Bayfield: City and tourism leaders welcome Viking Cruise ship

Bayfield, Wis. (June 28, 2022) – Passengers traveling the Great Lakes aboard Viking Cruises’ Octantis explored Bayfield and the Apostle Islands on Tuesday.  

The ship carrying 334 passengers and about 200 crew members parked just beyond the Bayfield Harbor breakwall. Tenders transported passengers to and from the 665-foot vessel to the Bayfield City Dock. The Red Cliff Drum and Dance Troupe welcomed visitors to shore at the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion. 

Bayfield city, county, and state tourism representatives explored the state-of-the-art cruise ship and presented the captain with gifts representing Bayfield. 

“We have been working to make this happen for about three years, so it’s great to see it come to fruition,” said Ted Dougherty, Chair of the Bayfield Harbor Commission. 

Items presented to the captain include a framed print of “Voyage of the New World” by Rabbett Strickland, an artist and member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Dignitaries also gave the ship captain a copy of Jeff Rennicke’s book “Jewels of the Water: Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands.” Rennicke is a nationally renowned landscape photographer and writer.  

Mary Motiff, Tourism Director for Bayfield County, gave the captain a print of the Octantis made by local photographer and graphic designer Jamey Penney-Ritter. She is also the owner of Bemused Gallery and Studio in Washburn. 

Visitors from the cruise ship took advantage of a local excursion or opted to explore downtown Bayfield on their own. 

“Many passengers are going back to the ship with bags from local shops and I’ve heard positive comments about the good food…Several people said they would love to come back. This is great exposure for Bayfield,” said Ruth Goetz, Dock Lead for the Great Lakes Excursion, Milwaukee Foods Group. 

The Octantis will make five more stops in Bayfield this summer. The next stop is scheduled for Tuesday, July 26.