DETROIT (FOX 2) - Think back a decade ago and tell anyone that the premier docking destination in the United States was Detroit.
They'd tell you it was impossible.
Well, we have news for you. Today the city welcomed Victory Cruise Ship to the motor city.
"The reputation has improved so much, now people are curious," said Michael O'Callaghan, of the Detroit Metro Conventions & Visitors Bureau. "We're meeting with the operators like this or meeting planners or even leisure visitors. There's a curiosity about what's going on here and it's exciting because it's changing so rapidly and so nicely."
The people stepping off the modest cruise ship bring statewide citizenships and nationalities the world away. From west coast California to idwest Nebraska. Deep south residents and even some from Europe - all are venturing to dock at Detroit along the Great Lakes Cruise.
Going on five years, 2019 stands to be a record-breaking season for the cruise line. An expected 8,000 visitors will make landfall in Detroit.
"People want to come here and see what's going on," said O'Callaghan.
And there's so much going on. Buses will take some visitors to the Henry Ford Museum. Others will stroll through Midtown. And some, well some barely have time for an interview.
"My friend and I signed up for another float and it's a great idea to go to the Great Lakes so that's what we signed up for...there's my car. I have to go!" said Margaret Thrasher.
Thrasher is on her way to the Detroit Institute of Art.
While Detroit sits at the fulcrum of a Canadian-Untied States port of entry, this is hardly the only stop along the way. There are planned locations all around the Great Lakes.
"They'll go up to Mackinac Island and other points but we want them to see our big city and that's Detroit," said O'Callaghan.
With a fertile ground for a more versatile brand of tourism laid, officials anticipate the roots of travel to grow.
"Our anticipation is that this is going to grow as years go on and Great Lakes traffic - these kinds of ships will be comparable to some of the cruise ships you see going through Europe," O'Callaghan said, "so there's a lot of opportunity here for us."