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zLake Superior Explorer Cruise - Thunder Bay to Detroit

10 days

Aboard the mv Victory II

Our Complete Program of Shoreside Discoveries

+ Delve into the industries that helped to build America at the still-operational Famous Eagle Iron Mine in Marquette and the Quincy Copper Mine that operated in Keweenaw, Michigan right up through World War II.
+ 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.

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Day
1

Board the mv Victory II in Thunder Bay

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

Discover Duluth, Minnesota

The Sioux and Chippewa were the first to settle in the scenic hills that overlook the far western shores of Lake Superior. By the mid 1600’s, it was a fur trading outpost that was then claimed for France by Daniel Greysolon Sieur du Lhut, the French soldier and explorer for whom the city is now named. Stepping off ship today, your guided exploration begins with the Aerial Lift Bridge which stands guard over the harbor and then continues along the North Shore Scenic Driver, from where you’ll have commanding views over the city and its picturesque setting on Lake Superior. You’ll ascend to Hawk Ridge to learn about the unique natural phenomenon that occurs here annually as raptors migrating from the Arctic crest the ridge and seemingly come to a halt in mid-air as they encounter the vast expanse of Lake Superior below. Back in town, enjoy a guided walk along the waterfront to Leif Erikson Park to see an amazing replica of a Viking ship and then tour the Duluth Depot, which houses the unique collection of the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. In the afternoon, you’ll have free time to explore more of Duluth’s vibrant waterfront at your own pace.  Meals B+L+D

Day
3

The Keweenaw Waterway + Houghton

Comprised of natural lakes and waterways as well as artificial canals that were dredged in the 1860’s, the Keweenaw Waterway traverses the Keweenaw Peninsula and provides a shortcut for freighters hauling ore from the rich copper mines of the Peninsula to larger cities along Lake Superior. Today you’ll off ship in the village of Houghton, situated midway through the Keweenaw Waterway, for a tour of the famous Quincy Copper Mine. The mine operated for nearly a century, right up through World War II, and offers the rare chance for visitors to actually enter the mine itself! After lunch, you’ll visit the Houghton Lake Historic Village to see a restored vintage homestead and tour the Fireman’s Memorial Museum.  Meals B+L+D

Day
4

Marquette, Michigan

Set on the northern shores of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the lands around Marquette were well known by French missionaries as far back as the 1600’s and in later centuries by intrepid fur trappers. With the discovery of iron deposits in the mid-19th century, the town of Marquette began to grow and prosper and by the late 1800’s steamships were also bringing summer visitors to fill the city’s hotels and resorts. Stepping ashore today in this historic town, your sightseeing will include the Michigan Iron Industry Museum and the still-operational Famous Eagle Mine site. At the Baumer Heritage Center, informative and entertaining exhibits will offer further insight into Marquette’s development from furs and mining to modern-day tourism.  Meals B+L+D

Day
5

Through the Soo Locks into Lake Huron

A delightful day of cruising is enriched by engaging talks with our onboard Great Lakes experts. Elegant dining in two distinctive venues, our ship’s Open Bar with house wine, spirits and beer, and convivial conversation with your fellow travelers add to the experience. Today our ship will transit 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! As we navigate from Lake Superior downward through the locks, our experts will be on-hand to offer colorful historical insights. Once we reach Lake Superior, we’ll continue our voyage toward Mackinac Island.  Meals B+L+D

Day
6

Mackinac Island

This morning, the mv Victory II will dock in St. Ignace where you’ll board the Star Line Ferry to Mackinac Island. From the Mackinac waterfront, a horse-drawn carriage tour is a great way to experience the 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.
 
Also today, you’ll 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. Then return to the waterfront where the ferry will take you back to St. Ignace to reboard the mv Victory II.  Meals B+L+D

Day
7

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
8

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
9

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 with free-flowing wine and beer and our ship’s Open Bar enhance your day.  Meals B+L+D

Day
10

Disembark in Detroit, Michigan

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

Extend Your Trip

Free Pre-Cruise Stay in Thunder Bay

Extend your journey with our complimentary pre-cruise stay in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Set on the western shores of Lake Superior and cradled by the Nor’Wester Mountain Range, this vibrant urban community is a friendly place to relax and explore before embarking your cruise. We include your flight from Toronto to Thunder Bay, arrival transfer, hotel accommodations, and sightseeing.

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Day
1

Fly from Toronto to Thunder Bay

Your flight today from Toronto is included with our Pre-Cruise Stay. On arrival in Thunder Bay, you can arrange your transfer to the comfortable Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton: Simply dial #10 from the Guest Services Phone to contact the hotel and request their complimentary shuttle service. The balance of your afternoon and evening is yours to relax and enjoy as you wish.

Day
2

Discover Thunder Bay + Embark your Cruise

After breakfast and hotel check-out, our friendly local guide will take you to Fort William Historical Park. Set on 250 acres overlooking the picturesque Kaministiquia River, this leading heritage and cultural center offers a chance to experience and learn about local life in the early 19th century at the peak of the North American fur trade. Start with an informative video presentation and continue through the Park to the old fur trading post where you’ll find finely-reconstructed historical buildings including a working farm and areas for artisans and trades people. Hands-on demonstrations and engaging staff in period garb bring the region’s history to life. After your visit, we’ll take you to the pier to board the mv Victory II.  Meals B+D

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Act Now...  

  • Free Companion Air in Economy
  • $1,000 Off Companion Fares in Business and Economy Plus
  • Solo Travelers Save $500 on air

Pay in full at booking by 11/30/19
+ Travel anytime through 2021

Save $1,000 Per Couple
+ $500 Solo

Pay in full at time of booking.

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$399 port charges are extra

Pay-In-Full

Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full at time of booking.

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!

Free Companion Air

Available for Economy Class travel when you pay in full at booking by Nov 30, 2019 for any 2020-2021 departure. If you prefer Economy Plus or Business Class, take $1,000 off your companion’s airfare. Solo travelers enjoy $500 savings on air! Applies to new bookings made between Oct 1 and Nov 30, 2019 and cannot be combined with our ongoing pay-in-full discount. Any airline charges for advance seat assignments are not included. Cancellation penalties and other requirements and conditions may apply.

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