MANISTIQUE, Mich. (WZMQ) – Thursday afternoon, a German cruise ship brought tourists from all over the world to Manistique.
The Hanseatic Inspiration brought carried more than 150 passengers to the city from Milwaukee for the second time this week.
“They’re going to be doing an off-site excursion to the Fayette State Park over in Delta County, and then we have local public transit that’s going to be bringing them throughout the community,” said Manistique Public Safety Director Tim Russell.
According to Russell, this is Manistique’s first opportunity to host an international cruise ship.
“The industry itself throughout the Great Lakes has been expanding,” he said. “We were reached out to in mid-January as a possible port for this cruise ship company. They just wanted to stop into small areas, they don’t want a really congested tour area.”
Russell believes the Upper Peninsula is the perfect place for a ship like the Hanseatic Inspiration to visit.
“It gives us some much-needed exposure on how beautiful the U.P. is, how calm it is, and it brings kind of a different culture to our immediate area,” he said. “Most of the passengers on these ships are German, but they’re scattered throughout the world. This ship today actually has five American passengers, as well as any other country you can name.”
Businesses along the shore, like Upper Crust Deli, were excited to welcome tourists and locals alike for the occasion.
“We’ve had a lot more customers come in to watch the cruise ships and see the people come in,” said Upper Crust owner Kylee Weber. “I think it helps show everybody our community and giving them a chance to see everything that we have in our downtown.”
Russell says while many did not know what to expect ahead of the ship’s first arrival on May 28, having the passengers in town has been a great experience.
“The first batch of people were actually remarkable to speak with–the different cultures and the questions they had for our history of our area,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
The Hanseatic Inspiration’s third and final visit to Mannistique is set for June 24, rescheduled from its original September date. However, Russell and other locals are open to welcoming more cruise ships in the future.