400-passenger cruise ship docks in the Port of Milwaukee for first time in seven years

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Port of Milwaukee welcomed the Hamburg on Friday morning, October 3rd -- a 400 passenger cruise ship that is touring the Great Lakes.  The ship docked just east of the Lake Express Ferry terminal at approximately 8:00 a.m.

Ships carrying cargo make hundreds of stops at the port each year, but the docking of such a large cruise ship is an unusual event.  It has been at least seven years since the last such arrival.

"These are people who will go out and see the great sites of Milwaukee, they`ll enjoy some of our great food when they stop at restaurants at lunchtime," said Jeff Fleming, a spokesman for the Port of Milwaukee.

Besides tourism money to the city, the ship also brings in tens of thousands of dollars to the port.

The passengers on board the Hamburg are mostly European.  They will have an opportunity to tour Milwaukee destinations such as breweries and the Harley Davidson Museum while the ship is in port. Many passengers are German, and say they're excited to see how their culture developed in Milwaukee.

"In former times there were many Germans who came here and who had influence on the city," said passenger Kerstin Meyer.

During its current Great Lakes cruise, the Hamburg is making similar stops in Chicago and Mackinac Island. Their trip started in Montreal, and ends in Traverse City, Michigan.

Port officials hope the Hamburg will keep coming back.

"We want more German tourists to come here. We want to encourage this boat line to make Milwaukee a stop every year," said Fleming.

More information about the Hamburg is available on the website of its operator, Plantours.