MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – If you were anywhere near Marquette’s Lower Harbor on Thursday, you met our latest visitor, Ocean Navigator. a Great Lakes cruise ship of American Queen Voyages. The 286-foot vessel pulled into port early Thursday morning for a day of sightseeing in Marquette County.
Around 100 Passengers disembarked for a tour of area attractions including the lighthouse, Presque Isle Park and the history museum. An afternoon excursion visited the Iron Mining Museum and the Cliff’s Shaft Mine in Ishpeming. Visitors said they were excited for their tours.
“Today we’re going to visit the Maritime Museum,” said Herb and Cynthia Frank. “I think the art museum, and also Presque Isle. Yeah, so were looking forward to that.”
Ocean Navigator was in Mackinac Island on Wednesday and on to Houghton Friday. The 16-day cruise includes ports of call in Chicago, Green Bay, Duluth and Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Travel Marquette’s Executive Director, Susan Estler sees a resurgence in Great Lakes cruising benefiting Marquette.
“I think you can see for this size ship,” said Estler. “We can certainly accommodate to have them dock here, spend the day in Marquette County and then carry on to their next destination.”
Ocean Navigator joins Viking Cruises Octantis in making stops in the Upper Peninsula this summer. As the first ship of the season to weigh anchor in Marquette, the Ocean Navigator and her crew of 84 plan on making Marquette a regular destination.
“I think what makes Marquette part of our itinerary is the diversity of the history here. we like to give people different types of things,” said Leslie Baker, Shore Excursion Manager, Ocean Navigator. “We were in Mackinac Island which is totally different than we’re coming here to Marquette, which is all about iron and the university and things like that. So it’s just a lovely little port and we’re happy to be here.”
In case you were wondering, a ride on this boat will set you back a little $6,000.