Press Release: SS William A. Irvin Opens for 2021 Season

For more information, contact:
DECC Interim Executive Director, Roger Reinert at or 218-623-1201



SS William A. Irvin Opens for 2021 Season
Including return of the Haunted Ship


Duluth, MN (May 20, 2021) – DECC Officials announced today that the floating maritime museum, SS William A. Irvin, will open its 2021 season this Friday, May 21st. Station to station tours will initially be Friday, Saturday and Sundays. The Irvin crew will evaluate additional days as the summer progresses.

This marks the first full season of operation for the Irvin since 2017. The Irvin was removed from her berth and towed to Fraser Shipyards in 2018 for much needed hull restoration work. She returned in late 2019. Her 2020 season was shortened due to the impact of COVID-19.

Longtime Irvin manager, Steve Rankila, said, “People have been looking for activities that are fun for the whole family. We have worked hard to not only get the Irvin “ship shape”, but to ensure we have addressed the additional health-related precautions our visitors expect when they step aboard.”

Rankila said the 2021 season will include both guided large group tours, and individual self-directed tours. Museum staff is strategically positioned at key locations to interpret those spaces and then direct guests to their next station aboard the historic vessel.

The 2021 Irvin season will also see the return of the Haunted Ship – also missing since 2017. “Given safety precautions in 2020, we decided to forgo the Haunted Ship”, said Interim Executive Director Roger Reinert. “With easing of restrictions, new safety best practices, and widespread vaccinations, we feel strongly we can have a safe guest experience this fall. And we know the community is eager for the return of the Haunted Ship. It’s one of the most frequently asked questions I get.”

SS William A. Irvin is a retired Great Lakes freighter (1937-1978) that once served as the flagship of the US Steel Fleet. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, and was named after a former President of US Steel. Its current mission is to educate visitors about Duluth’s maritime history. The Irvin has become an indelible symbol of Duluth’s working harbor over the past forty years, and has become a Duluth landmark in its own right.

Tickets may be purchased at the stern of the ship and tour groups will consist of only patrons and their immediate party. Prices are $15 for adults. Seniors, Students and Military members’ tickets are $10. Kids under 10 years of age are free with a paid adult. Tours last between 30-45 minutes. Due to its historical nature as a retired freighter, the Irvin is not ADA accessible and includes multiple staircases to access certain locations.

Additional information can be located at

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The Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC) is a publicly-owned multi-use facility located on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota.  The DECC offers 800,000 square feet of indoor space, and also manages Bayfront Festival Park.