Pearl Mist cruise ship returning to Great Lakes, passengers to explore 2 Michigan ports

Pearl Seas Cruises is returning to the Great Lakes this summer – after a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic – with plans to visit two ports in Michigan multiple times.

The cruise line’s Pearl Mist will soon begin a 15-night itinerary through the St. Lawrence Seaway ending in Toronto, Canada, on Lake Ontario. From Toronto, the ship will begin its 11-night Great Lakes and Georgian Bay cruise on May 29, which includes stops at Mackinac Island and Muskegon; the cruise ends in Milwaukee, Wis.

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While cruise ship passengers don’t offer a huge economic impact since they don’t stay overnight, there are benefits to the state’s tourism industry, Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, told MLive.

“Having cruise ships is a glitz and glamour factor,” he said. “When people know there are cruise ships, it elevates your brand value as a destination.”

Many cruise ship passengers have never been to the Great Lakes before before, Lorenz said.

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“Once they see the beauty, diversity, friendly, Americana/Canadian experience … they will come back,” he said. “They will tell their friends and family. All the time they’re traveling, they’re using social media. They become our ambassadors.”

The Pearl Mist will operate two itineraries from May to August: the 11-night Great Lakes and Georgian Bay and the 7-night Great Lakes and Georgian Bay, both include the two Michigan ports. A total of 10 cruises are planned.

The 210-passenger, six-deck ship has operated on the Great Lakes since 2014 and called on Muskegon for the first time in 2015.

According to Cruise Industry News, Pearl Seas is also offering expanded onboard and shore enrichment programs this year, including activities from kayaking to hiking to glass-bottom boat tours.

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