August 15–24, 2012
DAY 1: Begin your adventure in cosmopolitan downtown Toronto, and spend the night in a centrally-located hotel where options for dinner in the city abound.
DAY 2: This morning a motorcoach transfers you to Midland, ON to board the ship. Take in the historical sites of this charming resort town during an afternoon optional tour. Visit Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, and follow the footsteps of the first Europeans to Ontario. Explore the recreated 17th century French Jesuit Mission headquarters and learn about the Wendat (Ouendat) Huron First Nation people.
DAY 3: The ship docks this morning in the beautiful coastal village of Parry Sound. Spend the afternoon cruising the radiant blue waters of the famed Georgian Bay. An onboard guest lecturer discusses the history of the First Nations, Canada's indigenous population.
DAY 4: In Little Current, an optional tour showcases Manitoulin Island, the world's largest freshwater island. Visit the Immaculate Conception Church, explore the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation heritage museum and art gallery, and experience a traditional Aboriginal drum presentation. This evening transit the North Channel and spend an evening under the night skies as an astronomer delights you with an interactive star-gazing workshop.
DAY 5: This morning in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, pay an optional visit to the Bushplane Heritage Centre aviation museum. Transit the Soo Locks, which mark the border between the United States and Canada, and enter Sault Ste Marie, MI. This afternoon an optional narrated trolley tour with on/off privileges allows you to explore this delightful town at your own pace.
DAY 6: Welcome to quaint Mackinac Island, where you can slip into the gentle rhythm of the Victorian era. The island's natural beauty and authentic ambiance is preserved by its only form of transportation, horse-drawn carriages! An optional carriage tour includes entrance to the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory. A musical presentation on the history of Mackinac Island is the perfect way to end the day on this idyllic island.
DAY 7: Dock this afternoon in Manitowoc, WI, nestled in the mouth of the Manitowoc River. An optional excursion to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum features the USS Cobia, the world's most completely restored WWII submarine.
DAY 8: During your visit to Milwaukee, experience an optional panoramic tour of some of the city's unexpected treasures, including City Hall, river walk and Cathedral Square. Witness an engineering marvel at the Milwaukee Art Museum, as the magnificent Brise Soleil (ceiling) opens over the lake. Cap off your tour with a cheese and beer tasting at one of Milwaukee's famed breweries. During lunch enjoy a unique lecture on the history, allure, and amazing success of the Harley Davidson company.
DAY 9: Dock today in Chicago, famed for its historic Navy Pier and the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), the tallest building in North America. An optional city tour introduces you to the history and architecture of this magnificent city. Or, explore on your own and visit one of the many museums or sports venues. Don't forget to try a slice of the city's signature deep dish pizza. Tonight enjoy a presentation on the history and music of the Great Lakes region.
DAY 10: Disembark today in Chicago.
All itineraries including ports, activities and routes are subject to change based on weather and sea conditions.