Comprising Ontario, Michigan, Superior, Erie and Huron, the interconnected Great Lakes collectively represent the world’s largest body of freshwater. The many hundreds of miles of shoreline contain a wide variety of natural beauty, including huge dunes, deserted beaches, densely forested islands, breathtaking rocky peninsulas and towering cliffs. A Great Lakes Cruise is the best way to see these wondrous sights as well as visit the surrounding towns and villages with our 7-day Great Lakes cruise.
The cruise on our stunning Pearl Mist ship includes a visit to Mackinac Island, a charming throwback to bygone days. Located where the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan meet in the Straits of Mackinac, the island prohibits the use of cars, restricting residents and visitors to travel on foot or by horse, horse-drawn carriage or bicycle. Famed for its Victorian homes and hotels, Mackinac has a long and fascinating history as the site of French missionary churches and a center of the fur trade and is awash in Native American culture.
Mackinac Island does not allow for motor vehicles, so get ready to ride in a horse-drawn carriage as you find yourself immersed in the Victorian Era. Live the good life with provided champagne, finger-sandwiches and scones during Afternoon Tea, or visit Surrey Hill Square Carriage Museum for a more educational experience.
Begins and ends in Chicago
This incredible cruise begins and ends in Chicago, America’s third largest city. Here you can visit everything from the Museum of Science and Industry to the Oriental Institute and its collection of Egyptian and Near Eastern artifacts to the 3,000-foot-long Navy Pier with its restaurants, retail shops, exhibition halls and auditoriums. However, all of that’s just a small portion of what the Windy City has to offer.
You’ll feel like you’ve been magically transported to Holland when you visit the Michigan city of the same name. Originally a haven for Dutch immigrants dating to the mid-19th Century, Holland features DeZwaan, America’s only authentic Dutch windmill as well as furniture and artifacts from the Netherlands and their world-famous Tulip Time Festival.
First established by 17th Century Jesuit missionaries and located at the mouth of Saint Mary’s River, Sault Saint Marie contains a unique mix of native Ojibwa, French and English cultures. At Wydonette, MI, take a step back in history by visiting the Henry Ford museum, home of famous vehicles throughout history, including JFK’s limousine, and the bus where Rosa Park famously protested for her civil rights.
On the Canadian side there are the many delights of Toronto, Ontario. A delightful city to explore, Toronto is home to the Art Gallery of Ontario, which includes everything from Inuit Indian artifacts to the modern sculptures of Henry Moore. Shoppers can find virtually anything they might be looking for at the Eaton Centre Shopping Mall, and woven throughout the city are assorted fascinating attractions, from the north end’s Chinatown to the Bata Shoe Museum.
Also, in Ontario you’ll experience Parry Sound, the world’s deepest freshwater port, renowned for its performing arts festival and annual sailing regatta, and the island community of Little Current, known for its single-lane swing bridge, the only vehicular access to Manitoulin Island.
As the river boat makes its way to our Canadian neighbors to the north, enjoy the scenic views along the Georgian Bay. In this area of unspoiled wilderness, keep your eyes open for all manner of wildlife along the shore, free and unspoiled by human development as you head toward Parry Sound in Ontario, Canada.
At Sturgeon Bay, tour the surreal and imposing sheer cliffs along Lake Michigan as you spend time at Cave Point Park, exploring marine caves and gorgeous hiking paths. Continuing from there, the group will take a stop at Canal Station Lighthouse, home of one the nation’s oldest lighthouses for picture-perfect shots overlooking the Great Lakes.
Visit Major U.S. Cities Hassle-Free
Depending on the specific river cruise you choose, you may be able to check off some major cities from your bucket list. For example, Spend the day in Chicago visiting Wrigley Field and the Willis Tower, or wander around Milwaukee, WI, and see firsthand some of the hidden treasures that even people from the area don’t know about! From the stunningly beautiful Cathedral Square to the Riverwalk that runs along the Milwaukee River, enjoy exploring some hidden Midwest gems while you make your way along during a Great Lakes cruise.
Book a Great Lakes Cruise
All in all, you’d be hard pressed to find a location that encompasses as much of a variety of sights and sounds, cultures and attractions, as the remarkable Great Lakes region. Learn more about a Great Lakes cruise or get in contact today to book your next adventure with USA River Cruises. Looking to save some money? Be sure to contact a USA River Cruise Agent for the early bird discount special.