Green Bay expects cruise ship tourists in 2019

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay may not boast the scenery of Alaska or the tropical climate of the Caribbean, but all indications point to Green Bay becoming a cruise ship destination in 2019.

Victory Cruise Line ship (photo provided)

Members of the Brown County Harbor Commission know it's just been a matter of time.

"This is one of the last so-to-speak 'cruise frontiers' is to get people experiencing the Great Lakes," says Port Director Dean Haen.

After a cruise line had to pull out of two scheduled arrivals in Green Bay this summer due to ship repairs, Haen says even more traffic is expected next summer.

"We have a number coming next year. It's an emerging market. There's a number of vessels that are going to be plying the Great Lakes, and Green Bay is going to be part of that, and who knows where the future is going to go. This could be a really big opportunity for the port and the community to showcase itself," says Haen.

As marketing director for the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau, Brenda Krainik will be traveling in the coming months to meet with cruise line owners and operators.

While the port of call dates for 2019 are not set yet, she envisions Green Bay becoming a popular, annual destination.

"There's a market of affluent cruisers that have already gone places around the world, but they've never been to the Great Lakes," says Krainik, "and this is something that we can show them, and I think there's going to be great interest to come here and see the Upper Midwest of the United States."

The Great Lakes cruise ships average about 400 feet in length and carry up to 400 passengers.

When they arrive in Green Bay, they will dock at Leicht Memorial Park.