The Great Lakes cruises that docked in Duluth in 2023 brought a significant economic impact to the city, with nearly $600,000 in direct spending from passengers and their activities. This spending supported a variety of businesses, including shops, restaurants, transportation providers, tour operators, and small businesses in Duluth and other Great Lakes ports.
In 2023, four cruise ships brought over 4,000 passengers to Duluth alone. The Ocean Navigator, Octantis, Polaris, and Hanseatic Inspiration were among them. Nearly 25,000 passengers visited Great Lakes ports across the region that year, representing a more than 20% increase from the previous year.
Dan Hartman, Executive Director of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center expressed excitement about the influx of visitors to his city. He noted that many of these tourists would not have come to Duluth otherwise but have discovered its appeal through these cruises.
Anna Tanski of Cruise the Great Lakes highlighted her organization’s commitment to promoting unique cruising experiences available in the region and emphasized the growing popularity of Great Lakes cruises as a destination. She said that Cruise the Great Lakes serves as a platform for collaboration between various stakeholders such as states