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Chicago, IL

Roundtrip Chicago (Milwaukee)

Roundtrip Chicago - Example 16 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Navigator
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This 16-day voyage from Chicago, Illinois to Thunder Bay, Ontario, and Green Bay explores the attractions of the Great Lakes. Immerse yourself in the natural splendor of the lakes as you sail Lakes Michigan, Marquette, Thunder Bay, and back to Chicago. This extraordinary journey combines metropolitan allure with Michigan's mystical hideaways. Join this authentic Lake Superior display to uncover its hidden wonders. In enchanting cities such as Duluth, Thunder Bay, and Marquette, the rustic allure is genuine and priceless. This is a journey for both dreamers and explorers.
Marquette, MIThunder Bay, ONSault Ste. Marie, MIMackinac Island, MIDowntown Chicago, ILDuluth, MNChicago, IL
Highlights
  • Explore the arts, music, and culinary scenes of Chicago.
  • Enjoy stunning views of Lake Superior's pretty shores and islands.
  • Discover the jewel of the Upper Peninsula, Houghton MI.
  • Admire the beautiful landscapes of Mackinac Island.
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Hotel Stay in Chicago, Illinois

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. 

Day 2: Milwaukee, Wisconsin | Embark

Wisconsin’s largest city lies on Lake Michigan, where the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic rivers come together. People had lived there for more than 13,000 years before the first Europeans arrived. At that time Milwaukee was neutral ground shared by several American Indian tribes. The city’s modern history began in 1795 when fur trader Jacques Vieau (1757-1852) built a post along a bluff on the east side, overlooking the Milwaukee and Menomonee rivers. Vieau was a seasonal resident, and in 1818 transferred his Milwaukee assets to his son-in-law, Solomon Juneau (1793-1856). Juneau is generally considered not only the city’s first permanent white resident but also its founder.Best known for its famous breweries, Milwaukee is also rich in history which is abundant in the revitalized architecture of downtown. The diversity of the city comes alive at the many outdoor festivals happening year-round, especially during summer. Year-round attractions include the Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum and the Milwaukee County Zoo, home to more than 2,000 animals. The 20-acre Harley-Davidson Museum is also fascinating. In addition to interactive exhibits, motorcycle displays and an engine room, visitors can take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn more about the history and heritage of the iconic brand. Milwaukee is a city that values beer. Guests can tour the Miller Brewing Company as well as the Pabst Mansion, the former home of the famous beer baron. While here, share a pint and good conversation at City Lights Brewing Co., Black Husky Brewing, or any of the beer gardens.

Day 3: Scenic Great Lakes Cruising

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. 

Day 4: Mackinac Island, MI

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.     
Fort Mackinac:  
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.
 

Day 5: Mackinac Island, MI

Scheduling one of the available Mackinac Island Michigan cruises is an excellent way to explore the area. These cruises take you to beautiful Mackinac Island, where you can spend time among nature or stroll the downtown area. As most of the island is covered by a state park (about 80%), you'll find stunning views wherever you turn. Multiple opportunities abound for taking a step back into Mackinac Island's rich history with immersive experiences featuring living history interpreters. 
 

Day 6: Marquette, MI

Fresh air and forest highlands make Marquette magnificent. The Northern Lights shine upon this shipping port dotted with islands. Lighthouses jut from the fog, and loons call across the waters in this magical locale. The view from the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain reveals some of the most breathtaking landscapes on the Upper Peninsula. 

Day 7: Scenic Sailing on Houghton, MI

Snuggled among deep, rolling hills and dramatic emerald slopes, anchored by sparkling indigo water, this jewel of the Upper Peninsula endears it to all who visit. Its history embedded in copper, the charming city on the Keweenaw Peninsula entices wayfarers with its festivals, Finnish-tinged regional foods and a bounty of outdoor enjoyment. Many hockey-lovers make it a goal to visit Houghton – birthplace of the sport – beginning with the 1903 Portage Lakers. Come experience pure Michigan. 

Day 8: Duluth, MN

Marked by its distinctive Aerial Lift Bridge, the rotating JJ Astor restaurant and America’s premier freshwater aquarium, Duluth captures the spirit of the Great Lakes. Marine traffic from the Atlantic on the Great Lakes Waterway and St. Lawrence Seaway pass by the harbor, making for fantastic ship-watching. Fuel your adventures with the area’s signature Juicy Lucy burgers and herring and trout so fresh they seem to have jumped straight from water to kitchen, washed down with a refreshing local brew. 

Day 9: Thunder Bay, ON

This bright, sunny inlet of Lake Superior lives alongside the unmistakable natural wonder of the Sleeping Giant – a massive mesa resembling a figure in repose. An amalgamation of the former cities of Port Arthur and Fort William, Thunder Bay is home to more than 100 parks, overflowing with opportunities to experience the region’s natural beauty. It’s also where one can find the famed century-old Hoito restaurant, to which locals and tourists alike flock for large, thin Finnish pancakes, cardamom bread known as pulla, fish soup and other treats. 
 

Day 10: Scenic Great Lakes Cruising

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. 

Day 11: Sault Ste. Marie, MI

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. 
 

Day 12: Scenic Great Lakes Cruising

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. 

Day 13-14: Green Bay, WI

Anthems of green and gold ring proud, but the song of the city harmonizes the whole spectrum. Experience the many colors of the city, from red-flowing wineries to shades of local cultivators in markets filled with man- and nature-made goods year-round. This pelican’s playground is home to craft breweries, boutiques and, of course, fresh sea fare. 

Day 15: Muskegon, MI

This outdoor lovers’ haven on Lake Michigan’s eastern shore offers multiple state parks and trails, two paddle sport rivers, 26 miles of beaches and a winter sports park. Maritime history lovers gravitate here to tour the USS LST (Landing Ship, Tank) 393 Veterans Museum. An optional premium experience finds guests traveling by motorcoach to Grand Rapids to visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum to learn about the life of America’s 38th president and pay respects at his burial site. Afterward, enjoy a narrated driving tour of the city. 
 

Day 16: Chicago/Milwaukee, Wisconsin | Disembarkation

  • 1 Breakfast
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.

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Navigator

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Victory I
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Category E
Oceanview stateroom, queen bed, armoire, chest of drawers & fresh fruit daily. (Deck 1 / 160 sq ft)
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Category D
Oceanview stateroom, two twins or one queen bed, armoire, chest of drawers & fresh fruit daily.(Deck 1 / 158 sq ft)
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Category C
Oceanview stateroom, two twins or one queen bed, armoire, chest of drawers & fresh fruit daily.(Deck 2 & 3 / 152 sq ft)
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Category B
Oceanview stateroom, two twins or one queen bed, armoire, chest of drawers & fresh fruit daily.(Deck 3 / 146 sq ft)
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Category A
Oceanview stateroom, two twins or one queen bed, armoire and chest of drawers & fresh fruit daily.(Deck 3 / 185 sq ft)
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Category AA
Oceanview with direct access to the open-air promenade. Two twins or one queen bed, armoire and chest of drawers, mini fridge & fresh fruit daily. (Deck 4 / 161 sq ft)
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Owner’s Suite
Oceanview suite sweeping views, a private terrace, one queen bed and one sofa bed, sitting area, complimentary minibar, complimentary laundry service & fresh fruit (Deck 3/335 sq ft)
Included
  • 15 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners
  • 15 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • Port Taxes & Fees
  • Open Bars & Lounges throughout the vessel including a juice bar every morning
  • In-Room Dining
  • Bicycles & Hiking Sticks equipment if needed
  • Live, Daily Onboard Entertainment & Enrichment
  • Locally Sourced & regionally Inspired Cuisine from land and sea
  • Gourmet Selections of freshly prepared choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Unlimited Beverages including an extensive wine list, choice spirits, local craft beers and specialty coffees
  • Unlimited Guided Tours designed with your comfort in mind aboard private, deluxe motorcoaches
  • 1-night Pre-cruise Hotel Stay with free ground transfers between hotel and vessel
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • 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.
  • Transfers to and from the airport

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle
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