Close to home is one of the great natural wonders of the world…the Great Lakes. Yet very few travelers have explored the lakes by ship. In summer the lakes are an outdoor paradise--and the perfect destination for a special family vacation! Bring along your Young Explorers (ages 7-16) for engaging educational and recreational activities designed just for them! They’ll explore the ramparts of Fort Mackinac, learn about the history of trade and navigation on the Great Lakes, and study nautical terms and basic navigation with the officers of the Yorktown. They’ll compete in onboard treasure hunts and games and be introduced to the physical characteristics and geology of lakes through interactive play. They’ll also ride in a specially outfitted “dune schooner” along the sand dunes on the shores of Lake Michigan and visit one of the largest working model railroads at Charlevoix.
See our special rates for Young Explorers!
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Throughout your cruise, enjoy the participation of a Young Explorers Program Leader and an expert on the history of the Great Lakes. Leader of the Young Explorers Program, Amie Montemurro has worked with the non-profit Youth Venture, where she worked with local students to promote social entrepreneurship and youth leadership initiatives. Amie has spent several years in the Great Lakes region and has toured with the Yorktown since June of 2012. Scott Cameron grew up in Sault Ste. Marie and enjoyed a long career in education. After retiring in 1992, Scott seized the opportunity to pursue his passion for the Great Lakes and their history and began a second career as author and lecturer. He is a member of the Ontario Maritime History Committee and the Association of Great Lakes Maritime History. Janet Walsh, President of the American Watercolor Society, teaches workshops around the country and abroad and juries and judges many regional and national art shows. Her work can be found in many corporate and private collections and has been exhibited in numerous museums across the United States.
Young Explorers Program
Through our Young Explorers Program, groups of similarly aged children and young adults will enjoy specially designed sightseeing tours and educational and recreational activities geared to their interests.
• Could you sail a ship? From basic design to nautical terms and navigational devices, Yorktown officers show young explorers what it takes to ensure smooth sailing.
• Explore the roar of Niagara Falls on a thrilling Maid of the Mist boat ride.
• Discover what life was like aboard a working Great Lakes freighter on the steamship William G. Mather at the Great Lakes Science Center.
• Games and fun activities introduce young guests to the physical characteristics of the Great Lakes and how to conserve its forests, wetlands, and watersheds.
• On Mackinac Island, where the only transportation is via carriage, bicycle, or foot, Young Explorers will visit the stables of the famed Grand Hotel to spend time with the horses.
• Ride through the massive Lake Michigan Sand Dunes on a specially outfitted dune schooner.
Explore the rich cultural history of Cleveland according to your interests, with a choice of visits to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the superb Cleveland Museum of Art, or the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
Stand in awe at the natural majesty of Niagara Falls and the engineering feat of the Welland Canal, which lowers your ship more than 325 feet over a distance of 27 miles through a series of locks.
Visit Makinac Island, a Victorian-era haven where cars are forbidden and bicycles share the road with horse-drawn carriages.
Don't forget to check out our photo slide show to glimpse the excitement of this special program!
View photos by clicking "Next Photo" at top of page!