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Stroll through historic Chicago

Montreal to Milwaukee

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Navigator
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Take a 15-day cruise from Montreal to Milwaukee on the Ocean Navigator to explore the Midwest. Look out for sand dunes that fade into the horizon as you cruise through the many cerulean hues of Lake Michigan while the sun shines on the deck. A popular vacation spot for people looking to get away from the everyday rush and bustle is Mackinac Island, which you will also visit. While you sail through Lake Huron, the second-largest freshwater sea in the Great Lakes, you can create your own path thanks to the picturesque scenery. The magnificent Niagara Falls, which attracts millions of visitors each year, should not be missed. More than 12,000 years ago, during the glacial epoch, a rich history can be found surrounding these falls.
Stunning Niagara FallsSte Marie whale watching experienceGolden light over the Chicago skylineViews on Mackinac IslandDowntown Cleveland with River BridgeStroll through historic Chicago
Highlights
  • Visit Mount Royal, and overlook for a birds-eye view of the city, Montreal
  • Visit world-class Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Explore the historic St. Lawrence Market
  • Enjoy the world famous Niagara Falls
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: Montreal | Quebec, Canada

  • 1 Dinner
Enjoy a complimentary stay at the pre-cruise hotel. The evening is yours to become acquainted with the city. For your convenience, the Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel, and friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving premium experiences. 

    Day 2: Montreal | Quebec, Canada | Embark

    Approximately 31 miles long by 10 miles wide, with a 755-foot mountain occupying its center, Montreal was a land mass inhabited by the Iroquois who had lived in Quebec for thousands of years. In 1535, Jacques Cartier from France was among the first to explore the island. Cartier and his men climbed to the highest point to place a cross, claiming the mountain for France and naming it Mont-Royal. The city of Ville Marie, founded by Paul de Chomedey Maisonneuve in 1642, was later renamed Montreal. In 1759 French colonists were defeated and Montreal was later occupied and administered by Great Britain. Despite being conquered by the British, French Montrealers continued to flourish and exist as the majority on the island over the subsequent decades. Many French Montrealers on the island today still have the last name of a British ancestor. A large number of English-speaking Montrealers also have French last names. 

    When considering metropolitan sophistication, Montreal comes to mind as its geography is as diverse as its population. Some 120-plus cultural communities comprise the city’s multilingual fabric. An included tour showcases attractions that are urban wonders yet steeped in history. Guests also have time to visit museums, boutiques, and galleries. Optional tours take visitors to the Mount Royal Overlook for a birds-eye view of the city, then slip beneath the metropolis to explore Underground City and its many shops, art venues, and bistros. Marvel at ornate edifices like Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, which is sculpted, painted and gilded in gold leaf.
     

    Day 3: Gananoque | Ontario, Canada

    The port of Gananoque is located at the confluence of St Lawrence and Gananoque rivers, in the heart of The Thousand Islands – a North American archipelago comprised of 1,864 islands that straddle the Canada-U.S. border in the St Lawrence River as it emerges from Lake Ontario. They stretch for about 50 miles (80 km) downstream from Kingston, Ontario. The Canadian islands are in the province of Ontario and the U.S. islands are in the state of New York. Recognized as one of Eastern Ontario’s most stunning waterfront communities, Gananoque can mean “Water Rising over Rocks” or “Garden of the Great Spirit,” depending on who you ask. And equally colorful is the life of Joel Stone, who was granted the land by the British in 1793. He started with 700 acres and a flour mill and then saw the potential to develop lumbering, mining, and milling. Indeed, by the early 19th century, the Gananoque River was lined on both banks by numerous mills, a tannery, tool manufacturing plant and harness and carriage factory. The influence of the river to the town continues today, for the people that call this place home, those that summer on the islands and visitors. The natural beauty of the Gananoque region has been a conduit for the creative community. Whether one is artsy with a twist of outdoorsy or a bucket list traveler in need of a dash of adrenaline, there is never a shortage of things to do, places to visit, and memories to make. 

    Day 4: Toronto | Ontario, Canada

    A Frenchman named Etienne Brule was sent into the “Canadian” wilderness by the famous explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 1600s. Brule found the river and portage routes from the St. Lawrence Seaway to Lake Huron, possibly Lakes Superior and Michigan, and eventually Lake Ontario. The native Huron peoples had long called this area between the Humber and Don rivers “Toronto,” believed to mean “meeting place.” A bustling village evolved into a French trading post. After the British won the Seven Years’ War, the settlement was renamed York in 1793. More than 40 years later, the city officially became Toronto on March 6, 1834.

    Following an unsuccessful American invasion in 1812, several devastating fires, and a rebellion in 1837, there was a slow but steady increase in the population of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants leading into the 20th century. Unlike the USA’s  “melting pot” concept, Toronto can be described as more of a “tossed salad” of ethnic groups. Since World War II, the city has attracted residents from all over the world; more than 27.5 million visitors annually. Indeed, Toronto is the leading destination for tourists in Canada – a bold, dynamic city offering superb attractions, music, and events. This vibrant, modern city with 19th-century flair offers a cultural kaleidoscope for residents and visitors alike. Considered Canada’s premier metropolis, the diverse city also provides diverse dining delicacies. Perhaps visit historic St. Lawrence Market, where the flavors of Toronto have come alive in authentic artisan foods for more than 200 years.

    Day 5: Niagara Falls (Port Colborne) | Ontario, Canada

    Dock at Port Colborne, located on Lake Erie. Originally called Gravelly Bay, after the shallow, bedrock-floored bay upon which it sits, the city traces its roots to the United Empire Loyalist settlements established in the area following the American Revolution. The original village was renamed after Sir John Colborne, the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada at the time the Welland Canal’s new southern terminus opened in 1833. In the year 1888, American tourists from southern states began building vacation homes on the lakeshore of the western edge of the town. By 1890, these southern transplants had created an entire gated community called The Humberstone Club. Over 30 grand summer homes, along with a variety of clubhouses and service buildings, were built along the lake in the following years, many of which still stand today on historic Tennessee Avenue. Described by the city as “Niagara’s South Coast,” tourism is important to Port Colborne’s local economy.

    The city features live theatre, golfing, trails, fishing, beaches, restaurants, recreation, a marina, and shopping districts along the Welland Canal. But most guests will consider Port Colborne as the gateway to Niagara Falls, which is approximately 45 minutes away by coach. Since its formation 12,000 years ago, the power and grandeur of Niagara Falls have been coveted by explorers, honeymooners, daredevils, and the curious. The optional premium experience ferries you past the roiling waterfall whitewater and massive rock formations; followed by a tasting at a local winery and time to shop for souvenirs.

    Day 6: Cleveland, Ohio

    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.

    Day 7: Detroit, Michigan

    Detroit, commonly known as the “Motor City,” is vibrant, progressive, and busting at the seams with charm. The West Canfield Historic District, located on Canfield Avenue between Second and Third streets, is the only block in Detroit lined on both sides with well-preserved Victorian homes and broad sidewalks. Corktown, the city’s oldest neighborhood, has charming little shops and great places to eat. If architecture and history are appealing, visit the Guardian Building. Built-in the 1920s, this building known as the Cathedral of Finance, is one of the foremost Art Deco-style skyscrapers in the world. 

    Day 8: 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 9: Little Current (Manitoulin Island), Ontario

    The port of Little Current is quite literally the gateway to the world’s largest freshwater island – Manitoulin – considered sacred by the native Anishinaabe people. Considering the only land access to the island is the iconic swing bridge on the east end of town, it’s an apt tag line. Recognized as one of the best freshwater boating regions in the world, an evening stroll along the boardwalk will reveal boats from all over the Great Lakes Basin and east coast of Canada, as well as the U.S.

    Little Current’s main street is home to many stores and shops, some with a long and rich history. Turner’s, which opened its doors in the late 19th century, is still operating today, and still run by the Turner family. The upper level houses a small display of artefacts from the early days of Little Current. With the Immaculate Conception Church and its distinctive tepee-like architecture as a symbol, indigenous life and legend meld with European history. Venerated rhythms of the ages come to life in the talented hands and feet of native drummers and dancers, which you may have the chance to experience. 

    If you decide to venture out of town during your visit, there are two must-sees. Ten minutes away, you'll find the Cup and Saucer hiking trail – a 7-mile (12-km) network of trails leads up to the summit. Further down the road at the small settlement of Kagawong, enjoy the natural beauty of Bridal Veil Falls, which you can admire from the lookout above. 

    Day 10: Sault Ste. Marie (Soo Locks), Michigan

    Sault Ste. Marie or “the Sault” is located in Michigan and Ontario. There are two separate cities side by side in different countries; bridged together by name and commerce. Culture beats through street veins that connect these harbors to the distinctly different North American countryside beyond each border. Sault Ste. Marie is the oldest city in Michigan and among the oldest cities in the United States. Some 2,000 years ago, Native Americans settled here for the fish and fur found along the rushing waters of the turbulent river that linked the Great Lakes of Huron and Superior. In the 1600s, French fur traders began calling this burgeoning settlement Sault du Gastogne. In 1668, the Jesuit explorer Fr. Jacques Marquette renamed it Sault Ste. Marie in honor of the Virgin Mary. Throughout its history, the St. Mary’s River has continued to dominate the life and events of Sault Ste. Marie – as it continues to do so today. 

    Day 11: Mackinac Island, Michigan

    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. 

    Guided by a comfortable vessel, visiting Mackinac Island is an excellent option for a getaway. This island is a unique destination famous for its car-free streets and fudge. It features many family-friendly activities and attractions that appeal to various interests, including a butterfly house.     

    Trapped in time and surrounded by staggeringly beautiful landscapes, visitors have found this treasured landmark to be the ideal vacation spot for centuries. No cars. No chain hotels. Just world-famous Mackinac Island Fudge, historic Fort Mackinac, and unique shopping. With awe-inspiring sunrises and unforgettable sunsets, Mackinac Island centers the spirit and soothes the soul. Visitors can experience the tranquil pace on a tour by horse-drawn carriage, just as they did back in 1920. You can tour the Biddle House and get a feel for domestic life during the fur trade. Fire a cannon at historic Fort Mackinac. Or explore the beauty of Mackinac Island State Park. Alternatively, enjoy stunning views of the Straits of Mackinac from the colossal porch – the world’s longest – at the legendary Grand Hotel, opened in 1887. 

    Day 12-13: Green Bay | Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

    Green Bay, Wisconsin’s oldest settlement, is a port city situated on the Bay of Green Bay. The very first residents were successful entrepreneurs. The area was visited in 1634 by Jean Nicolet, a French explorer who named it La Baye Verte or “The Green Bay” because of the greenish color of the water. By 1655 a fur-trading post had been established as had paper production manufacturing, and a thriving shipping industry. Green Bay became the gateway to a trade route that connected the Fox, Wisconsin, and Mississippi rivers. From pelts for European milliners to the invention of splinter-free toilet paper in the early 1900s, Green Bay area settlers strategically used the waterways to increase growth and prosperity. With a wealth of natural resources, Green Bay became a major shipping center. The city’s legacy employers remain in the paper and shipping industries. 

    In addition to being known for its industry and agriculture, Green Bay is the smallest city to host a National Football League (NFL) team. Founded in 1919, the 13-time National Champion Green Bay Packers are the only NFL team to be owned by its fans. Anthems of green and gold ring proud, but the song of the city harmonizes the whole spectrum. Guests can 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. This city with the greenish-colored bay is home to craft breweries, boutiques, fresh sea fare, and a contagious spirit and personality.

    Riverboat docks at Sturgeon Bay, located midway along the 90-mile Door Peninsula in Door County, Wisconsin. Named for the long, fish-shaped bay it borders, Sturgeon Bay was settled in 1850 when the first house was built along the waterfront. The town developed quickly after that and, later in the 19th century became a center of stone quarrying, with five quarries shipping limestone to ports throughout the region. In the 1880s, a new canal safely linked Sturgeon Bay to Lake Michigan, attracting thousands of ships and making Sturgeon Bay a center of maritime traffic and shipbuilding.  
    Today Sturgeon Bay is a fisherman’s mecca, with some of the best bass fishing in the world. In addition to fishing, outdoor pursuits include kayaking, canoeing, biking around town or off-road on trails in Potawatomi State Park, or strolling the sand dunes at Whitefish Dunes State Park. The area also offers a 1.2-mile “Bridge Walk” across two of the three local bridges. Visitors can tour a restored tug or stop at the U.S. Coast Guard Canal Station lighthouses for views of the canal. To learn more about local history, its best to experience Heritage Village at Big Creek or the Door County Maritime Museum. To stimulate your brain’s right side, a casual stroll down historic 3rd Avenue is enlightening. Here you can visit art galleries, specialty gift shops and boutiques, and pause to soak in the scene with a snack and beverage at a local restaurant, café, brewery, distillery or winery. 

    Day 14: Muskegon, Michigan

    Located where a river meets the beautiful Lake Michigan, Muskegon has been known as the Lumber Queen of the world, the Port City and the Riviera of the Midwest. Despite its various nicknames, the city has always been linked to the fresh waters that inspired its growth and have maintained its quality of life. Fur pelts, pine logs and piston rings have traveled these waters to market. The Hudson Bay Company found riches in the furs from local forests. Chicago rebuilt itself with Muskegon timber after the great fire of 1871. During the lumbering era, Muskegon boasted more millionaires than any other town in America. 

    Maritime history lovers will want to tour the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum. Landing Ship, Tank (LST), or tank landing ship, is the naval designation for ships first developed during World War II to support amphibious operations by carrying tanks, vehicles, cargo, and landing troops directly onto shore. This enabled assaults on almost any beach. The LST had a specialized design that enabled ocean crossings as well as shore groundings. The bow had a large door that could open, deploy a ramp, and unload vehicles. This outdoor recreation hub of Michigan’s sunset coast also offers beautiful beaches, scenic forests, and bountiful fishing. Residents have an appreciation for history and its significance while creating a new progressive identity. An optional premium experience takes guests by motorcoach to Grand Rapids to visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum to learn about America’s 38th president and pay respects at his burial site.

    Day 15: Milwaukee, Wisconsin | Disembark

    • 1 Breakfast
    As your 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.

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    Victory I
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    Oceanview stateroom, queen bed, armoire, chest of drawers & fresh fruit daily. (Deck 1 / 160 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)
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    • 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners
    • 14 Nights Accommodations
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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!
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