Great Lakes Cruise Company - Sailing America's Inland Oceans

Special Savings on Select Cruises

Great Lakes Cruise Company is a division of Conlin Travel

Voyages of Discovery on America's Inland Seas
Cruise the Great Lakes Itineraries

Grande Caribe & Grande Mariner

Great American Waterways: Chicago to Rhode Island

Erie Canal & Great Lakes Map
Enlarged View

Special Features

  • Cruise the famed Erie and Oswego Canals for a total of 30 locks going where no other overnight cruise lines can go.
  • On Victorian-era Mackinac Island, enjoy learning about the history of this region.
  • Cruise through four Great Lakes—Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.
  • Learn how to make pierogies during an onboard cooking demonstration.
  • Witness the unique feat of lowering the ship's pilot house for traveling under low bridges.
  • View the stunning New York Harbor and pass by the Statue of Liberty.

15 Nights, 16 Days

Grande Mariner
July 27-August 11, 2014 (Warren to Chicago)
September 9-24, 2014 (Chicago to Warren) Waitlist Only

Grande Caribe
July 29-August 13, 2014 (Warren to Chicago)
August 15-30, 2014 (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 a cider and wine tasting paired with gorgeous views of Lake Michigan (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. A second optional excursion at the historic Grand Hotel invites you to enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea, complete with scones, finger sandwiches, and champagne. After dinner, enjoy a historical presentation of this enchanting island.

DAY 4: A full day of cruising takes you around 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 excursion 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 the outdoors, then opt for a 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 about the history of Wyandotte and its role in the prohibition era.

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: In Erie, PA**, home of the only Great Lakes Port in Pennsylvania, 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; westbound cruises do not visit Erie).

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 (passport required). Tonight, enjoy a live musical performance.

DAY 9: Enjoy a day of cruising the Welland Canal and scenic Lake Ontario. Consisting of eight 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 the highlights of Rochester, NY 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'll reach the gateway to the Oswego Canal and the famed Erie Canal and its 30 locks. 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! Today you may choose to visit Cooperstown, NY. Located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, Cooperstown is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Farmers Museum, and the Fenimore Art Museum. Watch America's history come alive in this picturesque town that combines big-city excitement with small town charm.

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. Tonight, experience local culture during 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 (based on availability). 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.

PORTS VISITED:
Chicago, IL • Manistee, MI* • Manitowoc, MI (westbound only) • Mackinac Island, MI • Wyandotte, MI • Cleveland, OH • Erie, PA** • Buffalo, NY • Rochester, NY • Oswego, NY • Sylvan Beach, NY • Amsterdam, NY • Troy, NY • Kingston, NY • West Point, NY*** • Warren, RI
WATERWAYS NAVIGATED:
Lake Michigan • Straits of Mackinac • Lake Huron • St. Claire River • Lake St. Claire • Detroit River • Lake Erie • Welland Canal • Lake Ontario • Oswego Canal • Erie Canal • Hudson River • New York Harbor • East River • Long Island Sound • Block Island Sound • Rhode Island Sound • Narragansett Bay • Warren River

* On westbound itinerary the port changes from Manistee, MI to Manitowoc, WI.
** Westbound does not visit Erie, PA.
*** 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 availability, weather, river, water levels and sea conditions.