Canadian Pacific’s Last Surviving Passenger Steamship S.S. Keewatin Passes Under The Mackinac Bridge at 10:35 am on June 4, 2012

The former Canadian Pacific Great Lakes steamship Keewatin is seen here at about 10:35 local time this morning passing under the Mackinac Bridge from Lake Michigan into Lake Huron. The 105-year-old Clyde-built steamship will lay over at Mackinaw City for a few days before completing the final leg of her return voyage to her former home port of Port McNicoll, Ontario, where she is due at 2 pm on June 23. This will be one hundred years to the day from when she departed on her first Canadian Pacific passenger sailing from the same port bound for Sault Ste Marie, Port Arthur and Fort William. The Keewatin will become the centrepiece of a waterfront park in her old home port on Georgian Bay. Here now are some of the results of that voyage:  Photo essay of the Keewatin‘s voyage from Mackinaw City to Port McNicoll.

For anyone wanting to cruise the Great Lakes in 2012 please contact The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 for further details of cruises offered by Travel Dynamics International in the 138-passenger m.v. Yorktown, or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Detroit Opens A New Cruise Terminal For Great Lakes Cruising

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Later this month, the Detroit-Wayne County Port Authority will open its new Public Dock and Terminal, to be called Port Detroit. This new $22 million facility will be available for use by cruise ships, visiting naval vessels, tall ships and perhaps even by a new ferry service to Windsor, Ontario, across the Detroit River in Canada. The last ferries disappeared with the opening of the present bridge.
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Part of a 5½-mile redevelopment of the whole Detroit waterfront, called River Walk, in addition to customs and border patrol facilities for the clearance of incoming cruise ships the 30,000-square foot Public Dock and Terminal will house new offices for the port authority.

The Grande Mariner, owned by Blount Small Ship Adventures, seen here in the Detroit River

Blount Small Ship Adventures will be the terminal’s first cruise customer, with its 96-berth Grande Mariner making two calls next month. Blount have introduced two new itineraries recently, between New York and Toronto and between Toronto and Georgian Bay. Another cruise line newcomer, Travel Dynamics International of New York, is planning six departures and six arrivals at Detroit between June and September of 2012 with their 138-guest US-flag Yorktown, handling a dozen passenger lists to and from Chicago, Duluth and Quebec City. The Yorktown (below) was last in the Great Lakes when she worked for Clipper Cruise Lines as the Yorktown Clipper .

And there will be others. The largest ship to cruise the Great Lakes in recent years has been Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ 14,903-ton Columbus, which first came into the Great Lakes in 1997. In 2012, she will be taken over by Plantours & Partner of Bremen, to become their MS Hamburg and it is hoped that she will return to the Great Lakes under her new name in 2013. Two other operators from Europe have also been examining the Great Lakes as a new destination for them.
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To learn more about cruising in the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.