Cruising the Great Lakes

Program Overview

Explore all five Great Lakes during this seven-night, exclusively chartered cruise. Admire magnificent coastal scenery and discover North America’s passion for nearly two centuries of North American innovation and rich maritime history from Milwaukee to Toronto. Cruise aboard the five-star, small ship Le Dumont-d’Urville, featuring only 92 suites and staterooms. Experience the historical charm of Mackinac Island, the unspoiled beauty of the UNESCO-inscribed Niagara Escarpment, the cultural largesse of Detroit, and the thunderous force of Niagara Falls. Transit the Welland Canal and Soo Locks, among the world’s greatest engineering feats of the 19th century. Extend your journey with our exclusive Milwaukee Pre-Program and Toronto Post-Program Options.

Program Details

September 17 to 24, 2022 (Le Dumont-d’Urville) September 24 to 31, 2022 (ship TBA) October 9 to 16, 2022 (ship TBA)
From $4,995 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Cruise in each of the five Great Lakes from Milwaukee to Toronto, visiting fascinating islands and quaint towns rich in maritime history and natural splendor.
  • An excursion included in each port and specially arranged lectures on board.
  • Delight in the Victorian charm of Mackinac Island, with a horse-drawn carriage ride and lunch at the iconic Grand Hotel.
  • Transit Sault Sainte Marie’s mighty Soo Locks, an engineering marvel, between Lake Superior and Lake Huron.
  • Discover the cultural treasures of vibrant Detroit.
  • Experience the thunderous power of phenomenal Niagara Falls on a specially arranged cruise.
  • Transit the Welland Canal, possible only by small ship.
  • Milwaukee Pre-Program and Toronto Post-Program Options.

Day 1 - Depart Home City / Arrive in Milwaukee, Wisconsin / Embark Le Dumont-d’Urville

Day 2 - Cruising Lake Michigan / Mackinac Island, Michigan / Cruising Lake Huron

Day 3 - Cruising Lake Superior / Sault Sainte Marie

Day 4 - Cruising Lake Huron / Tobermory, Ontario

Day 5 - Detroit, Michigan

Day 6 - Detroit / Cruising Lake Erie

Day 7 - Port Colborne, Ontario for Niagara Falls / Welland Canal / Cruising Lake Ontario

Day 8 - Toronto / Return to Home City

View detailed program itinerary >

Le Dumont-d’Urville

Exclusively Chartered, Five-Star Luxury Small Ship

Le Dumont-d’Urville, launched in 2019, ushers in a new generation of five-star small ships, combining revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury for unparalleled cruising. Dock in smaller ports inaccessible to larger ships, where authentic cultural experiences and majestic scenery await you.

Learn more about the Le Dumont-d’Urville >

Pre-Program Option Milwaukee: Pride and Preservation

Rich in architectural treasures and world-class institutions that reflect its storied history, vibrant Milwaukee is the perfect introduction to your Great Lakes cruise. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the historical North Point neighborhood—home to one of the finest collections of Victorian mansions in the Midwest—and tour the expansive Milwaukee Art Museum, an impressive addition to Milwaukee’s revitalized waterfront, with more than 25,000 pieces of art. Enjoy a downtown walking tour where modern high-rises share the skyline with meticulously preserved 19th-century buildings fashioned from the city’s signature cream-colored local brick. Visit the striking Pabst Mansion, built in Flemish style by Pabst Brewing Company president Frederick Pabst. Accommodations for two nights are in the deluxe, centrally located The Pfister Hotel.

Post-Program Option Toronto: Cultural Mosaic

Conclude your Great Lakes voyage in cosmopolitan Toronto, one of North America’s most celebrated cultural melting pots. Enjoy a walking tour of the Distillery District, Canada’s premier arts, culture, and entertainment destination, and visit Fort York, built in 1793 on the shores of Lake Ontario. Enjoy a specially arranged lunch at the top of the CN Tower’s 360-degree revolving restaurant. Visit Casa Loma, a Gothic Revival mansion and garden, built in the style of a European castle by Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. Tour the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto’s crowning jewel. Housed in a visionary building designed by renowned native son, architect Frank Gehry, the renowned museum features over 80,000 works, including the world’s largest collection of Henry Moore sculptures. Accommodations for two nights are in the historical, deluxe Fairmont Royal York.

The Pre-Program and Post-Program Options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 Depart Home City / Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Arrive in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and embark the exclusively chartered, five-star Le Dumont-d’Urville.

Day 2 Mackinac Island, Michigan

Located in Lake Huron between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas, Mackinac Island was a lucrative port in the North American fur trade. With white-sand beaches, forested parklands, and charming streets lined with genteel Victorian homes, art galleries, and quaint fudge shops, few places capture a bygone era more graciously than automobile free Mackinac Island. Delight in a horse-drawn carriage ride to the Grand Hotel, a treasured landmark for over 130 years. Known as “The Lady on the Hill,” its gleaming white Colonial façade is complemented by over 2,000 trademark red geraniums and a procession of American flags. Enjoy lunch overlooking the world’s longest porch, as romantic today as it was during the 1800s when it was dubbed “Flirtation Walk.” Stop at dramatic limestone Arch Rock, a portal to the spirit world according to Native American legend, and tour Fort Mackinac, built by the British in 1779 and garrisoned until 1875.

Day 3 Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan and the Soo Locks

Cruise into Lake Superior—the deepest of the Great Lakes—to Whitefish Point, the eastern end of the 50-mile Skeleton Coast. Named for the nautical remains of over 300 shipwrecks, including the famed Edmund Fitzgerald, it offers breathtaking views of the Lake Superior shoreline.

Known to Native Americans as the “Gathering Place,” Michigan’s oldest town of Sault Saint Marie played a vital role in the Great Lakes’ economy following the construction of the National Historic Landmark Soo Locks, one of the greatest engineering accomplishments of the 19th century.

Maritime history is evocatively presented at SS Valley Camp, a retired lake freighter built in 1917, featuring exhibits that depict the faithfully restored living quarters of Great Lakes sailors and the tragic loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Transit the impressive locks, tour the Soo Locks Interpretation Center, and watch as colossal freighters lower 21 feet from Lake Superior to enter Lake Huron.

Day 4 Tobermory, Ontario, Canada

Cruise the coastline of Bruce Peninsula National Park, a protected area and part of the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. In the traditional harbor village of Tobermory, embark on a glass-bottom boat cruise from Little Tub Harbor to Big Tub Harbor, which preserves almost two dozen 19th-century shipwrecks. See the remains of the schooner Sweepstakes—submerged in only 20 feet of water with its hull almost completely intact. Observe picturesque Big Tub Lighthouse which has been guiding ships since 1885, and the charm of Flower Pot Island, famous for its natural “flowerpot” rock pillars, sea stacks, and wave-carved caverns.

Day 5 Detroit, Michigan

Chart Detroit’s rise to the apex of American idealism. Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts, one of the nation’s most significant collections of art, housed in a magnificent Beaux Arts building. See Diego Rivera’s monumental Detroit Industry mural which captures the city’s blue-collar history, as well as masterworks by Auguste Rodin, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, and Paul Cézanne. Discover the rich architectural legacy of the Gilded Age at Grosse Point, where grand mansions replete with lavish period furnishings reflect Detroit’s commitment to architectural preservation. Tour the Edsel and Eleanor Ford Mansion, a polished window on the grandeur and rich aesthetic lives of America’s industrial aristocracy. The manor was designed by Detroit’s preeminent architect, Albert Kahn, to resemble Cotswold village cottages and showcases an Art Deco design with rooms filled with ancient, Renaissance and 18th-century art—including presciently acquired works by Van Gogh, Cézanne, and Rivera.

Day 6 Dearborn

In Dearborn, visit the acclaimed Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, which spotlights the creative genius of American inventors and innovators from baseball to vintage cars and airplanes to civil rights heroes and artifacts that represent defining moments in American history.

This evening, enjoy a specially arranged Motown performance on board the ship.

Day 7 Niagara Falls

One of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural phenomenon, Niagara Falls never fails to impress. Cruise toward the mist-enshrouded base of Horseshoe Falls and experience firsthand the sheer force of this geological wonder. See the 410-million-year-old rock layers of the Niagara Gorge and the formidable Whirlpool Rapids, among the world’s most extreme rapids. Enjoy a specially arranged lunch with spectacular falls views. See the Sir Adam Beck Power Station, the world’s first large-scale hydroelectric generation project, and admire Niagara’s famous Floral Clock, intricately filled with 20,000 plants and flowers. The historically significant Niagara area was the site of the Battle of Chippewa, a major milestone in the development of the U.S. Army during the War of 1812.

Cruise through seven locks of the Welland Canal, one of North America’s most important economic lifelines. Constructed in the early 19th century, the canal links Lake Ontario to Lake Erie and was instrumental in opening the Great Lakes to commerce and prosperity—the canal carries nearly 40 million tons of cargo per year.

Day 8 Toronto / Return to Home City

Dynamic Toronto is Canada’s largest and most welcoming city and offers outstanding museums, galleries, and restaurants which speak to its remarkable diversity.

Disembark continue onto the Toronto Post-Program Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight home.