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The Best Great Lakes for Cruising

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All five of the Great Lakes feature exciting cruise itineraries, so there’s no wrong choice when selecting your Great Lakes cruise - it’s just a matter of deciding what you’d most like to see and do on your luxury cruise of the Great Lakes.

Lake Ontario- Lake Ontario is the best of the Great Lakes if you hope to combine your cruise with a tour of the Saint Lawrence River. As you navigate the Saint Lawrence River, you will make stops in the Canadian cities of Quebec City, Montreal, and Toronto. Lake Ontario cruises also take you to Niagara Falls!

Lake Erie- Itineraries cruising Lake Erie will also give you the chance to visit thundering Niagara Falls, as well as making stops in Cleveland, Ohio, where you can explore the expansive Metroparks system, enjoy some local brews from Great Lakes Brewing Company, and visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! 

Lake Huron- Journey on to the Motor City in Detroit as you head west across the Great Lakes. Here you can see how the auto industry shaped America throughout its industrial heyday. Continue on the shores of eastern Michigan to visit the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center and make your way to the naturally beautiful Mackinac Island, tucked between Michigan’s Upper & Lower Peninsulas and home to Mackinac Island State Park.

Lake Michigan- Nothing says “Pure Michigan” like the only one of the Great Lakes entirely in the United States: Lake Michigan. Aptly named for the way it reaches straight down and forms the border between Michigan and Illinois, Lake Michigan also hosts modern Chicago and traditional Milwaukee and Green Bay in Wisconsin on its shores. 

Lake Superior- Living up to its name, Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes by volume and depth and is even bigger in area than Scotland. As the western and northernmost lake, it shares its extensive shoreline with the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota, and Canada’s Ontario province. Sault Ste. Marie and Isle Royale National Park are staple stops on your itinerary across Lake Superior. It’s worth noting that most of our featured cruises only cruise as far west on Lake Superior as Sault Ste. Marie. 

Which cruise visits the Great Lakes that you’d like to explore? 
  • Most Great Lakes cruise itineraries visit the staple attractions & destinations in Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, with a stop in Sault Ste. Marie between Lakes Huron and Superior. 
  • The longest cruises travel from Chicago all the way to Montreal, including stops along the Saint Lawrence River (or vice versa). 
  • Other cruises focus more exclusively on the eastern Great Lakes and Canada, starting in Detroit and traveling across Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and then navigating the Saint Lawrence River (or vice versa).

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