ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – American Queen Voyages made its third stop in Escanaba on Thursday, May 25. It was the first arrival of the cruise line’s second ship, the Ocean Voyager.
The community gathered once again Thursday morning to welcome the Ocean Voyager’s passengers to Escanaba. The city’s German band performed as guests disembarked, and the Players de Noc handed out gift bags. Mayor Mark Ammel then presented the ship’s captain with a key to the city.
“Historically, they’ve been given to dignitaries, to war heroes, to those that have really had an impact on the community,” explained Vickie Micheau, executive director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce. “For the City of Escanaba to present a key to American Queen Voyages was really appropriate, because they have had a significant impact and they are making a difference in our community.”
After the welcoming ceremony, many passengers set off on their bus tour of Escanaba, with stops including the Sand Point Lighthouse and Sayklly’s Confectionery.
“We’ve driven all the way around and seen the wonderful sights and now we’re stopping at each place,” said Ann, a passenger who came all the way from Scotland. “First stop, chocolate! We love it; we bought some to take home.”
Others, like Steve from California, chose to walk through the city. He planned to take photos and admire the historic buildings downtown.
“We’ve never been to any of these lovely little towns in this part of America,” he said. “We’ve been all over the world, but we’ve never been here in our own backyard.”
Passengers said they enjoyed Escanaba for its unique features, its view of Lake Michigan, and the warm welcome they received from the community.
“We love it,” said Steve. “We love the small-town feel of pretty much everything we’ve seen and just the friendliness of the people.”
“Oh, everybody’s so friendly!” Ann said. “It’s such a lovely place. Lovely, clear air.”
The Ocean Voyager will return to Escanaba on Monday, May 29 at 8:00 a.m. Click here to see how the community welcomed the Ocean Navigator upon its first visit.