2 cruise ships plan 12 stopovers in Muskegon in 2022
Cruise lines Pearl Mist and Victory are planning stopovers in Muskegon in the summer of 2022. Other cruise lines are also planning stopovers.
MUSKEGON COUNTY, Michigan – The summer of 2021 was going to be the best year on record for the Port of Muskegon, with nearly 50 cruise ship calls.
Those plans fell apart because of COVID-19, and because Canada banned Great Lakes cruises, essentially eliminating cruises to Lake Michigan as well.
Most Great Lakes passengers travel from Toronto to Chicago, and growth has been steady year over year.
Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Larsen said cruise ship operators plan to offer Great Lakes cruises in 2022.
To this day, both Pearl Mist and Victory cruise lines indicate stopovers in Muskegon. Together, the two ships are expected to make 12 stops.
“Maybe that’s a good number to speed up and get the systems back on track,” Larsen said. “We want to make sure they have a positive experience here in Muskegon and with COVID there are a lot more protocols and it would be important that that go very well.”
Stops bring around 50 to 250 visitors into the city for daytime shore excursions. Larsen says museums and specialty shops in downtown Muskegon have the greatest economic impact.
“There is pent-up demand. The ships probably won’t be as full but the demand is there,” Larsen said. “People want to get back on the water.”
According to Larsen, a third cruise ship operator has requested stops in Muskegon, but those plans have not been finalized.
The Pearl Mist was the first cruise ship to call at Muskegon in 2015.
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