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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

How to choose a Great Lakes & St. Lawrence River Cruise

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There’s a new kid on the block if you’re an avid cruiser or looking for your next waterfront vacation: Great Lakes cruising. With plenty of options to choose from, choosing the right Great Lakes cruise can be an exciting experience, and we’re here to help. 
  • When choosing your Great Lakes cruise, first decide when you’d like to go & how long and what major attractions you’d like to see. 
  • Once you know when you’re visiting the Great Lakes and your top destinations, you can choose the itinerary that matches your interests and a cruise line that will give you all that you’re looking for in a Great Lakes cruise. 

Choose your cruise length: Great Lakes cruises range from 8-13 days, and some feature more stops in port while others spend a few more days cruising the lakes.
Choose your cruise time: The most popular (and busiest) time for Great Lakes cruises is during the summer months of late June, July, and early August, when temperatures are hot and days are sunny. The shoulder seasons of May and September are great if you don’t mind cooler temperatures and you’re hoping for smaller crowds both onboard and in each port.
Choose your destinations: The Great Lakes are interconnected, so you’ll have a chance to see some or maybe even all of the Great Lakes on your cruise, but not every itinerary visits every major port. When choosing your itinerary, make sure you know which destinations and ports you definitely want to visit:
  • Hoping to see the mighty Niagara Falls? You’re looking for a cruise of Lake Erie & Ontario.
  • Want to experience European charm in Quebec? Then make sure your cruise includes stops along the St. Lawrence River!
  • Love history and feeling nostalgic for America’s industrial past? Make sure to visit Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland on your cruise through Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior.
Longer cruises cover more destinations, so you can maximize your cruise by choosing one of the 11- or 13-day itineraries.
Choose your ship: While a growing number of cruise lines travel through the Great Lakes, we are proud to feature three of the best -  We make sure to feature only the most comfortable ships with the best service, so even if your itinerary doesn’t match with your top choice of ship, we guarantee that you’ll still have a wonderful Great Lakes cruising experience.

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