July 22-29, 2013 (Chicago to Toronto) Waitlist Only
August 18-25, 2013 (Toronto to Chicago) Waitlist Only
Close to home is one of the great natural wonders of the world. 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 our way to the Welland Canal and Niagara Falls. Our voyage concludes in vibrant Toronto. You don't have to travel far away from home to discover natural and man-made treasures. Join us as we sail the vast, sweet waters of the Great Lakes.
|Day 1||Chicago, Illinois, USA; Embark
Fly to Chicago, one of America's most vibrant and historic cities, and embark Yorktown in the afternoon. Sail in the early evening.
|Day 2||Saugatuck, Michigan
Arrive this morning 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.
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.
|Day 4||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.
|Day 5||Cruising Lake Huron and Lake Erie
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 our way to Lake Erie.
|Day 6||Cleveland, Ohio
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. Our 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.
|Day 7||Lake Erie; Port Weller; Welland Canal; Niagara Falls
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 8||Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Disembark
Disembark in Toronto and transfer to the airport for return flights home.