Port Milwaukee launches collaboration to attract more cruise ships, and it’s working

Port Milwaukee anticipates more than 10 cruise ship visits to Milwaukee in 2019, a significant uptick in activity from years previous years.

Port Milwaukee anticipates more than 10 cruise ship visits to Milwaukee in 2019, a significant uptick in activity from years previous, Port Milwaukee executive director Adam Schlicht said.

Cruise lines currently visiting Milwaukee include Rhode Island-based Blount Small Ship Adventures, Connecticut-based Pearl Seas Cruises and French cruise company Ponant.

To sustain and increase cruise ship traffic in Milwaukee, Port Milwaukee recently created the Milwaukee Cruise Collaborative, a regional partnership with several tourism and community partners that includes Visit Milwaukee, Milwaukee DowntownDiscovery World, Lake Express, Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. The MCC is just one of the ways Port Milwaukee is boosting economic activity and traffic at the port.

The port is also working to reestablish intermodal container service at the port, which is the subject of this week’s Milwaukee Business Journal cover story.

The first cruise ship visit to Milwaukee is currently anticipated to dock on June 11, Schlicht said.

In November, Schlicht told the Milwaukee Business Journal the port wanted to make the waterfront at Komatsu Mining Corp.’s planned headquarters campus an overnight docking spot for some of the biggest cruise ships in the Great Lakes.

There are currently several places for cruise ships to stop in Milwaukee, including at Pier Wisconsin outside of Discovery World and near the terminal for the Lake Express ferry. But the waterfront south of Greenfield Avenue that currently belongs to Port Milwaukee could be a more attractive spot for cruise ships to dock, especially big ones.

Historically, Milwaukee attracted about four or five cruise visits each summer.

SOURCE: Milwaukee Business Journal