Picture yourself surrounded by pristine islands draped in verdant wilderness and rocky shores caressed by sparkling blue waters. From Chicago to Montreal, cruise all five Great Lakes and the scenic St. Lawrence River aboard the M/S Victory I. Treat yourself to elegant amenities and stunning vistas as this 210-guest ship takes you to charming islands and lakeside towns. From enriching lectures to expert-led shore excursions, this voyage promises a Great Lakes expedition like no other.
Embark on your luxury cruise aboard the M/V Victory I in Chicago, Illinois, a magnetic cultural hub situated at the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan. The third-largest city in the United States, the “Windy City” beckons visitors with its photogenic urban skyline, superb museums and art galleries, sprawling parks and inventive culinary scene.
Scenic Sailing of Lake Michigan
Mackinac Island (Lake Michigan)
Step back into the 19th century on Mackinac Island, a naturally resplendent island located at the ends of the Straits of Mackinac, between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. A national historic landmark steeped in Victorian-era charm, Mackinac Island has a no car policy and transportation is only by bicycle or horse and carriage. Embark on your excursion aboard a horse-drawn carriage and gain insight into the island’s compelling history at Michigan’s oldest building,
Fort Mackinac. Behold the imposing stone walls and cannons of this impressive fort, built atop a soaring cliff by British soldiers in 1780.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario/Michigan (Izaak Walton Bay & Lake Superior)
Arrive at Sault Ste. Marie, the oldest city in the Midwest, originally established in the 17th century as one settlement by Jesuit missionaries on both sides of the lake. Disembark on the Canadian side and transfer to the U.S. side, where the Valley Camp Museum Ship awaits. Built by American Ship Building, Co. in 1917, this former ship is now home to the world’s largest Great Lakes maritime museum. Explore the cargo’s rich collection of photography, paintings, shipwreck artifacts including lifeboats from the sunken Edmund Fitzgerald, models and fascinating nautical exhibits. Then visit the mighty Soo Locks—one of the world’s largest and busiest locks—enabling ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. Uncover the history of this engineering marvel at the Soo Locks Visitors Center, before stopping at the River of History Museum as well as Sault Ste. Marie’s historic Water Street.
Little Current, Manitoulin Island (Georgian Bay)
Delight in a scenic early morning cruise of Georgian Bay, whose verdant, pine-fringed coasts, towering, rugged cliffs, and diamond-blue waters have inspired some of Canada’s most celebrated painters. Arrive at the small town of Little Current and travel by motor coach to Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island. Enjoy commentary highlighting its rich native and nautical history as well as local daily life, before stopping at the Immaculate Conception Church. A spiritual focal point of the native community, this uniquely designed church brings together the beliefs and customs of both the native Ojibwe culture and the Catholic Church. Following your visit, enjoy an interpretive tour of the Old Mill Heritage Center Museum and Art Gallery, housed in a historic pulp mill. Browse the arts and crafts shop and take part in a Native American smudging ceremony. Back in Little Current, return to the ship or explore the community’s quaint downtown shops, docks or waterfront parks at your leisure.
Scenic Sailing of Lake Huron
Detroit, Michigan (Windsor, Ontario)
On the way from Lake Erie to Lake Huron, stop in Windsor, the “City of Roses.” Transit the bridge to Detroit and delve into intriguing American culture at the renowned Henry Ford Museum. Highlights of the museum include the presidential limos, including the car which carried JFK on that fateful day in Texas, the bus Rosa Parks rode in that sparked the Civil Rights movement, and the chair from Ford’s Theater which Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when assassinated. Return to Windsor for a short panoramic tour before returning to the ship (time permitting).
Niagara Falls (Welland Canal) & Sailing Lake Erie
Disembark near the historic, 27-mile-long Welland Canal, first built in 1824 to allow ships to pass around just below Lock 1. Next, traveling by deluxe motor coach, take in magnificent vistas as you pass through the area’s fertile agricultural vineyards. Then witness the thunderous power of majestic Niagara Falls, one of the world’s most astounding natural wonders. Board a state-of-the-art Hornblower cruise vessel and experience a thrilling, up-close perspective of the famous Horseshoe Falls, with its breathtaking misty spray. Afterwards, travel the scenic Niagara Parkway on the ridge overlooking the river. Enjoy lunch at a charming local restaurant before returning to the ship.
Sailing The St. Lawrence River & Lake Ontario
Disembark the M/V Victory I in Montreal, a graceful city that blends North American charm with European charisma. A UNESCO City of Design and home to Mount Royal—the three-peaked mountain from which the city takes its name—Montreal is both a cultural and natural gem.