HOUGHTON – Have you ever wanted to tour the great lakes? Well now you can. Summer cruise ships by Viking are coming from Antarctica to the Keweenaw. The ships will offer a seven day cruise around the pride of Michigan. They spend several months as research vessels on the seventh continent before spending summer on Michigan’s fresh coast. Keweenaw convention and visitors bureau Executive Director Brad Barnett said he’s excited about the ships coming in to the local harbor, and what it could mean for the economy.

“People wan to know when the ships are coming in. They want to know what to expect on the business side of things. right? You know, how do we as a community maximize this opportunity when cruise ship passengers get off the boat. And hopefully, we make this more than a one summer thing. Right? Can, as a community continue to attract these types of visitors into the Keweenaw. How do we do that.” – Brad Barnett Executive Director Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau

The vessels will pull into Houghton in June. The group is still looking for local shore excursions to offer passengers. Great lakes shore excursions implements educational and cultural elements to provided a customized experience at each stop. And there will no doubt be an emphasis on the area’s rich history and Finnish-American culture. All of Viking’s great lakes tours will stop in Houghton this summer. Founder of great lakes shore excursions Theresa Nemetz says their focus is in promoting the region’s beauty.

“We said we would love to do that on the Great Lakes. You know, we are from the mid west. And we want all the things become really based around local, to feature local businesses feature local history. Because one the frustrating things to me, is when someone comes into your town and doesn’t see all the major things that really show all there is to experience.” – Theresa Nemetz, Founder Great Lakes Shore Cruises

Officials are hoping this will mark another successful year for tourism in the Keweenaw. All of the great lakes cruises have been sold out for months. The Houghton Police Department is working closely with great lakes shore excursions, Viking,  and the city to implement a safety plan for the boats’ arrivals during the summer.