At a glance
15 Day Cruise on Victory I, Victory Cruise Lines from £6,070 pp incl. flights
Departure 31 May 2019 | Great Lakes Discovery - Toronto to Chicago
- Niagara Falls
- Detroit / Windsor
- Lake Huron
- Little Current
- Sault Ste. Marie
- Mackinac Island
- Lake Michigan
All departures (8)
Great Lakes Discovery - Toronto to Chicago
Exclusive tailor-made stay & cruise
- Direct flights to Toronto
- Private overseas transfers
- 2-nights accommodation in a 4-star hotel
Includes on board
- Intuitive and attentive service in casual yet elegant surroundings.
- Complimentary coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks and filtered water
- Free flowing house wine, beer, and spirits during entire cruise
- Free Internet & WiFi available onboard
- 100% Egyptian cotton bedding
- Personal robes and slippers
- Top of the line bath amenities that are environmentally sensitive
- Premium mattresses
- In-room electronic safe
- Individual climate control
- LCD flat screen television (satellite)
- Alarm clock
- Hair dryer
- Daily housekeeping with nightly turndown
- Onboard Salon & Spa
- Themed afternoon tea service
- 2-nights hotel accommodation in a 4-star hotel
- Private transfer to airport
- Return flight to UK
Rates based on September departures - Contact us for rates on other dates.
Begin this grand exploration of North America’s Great Lakes from Toronto.
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.
Day by day itinerary
Fly direct to Toronto on Air Canada, arriving the same day, where you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to the Chelsea Hotel fro a 2-night stay on a room only basis. The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Toronto, just minutes away from top theatres, attractions, shopping, and dining.
Evening at leisure.
Explore the city on your own or contact us for bespoke tours and excursions
Check out of your hotel and take your included private transfer to the port to embark M/V Victory I. Gather for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as we prepare to set sail on our Great Lakes journey.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Victorian-era 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.
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.
Your cruise ends in beautiful Chicago, Illinois.
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.
Debark the ship and make your way to the Hotel Lincoln for a 2-night stay on a room only basis. The new Hotel Lincoln is a window to the most dynamic part of Chicago’s North Side, Lincoln Park. Like the neighborhood, the hotel is historic yet fresh, fun though eccentric, active but relaxed.
Explore the city on your own or contact us for tours and other bespoke arrangements.
Check out of the hotel and take your included private transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK, arriving the following day.
Sailing on Victory I
Refined, intimate ship experiences. The indisputable joy of sailing is brought to life on the M/V Victory I and II, agile intimate ships that easily navigate canals and locks, tranquil bays, and hidden ports where larger ships dare not go.