Rare sight: Cruise ship makes stop in Cleveland, shows what city has to offer

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CLEVELAND-- People in Cleveland are used to seeing ships along the lake, but now they’re seeing a different kind of ship, a cruise ship.

"This is our first time in the city. We wanted to be in the city where LeBron James was winding up,” said Michael Harris.

He and his wife are visiting from Dallas, Texas. They’re traveling around the Great Lakes aboard the Grande Mariner.

“We’ve never been to the Great Lakes so this is like an ocean to us. It’s just great,” said Harris.

The ship can carry 88 passengers and is on a 16-day excursion.

Some of the stops include Mackinac Island in Erie, Pennsylvania and Buffalo, New York.

The cruise altogether costs about $5,000.

"A lot of people think of cruise ships of only going to Alaska and the Caribbean for example, but there are so many places to discover in the United States,” said Director of Destination Management Lynde Vespoli of Discover My Cleveland. “Especially along the Great Lakes and what a terrific waterway to be able to get to easily from port to port to see all these different places."

Her group is taking the passengers on a town and country tour. The day will start off downtown and then end in Amish country.

The Grande Mariner isn’t the only one docking here this summer; others are coming through, too, and that’s good news for the economy.

"A 100-passenger ship can result in as much as a four million dollar boost to the economy so we really want to get them in here and show them what Cleveland has to offer,” said Betty Sutton of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway.