Viking Octantis cruise ship makes port in Detroit ahead of first season in Great Lakes

‘Can a cruise ship fit on the Great Lakes?’

The Great Lakes cruise ship docked in Detroit on Tuesday.

DETROIT – It’s something you don’t see every day -- a cruise ship along the Detroit riverfront.

The ship is the largest and most modern expedition ship in the Great Lakes. For the first time, the Viking Octanist made port for the day in Detroit, allowing passengers a chance to check out the city.

In the meantime, locals stopped by to get a glimpse of the giant cruise ship.

Viking Octantis goes from Toronto to Milwaukee. People like Bryce Harden couldn’t wait for the inaugural voyage.

“I read about it a month and a half ago. I heard that there was supposed to be like big barges that can like go around the Michigan waterways and get to the cities now and to have something that can carry passengers, that means big money for Detroit. So I’m excited about it,” said Harden.

He wasn’t the only one, several people pulled over to take pictures in disbelief.

Matthew Boddy said, “We thought, ‘We’d love to do a cruise but can a cruise ship fit on the Great Lakes?’”

Gaby Boddy said, “I said it’s impossible. Where are they gonna park it and does it go under the Ambassador Bridge? So I said, ‘We need to go see.’”

Michael and Pamela Caldwell drove 60 miles to see it.

“It’s awesome. I’ve never seen nothing like this before. I don’t know if we ever will again except on TV,” Pamela Caldwell said.

The ship left for Alpena early in the afternoon and from there will go to Mackinac Island.

Viking plans to have several cruises in the coming months as well as add another ship for Great Lakes voyages.

The Viking will be joined by an identical sister ship, the Viking Polaris, in 2023.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.