Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (2022)

Pre-Trip Extension

Chicago, Illinois (Pre-Trip)

FROM: $999 PER PERSON | 3 DAYS | $333 PER DAY

Toronto, Canada (Pre-Trip)

FROM: $1299 PER PERSON | 3 DAYS | $433 PER DAY

Close All

DAY 1:

Arrive in Toronto, Canada

Arrive in Toronto for the first leg of your Great Lakes adventure! Spend the afternoon and evening at leisure, with time to explore your new surroundings, then join in for a Welcome Dinner and reception.

Included meals:

Dinner

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (1)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (2)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (3)

DAY 2:

Explore Toronto's gems on your own

Maximize your Toronto time with a day at leisure to explore this city however you wish. Browse the exhibits at the Art Gallery of Ontario or the Royal Ontario Museum . . . taste your way through the famous St. Lawrence Market . . . or enjoy waterfront views from the Harbourfront Centre. Lunch and dinner are on your own — and this diverse city offers a gamut of memorable dining experiences.

Included meals:

Breakfast

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (4)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (5)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (6)

DAY 3:

Tour panoramic Toronto, then embark the Ocean Explorer

After breakfast, a panoramic tour of Toronto ensures you’ll see this wonderful metropolis and its skyline in full view. We’ll drive by Toronto City Hall, the Eaton Center, and more, before visiting the pedestrian-only Distillery Historic District. Then we’ll have lunch on our own and then drive by the Hockey Hall of Fame. We'll also enjoy the stunning city views from the CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the western hemisphere and one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World.

Afterwards, you'll embark the Ocean Explorer! We’ve peppered this voyage with a series of illuminating presentations by the onboard historian, whose insights will enhance every discovery on land. After settling into your cabin, join your fellow travelers for a lively Welcome Dinner as you cast off.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day panoramic tour of Toronto

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (7)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (8)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (9)

DAY 4:

Sail into the mists of Niagara Falls, and visit a local winery

Excitement prevails today as we disembark in Port Colborne on the southern end of the Welland Canal and drive along the Niagara River for dramatic views of Horseshoe Falls. Then you’ll board the iconic Hornblower “Voyage to the Falls” for a cruise past the American and Bridal Veil Falls before heading into the misty spray of Niagara’s thunderous Horseshoe.Back on shore, we’ll drive along picturesque Niagara Parkway, spotting famed Niagara sights including the Floral Clock and the Whirlpool Rapids.

Included Feature:

  • Embark on a Hornblower “Voyage of the Falls” cruise to Horseshoe Falls

Cultural Discovery:

  • Visit a local winery for wine tasting

Please note: Timing and docking may vary due to ship's transit time through canal.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (10)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (11)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (12)

DAY 5:

Tour Cleveland’s iconic sites, including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Embark on a charming hop-on/hop-off trolley tour of Cleveland, nestled along the banks of Lake Erie. Depending on the day of the week, our stops may include the stately Museum of Art, the Tiffany-designed Wade Chapel at Lakeview Cemetery, and the bustling West Side Market, where hundreds of vendors hawk everything from fresh seafood to flowers.

Included Features:

  • Half-day trolley tour of Cleveland
  • Visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Please note: Some groups will experience today’s itinerary in reverse order, however, both groups will enjoy the same number of features.

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (13)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (14)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (15)

DAY 6:

Discover Detroit: From the Henry Ford Museum to the Institute of the Arts

Sailing from Lake Erie to Lake Huron, we’ll find ourselves in Detroit, Michigan. Peruse artifacts from American history during a self-guided tour of the Henry Ford Museum, home to 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 Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated. After lunch included at the museum, you'll have a choice: You can visit the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History or spend more time at the Henry Ford Museum.Or, you can visit the Detroit Institute of Arts, featuring one of the most renowned art collections in the country. Some of the museum’s notable holdings include Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry Murals and Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portrait — the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum collection. This evening, enjoy dinner and a Motown performance back on the ship as we set sail for Lake Huron.

Included Features:

  • Tour the Detroit Institute of Arts
  • Peruse artifacts from American history during a guided tour of the Henry Ford Museum

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (16)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (17)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (18)

DAY 7:

Spend a day on Lake Huron

Spend the day enjoying incredible views of Lake Huron. The second largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron features more 30,000 islands and boasts more shoreline than any of the other Great Lakes. Head to the sun deck with a cocktail and a good book, or with a good camera for some excellent photo opportunities.

Included Feature:

  • Scenic cruising around Lake Huron

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (19)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (20)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (21)

DAY 8:

Encounter Ojibwe tradition and a powwow on Manitoulin Island

Keep your cameras ready as we cruise through the rugged beauty of UNESCO-listed Georgian Bay, sometimes called the sixth Great Lake. Our destination is Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island and home of the Ojibwe tribe. With native and non-native communities coexisting like nowhere else on the continent, Manitoulin has a history as colorful and diverse as any in Canada. Later, at Little Current, you’ll explore the area’s rich native and nautical history, and discover how the beliefs and customs of the Ojibwe intertwine with Catholicism during a visit to the Immaculate Conception Church.

Included Feature:

  • Explore Manitoulin Island and visit the Immaculate Conception Church

Cultural Discovery:

  • Experience a traditional smudging ceremony and powwow at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (22)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (23)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (24)

DAY 9:

Choose your own adventure in Sault Ste. Marie

Today, we’ll transit the Soo Locks from Lake Huron towards Lake Superior at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Located at the mouth of the St. Mary's River, these four parallel locks — MacArthur (constructed in 1943), Poe (1895), Davis (1914), and Sabin (1919) — pass an impressive 10,000 ships each year.

After docking, you’ll have your choice of adventures and attractions on the U.S. side of the locks, including the Valley Camp Museum Ship and Soo Locks Visitors platform or the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre and Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site.

Included Features:

  • Transit the Soo Locks from Lake Huron into Lake Superior
  • Choice of tours in Sault Ste. Marie: Visit the Valley Camp Museum Ship and Soo Locks Visitors platform or the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre and Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (25)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (26)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (27)

DAY 10:

Step back in time on car-free Mackinac Island

Explore the popular retreat of Mackinac Island today. With its Revolutionary-era heritage and car-free streets, arriving on the island feels like a true step back in time.

Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the village on your own. This evening, you're invited to a delightful cocktail hour in the ship's lounge, where a captivating presentation by the ship’s historian rounds out another delightful day.

Included Features:

  • Narrated horse-drawn carriage tour of Mackinac Island
  • Tour Fort Mackinac

Cultural Discovery:

  • Buffet lunch at the historic Grand Hotel

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (28)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (29)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (30)

DAY 11:

Sail along scenic 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 festive Farewell Reception, followed by dinner in the ship’s main dining room.

Included Feature:

  • Scenic day of cruising on Lake Michigan

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (31)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (32)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (33)

DAY 12:

Tour the highlights of Chicago and disembark the Ocean Explorer

Today you’ll take the scenic route through Chicago on a panoramic tour of this cultural capital, including lunch with a Chicago bucket list item — deep dish pizza. You'll also disembark the Ocean Explorer and check into your hotel.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day panoramic tour of Chicago

Cultural Discovery:

  • Deep dish pizza lunch

Included meals:

Breakfast & lunch

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (34)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (35)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (36)

DAY 13:

Take an architectural boat tour of Chicago

Today will be a new nautical adventure, as you see Chicago from the water on an architectural tour. There are more than 50 buildings that line the Chicago River, which celebrate how this metropolis has thrived over the past century to becomes one of the world’s largest cities.

Your afternoon is at leisure if you'd like to explore more of Chicago on your own, and feel free to use your included Chicago CityPASS.. Explore this beloved metropolis and its offerings as one of the country’s most walkable cities. Take some time to explore the city’s iconic skyscrapers, renowned museums, waterfront, and pristine parks.

Included Feature:

  • Architectural Boat Tour of Chicago

Included meals:

Breakfast & dinner

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (37)

View Larger

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (38)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (39)

DAY 14:

Board a return flight home

After breakfast at the hotel this morning, check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Included meals:

Breakfast

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (40)

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto | Ocean Explorer | Small Ship Cruise (41)

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Terence Hammes MD

Last Updated: 09/07/2022

Views: 6250

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Terence Hammes MD

Birthday: 1992-04-11

Address: Suite 408 9446 Mercy Mews, West Roxie, CT 04904

Phone: +50312511349175

Job: Product Consulting Liaison

Hobby: Jogging, Motor sports, Nordic skating, Jigsaw puzzles, Bird watching, Nordic skating, Sculpting

Introduction: My name is Terence Hammes MD, I am a inexpensive, energetic, jolly, faithful, cheerful, proud, rich person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.