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zGreat Lakes Explorer Cruise - Windsor to Milwaukee

10 days

Aboard the mv Victory II

Our Complete Program of Shoreside Discoveries

+ Discover the unique geography and breathtaking scenery of Georgian Bay and the 30,000 Islands as you venture by land and water with our expert specialist guides.
+ Experience the enduring traditions of the Ojibwe Tribe on Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater island in the world.
+ Immerse in the Victoria-era charm of Mackinac Island as you explore by horse-drawn carriage and visit historic Fort Mackinac which played an important role in the War of 1812.
+ Navigate through the historic Soo Locks that were built in 1855 to connect Lake Huron with the pristine northern waters of Lake Superior.
+ Experience the bounty of the Great Lakes including the Grand Luncheon Buffet at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and cherry-picking and wine-tasting at an Orchard Winery in beautiful Door County.
+ Board the USS LST 393 in Muskegon: Now a museum, this historic transport ship logged more than 51,000 nautical miles - including its service in June of 1944 when it made 30 round trips to the beaches of Normandy.

Show all itinerary details

Day
1

Board the mv Victory II in Windsor, Ontario

On arrival at the airport, our chauffeured transfer takes you to the pier where the elegant mv Victory II awaits. Settle in to your outside stateroom before joining your fellow passengers for dinner with free-flowing house wines, cocktails and beverages.  Meals D

Day
2

Cruising Lake Huron

Delight in this day of cruising aboard the casually elegant mv Victory II. Today finds our intimate ship navigating the second largest of America’s Great Lakes. If you count Huron’s 30,000 islands, the lake actually has the longest shoreline of any of the Great Lakes. Enjoy convivial conversation with your fellow passengers or join an engaging discussion with our shipboard experts; they’re well-versed in the history, peoples and natural wonders of the Great Lakes region. Elegant dining in two distinctive venues and our ship’s Open Bar with house spirits, wine and beer enhance your day.  Meals B+L+D

Day
3

Killbear Park + The 30,000 Islands

Today we’ll be docked in the town of Parry Sound, tucked along the eastern shores of Georgian Bay and surrounded by pristine waters, deep forests and the rugged terrain of the Laurentian Plateau. To fully appreciate the grandeur of the region, we’ve arranged two special excursions for the day. In Killbear Provincial Park, an expert team of wildlife naturalists and geologists will guide your exploration of the region’s diverse terrain - which encompasses rocky shores, sandy beaches, and the pine-forested ridges of the Plateau. Enjoy breathtaking views of Georgian Bay and learn about the unique flora and fauna of the park. For a different perspective, we’ve also arranged for an excursion aboard the mv Chippewa III. With insights from an expert local resident, this guided cruise through Georgian Bay’s 30,000 Islands region promises an experience that is both enlightening and fun.
 
Travelers with a taste for even greater excitement can join an available Flightseeing Adventure in modern 3-passenger aircrafts that will take you soaring above the blue waters, rugged shores and forests of the 30,000 Islands.  Meals B+L+D

Day
4

Little Current on Manitoulin Island

After breakfast you’ll step ashore in Little Current, Ontario. This charming town is the gateway to Manitoulin, the largest freshwater island in the world. Learn about the island’s nautical heritage and its natural history as you make the scenic 30-minute drive to the Immaculate Conception Church. With a unique in-the-round architectural style that evokes a teepee and the circle of life, this church is the spiritual focal point of the local community and brings together the beliefs and customs of the native Ojibwe culture and the Catholic Church. Later at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, you’ll enjoy a guided tour through the art galleries and enlightening state-of-the-art exhibits of this heritage museum. If you wish, you can browse in the Foundation’s artisan shop and participate in a smudging ceremony, an ancient purifying ritual that uses the smoke from cedar, sage, sweet grass and other plants that are regarded for their healing powers. A narrated drum and dance performance offers further insight into Ojibwe cultural traditions. We’ll return to the mv Victory II for lunch. In the afternoon, you can relax onboard or step off to explore the charming town of Little Current at your own pace.  Meals B+L+D

Day
5

Through the Soo Locks + Sault Ste. Marie

You might wish to arise early this morning as the mv Victory I 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! After traveling upward through the locks into Lake Superior, we’ll return downward to dock in Sault Ste. Marie.
 
Today you will have the opportunity to tailor your sightseeing with the included guided tour of your choice – showcasing either the Canadian or US side of the border:

- On the Canadian side, guests will visit the Bush Plane Heritage Center to learn about the history and delve into the exciting stories of the country’s bush-plane forest fire protection efforts. At the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site, you’ll see two of the oldest stone buildings in Canada, both surrounded by period gardens that offer a look into the region’s pioneering days.

- Guests choosing to visit the American side of Sault St. Marie will tour the Valley Camp Museum, set inside the enormous hold of a cargo ship that plied the Great Lakes from 1917 through 1916. You’ll be able to explore nearly every inch of the ship, including fascinating exhibits that trace the rich maritime history of the Great Lakes. Among the informative and sometimes moving artifacts are two lifeboats that were torn away from the Edmund Fitzgerald before she sank. Before returning to ship, this tour also includes a viewpoint over the Soo Locks.

Day
6

Mackinac Island

Today’s horse-drawn carriage tour on Mackinac Island is a great way to experience the delightful Victoria-era ambience of this National Historic Landmark. Learn about the island’s history and see turn-of-the-century homes built by early captains of American industry. Then hop off at the Grand Hotel and take in the views from its famous verandah, the longest in the world! In the elegant main dining room, you’ll enjoy the hotel’s lavish Grand Buffet Luncheon.
 
You’ll also tour Fort Mackinac - set high on a bluff overlooking the Straits of Mackinac. Built by the British in 1780, taken by the Americans in 1796, and reclaimed by the British at the start of the War of 1812, your guided visit offers rich insight into colorful chapters of American history.  Meals B+L+D

Day
7

Sturgeon Bay + Beautiful Door County

Step ashore in the port of Sturgeon Bay and visit the Door County Maritime Museum. Situated along the bustling waterfront, this museum showcases the region’s rich maritime heritage from its fishing fleet and hardy sea captains to the skilled craftsmen, bold inventors and lonely lighthouse keepers who have contributed so much to the area. We’ll also take you into the beautiful wooded landscapes of Door County, a peninsula that extends into Lake Michigan to form the sheltering waters of Green Bay. Get a glimpse of the grand waterfront homes along Cottage Row and tour the Alexander Noble House, built in 1875.

Then meet the owner of Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery to learn about the history of the region’s many bountiful fruit farms. Comprised of orchards and vineyards, your tour of this family-run estate includes a wine tasting and a chance to pick delicious Door County cherries in the orchard.  Meals B+L+D

Day
8

Ashore in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Our first visit on today’s shore excursion program is the National Railway Museum, dedicated to the preservation of our nation’s railroad heritage. Among its historic exhibits are the Dwight D. Eisenhower Command Car, the largest steam locomotive ever built, and the futuristic Aerotrain introduced by GM in the 1950’s. The museum also houses a rare collection of silver service plates and china that was used on railroads, steamships and early airlines.
 
Next up is the Heritage Hill State Park. Here at this 48-acre open air museum, you’ll find more than 30 historical structures brought here from sites across the state. These original buildings include log cabins from the fur-trading era, structures from Fort Howard that once occupied a site along the nearby Fox River, and stores and public buildings from the 1800’s. With enlightening insight from museum staff garbed in period clothing, today’s visit offers a look into Midwest life more than a century ago.  Meals B+L+D

Day
9

Muskegon + Holland, Michigan

This morning you’ll board the USS LST 393. Launched on November 11, 1942 in Newport News, Virginia, this historic transport ship logged more than 51,000 nautical miles - including its service in June of 1944 when it made 30 round trips to the beaches of Normandy. Now a museum filled with fascinating wartime artifacts and historical documents, your guided tour will also show the shipboard technology and living conditions endured by our World War II soldiers. Enjoy a narrated sightseeing drive through the handsome historic district of Muskegon and continue to the charming town of Holland to visit the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe and Delft Factory. You’ll have a chance to engage with the artists who craft the only authentic blue and white delftware made in America and to see wooden shoes being carved on machines that were imported from the Netherlands. Before returning to ship, you’ll also see an authentic 250-year-old working Dutch windmill and meet the artisans at Nelis’ Dutch Village where carefully constructed buildings recreate a 19th-century Dutch village.  Meals B+L+D

Day
10

Disembark in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

After breakfast and disembarkation here in Milwaukee, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your homeward flight.  Meals B

Great Lakes MapSearch

$399 port charges are extra

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!

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