Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2023

2 1 Great Lakes since the 1980s in an effort to increase cargo trade and tourism, create jobs and boost economic activity in the local port cities. The GLS’s work helped encourage Viking Cruises to plan a Great Lakes itinerary in April 2022 for its first purposebuilt expedition ship, Viking Octantis, which debuted earlier that year. Viking will double its presence in the region with the arrival of its second expedition ship, Viking Polaris, in spring 2023. GLS is partnered with the binational Great Lakes Cruising Coalition (GLCC), which promotes the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System as a destination for cruise ships. Its members consist of US and Canadian ports, vessel agencies, tourism entities and the Seaway authorities, who work together to encourage the growth of the international cruise industry. “Cruise lines that work with the GLCC are provided with a wealth of information from lock transit requirements, to itinerary planning, port operations, shore excursions and facilitation support with federal agencies,” says Rebecca Yackley, director of trade and economic development for the GLS. Another big reason behind the growing success of the region is a new network of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities, which have been strategically positioned to provide greater predictability for itinerary planners and an improved passenger experience. With these initiatives in place, the Great Lakes are also perfectly positioned to take advantage of the growing smallship segment of the cruise industry. Approximately a quarter of the cruise vessels being built today carry fewer than 400 passengers, as guests look for a more intimate experience in destinations off the beaten path. “ Unique onshore experiences immerse passengers in local history, art, architecture and culture” Viking Octantis has spent its inaugural season in the Great Lakes region