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Great Lakes Grand Discovery Cruise

Great Lakes Grand Discovery Cruise

At a glance

Duration: 10 days

Coverage: Toronto, ON - Chicago, IL

From: $6,389

Season: May - October

Activities: History, Sightseeing

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Victory Cruise Line

Begin this grand exploration of North America’s Great Lakes from either Toronto or Chicago.

Nearly 15,000 years ago, the last of the great glaciers retreated, leaving behind the five Great Lakes: Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario. Those vast bodies of water contain more than one-fifth of the planet’s fresh surface water, and together make up the largest body of freshwater in the world. On the M/V Victory I, a small ship exclusively designed for coastal cruising, you’ll delve into North America’s maritime history throughout the lakes, set sail on the storied Georgian Bay, admire the natural beauty of Niagara Falls and take in the breathtaking vistas of the southern Canadian coast.

Victory Cruise Lines remarkable itineraries include time to explore lovely towns where you can enjoy shopping, stroll along the docks and relax in waterfront parks. They include rare stops in quaint French-Canadian villages, Victorian-era towns rich with seafaring history and remote islands with spectacular wildlife viewing.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Embark in Toronto, Ontario

Welcome to Toronto, the most diverse city on the planet, where over 40 languages are spoken. Toronto is reinventing itself as Canada’s premier city, quietly slipping out of the shadow of Montreal and Vancouver. Last year, the Queens Quay on Lake Ontario reopened as part of the largest continuing urban revitalization project in North America. The Junction, a former industrial area, has emerged as Toronto’s most stylish neighborhood, teeming with bars, live music and coffee shops. And the city is becoming easier to visit. A train now whisks travelers downtown from the airport in 25 minutes. Toronto has long been known for its cultural diversity, and continues to draw major artistic and sporting events, including the Toronto International Film Festival each September, and the 2016 NBA All-Star game, held outside the United States for the first time.

Day 2 - Niagara Falls (Welland Canal)/ Port Colborne

Opened in 1829, the Welland Canal continues to play a vital role, allowing goods to travel from Great Lakes ports such as Cleveland and Detroit to Montreal and Québec City. As our ship begins its canal transit, you’ll step off in Port Weller for a scenic drive into the vineyard-laced landscapes of the Niagara Peninsula. Then a thrilling Hornblower cruise takes you through the Great Niagara Gorge and past Bridal Veil Falls into the very heart of Horseshoe Falls, where the mighty spray and roar of Niagara virtually envelop you. At the Château des Charmes, founded by a fifth-generation French wine-grower, you will enjoy a tour, tasting and lunch. Before re-boarding the M/V Victory I, now docked on Lake Erie, you’ll have free time to explore Port Colborne.

Day 3 - Cleveland, Ohio

Located on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland represents the heartland of American life and history. Industrial landmarks from its days as a lakeside manufacturing town still stand in testament to Cleveland’s roots. But the city of today is also filled with beautiful urban spaces, and is home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. There, you’ll explore the evolution of the musical genre that shaped a generation, and track its cultural impact. Among the exhibits are Janis Joplin’s psychedelic Porsche and Michael Jackson’s famous glove.

Day 4 - Detroit, Michigan

Sailing from Lake Huron to Lake Erie, just outside the city, we’ll visit The Henry Ford Museum, which was created to document the genius of ordinary people. Housed in a sweeping, 9-acre, single floorspace with soaring, 40-foot ceilings, the museum is dedicated to showcasing the finest collection of its kind. The sheer scope and design of the museum are as grand as the vision that inspired it. Local experts will escort guests to see highlights that include the limousine that carried President John F. Kennedy on the day of his assassination, the bus on which Rosa Parks stood her ground and sparked the Civil Rights movement, and the chair from Ford’s Theatre in which President Abraham Lincoln was sitting when he was shot.

Day 5 - Scenic Sailing on Lake Huron

Delight in a day of cruising onboard the casually elegant M/V Victory I. Today finds us cruising on the second-largest of America’s Great Lakes. If you count Lake Huron’s thousands of islands, the lake actually has the longest shoreline of any of the Great Lakes. Enjoy convivial conversation with fellow passengers, or join an engaging discussion with our shipboard experts, who are well-versed in the history, peoples and natural wonders of the region. Partake in elegant dining in two distinctive venues, with free-flowing non-premium beer, wine and spirits to enhance your day.

Day 6 - Little Current, Manitoulin Island, Ontario (Georgian Bay)

Sail into the rugged beauty of Georgian Bay, where you’ll step ashore in Little Current, the gateway to Manitoulin Island. Learn about the island’s nautical heritage as you journey to the Immaculate Conception Church. With its distinctive architecture evoking a teepee, this church is a focal point of the community, bringing together the beliefs of the Ojibwe culture and the Catholic Church. At the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, enjoy a tour through the art galleries and exhibits of the heritage museum. You can browse the artisan shop and participate in a smudging ceremony – an ancient ritual that uses smoke from burning cedar, sage, sweet grass and other plants regarded for their healing powers.

Day 7 - Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario

Located at the mouth of the St. Marys River, the twin – “Soos” – of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Michigan, were established as one settlement by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century, and remained so until the War of 1812. Today, the locks on the American Soo side bypass the St. Marys Rapids, which fall over 20 feet, connecting Lake Superior to Lakes Huron and Michigan. The Soo Locks are the busiest in the world in terms of tonnage, accommodating 1,000-foot freighters. In Sault Ste. Marie, guests will have the option of a half-day tour to visit attractions on either the U.S. or Canadian side of the border.

Day 8 - Mackinac Island, Michigan

We’ll awaken in the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. With no cars allowed on the island, a horse-drawn carriage tour is a great way to experience the Victorian ambiance of this National Historic Landmark. Learn about the island’s history, and see turn-of-the-century summer homes built by early captains of American industry. High atop a bluff overlooking the Straits of Mackinac, your tour of Fort Mackinac delves into the structure’s strategic importance during the War of 1812. Then take in the views from the Grand Hotel’s veranda – the longest in the world – and enjoy the hotel’s famous Grand Luncheon Buffet. Back in town, you’ll have time to browse through galleries and boutiques. Before we sail in the evening, the Grand Hotel’s resident historian, Bob Tagatz, will come aboard for a colorful talk on the history of Mackinac Island and its world-famous hotel.

Day 9 - Scenic Sailing on Lake Michigan

Delight in a day of cruising aboard the casually elegant M/V Victory I. Today we set sail on the third-largest Great Lake by surface area and the sixth-largest freshwater lake in the world. Because Lake Michigan is joined to Lake Huron at the Straits of Mackinac, they are considered one lake hydrologically. Many rivers and streams flow into Lake Michigan, and the major tributaries are the Fox-Wolf, the Grand and the Kalamazoo Rivers. There is a diversion from the lake into the Mississippi River basin through the Illinois Waterway at the Chicago River. Lake Michigan’s cul-desac formation means that water entering the lake circulates slowly, and remains for a long time (retention) before it leaves the basin through the Straits of Mackinac. Enjoy conversation with fellow passengers, or join an engaging discussion with our shipboard experts, who are well-versed in the history, peoples and natural wonders of the region.

Day 10 - Disembark in Chicago, Illinois

Today we arrive in Chicago, signaling the end of our journey. End your experience with breakfast before disembarking the M/V Victory I.

Great Lakes Grand Discovery Cruise itinerary map

Dates & Rates

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Dates Direction E D C B A AA Owner's Suite
May 13, 2019 Toronto, ON to Chicago, IL $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
May 22, 2019 Chicago, IL to Toronto, ON $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
May 31, 2019 Toronto, ON to Chicago, IL $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
June 9, 2019 Chicago, IL to Toronto, ON $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
June 18, 2019 Toronto, ON to Chicago, IL $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
June 27, 2019 Chicago, IL to Toronto, ON $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
July 6, 2019 Toronto, ON to Chicago, IL $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
July 15, 2019 Chicago, IL to Toronto, ON $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
July 24, 2019 Toronto, ON to Chicago, IL $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
August 2, 2019 Chicago, IL to Toronto, ON $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
August 11, 2019 Toronto, ON to Chicago, IL $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
August 20, 2019 Chicago, IL to Toronto, ON $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
August 29, 2019 Toronto, ON to Chicago, IL $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
September 7, 2019 Chicago, IL to Toronto, ON $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
September 16, 2019 Toronto, ON to Chicago, IL $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
September 25, 2019 Chicago, IL to Toronto, ON $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
October 4, 2019 Toronto, ON to Chicago, IL $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999
October 13, 2019 Chicago, IL to Toronto, ON $6,389 $7,109 $7,729 $8,139 $8,349 $8,759 $9,999

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Not Included: Air & Transfer costs. 2019 Port Charges of $429pp and $15.50pp per day onboard gratuities. Standard terms and conditions apply.


Victory I

Victory IThe intimate 202-passenger M/V Victory I is a small and agile coastal cruising ship that can easily navigate canals, locks and hidden ports where larger ships dare not go. The M/V Victory I will take you on these journeys in style and grace, while you enjoy exquisite culinary delights, like regionally inspired dishes, created especially for you by our acclaimed chef, free-flowing non-premium wine and beer and an open bar with house spirits to enjoy throughout your cruise. View ship details...