Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson to Welcome 1st Cruise Ship of 2023

Port Milwaukee
More cruise passengers are expected to visit Milwaukee this summer.

Published May 8, 2023 6:12 AM by The Maritime Executive

[By: Port Milwaukee]

Mayor Cavalier Johnson and local leaders will welcome the Viking Octantis, the first cruise ship to visit Port Milwaukee as part of the 2023 season. 

The Viking Octantis’ arrival in Milwaukee will begin a 2023 summer season where 31 port calls by various cruise ships are planned, bringing an estimated 12,000 passengers to the city.

Operated by Viking, the Viking Octantis can carry up to 378 passengers on voyages throughout the Great Lakes. This will be the second season where Viking will designate Milwaukee as an embarkation and debarkation port for the company’s Great Lakes itineraries. Viking will also be introducing a second, identical ship, the Viking Polaris, to the Great Lakes in 2023, doubling this cruise line company’s capacity in the region and creating more recreational tourism opportunities in the City of Milwaukee.

Following two years of pandemic-related cancellations, Milwaukee’s Great Lakes cruise season returned with significant momentum and success in 2022. An unprecedented number of international passengers and cruise vessels traveled to-or-from Milwaukee last year. Learn more about the 2022 Great Lakes cruise season through Port Milwaukee’s Annual Report.

The Viking Octantis is scheduled to arrive at the Port’s City Heavy Lift Dock at 11:30am (CT). The press conference is scheduled to begin at 1:15pm (CT) after passengers have disembarked. 

Before 11:30am (CT), members of the media and the public can view the Viking Octantis on its way to Milwaukee through the Port’s virtual vessel tracker, as well as in-person at the following publicly-accessible viewing locations:

  1. East Erie Street near the American Family Insurance Amphitheater;
  2. Harbor View Plaza at the end of Greenfield Avenue; and
  3. Milwaukee County’s Riverfront Boat Launch Site (600 South Water Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204).

**These times are subject to change with limited notice**

WHAT: Press Conference Celebrating First Cruise Ship Arrival of 2023

WHO:  Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, Jackie Q. Carter, Director, Port Milwaukee, Peggy Williams-Smith, President and CEO, VISIT Milwaukee, Theresa Nemetz, Great Lakes Shore Excursions, Representatives from Viking (not available for interviews), and City Officials and Local Leaders

WHEN: Thursday, May 4, 2023, at 1:15pm (CT)

*B-roll and photo opportunities available*

WHERE: City Heavy Lift Dock at Port Milwaukee, 1230 South Carferry Drive Milwaukee, WI 53207 

Port Milwaukee is an economic entity of City government governed by the seven-member Board of Harbor Commissioners, a panel appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Common Council. It administers operations on the 467 acres that make up the Port. It promotes shipping and commerce throughout the region by providing access to domestic and international ships, rail, and over-the-road transportation. Learn more at portmilwaukee.com.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.