NEW CUSTOMS NETWORK HELPING TO DRIVE GROWTH IN GREAT LAKES CRUISING
Great Lakes cruising is having its most successful year ever and a big reason why is a new network of U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities enabling more seamless cross-border travel. New clearance facilities are now operating in the gateway cities of Duluth, Minnesota and Cleveland, Ohio, joining existing facilities in Detroit and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Previously, cruise ship operators had to work individually with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to arrange for agents to process passengers using remote “jump kit” equipment at different locations around the region. The availability of personnel and equipment was frequently uncertain, making it difficult or impossible for the cruise ship operators to plan itineraries that depend on on-time connections to shoreside transportation and activities. Even when available, the customer experience was highly variable and, in some cases, resulted in hours-long waits.
In response, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers joined with the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation and the American Great Lakes Ports Association to work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to develop a new four-port customs solution. Strategically positioned at key Great Lakes cruising ports of call, this quartet of customs facilities forms a network that now provides predictability for itinerary planners and an improved passenger experience.
The full press release can be found here.