If you’re looking for a unique and memorable way to spend your summer vacation, why not consider taking a Great Lakes cruise? A Great Lakes cruise is more than just a boat ride. It’s an adventure that will take you to some of the most beautiful and diverse destinations in North America, from cosmopolitan cities to remote islands, from historic landmarks to natural wonders. You’ll also enjoy the comfort and convenience of cruising on modern ships that offer excellent service, amenities and entertainment.
A Great Lakes cruise will let you explore the inland seas of North America, which comprise five lakes that are so big that you’ll feel like you’re sailing on the ocean: Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario. These lakes are connected by the St. Lawrence River and the Erie Canal, forming a vast waterway that covers more than 94,000 square miles and borders eight American states and two Canadian provinces. The Great Lakes are home to more than 35,000 islands, some of which are national parks, wildlife reserves or cultural heritage sites. The Great Lakes also have a rich history, dating back to the Indigenous peoples who lived on their shores, the explorers and traders who navigated their waters, and the settlers and immigrants who built their communities.
One of the best ways to experience the Great Lakes is by joining a cruise offered by one of the members of the Great Lakes Cruise Association (GLCA), a cooperative of ports and cruise lines that promote and support cruise tourism in the region. The GLCA members include Viking Great Lakes Cruises, Pearl Seas Cruises, Victory Cruise Lines, Hapag Lloyd, Plantours, Ponant Cruises and St. Lawrence Cruise Lines, each of which is a reputable operator that offer a variety of itineraries and styles to suit your preferences and budget. Whether you’re looking for a luxury cruise, a small ship expedition or a riverboat adventure, you’ll find it with the GLCA members.
Some of the highlights of a Great Lakes cruise include:
- Visiting the ports of call that offer a range of attractions and activities, such as museums, art galleries, shopping, dining, festivals, sports and nightlife. Some of the popular ports include Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City.
- Exploring the Northern Ontario ports that are developing into viable destinations for cruise passengers who want to experience the wilderness and wildlife of Canada. Some of these ports include Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Little Current and Parry Sound.
- Discovering the natural beauty and diversity of the Great Lakes region, such as the Niagara Falls, the Thousand Islands, the Apostle Islands, the Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Georgian Bay.
- Learning about the history and culture of the Great Lakes people, such as the First Nations, the French Canadians, the British loyalists and the American pioneers.
- Enjoying the onboard amenities and entertainment that each cruise line offers, such as spacious cabins, gourmet cuisine, live shows, lectures, spa services and more.
A Great Lakes cruise is an ideal way to spend your summer vacation with your family, friends or partner. You’ll get to see and do more than you could on a land-based trip, while relaxing and having fun on a comfortable ship. You’ll also get to support the local economy and environment of the Great Lakes region, which is committed to building a sustainable and world-class cruise destination.