MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The Pearl Mist cruise ship is making its first ever scheduled stop in Muskegon Thursday morning.
Last year the Pearl Mist stopped in Muskegon, but only because the ship needed safe harbor. Thursday will mark the first scheduled stop to the area. The ship is expected to arrive at 8 a.m. and will dock in the Muskegon Port. A viewing area is available to the public at Heritage Landing Park.
The ship started a week ago in Toronto and has been traveling the Great Lakes for the past week. It stops in one port each day.
According to officials from the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce, Muskegon had been a staple in the popular cruise port destinations for many years, but that industry died once airplanes and expressways were built.
The Muskegon Chamber of Commerce has been raising private funds to bring the industry back to Muskegon. The county government has been using tourism dollars to assist in the development of a docking facility, according to Cindy Larsen, the president of Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.
Larsen said Muskegon was chosen because “it is one of the Great Lakes most beautiful scenic journeys by water.”
The view along the channel has been called the “Riviera of the Midwest” for over a century.
The Pearl Mist cruise ship will be leaving Muskegon at 7 p.m. Thursday to head to Chicago — its final destination. Once docked in Chicago, the ship will pick up another group of passengers and start another 10-day trip ending in Toronto.
The other ports on the trip are Mackinaw Island, Sault Saint Marie and three communities in Ontario, Canada. The ship will be in Muskegon ten more times before the season ends.
The 2016 season for the ship is already sold out, but they are taking reservations for 2017.