Small Ship with Big Hearted Staff
We are not one of the new mega ships that carry thousands of passengers. To the contrary, while our technology is modern, we only carry 202 passengers on each cruise. Our limited capacity gives our personnel aboard our ships the opportunity to provide non-stop superior service from beginning to end. On every cruise, our guests tell us how our staff on board exceeded all their expectations.
Destinations Done Right
We know you probably have in mind an idea of what you’re looking for when it comes to cruising The Great Lakes, The St. Lawrence Seaway or The Atlantic Coast. To really get a taste of the life in these magical places, we offer the most in depth tours and shore experiences available on all of our itineraries. The size of our vessels allows us to visit ports that bigger ships cannot. Our tours on The Great Lakes are customized especially with you in mind. We go all out to give you the opportunity to see and experience it all, at a pace that suites your needs and tastes. We don’t just go to a port, we get into the community, meet the people, explore the history, and feel the culture.
We are the only cruise company offering ports of call on all 5 Great Lakes allowing us to bring you the sophistication of the great cities of the region like Toronto, Montreal, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Mackinac Island and Little Current as well as being fully immersed in the history and special stops of Boston, Provincetown, Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.
You will find our two ships, Victory I and Victory II to be beautiful boutique ships, much like European boutique hotels, with top level intuitive service which is attentive but never intrusive. Our food is top quality and meets every taste.
I hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you aboard soon. All of us at Victory Cruise Lines are committed to giving you the best destination cruise experience on The Great Lakes, The St. Lawrence Seaway & The Atlantic Coast.
GREAT LAKES GRAND DISCOVER – Begin this grand exploration of North America’s Great Lakes from either Toronto or Chicago. Nearly 15,000 years ago, the last of the great glaciers retreated, leaving us the five Great Lakes–Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. Together, they contain more than one fifth of the planet’s fresh surface water. On the M/V Victory I, delve into North America’s maritime history with a visit to all five of these natural wonders. Pay a visit to charming Mackinac Island, Michigan and transit the Soo Locks into massive Lake Superior, the largest of the five lakes. Spend a fascinating morning with the Ojibwe people at pretty Georgian Bay. Cruise for an entire day on scenic Lake Huron, home to more than 30,000 islands. Tour Detroit’s Henry Ford Museum and enjoy a thrilling visit to spectacular Niagara Falls.
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Your cruise vacation begins in beautiful Chicago, Illinois where you’ll board the M/V Victory I and gather for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as we prepare to set sail on our Great Lakes journey.
Host to the busiest airport on the planet, Chicago ranked seventh in the world in the 2014 Global Cities Index and is considered one of the most “walkable” cities in the United States. Its cultural contributions include improvisational comedy (most notably The Second City comedy troupe); jazz, blues, soul, and house music; a rich collection of outdoor public artworks (including the Chicago Picasso); film, theater, and visual arts. The Chicago School and Prairie School of architecture were developed in this city, which was home to famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Chicago’s waterfront location, upscale shopping along the Magnificent Mile & State Street, and robust nightlife are major draws.
The only Great Lake located entirely within the United States, Lake Michigan has a surface area of more than 22,000 square miles, making it the sixth largest lake in the world. The name Michigan is believed to come from the native Ojibwe word mishigami, which translates to “great water.” After a scenic day of cruising, we’ll gather for a festive welcome reception, followed by dinner in the ship’s main dining room.
We’ll awaken in the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. After breakfast, we’ll go ashore for a narrated horse-drawn carriage tour of Mackinac Island, including the Victorianera Grand Hotel, where the movie Somewhere in Time was filmed. During our tour, we’ll visit Fort Mackinac, which was constructed by the British in 1780, taken by the Americans in 1796, and reclaimed by the British at the start of the War of 1812. This evening, the cocktail hour in the outdoor lounge features a captivating presentation by our onboard historian.
Today, we’ll transit the Soo Locks from Lake Huron into Lake Superior at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Our guided excursion includes a tour of the Valley Camp Museum Ship, a stop at the Soo Locks viewing platform, and a walk through the visitor’s center to learn about the four parallel locks – MacArthur (1943), Poe (1895), Davis (1914), and Sabin (1919) – which pass an average of 10,000 ships per year.
This morning, we’ll cruise though the rugged beauty of Georgian Bay, sometimes called the sixth Great Lake. Our destination is Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island and home of the Ojibwa people, part of the First Nation of Anishinaabe. Also known by the anglicized name Chippewa, the Ojibwe are the largest population of First Nations people in continental North America. They speak the Anishinaabe language and live mostly in the Great Lakes region of Canada. They are known for their birch bark canoes, their cultivation of wild rice, the creation of dreamcatchers, and their historic use of pictographic birch bark scrolls.
The second largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron boasts a surface area of 23,000 square miles. Like the other Great Lakes, it was formed at the end of the last ice age as the glaciers retreated. With over 30,000 islands, Lake Huron has more shoreline than any of the other Great Lakes. After a scenic day of cruising, we’ll gather in the ship’s main dining room for a gourmet dinner.
Sailing from Lake Erie to Lake Huron, the M/V Victory I will call on Windsor, Ontario, known as The City of Roses, or Detroit, Michigan, known as the “Motor City”, depending on port schedules. Your shore excursions will be the same, regardless of the city in which the M/V Victory I docks. Just outside of Detroit, we’ll visit the Henry Ford Museum, created to document the genius of ordinary people. Housed in a sweeping, nine-acre, single-floor space with soaring 40-foot ceilings, the design and sheer scope of the museum is as grand as the vision that inspired it. Local expert docents will escort guests to see the museum’s highlights that include: the limousine that carried President John F. Kennedy on that fateful day in Texas, the bus in which Rosa Parks stood her ground and sparked the Civil Rights movement, and the chair from the Ford Theatre in which Abraham Lincoln was sitting when he was shot.
Cleveland’s landmarks date to its days as a turn-of-the-20th-century manufacturing center, including the Steamship William G. Mather, now part of the Great Lakes Science Center. It is also known for the stately Cleveland Museum of Art, the I.M. Pei–designed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum and its famous West Side Market–Cleveland’s oldest publicly owned market–which opened to the public in 1912. Today the market is home to over 100 vendors and hosts a million visitors a year.
After a leisurely morning on board, we’ll disembark the ship at Port Colbourne on the southern end of the Welland Canal. The original Welland Canal was opened in 1829 and was extended to reach Lake Erie in 1833. The current canal was completed in 1932 and boasts eight locks. As the M/V Victory I awaits its turn to transit the locks, we’ll drive through the Niagara Wine Region, home to 25 vineyards and over 50 wineries. At Niagara Falls, we’ll embark on the famous Hornblower “Voyage of the Falls” for a cruise into the misty spray of Horseshoe Falls. Back on shore, we’ll drive along scenic Niagara Parkway to a charming local restaurant followed by a special visit to a local winery for a fabulous tasting before rejoining the ship at Port Weller.
This morning, we’ll awaken at the port in Toronto, Ontario. After breakfast, you’ll disembark the M/V Victory I and make your way to the airport for your flight home.