Thanks to the Detroit News for this:

Detroit — A Viking arrived in Motown on Tuesday.

But instead of a Norse warrior bent on plunder, this one is a cruise ship with tourists on an expedition on the Great Lakes.

It’s called the Octantis and it belongs to Viking Cruises’ fleet. And the ship, on its inaugural voyage through the St. Lawrence Seaway, stopped in Detroit for its first port of call in Michigan on the way up the Detroit River. The ship was nearly sold out with more than 300 guests onboard, a company representative said.

The voyage the Octantis is on began in Toronto and took travelers to Niagara Falls, Point Pelee and Detroit. Next stops after Detroit: Alpena and Mackinac Island, with the trip ending in Milwaukee. Prices for voyages on the ship begin at $5,995.

Viking Cruises are educational cruises and their trips aim to tell a story. Viking Cruises’ passengers are typically world travelers.

Viking Octantis Detroit (great photo by Andy Morrison)

On Tuesday, the ship was moored on the Detroit River at the Nicholson Terminal & Dock Company near West Jefferson and West Grand Boulevard.

By 7:30 a.m., she was securely docked next to an old building with a big blue “Boblo Island Detroit Dock” sign painted on its sides facing the water. A large fence surrounded the terminal and access to the dock was restricted.

On the shore to the north of the ship, construction workers were busy moving dirt and erecting structures for what appears will be a park in the near future. A pavilion with a cement foundation is already standing.

The Viking ship docked at the Nicholson Terminal instead of the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority’s public dock, which was built to give Great Lakes cruise ships and other vessels “the ability to dock in downtown Detroit,” according to the Port Authority’s website.

The Port Authority’s dock, which cost $22 million to build and opened in 2011, was designed for what was previously the largest cruise ship on the Great Lakes: the 472-foot Hamburg. The new Viking ship is 665 feet long.

“We’ll certainly work with them to make sure they have all the information they need to help them understand that it’s perfectly adequate for them,” Burleson said.

The Port Authority dock has 50 other cruise ships coming in this summer, Burleson said.

The Octantis holds up to 378 guests. 310 visitors are currently on the ship, which also holds 256 crew members.

The eight-day journey started in Toronto before making its way to Niagara Falls, Ontario and Point Pelee, Ontario, which is the southernmost point on the Canadian mainland.

Then came Detroit. Today, the ship is in Alpena before it heads to Mackinac Island tomorrow. Its final destination is Milwaukee where cruisers will disembark making way for a new set of visitors who will go from Milwaukee to Toronto with the same stops in reverse order.

Pricing per person for the eight-day cruise is $6,000 to $7,000. Most of 2022 is sold out, with bookings also open for 2023.

Viking Octantis


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