🎰 Great Lakes Cruise Tips - Cruise Critic

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Set sail on iconic waterways aboard our luxury vessels. Explore the Great Lakes, Canada, New England, Alaska and more with Victory Cruise Lines.


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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cruise ship passengers spent Wednesday enjoying Cleveland. Victory Cruise Lines docked Victory 1 in the Port.


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Set sail on iconic waterways aboard our luxury vessels. Explore the Great Lakes, Canada, New England, Alaska and more with Victory Cruise Lines.


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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cruise ship passengers spent Wednesday enjoying Cleveland. Victory Cruise Lines docked Victory 1 in the Port.


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CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Victory I cruise ship docked in the Port of Cleveland on its inaugural Great Lakes Grand Discovery voyage.


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to linger a bit longer! Victory is offering a complimentary post-cruise hotel package at Niagara Falls Cruises. Ship Cabin Aboard the Victory I Learn more.


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CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Victory I cruise ship docked in the Port of Cleveland on its inaugural Great Lakes Grand Discovery voyage.


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to linger a bit longer! Victory is offering a complimentary post-cruise hotel package at Niagara Falls Cruises. Ship Cabin Aboard the Victory I Learn more.


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Set sail on iconic waterways aboard our luxury vessels. Explore the Great Lakes, Canada, New England, Alaska and more with Victory Cruise Lines.


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Victory Cruise Lines (purchased by American Queen Steamboat Company in a similar route from Chicago, adding stops at Cleveland, Ohio, and Buffalo, NY.


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Cell phone service generally works well, but be aware of your location -- U. You're given a plastic poncho to help keep you dry as the boat not your cruise ship motors up to Horseshoe Falls, the largest and most impressive of Niagara's cascades. Leaf-peepers may catch fall colors in late August or early September, especially in the most northern areas. On the Canadian side, four lakes Lake Michigan is entirely within the U. The Great Lakes cruise season is a relatively short one, running from late May through mid-September. An average of 10, ships a year pass through these locks. If you bring your laptop or iPad, be prepared for long periods without connections. You won't have time to visit these great cities if you don't book some hotel time. Historical artifacts tell the story of the town's role in shipping and logging. Chances are, stops on the Great Lakes itineraries are places you've never thought of as being cruise ports. Cruises might sail straight through the bay or call on Parry Sound. Laurence Seaway en route to Montreal for disembarking or embarking. There's a one-hour time change between Chicago and Toronto or Montreal. The five Great Lakes form the largest freshwater ecosystem on the planet. Georgian Bay, often called the sixth Great Lake, is a large, picturesque, island-filled bay off the eastern side of Lake Huron. The Tulip Time Festival is held annually in May. Yes, you can get seasick on the lakes. On small ships, forward cabins tend to be quieter. Consider a pre- or post-cruise stay. Lawrence River to end in Montreal, Quebec. Another seven-night option is a one-way cruise from Chicago to Midland, Ontario, or vice versa. Flip-flops or sandals come in handy for the Niagara Falls boat tour. If adding all five lakes to your bucket list is your goal, be sure your ship actually enters Lake Superior, if only briefly. Entering Lake Superior requires passage through the Soo Locks, and the lake is either omitted from itineraries or included only via a Soo Locks transit in and out again. Attend a pow-wow and colorful dance show performed by the native Ojibwe tribe. In addition to historic, cultural or big-city ports, a bonus of lake cruising is the chance to transit one or more in a series of locks, depending on your itinerary. Is the chance to feel the mist blowing off Niagara Falls on your bucket list? Great Lakes: Trips of nine to 11 nights are one-way routes, beginning or ending in Chicago on Lake Michigan. The renowned luncheon buffet overlooking Lake Huron is grand indeed. Mackinac Island, Michigan: Step back in time to the Victorian era. It's said the equivalent of one million bathtubs of water tumbles over the falls each minute. Half of the falls is claimed by New York. Facebook Pinterest Twitter. Going west, you'll be gaining in elevation. Prepare for lots of "sea" days. Don't miss taking a sightseeing boat along the Chicago River for an eye-opening architectural tour. Built of lumber in for the summer resort crowd, it boasts the world's longest hotel porch. Are you curious about the history of America's car industry in Detroit? Search Deals.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} The long distances covered mean lots of time spent cruising. The Henry Ford Museum, a tribute to American innovation, houses a huge collection of American cars, planes and trains. Attractions worth seeing are the turreted castle Casa Loma with its secret passageways, the new Bata Shoe Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario for its collections ranging from First Nations artifacts to pop art. Be prepared for thunderstorms at any time, and high winds have been known to delay departures from Chicago the Windy City. Chicago, Illinois: Whether you stroll along the Lake Michigan waterfront, wonder at the paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago or shop 'til you drop in the Magnificent Mile's upscale stores, Chicago offers plenty of reasons to stay a few days pre- or post-cruise. Bring your patches or pills in case of rough water. Keep in mind that, heading east, you'll be dropping in elevation through one or more sets of locks depending on your final destination. Lake Superior, the highest, deepest and largest lake sits feet above sea level and is entered from Lake Huron via the Soo Locks. Then board a tour boat for close-up viewing. Learn about their customs and art at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation. Ride in a floatplane high above the scenic bay's 30, islands. Two must-sees are the beautifully preserved s Fort Mackinac and the opulent Grand Hotel. Think about spending time before or after your cruise in Chicago, Toronto or Montreal. Carved out by glaciers roughly 10, years ago, the Great Lakes cover 95, square miles and touch eight states in the U. Beyond these months, the lakes freeze over, and most ports are covered in snow. Choose you cabin carefully if engine noise keeps you awake. Most Great Lakes cruises travel one way. Cars are banned from the island, so you tour in horse-drawn carriages or by bicycle. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}North America's Great Lakes are immense -- just right for a cruising destination that falls somewhere between ocean travel and riverboating. Eight locks on the Welland Canal connect lakes Erie and Ontario. The five Great Lakes cover a vast expanse. Crossing it would mean backtracking to resume cruising on the other four lakes. Navy Pier, where your cruise ship comes in, has a Ferris wheel, gardens, cafes and shops. Bring a book or deck of cards. Departure Month. Parry Sound, Ontario: The world's deepest natural freshwater port is found on the east shore of Georgian Bay. Long distances between ports also mean cruising at night. Either way, the main attraction is on the Michigan side. Passports are required as you'll be entering Canada. The big guys are simply too big to fit, making small ships the only way to go. Three companies cruise the Great Lakes from late May through October. Windmill Island Gardens boasts an authentic working Dutch windmill, dikes and canals. Lake Michigan alone is miles long and miles wide. Niagara Falls, Ontario: Marvel at the famous falls, actually three distinct waterfalls, from the Canadian side. These cruises end or begin either in Toronto on Lake Ontario or include a day sailing up the St. What should you pack? Canada -- and roaming fees. The massive Great Lakes freighter, built in and retired in , houses displays relating to maritime history in the cargo holds, including two lifeboats from the sinking of the legendary Edmond Fitzgerald in Manitoulin Island, Ontario: You dock at Little Current, a charming community known for delicious ice cream and set on the world's largest freshwater island. Kennedy's ill-fated limo, and grab a snack in an old-time diner. More locks lead to the St. Generally, the best time to cruise is from July on, when the days are warmer in the 90s and more humid and sunnier. Visit the Museum on Tower Hill near the base of a fire lookout tower. Stop at the viewing stand to watch the freighter traffic. Beware of engine noise. Have you ever considered the ease of boarding your cruise ship in the heart of downtown Chicago? Pack smart. Explore the nooks and crannies of the Museum Ship Valley Camp. Find Cruises to the USA from. Toronto, Ontario: Once a fur trading post, Toronto is home to intriguing neighborhoods that include Chinatown and trendy, boutique-filled Bloor-Yorkville. Holland, Michigan: Settled by Dutch immigrants in the mids, Holland happily shows off its roots with thousands of tulips. Would you like to visit a Victorian island where the only transportation is by horse-drawn carriage or bicycle? Put another way, that's 20 percent of the world's surface fresh water. Given these distances, most lake cruises include a day or three of relaxing cruising time. Check with your cruise line for package deals. Costumed guides demonstrate traditional crafts, including making wooden clogs, at Nelis' Dutch Village. Lake Superior is a special case, and it's not on the basic lake-to-lake route, as it lies off to the northwest. Interestingly, the size of the locks determines which ships can and can't offer cruises on the lakes. Wi-Fi, when it's available, is usually slow. Blount Small Ship Adventures' passenger Grande Mariner and passenger Grande Caribe sail a variety of Great Lakes itineraries, including seven-night round trips from Chicago, 13 nights between Chicago and Montreal, and a night trip between Chicago and New York.