July 29-August 8, 2013 (Toronto to Duluth) Waitlist Only
August 8-18, 2013 (Duluth to Toronto) Waitlist Only
Nearly fifteen thousand years ago, the last of the great glaciers retreated, leaving us with the legacy of the Great Lakes. Although they are called lakes, they are in reality vast inland seas that comprise one-fifth of the world's fresh surface water. First used as a means of transport by Algonquin and Iroquois tribes, the lakes later became a thriving commercial hub and a heavily traveled waterway with the arrival of European settlers. More than fifty years ago, the Great Lakes were the busiest waterway in the world and North America's treasured summer destination.
Setting forth from vibrant Toronto, venture through Lake Ontario to transit the modern engineering achievement of the Welland Canal and visit Niagara Falls before entering Lake Erie. Visit the glittering city of Detroit, which has enjoyed a renaissance, then sail Lake Huron and explore beautiful Mackinac Island, a Victorian-era haven. On the shores of Lake Michigan, visit the lovely town of Manistique on Michigan's Garden Peninsula. From Sault Ste. Marie, there is the option to enjoy a train ride through the dramatic scenery of the Agawa Canyon. After transiting the Soo Locks, enter Lake Superior, the largest and deepest of the Great Lakes. Sail along the impressive Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and revel in the pristine beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula before reaching Duluth.
For a truly rewarding voyage of discovery, join us aboard the 138-guest Yorktown as we explore the storied Great Lakes.
|Day 1||Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Embark
Fly to Toronto and transfer to the pier to embark Yorktown.
|Day 2||Lake Ontario; Welland Canal; Niagara Falls; Lake Erie
Arrive this morning at Port Weller, from where Yorktown begins the dramatic passage from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario via the Welland Canal. A series of seven locks designed as a continuous flight of "stairs" lifts Yorktown 324 feet 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 entire transit or disembark for an excursion to Niagara Falls, one of North America's most spectacular natural wonders, where we'll see both the American Falls and Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls.
|Day 3||Cruising Lake Erie
Enjoy a day at sea as Yorktown navigates through Lake Erie and into the Detroit River.
|Day 4||Detroit, Michigan
Arrive in Detroit, with its beautifully renovated International Riverfront, attractive waterfront parks, and the Renaissance Center, home of General Motors world headquarters. Tour the Henry Ford Museum and explore Greenfield Village, an indoor/outdoor history museum complex housing a wide array of historical buildings, machinery, exhibits, and Americana. In the afternoon, visit the Ford Rouge Factory to see how environmental innovation meets industrial production at this state-of-the-art facility.
|Day 5||Alpena, Michigan; Presque Isle
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.
|Day 6||Mackinac Island
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 gingerbread-trimmed buildings and browse in the charming shops.
Sail into Lake Michigan to call at Manistique, a small town on the bucolic Garden Peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan. Explore this scenic and peaceful area, including the Big Spring, in Palms Book State Park, its crystal clear waters stretching 200 feet across; and Fayette, the center of a large smelting operation in the 19th century, now one of the country's most evocative industrial ghost towns, protected as a state park site.
|Day 8||Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, USA; Agawa Canyon, Ontario, Canada
Dock at Sault Ste. Marie where we have a choice of excursions. In Sault Ste. Marie we will see the Soo Locks from the viewing platform in town and visit a 1917 Great Lakes freighter, now a museum. Alternatively, a full-day tour by train travels inland through the magnificent scenery of the Agawa Canyon. Yorktown transits the Soo Locks, known as the busiest in the world, where some 12,000 ships pass annually, to enter Lake Superior.
|Day 9||Pictured Rocks; Marquette
Spend the morning at sea sailing along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, a 40-mile stretch of pristine natural wonders along Lake Superior's southern coast. The colorful sandstone cliffs are of particular interest, having created beautiful arches, caves, and other formations over time. In the afternoon call in Marquette. Explore this picturesque city on Lake Superior, including a visit to the Marquette Maritime Museum and Lighthouse.
|Day 10||Houghton; Keweenaw Peninsula
Today Yorktown will navigate through the Portage Waterway, the narrow channel that separates Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula from the mainland, to call at quaint Houghton, built on a bluff facing the channel. Keweenaw witnessed the country's first mineral rush, when vast deposits of copper were discovered in 1840. By the time the rush was over early in the 20th century, copper had generated enormous wealth, estimated to be ten times more than the money generated by the California Gold Rush. The legacy of the copper rush is still evident today in the abandoned mines, deserted settlements nestled in the forest, and the opulent buildings in the region's towns. We will explore this historic region, including a visit to a copper mine.
|Day 11||Duluth, Minnesota; Disembark
Disembark in Duluth and transfer to the airport for return flights home.