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Save $600 per couple | $300 solo

Great Lakes Explorer

11 days

On-board the Stylish m/v Ocean Voyager

Our Distinctive A+R Style

  • Immerse in the Victorian-era ambiance of Mackinac Island as you explore by horse-drawn carriage and visit historic Fort Mackinac. 
  • Delve into fascinating chapters of music history at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, designed by I.M. Pei. 
  • Cruise through the Great Niagara Gorge to feel the spray and mighty roar of Horseshoe Falls. 
  • With a pre-cruise night at our deluxe hotel and 9 nights your choice of outside stateroom; Open Bar; 27 meals; a complete program of shore excursions; and chauffeured airport transfers

Show all itinerary details

On arrival, you’ll be met and chauffeured to our deluxe city-center hotel for your pre-cruise stay in Toronto. The balance of this day and evening are yours to relax and enjoy as you wish in this cosmopolitan city.

Day
2

Enjoy Toronto + Embark the mv Ocean Voyager

Ocean Voyager

After breakfast, A+R guests have this morning at leisure to discover the sights and charms of Toronto at their own pace. Later this afternoon, we’ll take you to the pier where the intimate and stylish mv Ocean Voyager awaits. Settle in to your outside stateroom and then join your fellow travelers for an elegant dinner with wines, cocktails and beverages.  Meals B+D

Day
3

Thrill to Niagara Falls

Ocean Voyager

A thrilling Hornblower Cruise will take you through the Great Niagara Gorge and past Bridal Veil Falls into the very heart of Horseshoe Falls - where the mighty spray and thundering roar of Niagara will virtually envelope you!  Meals B+L+D

Day
4

Fine Art + Rock & Roll

Ocean Voyager

Today's sightseeing includes many of the city’s highlights.   At the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, set in a striking lakefront structure designed by the renowned architect I. M. Pei, you'll discover more than just a collection of Rock & Roll memorabilia. Indeed, its well-curated and thoughtfully presented exhibits trace the evolution of this musical genre and explore its cultural impact upon generations of Americans. Among the items in the collection are Janis Joplin's psychedelic Porsche, Michael Jackson's famous glove, and scribbled lyrics that became 20th-century classics!  Explore the history of women in the fields of aviation and aerospace at International Women’s Air and Space Museum located inside the Burke Lakefront Airport. The museum’s ever-changing exhibits depict the stories of over 6,000 women who broke barriers in aviation and space flight. The Rockefeller Park Greenhouse offers a peaceful and tranquil setting to admire a specialty plant collections and floral displays that change with the seasons. Enjoy a stroll through the winding paths of the greenhouse and view a variety of rare and exotic plants including orchids, cacti, ferns, and more. In the warmer months, outdoor exhibits include a Latin American Garden, Japanese Garden, and Rose Garden among others. Meals B+L+D

Day
5

Surprising Detroit

Ocean Voyager

America’s source of industrial innovation and creativity, Detroit has figured both in the development of the automobile and in the “Motown” sound during the 20th Century. Embark on a narrated driving tour through Detroit, the largest city in Michigan. Brimming with renewed energy, Detroit is made up of unique cultural communities and architectural wonders. As you traverse the city streets, your local guide will provide thoughtful commentary that will allow you to discover the many marvels of the city from exquisite art to innovative engineering. Visit the Fisher Building, one of the most recognizable towers in Detroit’s skyline. Explore the Arcade and see why this National Historic Landmark is considered an artistic masterpiece. At the Ford Piquette Plant, dive deep into the history of the Ford Motor Company as your local guide shows you how this factory put the world on wheels. Meals B+L+D

Day
6

Cruising Lake Huron

Ocean Voyager

Enjoy this day of cruising – enriched by our shipboard experts, fine dining, congenial camaraderie with your fellow passengers and our Open Bar. Meals B+L+D

Day
7

The Soo Locks + Sault Ste. Marie

Ocean Voyager

You might wish to arise early this morning as the mv Ocean Voyager transits through the historic Soo Locks where freighters, barges and tugboats traverse the 21-foot drop of the St. Mary’s River between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. The first lock here was built in 1855 and the canal was navigated by 27 vessels during its first year of operation. Today, more than 10,000 ships hauling 86 million tons of cargo pass through these historic parallel locks each year, even though they’re closed during the winter when ice shuts down shipping on the upper Great Lakes! 

Today you can join your fellow passengers for flexible Hop-on Hop-off touring. Exploring at your own pace, you’ll be able to visit a number of the town’s highlights including the Valley Camp Museum. Here in the enormous hold of a cargo ship that plied the Great Lakes from 1917 through 1966, you’ll find fascinating exhibits that trace the rich maritime history of the Great Lakes. Other sightseeing stops afford the chance to visit the River of History Museum, to see the historic homes of Water Street, and to marvel at the Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church, one of the oldest churches in the United States.  Meals B+L+D


Day
8

Mackinac Island

Ocean Voyager

With no cars allowed on the island, your horse-drawn carriage tour is a great way to experience the Victorian ambience of this National Historic Landmark. Learn about the island's history and see spectacular turn-of-the-century summer homes built by early captains of American industry. High atop a bluff overlooking the Straits of Mackinac, your tour of Fort Mackinac delves into its strategic importance during the War of 1812.
 
The Grand Hotel is famed for its colonnaded verandah. Opened in 1887, it’s still the longest front porch in the world. As you take in the breathtaking views from this hilltop setting and walk through the Grand’s elegant interior spaces, you may recognize them from Somewhere in Time, the 1980 film starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour that was filmed here. Meals B+L+D

Day
9

Escanaba “Esky” Michigan

Ocean Voyager

Escanaba, Michigan, nicknamed "Esky" by locals, is a travel destination worth exploring. The name translates to “land of the red buck” in Algonquian dialect of the Anishinaabe tribe that flourished in the area in the early 1900s. The city of Escanaba played an important role in the American Civil War as the supplier of lumber and iron ore, both resources having been abundant in the area at that time. Today, Escanaba's industrial impact has decreased as the demand for iron ore diminished, but its travel appeal has made headway as it boasts many natural attractions and activities.  Enjoy the sites seen on the included hop on/hop off sightseeing tour featuring Sayklly’s Confectionery, Webster Marble Outdoors Museum, the Upper Peninsula Military Museum and the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center.  This afternoon, we’ll witness an authentic dance demonstration by the Woodland Sky Native American Dance Company at the Potawatomi Heritage Center. Enjoy the phenomenal performance that features authentic music accompanied by the flowing bells of expert dancers. Meals B+L+D

Day
10

Cruising on Lake Michigan

Ocean Voyager

Delight in another day of cruising as we navigate south toward Chicago. Take in the scenery from the expansive Observation Deck, enjoy congenial conversation in the Lounge, or join a final talk with our engaging Great Lakes experts. Elegant dining in two distinct venues – the Coastal Dining Room and the casual al fresco Grill - and our Open Bar enhance your day at sea.  Meals B+L+D

Day
11

Step off in Chicago

After a final breakfast onboard, you’ll step off the ship in Chicago and be chauffeured to the airport for your homeward flight.  Meals B

MapSearch

13-Day Voyages including Montreal and the 1,000 Islands  

Travel with for our exclusive 13-day journey featuring an 11-night cruise and deluxe pre night hotel stay in Chicago. You’ll explore all 5 of our Great Lakes and thrill to the beauty of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the 1,000 Islands. And onboard the Ocean Voyager, we include fine dining, free-flowing wine, an Open Bar, and a complete program of shore excursions.

View Itinerary >>
 

Please note, we carry more than 16 guests on this program. Port charges $459 per person are not included

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Take advantage of our Family & Friends offer and Save $100 per person anytime you book 4 or more people on the same A+R program.

Pay-In-Full

Save $600 per couple + $300 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you book and pay-in-full within 7 days of booking and prior to the final payment date listed in our published terms and conditions.
Book by December 31, 2024 for travel in 2024 + 2025.

Exciting Discoveries on our Small Ship Cruise

These videos, articles and podcasts will illuminate some of the experiences that await you on our elegant voyage across the Great Lakes. Drawn from respected independent sources, we’ve curated this multi-media collection to inspire your imagination. Captivating as they are now on your screen, the things you see, read and hear will truly come to life when you travel with our attentive A+R Host and wonderful Great Lakes guides.

Our A+R Library

About Your Journey... America's Great Lakes

Comprising more than 20% of the world’s surface freshwater, the largest group of lakes on Earth may be close to home…but the travel experiences that await you are far from ordinary! Indeed, the storied and beautiful shores of North America’s five Great Lakes are home to some of the most iconic places in the United States and Canada – from vibrant Midwestern cities to the heart-pounding wonders of Niagara Falls and the Victorian charms of historic Mackinac Island.

Your upcoming voyage will take you from places you may know quite well, such as Chicago’s lakefront skyline and Cleveland to more distant shores, such as Manitoulin Island, certainly not as easy to reach by plane or car. You’ll step off with engaging guides well-versed in the history, natural wonders and colorful local stories of the places you visit. Back on board, these shore excursions will be enriched by engaging talks with our Great Lakes’ experts.

All along the way, you’ll delight in the warm camaraderie of newfound friends, and enjoy wonderful regionally inspired cuisine with wine and even an open bar throughout your cruise. In short, we think this journey has all the hallmarks of a perfect vacation – with easygoing enjoyment, a chance to engage your intellect and curiosity and opportunities to deepen your appreciation of new places and people.

Weather
Weather forecasts are widely available on the Internet, and some of the favorites for large international cities are at www.weather.com and www.cnn.com/weather. Average temperatures:
 

 

Chicago

Toronto

May

66/53

66/50

June

77/63

76/59

July

82/70

81/65

August

81/70

80/64

September

74/62

73/57



Embarkation
Embarkation is scheduled between 3 - 5 p.m. The ship is scheduled to sail at 6:00pm and all guests are required to be on board at least 60 minutes prior to departure. For departure in non-U.S. ports, guests are required to be onboard at least 90 minutes prior to departure. If you arrive early, you will be permitted to leave your luggage at the ship any time after 10:00am local time and explore the city at your leisure. Please ensure you return to the ship by 5:00pm at the latest. There is a mandatory safety drill onboard at 5:30pm.

Disembarkation
Disembarkation typically starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 9 a.m.    Passengers may disembark after the respective government formalities have been completed. We recommend scheduling departing flights for 1:00pm local time or later.  

On Board the M/V Victory I

Communication Services
Internet/Wi-Fi is complimentary on the M/V Victory I for one device per person. Due to limitations with satellite bandwidth, internet access is best used for quick email communication. Certain websites will be restricted due to limited bandwidth. We recommend avoiding downloading music, video or books. Please utilize Internet on land to upload photographs and larger email files. That will help make your Internet usage more pleasurable while onboard.  

Direct-dial phones are provided in suites/staterooms on the M/V Victory I, but outside lines are not available. Shipboard staff have access to satellite phones in case of emergency.

Cell phones are permitted on board the ship, however international roaming charges can be expensive. It is advisable to contact your carrier to determine the charges and plans available for each country you are visiting, then select the best available plan for your expected usage.

While cell phone service is typically available throughout our itineraries, please be aware that in certain areas, service might be extremely limited, and at times may not be available

Should you choose to take a cell phone on your trip, please refrain from conducting conversations while on shore excursions or during lectures and movies.

Moving Around the Ship
Because the ship will often be in motion and the decks are sometimes slippery, please take care when moving around the decks. Stairs may be steeper than you are used to, and it is best to always use the handrails.

Pets
We are unable to allow pets of any kind on board the ship.

Smoking
Smoking is not permitted in staterooms, on decks outside the staterooms, on Deck 4 or on the terraces of the Owner’s Suites. Smoking is permitted only in the designated outside smoking area on board the ship (Deck 5 aft). We ask everyone to refrain from smoking while on excursions.

Safety Precautions and Procedures
The ship will hold a mandatory safety drill, which is scheduled to take place prior to the ship’s departure from the port of embarkation. Participation by all guests is required. Emergency information can be found in your stateroom/suite.

Educational Talks
We have selected only the most interesting and engaging speakers to enhance your cruise experience with presentations on such topics as marine life, naval history and geology during our North American cruises.

Dining on Board the M/V Victory I
In the main restaurant, The Coastal Dining Room, enjoy a sumptuous seated breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in a casual and comfortable environment.

Enjoy afternoon tea with cakes, cookies, sandwiches, coffee and tea.

Complimentary free-flowing beverages such as coffee, tea, mineral water, soft drinks and non-premium beer, wine and spirits are available throughout your cruise.

During our daily cocktail hour, before dinner, we will feature cold canapés and bar snacks.

Vegetarian options are always available on the ship. Please include special dietary needs on your Guest Information Form. We will do our best to ensure that your request is accommodated, but cannot guarantee that all diet needs and preferences can be met.

The Coastal Dining Room
Savor delicious cuisine in the easy elegance of the main dining room, where a professional wait staff serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily from our chef’s menu of regionally inspired dishes.

The Grill
Enjoy the view and fresh selections at The Grill, serving buffet-style meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, enjoy your favorite cocktail at the open-air bar.    

Gym and Spa
There is a guest gym on board with equipment to meet your exercise needs.
Also, spa amenities are available, and a menu of options will be provided on board.

Shore Excursions
All our cruises feature complimentary excursions that are coordinated by the cruise director on board. Details of the shore excursions will be listed in the daily program. Your cruise director will review the excursions in a port-of-call briefing on board.

Suite/Stateroom Amenities
We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your voyage with us. Our onboard team will do its best to ensure the highest possible standards of cleanliness and comfort in your room. Please let us know if you have questions or if you are not satisfied with any aspect of our service. All suites/staterooms are equipped with individual climate control, a personal safe, a flat-screen television, an alarm clock, a hair dryer, robes, slippers and spa bath amenities. Premium mattresses, linens and pillows provide a comfortable night’s sleep.

Each stateroom is equipped with a combination safe for your use. Please use a combination that will be easy to remember. If you forget your combination, please notify the office immediately, because repeatedly trying to unlock the safe with an incorrect code will result in the safe being disabled.

Similar Trips

Discover the Great Lakes + St. Lawrence

Starting from Chicago, our exclusive journey across all five of our Great Lakes and down the storied St. Lawrence is highlighted by our 11-night cruise aboard the stylish, 202-guest Ocean Voyager. Enriched by a complete program of shore excursions showcasing the history, beauty and rich maritime heritage of the region, our all-inclusive cruise is enhanced by elegant shipboard dining, an Open Bar and engaging shipboard experts.