Buffalo a Possible Cruise Destination?

Buffalo a Possible Cruise Destination?

Waterfront Investment Fuels Speculation
Mark Gruba
Waterfront investment fuels speculation

Buffalo could one day be a cruise destination.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced plans to advance funding for projects along Buffalo's waterfront earlier this week. The money will accelerate projects on the Outer Harbor and at Canalside and could pave the way for Great Lakes cruises to visit the Queen City.

"We're going to completely transform our waterfront into a destination for everyone to enjoy, and we're investing now to get these projects off the ground and finished earlier than expected," Governor Hochul said Monday.

Currently Great Lakes cruises visit places like Cleveland, Ohio and Mackinac Island in Michigan. The closest stop to Buffalo is Port Colborne, along the northern shore of Lake Erie in Ontario, Canada.

"They are pretty popular," said AAA's Elizabeth Carey of Great Lakes cruises. "Any investment in the waterfront to bring more people here, increase tourism, and give us more to do here in our own backyard is always a good thing."

Carey noted there has been an increased interest in domestic cruising in the last couple of years. Ships that cruise the Great Lakes typically hold about 100-400 people. The cost can leave some people stuck on shore.

"Prices start at about $5,000 for a 10-night cruise, so it's about $500 a night," Carey said. "They go up from there depending upon what accommodations you're looking for on the ship."

Excursions from Buffalo to Niagara Falls could be a strong selling point for possible cruisers.

Carey added, "It's definitely of interest. People are sailing every summer. It would be pretty cool if it ever did come to Buffalo."

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