Canada & US Cruises
(Great Lakes Cruise)
Experience Chicago with your private guide. Embark on a voyage along The Great Lakes and the land that surrounds it is undoubtedly one of the world’s most magnificent cruising areas, and this voyage encompasses the region’s most treasured destinations. On this unique itinerary, which encompasses American and Canadian ports, set sail from Chicago, one of America’s most striking and historic cities with its well-preserved architecture and rich cultural traditions. Explore the delightful town of Saugatuck, nestled along Lake Michigan’s great sand dunes and Mackinac Island’s bygone Victorian charms. Continue through Lake Huron, sailing past the city of Detroit and into Lake Erie on your way to the Welland Canal and Niagara Falls. Your voyage concludes in vibrant Toronto. You don’t have to travel far away from home to discover natural and man-made treasures. Join this voyage and sail the vast, sweet waters of the Great Lakes. Explore Toronto with your private guide.
Available Cruise Departure Dates (2013):
Chicago-Toronto: Jul 8, Jul 22
Toronto-Chicago: Jul 15, Aug 18.
Meet your professional driver for a private airport transfer in a private vehicle.
Rediscover the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, which has reclaimed the city skyline as a beacon of modern design, following a dramatic $50 million transformation. The artful new lobby of this downtown Chicago hotel beckons with a grand sense of arrival – at once, as fashionable as the city of Chicago – through crisp lines, dark woods, and neutral finishes tinged with pops of color. Lending The Fairmont Chicago a fashionable and contemporary urban resort attitude, the rich and diverse Grant Park and Millennium Park neighborhood affords you an intriguing sense of adventure. The Art Institute and the Field Museum; Navy Pier and Chicago’s Lakefront; the acclaimed shopping along the Magnificent Mile and Oak Street Street boutiques; Chicago’s theaters and nightclubs; the bustling business district and the serene escape of Millennium Park all intersect at one location: Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park.
Meet your professional driver for a private port transfer in a private vehicle.
After you are picked up from the hotel enjoy a sightseeing tour of Chicago, the “Windy” city, well known for its architecture with private vehicle and driver. One of the few America cities where America’s premier 19th century architects were allowed to design with the true nature of this grand city in mind. You will explore the historical and architectural highlights which make up the story of Chicago, home to America’s first and tallest skyscrapers. Lakeshore at least 80 km across natural reserves and beaches. You will admire the waterfronts, parks and some of the most Important Museums of Chicago. You will stop en route for a photo opportunity at the Planetarium. Continuing north on Lakeshore Drive, you will admire the first residences of Chicago's turn of the century millionaires located on the "gold coast", past the lagoon, the zoo and back into the heart of the city. Michigan Avenue, one of the main streets in the city. You will hear about the events that helped form the city of Chicago; Native American Indians from Fort Dearborn settling into this new metropolis, the fire of 1871, the river legends and learn about the post depression era contributors to urban development, Frank Lloyd Wright- Mies Van De Rohe. Vist the Historical center of finance. Particular focus on century-old buildings and monuments in the city. A stop at the tower in commercial part of town and the most touristic. Free time to take a break and walk around until the return to the hotel.
Welcome aboard!Take some time to get settled in to your stateroom and to explore the length of your ship. You'll set sail in the early evening. The welcome dinner tonight will be an ideal opportunity to meet some of your fellow cruisemates.
Port charges are included in your multi-day cruise itinerary pricing.
The Yorktown is the perfect vessel for relaxed and convivial exploration of America’s great coastal waterways. 257 feet long, 43 feet wide, with a draft of 8 feet, the Yorktown is able to maneuver in secluded waterways and visit small ports that are inaccessible to larger vessels. Accommodating 138 guests in 69 exterior cabins, the Yorktown enjoys an atmosphere of warm and relaxed informality that endears it to repeat and new guests alike. In addition to a large sun deck, the Yorktown boasts a spacious lounge for social gatherings and lectures as well as quiet space for private conversation. The ship’s cuisine, served in a dining room large enough to accommodate all guests at once, emphasizes American regional culinary traditions and specialties.
Arrive today in Saugatuck, nestled off the shores of Lake Michigan and Kalamazoo Lake. Originally a lumber town, Saugatuck eventually became known for its fruit production, especially its peaches. In the early 1900s Saugatuck was a prime summer destination for Chicago urbanites. Today, it is known for its historic buildings and churches, unique shops, and many art galleries, several of which you will have the opportunity to visit with your tour group.
The tumbling hills of Michigan’s scenic northwest are blanketed with maple and spruce. From lovely Charlevoix, your group tour will explore the old port town of Harbor Springs, with its panoramic views of the bay.
Arrive in beautiful Mackinac Island, a Victorian-era haven where cars are forbidden and bicycles share the road with horse-drawn carriages. Explore this idyllic island on a shared tour and see the ancient limestone formations that were considered sacred by the Straits Indians; the impressive Fort Mackinac, built atop a high cliff by the British in 1780; and the landmark Victorian Grand Hotel. Also enjoy free time to stroll along streets lined with ginger-bread-trimmed buildings and browse in the charming shops.
Enjoy a day at sea as Yorktown navigates from Lake Huron through the St. Clair River into Lake St. Clair and on to the Detroit River. Pass by the glittering city of Detroit with its beautifully renovated International Riverfront with its attractive waterfront parks and the Renaissance Center, home of General Motors world headquarters, on your way to Lake Erie.
Sitting where the Cuyahoga River meets Lake Erie, Cleveland is home to a monumental downtown and a rich cultural legacy. Over nine million people visit this city on the lake, founded on the wealth of steel and oil barons. Cleveland’s industrial foundation is very much in evidence, though downtown’s steel warehouses and tool-and-die factories now house smart restaurants, cafés, and shops, and its many bridges lead to revitalized neighborhoods. Your group tour of the city will include the striking I. M. Pei-designed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located on the Lake Erie waterfront. Also tour the superb Cleveland Museum of Art, noted for its collection of European paintings, as well as American, Asian, and African Art, and the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
Today you'll begin the dramatic passage between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie via the Welland Canal. A series of seven locks designed as a continuous flight of "stairs" transitions your ship 324 feet in elevation over a distance of 27 miles. From the decks of the ship witness the mechanics of this engineering marvel, which took over 100 years to complete. Stay on board for the entiretransit or disembark for an excursion to Niagara Falls, one of North America’s most spectacular natural wonders, where you’ll see both the American Falls and Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls.
After breakfast, you'll disembark from your ship this morning, making landfall in the metropolis of Toronto. Bid farewell to your fellow cruisemates.
Meet your driver for a private port transfer with vehicle and driver.
Today meet up with Toronto’s most famous local historian for a guided walking tour of Fort York. This is undeniably the symbolic cornerstone of Toronto’s British beginnings. When Lt Governor John Graves Simcoe arrived in 1793 one of the first things he did besides change the name to’ron’to the Huron First Nation gave to the region to the more British sounding York was to build a fort to protect the newly constructed Town of York (a few km to the east) from an American attack.
Back then Fort York was built right on the waters edge with it cannons pointed out to the bay. Today after years of landfill the Fort is landlocked hidden in the midst of the city that grew around it.
The fort was attacked twice by the Americans during the War of 1812 (captured during the Siege of York April 26, 1813) when many of the original buildings were destroyed eventually rebuilt with the oldest structures constructed in 1814.
Then we will head to the First Parliament Site where many historians believe this could be possibly be the most historically significant while at the same time the most historically contentious spot in all of Toronto. It was on this site once the banks of Lake Ontario in 1796 that the first Parliament Buildings of Upper Canada (now the Province of Ontario) were constructed the forerunner to Queen’s Park Ontario’s Legislature .
The two small red brick buildings (no bigger than two average sized suburban bungalows) were destroyed by fire during the occupation of York (April, 1813) by American forces during the War of 1812. While never really proven that the Yanks burnt the first seat of the Provincial Government the British never the less set fire to the American President’s mansion in Washington after which was repainted white and re-dubbed The White House ever since.
The First Parliament Buildings were re-built but once again destroyed by fire in 1824 at which time after meeting in various taverns and ballrooms the decision was made to move across town to Front Street west now the site of the CBC Broadcasting Centre.
Parliament sat there on and off (after moving to Kingston and Montreal for a few years after the Union of Upper and Lower Canada in 1841) until 1892 and the following year moved into the magnificently appointed and still in use today, Queen’s Park. The First Parliament site became home to the infamous Berkeley Street Goal (jail) then part of the enormous gas works before becoming today home to a car dealership, a parking lot and a patch of grass known as Parliament Square. There is however on going talks to redevelop the entire site into a permanent historical park complete with a reconstructing of those First Parliament Buildings in time for the War of 1812 Bicentennial.
Toronto is a city that has grown up around this grand landmark - The Fairmont Royal York Hotel (4*). It is just steps away from the hub of Toronto and a major access port to Canada is Union Station. If you're here to relax and take in the sights, this hotel has everything you need; luxurious surroundings, refined guest rooms and suites, and a knowledgeable Concierge are some of the services and amenities you will find while staying at The Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer with vehicle and driver.
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