Day 1: Begin your Lake Michigan adventure in the “Windy City.” Chicago, IL is home to some of the country’s most famed landmarks, including the John Hancock Center, the Wrigley Building, the Field Museum, and the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), proudly standing as the tallest building in the United States. Embark on your small ship at historic Navy Pier, a vibrant city center built over the gentle waves of Lake Michigan. Explore Pier Park, admire the city’s breathtaking skyline, or relax on the ship as you prepare to set sail on your Magical Lake Michigan adventure. Tonight enjoy onboard musical entertainment while docked in Chicago’s famed Navy Pier.
Day 2: Leave the bustle of Chicago behind for the quiet charm of Holland, MI. The cobblestone sidewalks, tulip-lined streets, and 275 year-old windmill reveal the city’s Dutch heritage. An optional excursion begins at the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe and Blue Delft factory where you will admire the hand-painted craftsmanship and classic blue and white motif of the only authentic delftware made in the U.S. Next, watch as shoemakers carve traditional Dutch wooden shoes, followed by a performance by authentic Klompen clog dancers.
Day 3: Your port-of-call today is majestic Beaver Island, MI a former kingdom and the largest island in Lake Michigan. Beaver Island is dubbed as “America’s Emerald Isle” for its celebrated Irish culture. Admire its picturesque beaches and verdant state forest, and then enjoy a serene cruise to tranquil Mackinac Island this afternoon.
Day 4: Welcome to Mackinac Island, MI, where you can slip into the gentle pace of the Victorian era. The island’s natural beauty and authentic ambiance is preserved by its only form of transportation – horse-drawn carriages. An optional carriage tour of the island includes entrance to the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory and Surrey Hill Square Carriage Museum. A second optional excursion at the historic Grand Hotel invites you to enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea, complete with scones, finger sandwiches, and champagne.
Day 5: The scenic splendor of Wisconsin’s Door County is yours to enjoy in Sturgeon Bay, one of the largest shipbuilding ports on the Great Lakes. This morning, an optional tour of the area features a local wine tasting, followed by a visit to Cave Point Park, renowned for its spectacular limestone cliffs rising high above the splashing Lake Michigan waves. Continue your tour at the postcard-perfect Canal Station Light House, majestically watching over the waters of Sturgeon Bay since 1899. Enjoy an afternoon sail toward nearby Manitowoc, WI nicknamed “Wisconsin’s Maritime Capital,” and nestled on the mouth of the Manitowoc River. This evening, relax onboard the ship, indulge in an after-dinner cocktail, and enjoy the gentle breeze of the Great Lakes.
Day 6: During your visit to Milwaukee, WI, experience an optional panoramic tour of some of the city’s unexpected treasures, including City Hall, spectacularly-designed in the German Renaissance Revival Style. Built in 1895, this magnificent architectural marvel reigned as the world’s tallest habitable building until 1895, and remains a visual icon of Milwaukee to this day. Your tour continues at the lovely Riverwalk, a pedestrian walkway along the Milwaukee River, dotted with art installations, charming cafes, and welcoming brewpubs. After a visit to stunning Cathedral Square, witness an engineering marvel at the Milwaukee Art Museum as the magnificent Brise Soleil, a retractable ceiling, opens gracefully over the lake (subject to availability and weather). Cap off your tour with a cheese and beer tasting at one of Milwaukee’s famed breweries. This evening, immerse yourself in the local culture as you tap your toes to the lively beat of folkloric dancers who perform onboard.
Day 7: Awake to the open water as the ship carries you back toward Chicago, IL. This afternoon treat yourself to an optional Grand Tour of this iconic American city, beginning in the South Side, home to the Chicago White Sox. Discover the beauty of the North Side, where you will admire elegant architecture in the Gold Coast historic district and the Magnificent Mile, a well-known shopping district on sprawling Michigan Avenue. Admire a number of the city’s gorgeous public parks, beginning at Lincoln Park which boasts nearly two miles of lush greenery and gorgeous beaches along the lakefront. Stroll through the Lincoln Park Conservatory, an exquisite exhibit of exotic flora, tropical palms, ancient ferns, and flowers blooming in a rainbow of brilliant hues. Visit urban Grant Park and marvel at the opulent Buckingham Fountain, then view Washington Park which houses the DuSable Museum of African American History and its adjacent sculpture garden. Conclude your tour at the Chicago Museum Campus, home to the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and Soldier Field. Celebrate this evening with a festive farewell dinner and onboard entertainment.
Day 8: Enjoy a delectable breakfast before disembarking at Chicago’s famous Navy Pier.