11-day Great Lakes Grand Discovery cruise aboard Ocean Navigator (2022)

This 11-day journey from Chicago, Illinois to Toronto, Ontario explores the attractions of the Great Lakes. Discover popular ports on Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario and immerse yourself in the lakes' natural splendor. The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan, provides information on the history of industry and its role in shaping America. Enjoy the culture of Cleveland, Ohio, which features an amazing art museum and the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Your adventure concludes in Toronto, Ontario, where you may marvel at the thundering power of Niagara Falls and enjoy the bustling modern city. Admire the picturesque shorelines and untamed islands of these great lakes all along the trip.
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Highlights

  • Explore the arts, music, and culinary scenes of Chicago.
  • Enjoy stunning views of Lake Michigan's pretty shores and islands.
  • Learn about American industrial history at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.
  • Admire the stunning, world-famous Niagara Falls.

Activities

  • Urban Exploration
  • Small Ship Cruises

Places Visited

  • Atlantic Coast
  • Canada
  • East Coast of US
  • Great Lakes
  • New England
  • North America
  • United States
  • Chicago
  • Cleveland
  • Detroit
  • Illinois River
  • Lake Erie
  • Lake Huron
  • Lake Michigan
  • Lake Superior
  • New York
  • Niagara Falls
  • Ohio
  • Toronto
  • Illinois

Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Hotel Stay in Chicago, Illinois

Enjoy a complimentary stay at the pre-cruise hotel. The evening allows time to become acquainted with the city. For your convenience, our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel, and our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about the upcoming voyage to reservation of premium experiences. Representatives will be available to provide suggestions for dining, entertainment, and sightseeing options to maximize your time here.

Day 2: Chicago, IL | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner

Bold, brazen, and distinctly American, Chicago has the personality to spare. From our embarkation point at Navy Pier to towering skyscrapers to regional cuisine and a quirky dialect, this city represents the heart and soul of the Midwest. Chicagoans are easy to recognize and quick with a smile and a lighthearted quip. Shopping on the Magnificent Mile is an adventure to remember, and the locals know the hidden mom-and-pop gems serving the best deep-dish pizza, Italian beef and signature Chicago dogs.

Day 3: Scenic Sailing on Lake Michigan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

These waters are home to a vast variety of wildlife – trout, salmon, walleye, smallmouth bass, crawfish, freshwater sponges, and sea lamprey, to name a few. That buffet attracts raptors such as hawks and bald eagles and waterfowl such as ducks, swans, and geese. Relax and enjoy the view on your own time on this peaceful lake cruising day. Sip a midmorning consommé, breathe in the fresh lake air on the upper deck, share convivial conversation with other guests, or delve into a captivating book as you look forward to yet another astounding sunset on the water.

Day 4: Mackinac Island, MI

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Trapped in time and surrounded by staggeringly beautiful landscapes, Mackinac Island centers the spirit and soothes the soul. Settle into the tranquil pace of this treasured destination on a tour by horse-drawn carriage. Fill up on fresh, local flavor with a lunch to remember at the island’s legendary Grand Hotel. Afterward, let your gaze lazily wander across the stunning vistas from its colossal porch – the world’s largest.

Included Shore Excursions:
Mackinac Island Included Tour

Located on Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is one of the leading tourist destinations in the mid-western United States. This island has undergone extensive historical preservation, and as a result, the entire island has been listed as a National Historic Landmark. Here, you will find various architectural styles such as that of the famous Victorian Grand Hotel. Mackinac has a well-known ban on motor vehicles, so horses and bicycles are the primary modes of transportation used on the island.

Day 5: Sault Ste. Marie, MI

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

A city divided presents duality in experience; Sault Ste. Marie, MI, and ON, bridged together by name and commerce, are diverse waterfront communities that harbor a flood of opportunity. Culture beats through street veins that connect these harbors to the distinctly different North American countryside beyond each border. Join the included tour, and admire the view from the Soo Locks observation deck, or peer into the past in the preserved fur traders’ settlement homes on Water Street. Drink in the atmosphere, and encounter life in Sault Ste. Marie.

Included Shore Excursions:
Sault Ste. Marie Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is one of the largest cities in northern Ontario, with a population of nearly 75,000 people. Just across the river is the United States city of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Split by the St. Mary's River, these two cities were once one, until the end of the War of 1812 when a border was established between Canada and the United States. Today, the two cities are linked by an international bridge.

Day 6: Little Current/Manitoulin Island, ON

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

The raw beauty of Georgian Bay leads to the world’s largest freshwater island – Manitoulin – featuring picturesque granite outcrops and rolling farmland. In its largest town, Little Current, indigenous life and legend meld with European history, with Immaculate Conception Church and its distinctive tepee-like architecture as a symbol. Venerated rhythms of the ages come to life in the talented hands and feet of Native drummers and dancers on an island considered sacred by the native Anishinaabe people.

Day 7: Scenic Sailing on Lake Huron

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Today we slip our moorings to survey the sapphire canvas of a boundless empire. Scenic sailing invites visitors to navigate the day as we cruise through the second-largest arena of an inland sea in America’s Great Lakes. Engage in laissez-faire, and curl up with a nautical novel on the deck as the rhythmic slap of spray keeps pace.

Day 8: Detroit, MI

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

There’s no better place than the Motor City to choose an optional premium experience to explore the captivating history of the automotive industry – and so much more – at The Henry Ford. Be astounded by the museum’s vast and varied artifacts of American heritage. The extraordinary exhibits chronicle the lifespan of a nation. All guests may choose the included excursion to the Detroit Institute of Arts and its 100-plus galleries, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the West Canfield Historic District, and other city highlights.

Included Shore Excursions:
Detroit Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Detroit was once the automotive capital of the world, and today, the city is approaching the vibrancy of its past. Brim with renewed energy, Detroit is made up of unique cultural communities and architectural wonders. Discover the largest city in Michigan, one that without a doubt helped build America.

Day 9: Cleveland, OH

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Step off the ship onto what some call America’s “North Coast” and discover why Clevelanders are so fiercely proud of their home. The reinvented city reverberates with vitality and a cool new atmosphere. Expand your mind at the world-class Cleveland Museum of Art, with over 45,000 works to explore. You can also feel the backbeat at the museum devoted to one of America’s finest gifts to the world – the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. An optional premium experience to Geauga County offers a glimpse into a simpler way of life with a visit to an Amish home for a traditional wedding feast.

Included Shore Excursions:
Cleveland Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Majestically situated on the south shore of Lake Erie, just between the Welland Canal and Detroit, Cleveland offers visitors much to behold. Cleveland has often been underrated due to its colder climate and dissipated industry. However, the city is resilient just like its citizens and is filled with its own beauty, culture, and charm that you will not find anywhere else.

Day 10: Niagara Falls (Port Colborne), ON

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Begin your day in breathtaking Niagara Falls, which attracts millions of visitors each year. An optional pre-cruise premium experience takes you to the heart of its splendor for a Hornblower catamaran ride into the mist. Afterward, take lunch for a spin in the rotating Skylon Tower, followed by a tasting at local winery and shopping at Niagara-on-the-Lake. Deluxe motorcoaches will transport guests a short distance to the ship in Port Colborne.

Day 11: Toronto, ON | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast

As the journey concludes, there are other opportunities for you to take in the town. Enjoy the city at your leisure, or consider a post-cruise premium experience with airport transfer.

Ship/Hotel

Ocean NavigatorPerfectly designed spaces for every mood and every possibility the Ocean Navigator takes you on a splendid sailing discovery of some of the most stunning and remote regions on the planet, mixing comfort and adventure to create the ideal cruising experience.

Dates & Prices

Per person starting at

$4,299

11-day Great Lakes Grand Discovery cruise aboard Ocean Navigator (13)

Select a Date

Category E

Oceanview stateroom, queen bed, armoire, chest of drawers & fresh fruit daily. (Deck 1 / 160 sq ft)

11-day Great Lakes Grand Discovery cruise aboard Ocean Navigator (14)

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Category D

Oceanview stateroom, two twins or one queen bed, armoire, chest of drawers & fresh fruit daily.(Deck 1 / 158 sq ft)

11-day Great Lakes Grand Discovery cruise aboard Ocean Navigator (15)

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Category C

Oceanview stateroom, two twins or one queen bed, armoire, chest of drawers & fresh fruit daily.(Deck 2 & 3 / 152 sq ft)

11-day Great Lakes Grand Discovery cruise aboard Ocean Navigator (17)

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Category A

Oceanview stateroom, two twins or one queen bed, armoire and chest of drawers & fresh fruit daily.(Deck 3 / 185 sq ft)

11-day Great Lakes Grand Discovery cruise aboard Ocean Navigator (18)

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Category AA

Oceanview with direct access to the open-air promenade. Two twins or one queen bed, armoire and chest of drawers, mini fridge & fresh fruit daily. (Deck 4 / 161 sq ft)

11-day Great Lakes Grand Discovery cruise aboard Ocean Navigator (19)

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Owner’s Suite

Oceanview suite sweeping views, a private terrace, one queen bed and one sofa bed, sitting area, complimentary minibar, complimentary laundry service & fresh fruit (Deck 3/335 sq ft)

Operated by American Queen Voyages

Included

  • 10 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Beverages
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • One Night Pre-Cruise Hotel
  • Open Bars and Lounges
  • All-Day In-Room Dining
  • Bicycles & Hiking Sticks equipment if needed
  • Live, Daily Onboard Entertainment & Enrichment
  • Unlimited Included Expedition Adventures by Zodiac or Kayak (For Expedition Cruises Only)

Excluded

  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Arrival & Departure Transfers
  • Port Fees
  • Optional Premium Shore Excursions -highly recommend booking these in advance. If interested, ask us for a detailed list of premium excursions for your cruise as these vary depending on your departure date.
  • Mandatory Gratuities

Map

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11-day Great Lakes Grand Discovery cruise aboard Ocean Navigator (20)

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.

Gale Cantor

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