Nearly 15,000 years ago, the last of the great glaciers retreated, leaving us with the legacy of the Great Lakes. Although they are called lakes, they are in reality vast inland seas that comprise one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water. First used as a means of transport by Algonquin and Iroquois tribes, the lakes later became a thriving commercial hub and a heavily traveled waterway with the arrival of European settlers. More than 50 years ago, the Great Lakes were the busiest waterway in the world and North America’s treasured summer destination.
Setting forth from Duluth, traverse mighty Lake Superior, including the picturesque Keweenaw Peninsula and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Transit the Soo Locks and from Sault Ste. Marie, enjoy a dramatic rail journey through the Agawa Canyon. Sail into Lake Michigan to explore charming Manistique, and revel in the beauty of storied Mackinac Island. Continue through Lake Huron and explore highlights of Detroit before entering Lake Erie. Our voyage culminates with a transit of the Welland Canal, a modern engineering achievement, and a visit to Niagara Falls, and concludes on Lake Ontario in vibrant Toronto. This grand and sweeping survey of the five Great Lakes is a voyage to treasure.
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Throughout your cruise, enjoy presentations by an Extraordinary Speaker. Frederick Stonehouse has written over 30 books on maritime history, teaches Great Lakes maritime history at Northern Michigan University, and is a consultant for numerous Great Lakes projects and programs. He has won numerous awards, including the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History Award for Historic Interpretation.
Enjoy a cruise of all five of the Great Lakes, with fascinating stops throughout your itinerary.
Enjoy the natural beauty of the Great Lakes, including Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Agawa Canyon, and the magnificent Niagara Falls.
Visit Makinac Island, a Victorian-era haven where cars are forbidden and bicycles share the road with horse-drawn carriages.
Spend a day in Detroit, visiting the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, as well as the Ford Rouge Factory.
Learn about the history of the Great Lakes through visits to a copper mine, maritime museums, and lighthouses.
Experience engineering feats such as the Soo Locks, where some 12,000 ships pass annually, and the Welland Canal, where a series of seven locks designed as a continuous flight of “stairs” lowers Yorktown 324 feet over a distance of 27 miles.
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!