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Pier Wisconsin Cruise Dock Rental

Port Milwaukee traditionally hosts cruise vessels at the Pier Wisconsin cruise dock. However, when not in use, it is made available for private event rental, including fireworks displays.

Please note: the Department of Neighborhood Services does require a pyrotechnics special event permit for fireworks events in the City. More information can be found on their website at this link.


Private events and fireworks displays can be scheduled throughout the year at Port Milwaukee-operated facilities, namely the Pier Wisconsin Cruise Dock at Discovery World. Port Milwaukee’s Pier Wisconsin Rental Policy formally establishes the parameters, logistics, and costs associated with private rental of this pier.

Parameters, Logistics, and Costs

  •  The Port Milwaukee fee and permit cost associated with renting the Pier Wisconsin Cruise Dock is $1,155/day, but may also be subject to change via the annually issued Port Tariff. Other water-permitting, City of Milwaukee, and Milwaukee County fees and permits may also apply.
  •  The Port Director may elect to charge the permittee/contractor for needed maintenance prior to the event in accordance with rates publicly posted in the Port Tariff at In all cases, a minimum of two (2) laborer/signalman hours and two (2) supervisor hours for preemptive maintenance and preparation may be required to rent the Pier Wisconsin Cruise Dock. These costs are in addition to the permit cost.
  • The Trade Development Specialist is responsible for securing and booking any use of the Pier Wisconsin Cruise Dock, including for private fireworks displays. Use of Pier Wisconsin is foremost for the hosting and docking of cruise ships and will be prioritized in scheduling; private events and fireworks displays are a secondary consideration.
  • The Renter requesting use of the Pier Wisconsin Dock, including for private fireworks displays, is responsible for the cleanup and repair of the site caused by the event.
  • Rental of Pier Wisconsin use does not confer parking rights. Renter must make its own arrangements.
  • Renters utilizing the Pier Wisconsin Cruise Dock are required to use a Port Milwaukee security contractor at Renter’s expense to control public access at the site as specified and scheduled by the Port.
  • The Renter must specify a timeframe window and point of contact for use of the Pier Wisconsin Cruise Dock at least one week in advance of the event. Payment to Port Milwaukee, Board of Harbor Commissioners, must be received at least one week in advance of the event. Payment will not be deposited until after the event has taken place.
  • Unless specified by and at the sole discretion of the Port Director, largely due to a force majeure-related event, any private event or firework display must be cancelled at least 48 hours prior to the event. If cancelled between 24 – 48 hours, the Renter is responsible for 50% of the negotiated cost ($577.50). Maintenance-related minimums under the Port Tariff would not be applied. If cancelled between 0 and 24 hours, the Renter is responsible for 90% of the negotiated cost ($1039.50). Maintenance-related minimums under the Port Tariff would be applied.
  • For fireworks displays, a permit must be approved & issued by Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS) enforcement division for a pyrotechnics display. Please contact Archie Blunt, Special Enforcement Manager, at [email protected] or (414) 286-3853 for more details about this process.
  • The Port reserves the right to deny any request to use the Pier Wisconsin Cruise Dock and may cancel any private event or firework display at Pier Wisconsin Cruise Dock at any time and for any reason.  


Renter(s) acknowledge that holding an outdoor event adjacent to a body of water possesses an inherent risk of danger to those participating in the event. All possible safety precautions will be exercised by Renter(s).

In case any action in court or proceeding before an administrative agency is brought against the City or any of its officers, agents, or employees for the failure or neglect of the Renter in whole or in part to perform any of the covenants, acts, matters, or things by this Contract undertaken, or for injury or damage caused by the alleged negligence of the Renter, its officers, agents, or employees, the Renter shall indemnify and same harmless the City and its officers, agents, and employees from all losses, damages, costs, expenses, judgments, or decrees arising out of such action.

The City shall tender the defense of any claim or action at law or in equity to the Renter or Renter’s insurer, and upon such tender it shall be the duty of the Renter or the Renter’s insurer to defend such claim or action without cost or expense to the City or its officers, agents, or employees.

The Renter shall be solely responsible for the conduct and performance of the services required under the terms and conditions of this contract and for the results therefrom. 

To reserve your private event or if you have any questions about this policy, please contact Korey Garceau, Trade Development Representative, at [email protected] or (414) 286-8133.