Just imagine traveling the Great Lakes by water with a world renowned cruise line. That chance could soon be offered by Viking Cruises.
So far there is not a plan for the ship to port in Erie, but Brenda Sandberg of the Erie Port Authority says it could one day make it’s way into Erie.
“We’re very excited. We’ve hosted cruise boats in the past. They’re smaller than what many people would typically think of with a Carnival Ship, so people may not have noticed that. We have hosted cruise lines in the past and look forward to hopefully being able to do so in the future,” said Brenda Sandberg, Executive Director, Erie Port Authority.
Sandberg says cruising in the Great Lakes has been going on for several years now, adding an internationally known touring company is a plus.
She says Erie had hoped to be a destination for cruises.
“The building the port authority offices are located is considered the cruise boat terminal. It was constructed with customs and border patrol, however, at some point in the past they chose that the building wasn’t acceptable for their needs any longer and constructed a new facility in Fairview,” said Sandberg.
That, however, hasn’t stopped smaller cruises from visiting.
Sandberg says in years past rather than small ships docking at the cruise ship terminal, they docked at Dobbin’s Landing.
The ship is being built in Norway and is expected to launch in January of 2022. The vessel will be just under 700 feet in length.
So far, the ship has four different trips with stops at places like Toronto, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, and Ohio.
Christine Temple of Visit Erie believes this could be great for Erie.
“I really think it’s a great way to showcase our Bayfront. With cruise ships potentially coming in, I think it is a great way to show off our city, especially the Bayfront district,” said Christine Temple, Director of Communications, Visit Erie.