Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Ship Cruise
Niagara trees waterfall-Canada-397831_P

Great Lakes Grand Discovery

Victory Cruise Lines
4.7 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
10 days
From: $ 6,199 $ 620 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Enjoy 9 night cruise
  • Explore Mackinac Island
  • Soo Locks
  • Discover Niagara Falls
  • See Henry Ford Museum
  • See Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Short Description

Depart from the great city of Chicago on a grand exploration of North America’s Great Lakes.

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.

Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Trip Type Small Ship Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Chicago
End City Ontario
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Itinerary

Day 1: Embarkation in Chicago, Illinois

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.

Day 2: Scenic Sailing in Lake Michigan

Dinner at sea

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.

Day 3: Mackinac Island, Lake Michigan

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.

Day 4: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

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.

Day 5: Little Current, Manitoulin Islands (Georgian Bay)

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.

Day 6: Scenic Sailing of Lake Huron

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.

Day 7: Detroit, MI / Windsor, ON

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.

Day 8: Cleveland, OH

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.

Day 9: Niagara Falls / Welland Canal

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.

Day 10: Disembarkation in Toronto, Ontario

Availability

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Price From $ 6,199
Price Per Day: $ 620 per day
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Brian Gillis
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

23 Victory Cruise Lines Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 17
Great 6
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Great Lakes Grand Discovery

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Company Reviews

Good Trip

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
This was a great trip for sites and history of this region and i thoroughly enjoyed the every bit of it. It was a great experience.
The crew was very nice and made every effort to make you comfortable.
There appeared to be some new crew members that were not as good as others but did try hard and by the end of the trip were getting their stride.
The food was average but gave a good variety and was always fresh. The rooms were not fancy, but clean and the crew did of great job of daily cleaning and bed change.
The excursions were included which was great and the tour guides in each stop were well educated and informative on the history of their tour.
Slower pace and relaxing. i would recommend this trip for those 50+ since not a party boat but designed for site seeing and exploration.
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Daily info on the navigation…

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Daily info on the navigation route....what is being passed,interesting history, special navigation required etc. at sea day would be a great time for a talk on the river.

more info on the ports and hints on “to do” options. Interesting things to see/do beyond the scheduled tours. Hop on, hop off options so those that want to spend more time at the art gallery can do so...those that want to do walking tours can do so etc. maps showing options and pick up locations

Add buffet to lunch in dining room or replace lunch with a buffet. This may be a nice option for breakfast too. FOOD WAS GREAT!

Have urns of coffee or brewed pots available in the lounge by 6a with to go cups for those that want to take a cup back to the room

A great trip...we have recommended to others.
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Friendly professional staff

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Friendly professional staff
Shore excursion were excellent.

Inaugural cruise review for Victory II

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We were on the inaugural cruise for Victory II from Montreal to Detroit. It was a special price and was worth every penny! there were some issues due to the newness of the ship, but the crew and staff worked overtime to correct them. The food was good and the company even better. They will be adding more local info lectures in the future and local entertainment as they took down all our suggestions. I had to go to the doctor and she was helpful and I used the spa for a massage that helped immensely.
The tours were great and included in the price.

Hope to take advantage of future specials.
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This cruise was good

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
This cruise was very good. The rooms were passable with a shower so tiny that a big man would touch all sides of the space.....but you can manage. The service was excellent and the food was very good. Some of the excursions were very good and some were a waste of time. On one island we traveled by bus for 30 minutes to a curio and craft shop.....very bad. Do not do the arranged tour of Toronto. They stopped at 3 retail outlets and missed almost everything about Toronto that is wonderfull. We did a hop-on-hop-off tour the next day that was much better.
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I loved the cruise

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
I loved the cruise, meals, shore excursions and crew, there was some issues with my cabin of which I have already spoken with Jim on.
Carol
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group - 25 + people

Trip ID#:

GreLakVic

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