Becoming almost a new sure sign of warmer temps on the way, the first luxury cruise ships of the season have taken to the Great Lakes.

You may have heard that once again this year you'll be able to cruise the Great Lakes in style on a luxury cruise ship. Last year, Viking Cruise Lines launched their new line of cruise ships, including the phenomenal luxury liner, Octantis.  Although Viking had offered Great Lakes cruises before last year, the Octantis offered the new Great Lakes Collection cruise lasting 15 days.

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The new ship and specialty routes helped make 2022 a record-setting cruise season for the Lakes with more than 150,000 passenger visits to ports large and small, generating an economic impact of about $125 million.

This year's cruising season kicked off this month and will see 11 vessels operated by eight cruise lines hit the waters of the majestic lakes that surround Michigan. Ships from Viking Cruises, Pearl Seas Cruises, American Queen Voyages, St. Lawrence Cruise Lines, Ponant, Vantage, Hapag-Lloyd, and Plantours Cruises will all serve passengers on a variety of excursions.

The first sightings have already happened in two Michigan ports. Just this week Octantis made her way to The Port of Detroit before the 665-foot ship before heading off to her first stop on Mackinac Island.

According to Mlive, experts in the industry predict 2023 to see nearly 170,000 passenger visits which is an increase of 15% over 2022. Detroit alone will see 67 cruise ships docking during the season which is up from the 52 that docked last year. The cruise ship trend could see a total economic impact of $180 million.

Considered the pride of the lakes, the Octantis is the youngest on the water and accommodates 378 passengers along with 256 crew members. Throughout the 5 decks, passengers will find a wide variety of suites, deluxe staterooms, a library, terraces, pools, dining experiences, lounges, shops, spas, and even the height of luxury...penthouse suites.

Cruise packages start at $12,995 for the 15-day Great Lakes Collection cruise on Viking. If that's too many days at sea, or the price tag is a little steep, Viking does offer other excursions that travel the Great Lakes as well starting at $5,995 as do other cruise lines.

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