America’s Great Lakes - 2017

Toronto • Niagara Falls • Cleveland • Detroit • Windsor • Lake Huron • Sault Ste Marie • Manitoulin Island • Mackinac Island • Lake Michigan • Chicago


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Set sail on an unforgettable small ship voyage through all five of the Great Lakes, enhanced for 2017. Rich history, energetic nature, and stunning scenery await you as we navigate some of America’s most picturesque and iconic waterways. From a thrilling visit to Niagara Falls to a tour of Detroit’s Henry Ford Museum, each day of the itinerary is filled with revelations. Go ashore on Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island, and attend a traditional ceremony with the indigenous Ojibwe people. Step back in time during a horse-drawn carriage ride on car-free Mackinac Island. Discover what makes the Great Lakes so great on a one-of-a-kind North American cruise.

Toronto to Chicago

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DAY 1:

Depart Home / Toronto, Canada

Your Great Lakes voyage begins when you arrive in Toronto, Ontario. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure, with time to explore your new surroundings. 

DAY 2:

Toronto / Embark Ship

After breakfast, set out on a panoramic tour of Toronto. Be sure to admire the city skyline before embarking on your Great Lakes cruise ship this afternoon. After settling in, enjoy a Welcome Dinner tonight with your fellow travelers. 


Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 3:

Niagara Falls (Welland Canal)

Today we’ll disembark the ship at Port Weller on the northern end of the Welland Canal. The original Welland Canal was opened in 1829 and was extended to reach Lake Erie in 1833. The current canal was completed in 1932 and boasts eight locks. As the M/V Victory I awaits its turn to transit the locks, we’ll disembark and drive through the Niagara Wine Region, home to 25 vineyards and over 50 wineries. At Niagara Falls, we’ll embark on the famous Hornblower “Voyage of the Falls” for a cruise into the misty spray of Horseshoe Falls. Back on shore, we’ll drive along scenic Niagara Parkway to a local restaurant for lunch and a regional wine tasting, before rejoining the ship at Port Colbourne.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4:

Cleveland, Ohio

Nestled on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is one of Ohio's largest cities. We'll pass cultural sites such as the city's stately Museum of Art, the famous Cleveland Orchestra, and the quirky Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame before reaching the West Side Market. Dating back as far as the 1840's, Cleveland's West Side market is the city's oldest publicly owned market by far. Its 137-foot-tall clock tower has stood proudly over the market as a Cleveland landmark for centuries. Today, the market is home to hundreds of vendors selling everything from fresh seafood to beautiful flowers. We'll take some time to wander through the colorful stands before returning to your ship this evening. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

Detroit, Michigan & Windsor, Ontario

Sailing from Lake Erie to Lake Huron, the MS Victory I will call on Windsor, Ontario, known as “The City of Roses.” Here, we’ll board a motorcoach and cross Ambassador Bridge, a privately owned suspension bridge that connects Windsor with Detroit. This bridge is the busiest international trade crossing in North America, supporting $13 billion (USD) in annual production. Just outside of Detroit, we’ll visit the Henry Ford Museum, home to an incredible collection of American history. We'll see highlights such as the limousine that carried President John F. Kennedy on that fateful day in Texas, the bus in which Rosa Parks stood her ground and sparked the Civil Rights Movement, and the chair from Ford's Theatre in which Abraham Lincoln was sitting when he was shot. After our tour, we’ll return to the ship for dinner and set sail for Lake Huron.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

Scenic Sailing of Lake Huron

Spent the day savoring incredible views of Lake Huron. The second-largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron boasts a surface area of 23,000 square miles. Like the other Great Lakes, it was formed at the end of the last Ice Age as the glaciers retreated. With over 30,000 islands, Lake Huron has more shoreline than any of the other Great Lakes.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Little Current, Manitoulin Island (Georgian Bay)

This morning, we’ll cruise though the rugged beauty of Georgian Bay, sometimes called the sixth Great Lake. Our destination is Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island and home of the Ojibwe people, part of the First Nation of Anishinaabe. With native and non-native communities co-existing like no-where else on the continent, Manitoulin has a history as colorful and diverse as any in Canada. Docking at Little Current, you’ll explore the area’s rich native and nautical history. Discover how the beliefs and customs of the Ojibwe intertwine with those of the Catholic Church during a visit to the Immaculate Conception Church. At the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, you’ll unveil Ojibwe tradition intricacies as you attend a “smudging” ceremony and “pow wow”, as well as tour the foundation’s unique museum and art gallery. Back in Little Current, you’ll have the option to return to the ship or choose to stay in town for further exploration.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Sault Ste Marie

Today we'll witness the terrific vistas of the city of Sault Ste Marie as we explore a retired Great Lake freighter in person. Built by American Ship Building Company in Lorain, Ohio as Hull #721, the ship entered service in August 1917 and retired in 1966. Visitors have the opportunity to explore every nook and cranny of the great ship, from the Captain's quarters to the sailors' accommodations. In addition, the ship's huge cargo space is now home to hundreds of interesting artifacts, paintings, shipwreck items, models, and exhibits of objects related to maritime history, as well as several aquariums stocked with fish from the Great Lakes region. We'll visit the Edmund Fitzgerald Exhibit, an exhibit that holds the only two recovered lifeboats torn from the stricken vessel after its tragic demise, and several others during our time here. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Mackinac Island, Lake Michigan

This morning we’ll awaken in the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron, and go ashore to Mackinac Island. With its Revolutionary-era heritage and car-free streets, arriving on Mackinac Island is like stepping back in time. In fact, the Island is so stepped with history that Mackinac is listed as a National Historic Landmark. Rejoice in simpler times as you enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride full of remarkable sightseeing and cultural discoveries. Along the way, you’ll drive by the Victorian-era Grand Hotel, where the movie “Somewhere in Time” was filmed, and visit Fort Mackinac, which was constructed by the British in 1780, taken by the Americans in 1796, and reclaimed by the British at the start of the War of 1812. This evening, you're invited to attend a delightful cocktail hour in the hotel lounge, where the Grand Hotel's resident historian will deliver a captivating presentation, the perfect illuminating end to your charming day.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Scenic Sailing in Lake Michigan

The only Great Lake located entirely within the United States, Lake Michigan has a surface area of more than 22,000 square miles, making it the fifth-largest lake in the world. The name Michigan is believed to come from the native Ojibwe word mishigami, which translates to “great water.” After a scenic day of cruising, we'll gather for a Farewell Reception on board.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Chicago, Illinois, USA (Disembarkation)

After breakfast on board, it's time to disembark the M/V Victory I in Chicago.

Included Meals:


Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary.

Note: That hotel ratings are based on the hotel and a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.

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