Arrive in Buffalo and transfer to the pier to embark the Yorktown. Settle in to your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship and her crew.
This morning visit Niagara Falls, one of North America’s most spectacular wonders. Enjoy a thrilling Maid of the Mist boat ride beneath the falls. Return to Yorktown for lunch and then take a tour of Buffalo, a city experiencing a vibrant
renaissance. Our tour will showcase Buffalo’s architectural gems and include a visit to the famed Albright-Knox Museum
Enjoy a day at sea as Yorktown navigates through Lake Erie and into the Detroit River. Pass by the glittering city of Detroit with its beautifully renovated International Riverfront, attractive waterfront parks, and the Renaissance Center, home of General Motors world headquarters.
In the morning, tour the Henry Ford Museum and enjoy free time in the adjacent Greenfield Village, an indoor/outdoor history museum complex housing a wide array of historical buildings, machinery, exhibits, and Americana. In the afternoon, sail through Lake St. Clair and Lake Huron en route 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.
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.
Dock at Sault Ste. Marie where you will have a choice of excursions. In Sault Ste. Marie see the Soo Locks from the viewing platform in town and visit a 1917 Great Lakes freighter, now a museum. Alternatively, take a drive outside the city to the Point Iroquois Lighthouse for views of the entire coastline and to see the lighthouse keeper's memorabilia. Walk on the boardwalk to the beach before returning to Sault Ste. Marie and your ship. Leaving port Yorktown transits the Soo Locks, often called the busiest in the world, where roughly 10,000 ships pass annually.
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.
Today Yorktown navigates 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. Explore this historic region, including a visit to a copper mine.
Following breakfast aboard, disembark Yorktown in Duluth, Minnesota and transfer to the pier to embark the Yorktown.