Fly to Montreal and transfer to the pier to embark Yorktown. Settle in to your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship and her crew.
Navigate the St. Lawrence Seaway, a system of lakes, canals, and locks that provide a deep water passage from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Ontario—and a fascinating glimpse of North America’s heartland.
Strategically located at 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, later becoming an important British military post. Today, Kingston is one of Canada’s most charming and best preserved cities, known for its many historic 19thy century buildings. Your exploration of the city includes 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.
Arrive this morning at Port Weller, from where Yorktown 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 Yorktown 326.5 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 you’ll see both the American Falls and Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls.
Spend the day enjoying the lectures and amenities aboard 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, tour the Henry Ford Museum, a National Historic Landmark. The property houses a vast array of historic automobiles, machinery, furniture, exhibits, and other 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 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. See the Soo Locks from the town's viewing platform and visit a 1917 Great Lakes freighter, now a museum. Drive outside Sault Ste. Marie to the Point Iroquois Lighthouse, resting on a bluff above Lake Superior. Climb the lighthouse steps for views of the entire coastline and to see the lighthouse keeper's memorabilia. Walk the boardwalk to the beach.
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 Ojibwe; 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.
The tumbling hills of Michigan’s scenic northwest are blanketed with maple and spruce forests. Explore lovely Charlevoix, including the unique "mushroom" houses built by local architect Earl Young.
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 have the opportunity to visit. Alternateively, enjoy a scenic ride through the coastal dunes on specially-designed dune schooners.
Following breakfast aboard Yorktown, disembark in Chicago and transfer to the airport for return flights home.