Ship boat

Port Milwaukee: Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson announces the arrival of the first cruise ship for the 2022 season

MILWAUKEE, WI – Mayor Cavalier Johnson announces the octanti viking will be the first cruise ship to visit Port Milwaukee as part of the 2022 season. This Seawaymax ship is scheduled to dock in the Port of Milwaukee on May 6, 2022.

the octanti vikingThe arrival in Milwaukee will kick off a summer season where 33 stops are scheduled for various cruise ships, bringing more than 10,000 passengers to the city. This is compared to the 10 port calls made during the 2019 season, before Great Lakes cruising was halted for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Operated by Viking Cruises, the octanti viking can carry up to 378 passengers on trips across the Great Lakes. The 2022 cruise season marks the first time this ship will designate Milwaukee as the port of embarkation and disembarkation for the company’s itineraries.

“Milwaukee is a great destination. It is a city full of attractions and hospitality. This is what cruise passengers will find here,” said Mayor Cavalier Johnson. “As word spreads, I anticipate more and more travelers heading to Milwaukee.”

Viking Cruises will use the port’s City Heavy Lift Dock this season as a stopover location. The South Shore Cruise Pier, located immediately east of the Lake Express high-speed ferry terminal, will serve as a future port of call for ships the size of the Octanti viking. Port Milwaukee recently received $3.5 million in grants from Capital Tourism from the State of Wisconsin to build new Seawaymax infrastructure at South Shore Cruise Dock.

A number of ongoing efforts are underway to promote the passenger cruise industry in Milwaukee and the Great Lakes. Port Milwaukee is the founder of the Milwaukee Cruise Collaborative, a local group promoting the city as a cruise destination. The collaboration, which includes a cross-section of the local hospitality industry, has planned, promoted and prepared for increased Great Lakes cruise passenger numbers. VISIT Milwaukee and various local stakeholders are also proud partners in promoting Great Lakes cruising activities in the city.

Port Milwaukee also participates in the Cruise the Great Lakes initiative of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. The port recently signed a Cruise the Great Lakes Pledge committing to promote environmental stewardship practices and efforts for the 2022 cruise season and beyond.

“Port Milwaukee continues to capitalize on increased interest in Great Lakes passenger cruises and increased interest in Milwaukee as a hub for passengers to begin or end their journeys,” Director Adam said Tindall-Schlicht. “In the years to come, thousands of passengers will visit our city, stay at local hotels, dine at our restaurants, and experience all the great things Milwaukee has to offer.”

“Port Milwaukee has positioned itself as a premier cruise destination and our hotel community is thrilled to welcome guests this season,” mentioned VISIT Milwaukee President and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith. “With two dock experiences as well as an international airport just minutes from a bustling, walkable downtown area, Milwaukee is perfect for Great Lakes cruises. And while ashore, guests can explore unique Milwaukee attractions, from art galleries and history museums to award-winning restaurants and breweries. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the city where Unique Units!

Port Milwaukee is an economic entity of municipal government governed by the seven-member Board of Harbor Commissioners, a group appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the common council. It administers operations on the 467 acres that make up the Port. It promotes navigation and trade throughout the region by providing access to national and international ships, rail transport and road transport. For more information, visit