great Lakes Pearl Seas Cruises Pearl Mist

Pearl Seas Cruises will operate cruise vessels in the region for the 2024 season

Cruise lines operating on the Great Lakes in 2024 include Pearl Seas Cruises, Viking Cruises, St. Lawrence Cruise Lines, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Plantours Cruises and Ponant, whose vessel Le Champlain will return to the region for the 2024 season. 

“The history of Great Lakes cruising extends back over 150 years, and the rich natural beauty of our region continues to captivate passengers in 2024,” said Anne Sayers, secretary of the Wisconsin department of tourism and chair of Cruise the Great Lakes. “This enduring fascination is a testament to the timeless allure of the Great Lakes, and the economic impact of cruise passengers supports the economic vitality of large and small destinations.” 

Cruise the Great Lakes Anna Tanski Anne Sayers

Anna Tanski and Anne Sayers

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