Cruise line adds Escanaba as port

What's happening: Escanaba was named a port of call for American Queen Voyages, a lake-and-ocean cruise business under the Hornblower Group. Starting in May, 26 cruises will enter into the harbor on Lake Michigan, which will be the first time a cruise line of that size has ever visited the area.

Economic impact: Numerous groups of visitors will be brought directly to the Escanaba area, with focus on other outdoor and cultural options in nearby Gladstone, Rapid River and on the Bays de Noc. Partnerships with regional businesses and organizations like Sayklly’s Confectionery & Gifts, as well as the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center, U.P. Veterans Museum, and the Webster Marble “Inventing the Outdoors” museum will provide a wide range of other options once the ships arrive. 

The addition of cruise lines also rounds out an active port of military and industrial usage, making it one of the most well-rounded ports on Lake Michigan. 

What they're saying: “We’re thrilled to partner with American Queen Voyages to bring the first cruise ship to our shores,” said Vickie Micheau, executive director of Delta County Chamber of Commerce. “Escanaba is such a unique touchpoint of the region, and our rich history and proximity to nature caters to the endless travel experiences American Queen Voyages’ seek during their journey.”

What's next: Local organizations will lock down tourism opportunities based on day passes from the ships. According to American Queen Voyages President Cindy D’Aoust, the Escanaba area offers a lot of indoor and outdoor opportunities.

“This new port of call not only features world-class fishing that directly translates into one-of-a-kind, fresh catch dining experiences, but is littered with historic parks, lighthouses, art galleries, water sporting activities and more. From personal connection to nature to unique small-town artistry, guests visiting the new port can expect both solitude and excitement in any level of adventure they desire,” D’Aoust said. 
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