Touring the Great Lakes: Viking announces cruise ship stops in Thunder Bay
Viking Octantis will begin visiting the city in 2022
The City of Thunder Bay is slated to welcome thousands of tourists annually starting in 2022, when the Viking Octantis cruise ship begins visiting the northwestern Ontario port.
The Octantis holds 378 passengers, and will offer 14 Thunder Bay itineraries — seven inbound cruises and seven outbound — bringing an anticipated 5,200 guests over the course of the year and generating an anticipated economic impact of between $1.6 million and $2.3 million for the city, Tourism Thunder Bay stated in a written release Thursday.
"This is a game-changer for Great Lakes cruising," said Paul Pepe, the city tourism manager. "It's the largest cruise vessel ever to come into the Great Lakes."
Pepe said in the past, Thunder Bay has been a day stop for cruise ships, which arrive in the morning and leave the same night.
However, with the Octantis, the city will serve as a turnaround point, with passengers beginning or ending their cruises in Thunder Bay.
"The passengers will be flying into Thunder Bay, they will be staying at least one night in the city at either end of their cruise," Pepe said. "It extends the economic impact of cruising to our hotel, our culinary, our retail sectors, much, much more than in the past."
Tourism Thunder Bay announced another cruise ship, the Hanseatic Inspiration, will visit the city on June 11, 2020 as part of a 14-day Great Lakes cruise.