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The Pool Six cruise ship dock site has seen a number of improvements over the course of this season including a new cabin for Tourism Thunder Bay to welcome visitors (Adam Riley / Acadia Broadcasting)

Cruise line leaves Great Lakes

By Adam Riley Jul 7, 2023 | 1:00 PM

A cruise line which has made a pair of stops in the port of Thunder Bay will not be coming back anytime soon.

American Queen Voyages has announced it will be leaving the Great Lakes altogether, switching focus towards river cruises in the United States.

As a result the company has announced it will be selling off its two ships, the Ocean Navigator and Ocean Voyager.

Tourism Thunder Bay Manager Paul Pepe says changes like this are not uncommon.

“Cruise lines have very loyal clientele, and they will keep cruising with that company if that company can show them something new, and so its very common business practice for the cruise lines to be constantly changing up their itineraries and their business models. So it ebbs and flows.”

With those facts in mind the loss of American Queen doesn’t bother Pepe too much.

“It doesn’t really affect our 2023-2024 season at all. They had finished their two cruises here for this year and had not yet booked the dock space for 2024.”

He also notes next year two new cruise lines, Ponant Cruises and Pearl Seas Cruises will be turning Thunder Bay into a port of call.

24 visits are expected in the city for next season from five different companies.

Pepe adds both the Ocean Navigator and Ocean Voyager might make a return to the city.

“A buyer in the future might bring them back into the Great Lakes.”

On Thursday evening the Viking Octantis returned to the Pool Six dock for the third time this season.


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