The Historic St. Lawrence River & America's Five Great Lakes
- Cruise the St. Lawrence Seaway to the 1,000 Islands corridor
- Experience the natural wonder of Niagara Falls
- Visit Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island and home of the Ojibwe people
- Explore Mackinac Island and the Victorian-era Grand Hotel
- Visit the architecturally-rich city of Chicago, IL
At a glance
Duration: 10 Days, 9 Nights
Coverage: Montréal to Chicago
Season: July - August
Activities: History, Sightseeing
Book this Trip › or call us toll-free 1-888-815-5428
Set sail on a comprehensive voyage through the St. Lawrence River and America’s Five Great Lakes. Navigate the 1,000 Islands corridor and transit the historic Soo Locks. Go ashore on Manitoulin, the world’s largest freshwater Island and attend a private performance by the indigenous Ojibwe people. Ride a horse-drawn carriage on Mackinac Island and, if you wish, stop for lunch at the Grand Hotel. From a thrilling visit to spectacular Niagara Falls to a tour of Detroit’s Henry Ford Museum, each day of this itinerary is filled with magic.
3-day pre-cruise extension in Montréal, Québec is available. Call for details
3-day post-cruise extension in Chicago, Illinois is available. Call for details
- Day 1 - Montréal, Québec, Canada (Embarkation)
Arrive in Montréal and board the luxurious MS Saint Laurent. This evening, gather for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as we embark on our Great Lakes journey.
- Day 2 - Sailing the St. Lawrence Seaway, 1000 Islands & Lake Ontario
Today we’ll cruise the St. Lawrence Seaway to the 1,000 Islands corridor, an archipelago of nearly 1,900 islands, then on to Lake Ontario, the smallest in the chain of Great Lakes, where a favorable microclimate supports a major fruit growing region. This evening, we’ll gather for a sumptuous welcome dinner in the ship’s main dining room.
- Day 3 - Niagara Falls (Welland Canal)
Today we’ll disembark the ship at Port Weller on the northern 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 MS Saint Laurent awaits its turn to transit the locks, we’ll disembark and 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 before rejoining the ship at Port Colbourne.
- Day 4 - Detroit, Michigan & Windsor, Ontario
Sailing from Lake Erie to Lake Huron, the MS Saint Laurent will call on Windsor, Ontario, known as “The City of Roses.” Here, we’ll board a motorcoach and cross Ambassador Bridge, a privately owned suspension bridge that connects Windsor with Detroit. This bridge is the busiest international trade crossing in North America, supporting $13 billion (USD) in annual production. Just outside of Detroit, we’ll visit the Henry Ford Museum where highlights 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 Ford Theatre in which Abraham Lincoln was sitting when he was shot. After our tour, we’ll return to the ship for dinner and set sail for Lake Huron.
- Day 5 - 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 6 - Little Current, Manitoulin Island (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 Ojibwe people, part of the First Nation of Anishinaabe. Coming ashore at Little Current, we’ll explore the area’s rich native and nautical history. At Immaculate Conception Church, we’ll learn how the beliefs and customs of the Ojibwe intertwine with those of the Catholic Church. At the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, we’ll attend a traditional “smudging” ceremony and “pow wow” and tour the museum and art gallery. Back in Little Current, you’ll have the option to return to the ship or choose to stay in town for further exploration.
- Day 7 - Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (Whitefish Bay & Lake Superior)
Today, we’ll transit the Soo Locks from Lake Huron into Lake Superior at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Our guided excursion includes a visit to the New Fort Brady, 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 8 - Mackinac Island (Lake Michigan)
This morning we’ll awaken in the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. After breakfast, we’ll go ashore for a horse-drawn carriage tour of Mackinac Island, driving by 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, cocktail hour in the lounge features a captivating presentation by the Grand Hotel Resident Historian.
- Day 9 - Scenic Sailing of Lake Michigan
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 fifth 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 farewell reception on board, followed by dinner in the ship’s Shearwater Dining Room.
- Day 10 - Chicago, Illinois, USA (Disembarkation)
This morning, we’ll arrive at the port in Chicago, Illinois. After breakfast, you’ll disembark the MS Saint Laurent and make your way to the airport for your flight home or to The Drake Hotel (or similar) for your extended tour of this magnificent city.
Dates & Rates
MS Saint Laurent
The 105-stateroom M.S. Saint Laurent is a 4-star, intimate and charming ocean-going coastal vessel. Her spacious indoor and expansive outdoor public areas make her an ideal vessel for exploring destinations larger vessels cannot reach. Outfitted with elevator (Decks 1 to 4), as well as on-board full service salon, boutique and medical services you will find all amenities expected from a deluxe ocean vessel.