Why go to Detroit?
A mecca for automobile fans and lovers of the Motown sound.
Off-the-beaten cruise path, except for a handful of summertime Great Lakes itineraries.
Detroit's attractions will amaze and entertain cruisers during a day in port.
Detroit Cruise Port Facilities?
Detroit's $22-million dock and terminal opened in 2011 to help attract cruise ships sailing in the Great Lakes. The terminal building contains offices and event space. It is currently not open to the public. You'll be docked adjacent to Hart Plaza, right downtown. Highlights of the plaza are outdoor sculptures and the Horace E. Dodge Fountain with its 300 waterjets dancing during lighted evening shows.
Good to Know?
Instead of Detroit, small ships cruising the Great Lakes might dock in Windsor, Canada. It's just across the Detroit River and easily accessible. Remember to carry your passport if you're headed between cities, even on shore excursions. It might be a short drive, but you'll need your government ID coming and going between Canada and the U.S.
On Foot: The Renaissance Center, a high-rise complex with a hotel, shops and restaurants, is on the waterfront next to the pier. Other than this, few of Detroit's main tourist attractions are within walking distance, and some neighborhoods are less desirable (rundown) than others for walkers. However, if you're looking for a pleasant stroll or jog along the river, the pier area offers a modern, 3-mile waterfront walkway.
By Tram: The Detroit People Mover is a 2.9-mile light rail operating on a single elevated track. It encircles the downtown area, making 13 stops, including Greektown and the Renaissance Center. Even if you don't get off, the ride makes for a good overview of the downtown area, the Detroit River and the Windsor, Canada skyline. The People Mover runs seven days a week, though schedules vary. You can use cash (U.S. coins) to pay the $0.75 fare or buy tokens from machines.
By Taxi: Taxis, Uber and Lyft are readily available. For the few cruises embarking or disembarking in Detroit, a taxi from the airport costs $50-plus and takes about 45 minutes.