Great Lakes Grand Discovery from Toronto by Victory Cruise Lines

  • Chicago + 1 more
  • Great Lakes Cruises, Ocean and River Cruises,
  • 10
from  £4,999pp
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Introduction

Great Lakes Grand Discovery aboard Victory I

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.

Exceptional Quality

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.

Mackinac Island

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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Gallery

Itinerary

Day 1 Toronto, ON

Welcome to Toronto, the most multicultural diverse city on the planet, where over 140 languages are spoken. Toronto is remaking itself as Canada’s premier city, quietly slipping out of the shadow of Montreal and Vancouver. Last year, the Queens Quay on Lake Ontario reopened, part of the largest continuing urban revitalization project in North America. The Junction, a former industrial area, has emerged as Toronto’s most stylish neighborhood for its bars, live music and coffee shops. And the city is becoming easier to visit: a train now whisks travelers downtown from the airport in 25 minutes, and Air Canada offers extended stopovers for connecting passengers. Toronto has long been known for its cultural diversity and continues to draw major artistic and sporting events, including the Toronto International Film Festival each
September, and the 2016 N.B.A. All-Star game, held outside the United States for the first time.

Day 2 Niagara Falls / Port Weller

Opened in 1829, the Welland Canal continues to play a vital role, allowing goods to travel from Great Lakes ports like Cleveland and Detroit to the ocean ports of Montreal and Quebec City. As our ship begins its canal transit, you’ll step off in Port Colborne for a scenic drive into the vineyard- laced landscapes of the Niagara Peninsula. Then a thrilling Hornblower Cruise takes you through the Great Niagara Gorge and past Bridal Veil Falls into the very heart of Horseshoe Falls–where the mighty spray and roar of Niagara virtually envelop you! At the Château des Charmes, founded by a fifth-generation French winegrower, you’ll enjoy a tour, tasting and lunch. You’ll have free time to explore Niagara-on-the-Lake before re-boarding the M/V Victory I, now docked in Port Weller on Lake Ontario.

Day 3 Cleveland, OH

Located on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland represents the heartland of American life and history. Industrial landmarks from its days as a lakeside manufacturing town still stand in testament to Cleveland’s roots. But the city of today is also filled with beautiful urban spaces and is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! Here in a striking structure designed by I. M. Pei, you’ll discover more than just a museum of rock and roll memorabilia. With our expert guide, you’ll explore the evolution of the musical genre that shaped a generation and track its cultural impact. Among the exhibits are Janis Joplin’s psychedelic Porsche and Michael Jackson’s famous glove. You’ll also explore the wonderful West Side Market, set in a 1912 landmark and home to more than 100 vendors.

Day 4 Detroit, MI / Windsor, ON

Sailing from Lake Huron to Lake Erie, we will call on Windsor, Ontario, known as The City of Roses, or Detroit, Michigan depending on itinerary schedule. Just outside of Detroit, we’ll visit the Henry Ford Museum which was created to document the genius of ordinary people. Housed in a sweeping, nine-acre, single-floor space with soaring 40-foot ceilings the museum is dedicated to showcasing the finest collection of its kind. The sheer scope and design of the museum is as grand as the vision that inspired it. Local experts 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.

Day 5 Scenic Sailing of Lake Huron

Delight in this day of cruising aboard the casually elegant M/V Victory I. 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; who are well-versed in the history, peoples and natural wonders of The Great Lakes region. Elegant dining in two distinctive venues with free-flowing house wine, beer and spirits
to enhance your day.

Day 6 Little Current, Manitoulin Island (Georgian Bay)

Sail into the rugged beauty of Georgian Bay where you’ll step ashore in Little Current, the gateway to Manitoulin Island. Learn about the island’s nautical heritage as you journey to the Immaculate Conception Church. With its distinctive architecture evoking a teepee, this church is a focal point of the community, bringing together the beliefs of the Ojibwe culture and Catholic Church. At the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, enjoy a tour through the art galleries and exhibits of this heritage museum. You can browse the artisan shop and participate in a smudging ceremony, an ancient ritual that uses the smoke from cedar, sage, sweet grass and other plants regarded for their healing powers. A drum and dance performance offers further insight into Ojibwe culture.

Day 7 Soo Locks / Scenic Sailing Lake Superior

Located at the mouth of the St. Mary’s River, the twin –“Soo’s” - of Sault Ste. Marie Ontario and Michigan were originally established as one settlement by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century, and remained so until the war of 1812. Today the locks on the American Soo side bypass the St. Mary’s Rapids that fall over 20 feet connecting Lake Superior to Lake Huron and Michigan. The Soo locks are the busiest in the world in terms of tonnage, accommodating 1000 foot freighters. Traveling upstream and arriving to Mackinac Island, the ship will dock on the Canadian side of the river at Roberta Bondar Place, named for Canada’s first female astronaut. In Sault Ste. Marie guests will have the option of a half day tour visiting attractions on either the US or Canadian side of the border.

Day 8 Mackinac Island, MI

We’ll awaken in the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. With no cars allowed on the island, your horse-drawn carriage tour is a great way to experience the Victorian ambiance of this National Historic Landmark. Learn about the island’s history and see turn-of-the-century summer homes built by early captains of American industry. High atop a bluff overlooking the Straits of Mackinac, your tour of Fort Mackinac delves into its strategic importance during the War of 1812. Then take in the views from the Grand Hotel’s veranda, the longest in the world, and enjoy the hotel’s famous Grand Luncheon Buffet. Back in town, you’ll have time to browse through galleries and boutiques. Before sailing this evening, the Grand Hotel’s resident historian Bob Tagatz will come aboard for a colorful talk on the history of Mackinac Island and its world-famous hotel.

Day 9 Scenic Sailing of Lake Michigan

Delight in this day of cruising aboard the casually elegant M/V Victory I. Today finds our intimate ship navigating the third largest Great Lake by surface area and the sixth largest freshwater lake in the world. Because Lake Michigan is joined to Lake Huron at the Straits of Mackinac, they are considered one lake hydrologically. Many rivers and streams flow into Lake Michigan, and the major tributaries are the Fox-Wolf, the Grand and the Kalamazoo. There is a diversion from the lake into the Mississippi River basin through the Illinois Waterway at the Chicago River. Lake Michigan’s cul-de-sac formation means that water entering the lake circulates slowly and remains for a long time (retention) before it leaves the basin through the Straits of Mackinac. Enjoy convivial conversation with your fellow passengers or join an engaging discussion with our shipboard experts; who are well-versed in the history, peoples and natural wonders of the Great Lakes region. Elegant dining in two distinctive venues with free-flowing house wine, beer and spirits to enhance your day.

Day 10 Chicago, IL

This morning, we'll arrive at the port in Chicago Illinois. After breakfast, you'll disembark the M/V Victory I and make your way to the airport for your flight home.