This season, Milwaukee hosted ten cruise ships, more than double the number from last year. The port estimates that cruise ships brought over 3,200 passengers to the city in 2019.
Increasingly, the port of Milwaukee has become turnaround, so travelers start and end their itineraries in the port city, which has meant additional business for hotels and attractions, port officials revealed.
The cruise ship season in the port of Milwaukee runs from June to October. Historically, Milwaukee has attracted about 5 or 6 vessels. But in 2019, the port city made an effort to go after more vacationers.
Several efforts are currently underway to promote passenger cruise business in Milwaukee as well as throughout the Great Lakes. The Port is a founder of Milwaukee Cruise Collaborative, a regional partnership including the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., Visit Milwaukee, Discovery World, and Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.
It is also a participant in Cruise the Great Lakes initiative of Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers.
According to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the 2020 season will likely bring 10-12 cruises to Milwaukee. He is anticipating doubling that in 2021.