First Cruise Ship Expected at New U.P. Deep Water Pier
American Queen Voyages’ Ocean Navigator is expected to be the first cruise ship to moor at Houghton, Michigan’ new deep water pier on June 8, reports MLive. Opened in the fall of 2022, the $5 million deep water pier — paid for through the Michigan Strategic Fund and city — is situated along the Keweenaw Waterway in the Keweenaw Peninsula, and can accommodate boats up to 400 feet.
The pier serves a dual function, operating as Houghton’s town square and event space while delivering the size, deep water capacity and more to welcome cruise ships. “They can pull in and the gangplank comes out right in the middle of downtown,” said Houghton City Manager Eric Waara, reports MLive.
Eleven cruise ships will be making stops at Michigan ports in the 2023 cruise season, which is expected to be a record-breaking year. Houghton is one stop on the itinerary, offering ships the opportunity to traverse through the Keweenaw Waterway through the Portage Canal Lift Bridge, which offers a clearance of around 100 feet, rather than having to turn around. The new pier is a boon for the city, as well as a pleasant stop for passengers looking to explore Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.