This 11-day journey from Chicago, Illinois to Toronto, Ontario explores the attractions of the Great Lakes. Discover popular ports on Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario and immerse yourself in the lakes' natural splendor. The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan, provides information on the history of industry and its role in shaping America. Enjoy the culture of Cleveland, Ohio, which features an amazing art museum and the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Your adventure concludes in Toronto, Ontario, where you may marvel at the thundering power of Niagara Falls and enjoy the bustling modern city. Admire the picturesque shorelines and untamed islands of these great lakes all along the trip.
Explore the arts, music, and culinary scenes of Chicago.
Enjoy stunning views of Lake Michigan's pretty shores and islands.
Learn about American industrial history at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.
Enjoy a complimentary stay at the pre-cruise hotel. The evening allows time to become acquainted with the city. For your convenience, our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel, and our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about the upcoming voyage to reservation of premium experiences. Representatives will be available to provide suggestions for dining, entertainment, and sightseeing options to maximize your time here.
Bold, brazen, and distinctly American, Chicago has the personality to spare. From our embarkation point at Navy Pier to towering skyscrapers to regional cuisine and a quirky dialect, this city represents the heart and soul of the Midwest. Chicagoans are easy to recognize and quick with a smile and a lighthearted quip. Shopping on the Magnificent Mile is an adventure to remember, and the locals know the hidden mom-and-pop gems serving the best deep-dish pizza, Italian beef and signature Chicago dogs.
These waters are home to a vast variety of wildlife – trout, salmon, walleye, smallmouth bass, crawfish, freshwater sponges, and sea lamprey, to name a few. That buffet attracts raptors such as hawks and bald eagles and waterfowl such as ducks, swans, and geese. Relax and enjoy the view on your own time on this peaceful lake cruising day. Sip a midmorning consommé, breathe in the fresh lake air on the upper deck, share convivial conversation with other guests, or delve into a captivating book as you look forward to yet another astounding sunset on the water.
Trapped in time and surrounded by staggeringly beautiful landscapes, Mackinac Island centers the spirit and soothes the soul. Settle into the tranquil pace of this treasured destination on a tour by horse-drawn carriage. Fill up on fresh, local flavor with a lunch to remember at the island’s legendary Grand Hotel. Afterward, let your gaze lazily wander across the stunning vistas from its colossal porch – the world’s largest.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Mackinac Island Included Carriage Tour
Enjoy a charming tour through Mackinac Island via horse-drawn carriage. Explore the island as we ride to Fort Mackinac, where we will be greeted by a Michigan State Park Representative before we embark on an educational tour of the former military outpost followed by a cannon and rifle firing presentation. We will continue onward to the Grand Hotel, an iconic hotel and coastal resort on the island. The hotel was constructed in the late 19th century and prides itself as having "The World's Largest Porch." Many notable guests have stayed at the hotel including five U.S. presidents, two Russian presidents, Thomas Edison, and Mark Twain. Spend your afternoon sightseeing and shopping in this charming town at your leisure, then head back onboard for a special presentation by the Grand Hotel's resident historian Bob Tagatz.
Here, we will be greeted by a Michigan State Park Representative before we embark on an educational tour of this former British and American military outpost.
The Grand Hotel:
Enjoy a self-guided tour of The Grand Hotel and its beautiful grounds.
Explore Mackinac Island:
Discover this town stuck in time, bursting with American traditions. Mackinac Island is an ideal place to enjoy a leisurely afternoon stroll of sightseeing, shopping, and enjoying life on the Great Lakes.
A city divided presents duality in experience; Sault Ste. Marie, MI, and ON, bridged together by name and commerce, are diverse waterfront communities that harbor a flood of opportunity. Culture beats through street veins that connect these harbors to the distinctly different North American countryside beyond each border. Join the included tour, and admire the view from the Soo Locks observation deck, or peer into the past in the preserved fur traders’ settlement homes on Water Street. Drink in the atmosphere, and encounter life in Sault Ste. Marie.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Sault Ste Marie Included Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Valley Camp Museum
Explore this ship-turned museum that houses over 100 exhibits in 20,000 square feet of cargo holds. Discover shipwreck artifacts, models, and paintings.
River of History Museum
Uncover the history of the St. Mary's River. The River of History Museum also features exhibits on the fur trade and early settlers.
Das Gift Haus
This locally owned German-style shop is the perfect place to find souvenirs from your visit to Sault Ste. Marie.
Historic Water St. Homes
These historic homes provide an in-depth look at the early fur traders who settled in Sault St. Marie, as well as the importance of the trade to the town. Walk down Water Street and into these homes for a first-hand look into the lives of these settlers.
The Soo Locks
These parallel locks enable ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. At the observation deck, look over these operating locks. Or, explore the visitor center, filled with displays dedicated to the construction of the locks.
Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church
St. Mary's is the oldest catholic church in Michigan and is one of the oldest churches in the United States. Today, the cathedral's parishioners further the traditions of the faith started by Jesuit missionaries centuries ago.
The raw beauty of Georgian Bay leads to the world’s largest freshwater island – Manitoulin – featuring picturesque granite outcrops and rolling farmland. In its largest town, Little Current, indigenous life and legend meld with European history, with Immaculate Conception Church and its distinctive tepee-like architecture as a symbol. Venerated rhythms of the ages come to life in the talented hands and feet of Native drummers and dancers on an island considered sacred by the native Anishinaabe people.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Little Current Included Tour
Discover where rituals converge as we visit the Church of Immaculate Conception and learn how the Jesuit and Ojibwe communities came together to create this unique place of worship. At the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, we will be greeted with a traditional welcome ceremony and an interpretive tour of the heritage museum and art gallery. Browse the gallery, museum and participate in an authentic smudging ceremony. Our journey concludes with a traditional Aboriginal drum & dance presentation, where we are invited to join in on an intertribal dance.
Church of Immaculate Conception:
Visit the spiritual focal point of the native community that brings together the beliefs and customs of both the native Ojibwe culture and the Catholic Church. Here, enjoy an informative presentation on the religious beliefs of the Ojibwe.
Ojibwe Cultural Foundation:
Be received by a traditional welcome ceremony before embarking on an interpretive tour of the center and participating in an authentic smudging ceremony.
Traditional Aboriginal Drum & Dance Presentation:
Get a memorable glimpse into the traditions of the First Nations people as we are invited to participate in an intertribal dance.
These waters are home to a vast variety of wildlife – trout, salmon, walleye, smallmouth bass, crawfish, freshwater sponges and sea lamprey, to name a few. That buffet attracts raptors such as hawks and bald eagles and waterfowl such as ducks, swans and geese. Relax and enjoy the view on your own time on this peaceful lake cruising day. Sip a midmorning consommé, breathe in the fresh lake air on the upper deck, share convivial conversation with other guests or delve into a captivating book as you look forward to yet another astounding sunset on the water.
There’s no better place than the Motor City to choose an optional premium experience to explore the captivating history of the automotive industry – and so much more – at The Henry Ford. Be astounded by the museum’s vast and varied artifacts of American heritage. The extraordinary exhibits chronicle the lifespan of a nation. All guests may choose the included excursion to the Detroit Institute of Arts and its 100-plus galleries, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the West Canfield Historic District, and other city highlights.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Detroit Included Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Charles Wright Museum of African American Culture
This multi-million-dollar interactive museum begins with the history of the slave trade and ends with modern day exhibits honoring African Americans.
The Detroit Institute of Arts
The Detroit Institute of Arts is one of the largest art museums in the United States and features more than 65,000 pieces in over 100 galleries spanning from early civilizations to present day.
Detroit Historical Museum
At this center of Detroit history, explore exhibits of auto assembly lines, fur trading, and toy trains.
See the revitalization of Detroit while visiting the locally owned boutiques on Canfield Street, which is also home to a modern-day record factory.
Explore this prestigious park in downtown Detroit that has become a symbol of the city's resurgence. Centered in the heart of all the hustle and bustle, you can always find unique activities at Campus Maritus.
Step off the ship onto what some call America’s “North Coast” and discover why Clevelanders are so fiercely proud of their home. The reinvented city reverberates with vitality and a cool new atmosphere. Expand your mind at the world-class Cleveland Museum of Art, with over 45,000 works to explore. You can also feel the backbeat at the museum devoted to one of America’s finest gifts to the world – the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. An optional premium experience to Geauga County offers a glimpse into a simpler way of life with a visit to an Amish home for a traditional wedding feast.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Cleveland Included Hop-On Hop-Off Tour The Cleveland Museum of Art
Comparable to the art museums of Europe, this multi-gallery museum presents both past and present-day art inside a historic building from 1916. Discover dynamic collections from all over the world at this cultural and intellectual focal point.
Cleveland History Center
This center truly has something for everyone. Explore a collection of automobiles, wander through a millionaire's mansion, or take a ride on a restored carousel.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Learn the history behind rock legends as you make your way up the pyramid of rock and roll history. With seven floors of exhibits, explore this complex and learn about the world's greatest musicians and how they made musical history.
Hop off in downtown across from the famous 4th Street to don some Cleveland apparel or do some shopping at the historic Arcade shopping center. Old Stone Church Located in the heart of downtown, this historic landmark overlooks the plot founded by Moses Cleveland. Discover the beauty of the oldest building on Cleveland's Public Square. Also nearby is the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, which commemorates the American Civil War.
Begin your day in breathtaking Niagara Falls, which attracts millions of visitors each year. An optional pre-cruise premium experience takes you to the heart of its splendor for a Hornblower catamaran ride into the mist. Afterward, take lunch for a spin in the rotating Skylon Tower, followed by a tasting at local winery and shopping at Niagara-on-the-Lake. Deluxe motorcoaches will transport guests a short distance to the ship in Port Colborne.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Niagara Falls Included Tour
Hornblower Boat Ride: Put on your provided poncho and hop aboard the famous Hornblower catamaran! This exhilarating experience will bring you closer to the falls than you ever imagined. Stand on the upper deck or around the outside of the lower deck of the vessel to feel the spray of the falls as we make our approach. Those who wish to stay dry can still see the natural beauty of the falls on the lower level of the boat behind safety glass!
Day 11: Toronto, ON | Disembark
As your American Queen Voyages journey concludes, there are other opportunities for you to take in the town -- whether it's an optional premier post-cruise experience or a quick transfer to the airport for your final trip home -- your AQV team can pre-arrange everything for you.
For full cancellation policy details, please contact us for a quote.
10 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
10 Nights Accommodations
Accommodations as listed
Ground transportation as listed
Activities as listed
Meals as listed
Unlimited Free Wifi
Gratuities to Onboard Crew
One Night Pre-Cruise Hotel
Open Bars and Lounges
All-Day In-Room Dining
Bicycles & Hiking Sticks equipment if needed
Live, Daily Onboard Entertainment & Enrichment
Unlimited Included Expedition Adventures by Zodiac or Kayak (For Expedition Cruises Only)
Flight costs (please request a quote)
Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
Arrival & Departure Transfers
Optional Premium Shore Excursions - highly recommend booking these in advance. If interested, ask us for a detailed list of premium excursions for your cruise as these vary depending on your departure date.
Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.