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Duluth sees arrival of first cruise ship since 2013

Viking Octantis is the first of nine cruise ships scheduled to dock in Duluth from May to mid-September.

A tender nears the Viking Octantis, anchored in the Duluth Harbor
A tender nears the Viking Octantis, anchored in the Duluth Harbor, on Monday morning.
Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — The port saw the arrival of its first cruise ship since 2013 on Monday morning.

The Viking Octantis, carrying 400 passengers and 250 crew members, stopped in Duluth for the day as part of an eight-day Great Lakes Tour, according to a news release from the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The nearly 700-foot cruise ship was anchored in the harbor, just outside of the shipping lane.

The first cruise ship since 2013 to arrive in Duluth's harbor will be here May 30, and will dock at the new customs facility in the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

Tender boats were scheduled to transport guests off the ship to the new customs facility at the DECC before they head out to various excursions, such as the Glensheen Mansion, the North Shore Scenic Railroad, Great Lakes Aquarium or a canoe trip down the St. Louis River. Monday's forecast called for rain and temperatures in the low 70s.

Ship.
Two tenders from the Viking Octantis pass each other while bringing passengers to shore Monday in Duluth.
Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune

Viking Octantis is the first of nine cruise ships scheduled to dock in Duluth from May to mid-September. Most of the cruises will be from Viking Cruises, but two in June will be American Queen cruises. According to the DECC, the average age of cruise passengers is 70 and 95% are from the United States.

After passengers return from their excursions, the ship was scheduled to depart around 4-6 p.m. Monday, heading toward its next destination, the Apostle Islands and Bayfield, Wisconsin.

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This story was updated at 8:48 a.m. May 30 with information and photos about the arrival of the cruise ship. It was originally posted at 3:44 p.m. May 29.

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From the column: "Increasing costs don’t mean a death sentence for travel plans. In fact, hitting the road, sky, or sea cost-effectively will help combat climbing prices — so travelers get their island getaway while helping the economy recover here and abroad."

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Bygones is researched and written by David Ouse, retired reference librarian from the Duluth Public Library. He can be contacted at djouse49@gmail.com.