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May 21–June 5, 2012 (Warren to Chicago)
July 5–20, 2012 (Chicago to Warren)
September 5–20, 2012 (Chicago to Warren)
DAY 1: Begin your voyage at Chicago's bustling Navy Pier on Lake Michigan, your gateway to adventure on some of America's most legendary waterways.
DAY 2: Discover Manistee, MI*, nestled between Lake Michigan and Manistee Lake. Known for its elegant architecture, this Victorian port city exudes historic charm. An optional trolley tour offers a panoramic exploration of the city, as well as a visit to the historic Ramsdell Theater, a perfect example of classic colonial architecture. The tour concludes at the Douglas Valley Vineyards for cider and wine tasting paired with gorgeous views of Lake Michigan. Nature lovers may prefer an optional visit to the State Game Marshes or Lake Bluff Audubon Center for a bird-watching expedition with a local nature guide (available eastbound only; westbound cruises visit Manitowoc, WI).
DAY 3: Travel to quaint Mackinac Island, MI, a historic summer retreat whose beauty and charm is preserved by its ban on motorized transportation. An optional carriage tour of the island includes entrance to the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory and Surrey Hill Square Carriage Museum, before concluding at the Grand Hotel. This evening enjoy learning about the history of this region.
DAY 4: A full day of cruising takes you through scenic Lake Huron, the second largest of the Great Lakes. Watch for colonial water birds that thrive in this region, including the striking Great Blue Heron.
DAY 5: This morning arrive in Wyandotte, MI, located on the lively Detroit River. Take an optional transfer to the Henry Ford Museum and explore 12 acres of historical artifacts, including President John F. Kennedy's limousine and the Rosa Parks bus. If you prefer an outdoor excursion, stroll through Greenfield Village, where nearly 100 historical buildings, ranging from the 17th century to today, have been relocated and arranged in a village setting. Highlights include the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop and Thomas Edison's lab. This evening a local historian lectures onboard the ship.
DAY 6: Welcome to Cleveland, OH, on the shores of Lake Erie. During an optional panoramic city tour, explore the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where history's most celebrated musicians are honored and immortalized, or the Cleveland Art Museum, which boasts ancient and modern art from around the world, including pieces by Monet, Warhol and Dali (attractions vary by cruise date). Tonight, learn how to make pierogies during a dinner-time cooking demonstration. Later, enjoy an onboard musical performance.
DAY 7: The only Great Lake port in Pennsylvania awaits. In the Port of Erie** an onboard discussion focuses on the area's colorful history. Enjoy an optional tour of Presque Isle Park and the new Tom Ridge Environmental Center, with plentiful photo stops along the way to capture memories of this beautiful peninsula (available eastbound only).
DAY 8: Buffalo, NY is known for its sports, snow, and special sauce! Today's optional tour to Niagara Falls includes the Whirlpool Overlook, the Table Rock area, a boat ride on the Maid of the Mist, and breathtaking views of all three falls. Tonight, enjoy a live jazz performance.
DAY 9: Enjoy a day of cruising scenic Lake Ontario and the Welland Canal. Consisting of 8 locks over 27 miles the Canal has allowed large vessels to travel between the US and Canada since 1829.
DAY 10: An optional tour of Rochester's highlights takes you to High Falls and the Browns Race Historical District to view the 96 foot falls and converted flour mills. The tour continues at the home of George Eastman, the founder of Kodak. Now a National Historic Landmark, The Eastman House also holds the International Museum of Photography and Film. Later, in Oswego, NY, you reach the gateway to the Oswego Canal and the famed Erie Canal. Witness the unique feat of lowering the ship's pilot house to travel under low bridges.
DAY 11: In Sylvan Beach, NY, perched on the picturesque eastern shore of Oneida Lake, the history and music of the Erie Canal comes to life during an onboard performance.
DAY 12: Spend the day on the Erie Canal, going where no other cruise line can go! An optional "Between the Locks" tour teaches the history of this remarkable waterway, widely considered one of the most important and successful accomplishments of engineering in North America.
DAY 13: Enjoy canal cruising as you travel through this historic part of New York on your way to Troy. Watch as the retractable pilot house is once again raised up to its full height. Experience local culture through an onboard musical performance.
DAY 14: In Kingston, NY, dock on the Hudson River and visit the historic Hudson River Maritime Museum. Then choose an optional visit to Hyde Park or Vanderbilt Mansion. Hyde Park includes a visit to "Springwood," the estate of Franklin D. Roosevelt, now home to his presidential library and museum (tour available eastbound only).
DAY 15: Travel to West Point***, home of the illustrious United States Military Academy. Enjoy an evening cruise of New York Harbor, passing the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and New York's lovely Battery Park, along with a postcard-perfect view of the Big Apple's world-famous skyline.
DAY 16: A morning cruise through Narragansett Bay returns you to Warren, RI, a classic New England town near famed Newport, home of decadent Gilded Age mansions, and the charming historic city of Providence.
*On some itineraries, the port changes from Manistee, MI, to Manitowoc, WI.
**Westbound does not visit Erie, PA.
***On Day 15, travel to West Point is subject to accessibility.
Bring your passport for Niagara Falls option. This cruise is also available in reverse. All itineraries including ports, activities and routes are subject to change based on weather and sea conditions.