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Cruise Ships Will Cruise Into West Michigan Harbors This Summer

Ian Fuller/flickr

Here is something very exciting for West Michigan.  The first U.S. passenger cruise ship in 83 years — the Yorktown — will make its inaugural visit to Saugatuck this coming Sunday, Father’s Day, June 17.

This is very significant because it will be the first U.S. Flag Ship in West Michigan harbors since Labor Day, 1929.

And, Saugatuck has a big welcome planned for the cruise ship with the Saugatuck Fire Boat and local boaters giving the ship an escort into the harbor for its daylong visit.

The Yorktown is actually scheduled to stop in Saugatuck seven times this summer with other visits set for June 29, July 1, 13, 15, August 17 and 19. Saugatuck is one of seven ports being visited by the boat on trips between Chicago and Detroit.

Holland City will have four cruise ship visits this summer by the Grande Mariner.  The ship is scheduled to dock in Holland on June 8, 16, 25 and Aug. 26 as part of a seven-day cruise of the Great Lakes.

It’s history, re-visited as Great Lakes cruise ships were a regular sight at area ports during the late 1800s and early 1900s, but the Great Depression forced most of them out of business.

This isn’t the first of “modern day” Cruises to Saugatuck and other Great Lakes ports, however.  They were started up again in the mid-1990s when foreign-owned cruise liners started visiting ports. But they were practically shut down after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, when more stringent Homeland Security regulations made it too difficult and costly for foreign cruise liner companies.

Want to see and learn more.  The visitors bureau is setting up a live streaming pod cast of the ship’s arrival and departure at its website.

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