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First cruise vessel to 'turn around' passengers at DECC

Early on Saturday, the Viking cruise vessel Polaris will arrive in Duluth under the lift bridge and use its dynamic positioning system to float in the harbor behind the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) for Duluth’s first cruise ship “turnaround.”

A turnaround, as defined by the cruise industry, is when one set of passengers disembarks in the morning to end their cruise vacation as a new set of passengers embarks in the afternoon to begin their voyage.

Previously, cruise ships arriving in Duluth have been “day stops,” allowing passengers about 8 hours to experience the city. This new turnaround capability expands tourism. Many embarking passengers will arrive a day before they board the ship or stay a day after they debark, allowing for hotel stays, visits to restaurants, and flights directly in and out of Duluth.

During the 2023 cruising season, Duluth will have four turnarounds. Most embarking guests will be starting on a 15-day voyage throughout the Great Lakes. However, for the final turnaround of the year, in September, guests will embark on a 79-day cruise from Duluth to Antarctica.

DEBARK: Early Saturday morning, 337 passengers will end their voyage in Duluth and spend time in the city. A number of visitors ending their trip will enjoy Duluth for the day before flying out of Duluth International Airport.

Duluth is the furthest inland port on the Great Lakes.