small ship adventure cruises®

Contact Sunstone Tours & Cruises Toll-Free
or contact us via e-mail
Natural Splendors of the Western Great Lakes

Natural Splendors of the Western Great Lakes

July 19, 2018 sailing only! 2-for-1 discounts on listed pricing. Complimentary Hotel Accommodation plus Free Air between Toronto to Thunder-Bay. Call for details.

Special Offer

At a glance

Duration: 9 days

Coverage: Milwaukee WI to Thunder Bay, ON

From: $5,512

Season: July

Activities: History, Sightseeing

Book this Trip › or call us toll-free 1-888-815-5428

Victory Cruise Line

Enjoy scenic sailing and visits to picturesque coastal towns on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

Sailing from Milwaukee all the way to Thunder Bay, Ontario, our exclusive voyage explores the maritime heritage, indigenous cultures and thriving industries that have shaped the history and character of these regions. Aboard the stylish 202-guest M/V Victory II, our cruise includes fine dining, free flowing house wine, beer, and spirits, engaging shipboard experts and all-inclusive shore excursions.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Arrive at the pier where the elegant M/V Victory II awaits. Settle in to your outside stateroom before joining your fellow passengers for a welcome dinner.

Day 2 - Green Bay, Wisconsin

The city of Green Bay, Wisconsin is located on the south end of Green Bay at the mouth of the Fox River. It is the third-largest city in the state and well known as the home of the Green Bay Packers, the only community-owned NFL team. Visit the National Railway Museum of America, dedicated to preserving the nation’s extraordinary railroad history, including Union Pacific’s #4107, the largest steam locomotive ever built, and the futuristic “Aerotrain.” Traveling further back in history we visit Heritage Hill State Historical Park, a 48-acre open-air museum containing more than 30 of Green Bay’s historical structures, including log cabins from the fur trade era, buildings from Fort Howard, and stores and public buildings from the late 19th century. Live historic interpreters, wearing period style clothing, populate the park during summer operations.

Day 3 - Sturgeon Bay / Scenic Sailing along Door County

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin lies along the coast of Door County in western Lake Michigan. The city is bisected by an iconic bridge, which straddles the shipping canal connecting Lake Michigan and Green Bay. It has served as a major shipping hub in the region since 1835. Today, Door County is a region of considerable natural beauty and culture, with museums, galleries, lighthouses, historic sites and its fabulous orchards. Our visit ashore includes a scenic drive through pastoral Door County, where we will visit a local winery and cheese making center, along with one of the Cherry orchards that make Door County the “Cherry Capital of the world.” In Sturgeon Bay, we will visit the Maritime Museum and a local glass blowing studio for a demonstration of this elegant craft form. In the afternoon, guests experience a traditional fish boil to sample this Great Lakes culinary tradition.

Day 4 - St Ignace / Mackinac Island

We’ll awaken in the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. With no cars allowed on the island, your 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 its strategic importance during the War of 1812. Next, take in the views from the Grand Hotel’s verandah, the longest in the world, and enjoy the hotel’s famous Grand Luncheon Buffet. Back in town, you’ll have time to browse galleries and boutiques. Before sailing this 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 5 - Soo Lock / Scenic Sailing of Lake Superior

Located at the mouth of the St. Mary’s river, the twin “Soo’s” of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan were originally 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 20-foot fall of St Mary’s Rapids that connect Lake Superior to Lake Huron and the lower lakes. The Soo locks are the busiest in the world in terms of tonnage, accommodating 1000 foot freighters. Travelling upstream and arriving from Mackinac Island, the ship will traverse the locks for a day of sailing on beautiful Lake Superior.

Day 6 - Marquette, Michigan

Marquette is located on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, on the southern border of Lake Superior. Named for the French Jesuit missionary who explored the region, Marquette became a major Great Lakes port when iron ore was discovered in 1844. In the late 19th century, during the height of iron mining, Marquette was a summer haven for passenger steamships, whose guests filled the city's hotels and resorts. On our shore excursion, we'll visit the Michigan Iron Industry Museum on the site of an original iron forge. Closer to town, we'll visit the working harbor to witness the loading of Great Lakes freighters along the impressive 1000-feet-long iron ore dock. Our exploration of Marquette concludes with a visit to the Maritime Museum and Lighthouse.

Day 7 - Houghton, Michigan

Houghton is located on the Keewenaw Peninsula, which jets out into Lake Superior and is known for its massive deposits of high-grade copper. The Hancock Houghton Canal—also called the Keewenaw Waterway—is a convenient shortcut for the M/V Victory II as it makes its way to and from Duluth, Minnesota. In its hayday, this canal was a hive of commerce as freighters arrived with supplies and departed full of copper. On our shore excursion, we'll visit the Quincy Copper Mine, which operated from 1846 to 1945, and explore how miners moved underground and extracted this valuable resource. After lunch, we'll visit the internationally-recognized A. E. Seamen Mineral Museum on the grounds of Michigan Technological University, which houses an extraordinary collection of minerals, including a fascinating set of phosphorescent deposits.

Day 8 - Duluth, Minnesota

The city of Duluth is nestled in the hills overlooking Lake Superior. Originally settled by the Sioux and Chippewa, Duluth was claimed for France in 1679 by Daniel Greysolon Sieur du Lhut, the city's namesake. Our visit starts with a drive past the Aerial Lift Bridge, which guards the harbor, then along the North Shore Scenic Drive for an excellent view of city and its environs. We then climb Hawk Ridge to the "raptor flight path," where these extraordinary hunting birds take a rest on their Arctic migration. Enjoy a scenic walk along the waterfront to Leif Erikson Park, which houses a replica Viking Ship, and down to "The Depot" with its exceptional collection of trains and carriages from a bygone era. The afternoon is free to explore Canal Park, whose restored ships and exhibits showcase Duluth's history.

Day 9 - Thunder Bay, Ontario

This morning, we'll arrive at Thunder Bay. After breakfast, you'll disembark the M/V Victory II and make your way to the airport for your flight home.

Dates & Rates

July 19, 2018 sailing only! 2-for-1 discounts on listed pricing. Complimentary Hotel Accommodation plus Free Air between Toronto to Thunder-Bay. Call for details.

Special Offer
Dates # of Days E D C B A AA Owner's Suite
July 19, 2018 9 $5,512 $6,128 $6,664 $7,024 $7,200 $7,552 $8,080
July 7, 2019 9 $5,677 $6,312 $6,864 $7,235 $7,416 $7,779 $8,322
August 20, 2019 9 $5,677 $6,312 $6,864 $7,235 $7,416 $7,779 $8,322
August 28, 2019 10 $6,385 $7,106 $7,723 $8,135 $8,341 $8,753 $9,361

Sailings go in both directions, please contact us prior to making further plans.

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy.


Natural Splendors of the Western Great Lakes itinerary map


Victory II

Victory IIThe intimate 202-passenger M/V Victory II 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 II 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...