New Era in Great Lakes Passenger Cruising

It's not just cargo moving on this inland waterway.

Cruise vessels have called on the Twin Ports in recent years, but it had been decades since Duluth enjoyed regular service or served as an origin/destination hub. If you've ever dreamed of being a passenger cruising the Great Lakes like Charles Dickens or Mark Twain, the opportunity awaits.

After extensive efforts on the part of maritime and tourism industry leaders, government officials and the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition, the Clelia II arrived in Duluth in July 2009 to usher in a new era of passenger cruise service here at the head of the Great Lakes. The luxury vessel made 10 one-way, weeklong expedition cruises between Toronto and Duluth in 2010.

Another luxury liner, the c. Columbus, visited Duluth twice in 2011 en route between Toronto and Chicago. The  future of additional passenger cruise service looks bright for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system. The Yorktown visited Duluth in 2012 and 2013 and is scheduled for summer stops here in the Twin Ports again in 2014. Check upcoming cruise itineraries at Great Lakes Cruise Company or Travel Dynamics

Coming and going. Travel Tips.

As with any kind of international travel, passengers on Great Lakes cruises that visit both the U.S. and Canada will need to carry photo IDs and passports to clear customs. Both international and domestic travelers can utilize the Duluth International Airport, only minutes away from where cruise vessels berth behind the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC). The airport offers convenient links to hubs in Minneapolis, Detroit and Chicago. A premier service for private aircraft passengers is available through Monaco Air, located near the international airport.

Whether arriving at the port of Duluth-Superior by air, land or sea, visitors will find a vast array of  opportunities to explore. Shore excursions can be arranged through Visit Duluth to accommodate a variety of interests, from charter fishing and Tall Ship visits to architectural and arts tours. For those wishing to view the harbor from the water, the Vista Fleet offers harbor excursions from May through October.

The Unique and Extraordinary

While passenger transport aboard a lake carrier is rare, the opportunity does exist through the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association, to enter a raffle and win a once-in-a-lifetime trip aboard a Great Lakes Fleet vessel.

Great Lakes Trans-Atlantic Passenger Service features a series of voyages offered between Europe and the Great Lakes on a number of freighters.* This service currently offers information on general passenger agents for the Polish Steamship Company that operates ships on the Great Lakes that can each carry up to six passengers. For more information on trans-Atlantic passenger service, visit

Reservations from North America may be made through Fred Cherney at (416) 444-2410 or toll free at (800) 268-6523. Agency inquiries should be directed to: The Cruise People in the U.K. Tel: 011 44 (0) 20 7723 2450; Fax: 011 44 (0) 20 7723 2486; E-mail:; or

Additional sites for freighter/passenger cruise information:

*NOTE: These vessels often visit Duluth-Superior to load grain. By the nature of this cargo, it isn't known if Duluth-Superior, Thunder Bay, Toledo or another port will be selected until the cargo is booked.

Passenger cruising on the Great Lakes is a dynamic and growing industry. For additional information, please feel free to contact the Director of Business Development at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

Check back for more cruises as they become available.