Canada & US
(Great Lakes Cruise)
This is a voyage to some of the most magnificent wonders of North America, a voyage on which you’ll discover vibrant towns and vast expanses of natural splendor. Starting from Montreal, your ship sails through the St. Lawrence Seaway, one of the world’s greatest technological and engineering achievements, cruising through the scenic Thousand Islands to reach Lake Ontario. Spend a day visiting Kingston’s many cultural sites before witnessing the dramatic man-made marvel of the Welland Canal, where its seven locks will lift your ship 320 feet, and also your gateway to nearby Niagara Falls. Savor the sunsets upon Lake Huron; enjoy a train ride through the dramatic scenery of the Agawa Canyon, and explore beautiful Mackinac Island, a Victorian-era haven at the entrance to Lake Michigan, before sailing its shores to magnificent Chicago.
Available Cruise Departures (2013):
Montreal-Chicago: Jun 22
Chicago-Montreal: Aug 26
Transfer to the airport in a private vehicle with a professional driver.
The Hyatt Regency Montreal offers hospitality with a distinct French flavour. Step into the newly designed upper and lower lobbies and enjoy the residential-feel of a cozy living room setting warmed by two fireplaces. The proud recipient of a AAA Four Diamond Award, Hyatt Regency Montreal is a consistent favorite of business and leisure travelers. This stylish luxury hotel offers direct underground access to the Palais des Congrès (Montreal Convention Centre), as well as Chinatown, Old Montréal, Place des Arts (Performing Arts Centre) and the Metro transport system. Long known as the “hotel of the festivals”, this ideally located downtown accommodation places you in the heart of Quartier des Spectacles from holiday fun to nightly distractions. Treat yourself to one of the spacious, stylish guestrooms with premier views of Montreal and the Place des Arts. Enjoy the level of service you deserve at one of the most impressive hotels in Montreal, Quebec; Hyatt Regency Montreal.
This walking tour will allow you to discover the delicious cultural and historic culinary charms of the oldest district of Montreal. Reputable restaurants, speciality shops and boutiques in the area are housed in old factories and showrooms from the 19th century. As you follow the narrow and winding streets of Old Montreal, you will be accompanied by a professional tour guide who will feed your hunger for knowledge of the history of Montreal and its many gastronomic pleasures during the tour. You will learn what the influence of the Natives was on our food habits, and how the venue of the World Expo in 1967 brought exotic food on our tables. That and much more. Come discover the flavours and aromas of Old Montreal.
Enjoy a private transfer with vehicle and driver to the Port.
Welcome aboard!Take some time to get settled in to your stateroom, and to explore the length of the ship. Your welcome dinner this evening will provide 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.
Today, your ship will navigate the St. Lawrence Seaway, a system of lakes, canals, and locks that provide a deepwater passage from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Ontario—and a fascinating glimpse of North America’s heartland, including the scenic Thousand Islands.
Located at a strategic location, the junction of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, Kingston was founded in the 17th century by the French as a fur-trading settlement, becoming later an important British military post. Today, Kingston is one of Canada’s most charming and best preserved cities, justly known for its many historic 19thy-century buildings. Your group exploration of the city today will include its major landmarks, such as the Fort Henry National Historic Site, built in 1832; the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes, whose exhibits highlight the maritime history of the Great Lakes, and the Bellevue House, with its beautiful gardens. You will also have time to enjoy and explore beautiful Kingston on your own.
Arrive this morning at Port Weller, from where your ship begins the dramatic passage from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie via the Welland Canal. A series of seven locks designed as a continuous flight of “stairs” lifts the ship 324 feet over a distance of 27 miles. From the decks of the ship witness the mechanics of this engineering marvel, for which took over 100 years to complete. Stay on board for the entire transit 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.
Spend the day enjoying the lectures aboard and amenities of Yorktown as you sail to Detroit. Upon arrival in the evening, explore the city on your own before your tour of Detroit’s sites tomorrow.
In the morning, join the tour of the Henry Ford Museum. A National Historic Landmark, the property houses a vast arrayof famous homes, machinery, exhibits, and Americana. In the afternoon, sail through Lake St. Clair and Lake Huron to Alpena.
Arrive in Thunder Bay to call at the lovely town of Alpena, home to an outstanding maritime museum with displays on Great Lakes maritime history. There is also the opportunity to travel north to the small peninsula of Presque Isle, an untouched place of great beauty with two historic lighthouses. Pristine forests, numerous inland lakes and 72 miles of Lake Huron shoreline on the central flyway make Presque Isle a birder’s paradise.
Enter the scenic waterways of the North Channel, which lead to Sault Ste. Marie. Your full-day tour by train travels inland through the magnificent scenery of the Agawa Canyon.
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 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.
The tumbling hills of Michigan’s scenic northwest are blanketed with maple and spruce. From lovely Charlevoix, explore the old port town of Harbor Springs, with its panoramic views of the bay.
Arrive 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 on your group tour.
This morning you'll disembark from your ship and bid farewell to your fellow cruisemates as you make landfall.
Meet your professional driver for a private airport transfer in a private vehicle.
Two taxes, the federal goods and services tax (GST) and the Québec sales tax (QST), are added to the selling price of most goods and services. Several tourist regions charge a specific tax on accommodations. The amount is $2 or $3 a night or 3% of the price of the room per night, before the GST and QST are added.
You must leave a tip on service provided in restaurants and bars and by taxi drivers and hairdressers. The amount, which is not included in the bill, generally represents 10% to 15% of the total bill (before taxes). Here in Québec, for a restaurant bill, we usually add the amounts of the two taxes (GST and QST) together, the sum of which equals approximately 13%. Tipping bellhops or porters is at your discretion (generally, $1 per bag carried).
Most of Québec’s cities enjoy a humid continental climate, with four very distinct seasons and significant differences in temperature marking each one. Summer is hot, while winter sees a considerable amount of snow fall. In fact, Québecers owe their legendary joie de vivre to these climatic variations!
Québec’s Great North is characterized by arctic and subarctic climates. The ancestral land of the Cree and the Inuit is known for its lengthy winters and brief summers.
Visitors holding a driver’s licence from their country of origin can drive on Québec’s roads for a maximum period of six months. This means you don’t have to obtain an international driving permit, although if your papers are in a language other than French or English, it is highly recommended that you do so.
By law, all vehicle occupants must wear a seat belt.
Consuming alcohol or having alcoholic beverages present in a moving vehicle is strictly prohibited under Québec’s Highway Safety Code. Furthermore, a person suspected of driving under the influence will have to submit to a breathalyzer test. If the test reveals a concentration of alcohol in that person’s blood of 80 or more milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood, his or her driver’s permit will be immediately revoked for a 30-day period.
Although the minimum age for driving a car is 16, some car rental companies require that the driver be at least 25, while others charge higher rates for drivers under the age of 21.
The electric current is 110 volts/60 cycles, as it is throughout North America. Because the outlets cannot accommodate European plugs, you’d best bring or buy an adaptor.
Banking & Currency:
The legal tender is the Canadian dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. Bank notes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars, and coins in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 cents and 1 and 2 dollars.
The leading credit cards are accepted everywhere, namely Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Traveler’s cheques are generally accepted in large hotels, some restaurants and major stores. Otherwise, they must be cashed at an exchange office or bank.
There are numerous exchange offices in Québec’s main cities. Airports also offer exchange services. Some businesses accept American money, but they offer a less competitive rate than the exchange offices.
Banking institutions are generally open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can withdraw cash from most automatic teller machines (linked to the Cirrus, PLUS System or Interac networks) any time, seven days a week.
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