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Milwaukee set to become a tourist spot for Pearl Seas cruises after inaugural call

Posted at 6:48 PM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 19:48:14-04

Milwaukee is getting even more attention from tourist, who are coming on cruise ships.

Friday morning, Milwaukee welcomed 200 visitors from the Pearl Seas Cruise line's Flagship The Pearl Mist, that traveling around the Great Lakes.

Then, Friday evening the city will welcome nearly 100 new visitors from the Grande Mariner, also traveling the lakes. This is the first time in recent history two cruise ships have docked in Milwaukee within 24 hours.

Visit Milwaukee greats passengers with goodie bags and warm smiles. Meanwhile, Milwaukee Food and City Tours invites them on to buses to get a closer look at the city. Ships docking in Milwaukee creates a promising future according to Port Milwaukee Director Adam Schlicht.

"We're already visioning at least five different cruise ships coming to Milwaukee in 2019. Making well over 10 stops, that'll be a new record for Milwaukee," said Schlicht. 

Pearl Seas now calls Milwaukee a turnaround point, which is great for the economy says Port Milwaukee. At a turnaround, passengers can get off the ship for 12 to 24 hours. Here tourist will go shopping, stay in hotels, visit museums, and the list goes on.  

Afterwards, they're able to get back on the ship or end their cruise. This is in addition to, brand new passengers being able to start their cruise. 

Visit Milwaukee and Milwaukee Food and City Tours worked together for days to make sure these passengers saw the very best the city has to offer. Although some passengers were expecting to dock in Chicago, their original stop on the itinerary. The Pearl Seas says they wanted their customers to have a new experience. 

Passenger Walter Leventhal, originally Cape Town South Africa, has never visited Milwaukee. Walking off the ship he already has his own itinerary.

"I think they've got custard ice cream here, which I'm ready for. I have to have some good brats fill up the belly," said Leventhal. 

Moira and her husband Steve Knox are from Honolulu, Hawaii. Moira says she's ready to see all that the city has to offer. Steve is looking forward to hearing the roar of the Harleys.

"I'd love to go to the Harley Davidson 115th anniversary. But I don't know if the museum will be crowded today or not," said Knox," But we're still going to make our way over there."

The Know plan to take a car and drive around Milwaukee for a few days a well. 

Port Milwaukee says this could be the start of a continuous line of cruise ships that come through and see the city. This is all part of the international effort to attract cruise ship lines to the Great Lakes.