Great American Waterways

Four stunning Great Lakes and the historic Erie Canal merge to create one amazing adventure. This journey will capture your imagination, leaving you lost in the peacefulness of this beautiful escape and its ever-changing panoramas. The massive Great Lakes, collectively considered the largest body of fresh water on Earth, were carved by retreating ice sheets and filled with the meltwater from ancient glaciers. The indigo-blue waters of the Lakes are cloaked by forest-green pines, with classic lighthouses dotting the rocky cliffs. Your cruise stretches across Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario; taking you from vibrant Chicago all the way through the Erie Canal, the Hudson River and into New York’s Harbor with up-close views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Big Apples world famous skyline.

Cleveland Skyline 2017 (c) Aerial Agents (10)
Waterways Navigated:

Lake Michigan
Straits of Mackinac
Lake Huron
Detroit River
St. Claire River
Erie Canal
Lake Erie
Welland Canal
Lake Ontario
NY State Barge Canal
Hudson River
NY Harbor

Itinerary

CHICAGO, IL

Welcome to the architecturally renowned Chicago skyline, juxtaposed against Lake Michigan to create a fusion of serene vistas and exciting cityscapes.

 

Manitowoc, WI

Known as Wisconsin’s Marine Capital, Manitowoc is the home to Wisconsin’s Maritime Museum, which captures the riveting history of the entire great lakes area, including the building of 28 submarines for WWII. Don’t miss out on the Rahr-West Art Museum which hosts pieces from Picasso, Miro, Dali, and many others.

 

Mackinac Island, MI

Arrive in Mackinac Island and step back in time. Famed for its horse-drawn carriages and old-world charm. Admire the architecture during an optional carriage tour of the island, including entrance to the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory and Surrey Hills Antique Carriage Museum with a working Blacksmith shop. Conclude your tour at the Grande Hotel, for a traditional afternoon tea.

Chicago, IL
Cruise Lake Huron

This morning the vessel departs from Mackinac Island, en route for Wyandotte, MI. Admire the beautiful views of Lake Huron. Cruise past freighters or “Lakers” as they are called by many, while transiting the Detroit and St. Clair River System; a major throughway for vessels traveling between the western and eastern Great Lakes. This river system serves as the border between the U.S. and Canada as it flows through Detroit, under the ambassador bridge, the busiest border crossing in the U.S. and Canada and into Lake Erie.

 

Wyandotte, MI

Spend a full day in Wyandotte, Michigan, nestled on the Detroit River. An optional tour in nearby Dearborn begins at the Henry Ford Museum, home to President John F. Kennedy’s limousine and the Rosa Parks bus. Continue your tour to Greenfield Village, where nearly 100 historical buildings have been relocated to create a demonstration of American life from the founding of the country through modern times.

Downtown Cleveland
Cleveland, OH

Sail through Lake Erie for an introduction to the legendary American city of Cleveland, OH, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Explore this Great Lakes metropolis during an optional panoramic city tour via trolley. Don’t miss the Great Lakes Science Center and educational facility on the shores of Cleveland Harbor, along with the Steamship William G. Mather Maritime Museum.

 

Buffalo, NY

Located at the head of the Niagara River, Buffalo, NY is known for its sports, snow, and special sauce. Admire breathtaking views of world-famous Niagara Falls during an optional tour, including visits to the Whirlpool Overlook, the Table Rock area, and a boat ride on the Hornblower (passport required). Just steps away from where the vessel is docked, visit the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, home to 3 naval vessels, tanks, jets and other historical exhibits.

Cruise the Welland Canal

Today, cruise the magnificent Welland Canal, which connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Located in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada, learn how ships travel through the locks of this gravity-flow canal. Transit through 8 locks which will lower the vessel 320 feet as you bypass the Niagara Escarpment and Niagara Falls.

 

Rochester, NY

This morning explore Rochester, located on the southern shore of beautiful Lake Ontario. It sits at the middle of what has been called the 100 must-see miles of the Erie Canal. An optional tour offers stunning views of towering High Falls on the Genesee River and showcases the city’s most notable landmarks. Arrive this evening in Oswego, NY.

Oswego, NY

Departing from Oswego harbor, enter Lock #8 of the Oswego Canal. One of 4 branches of the NY State Barge Canal System. Cruise the Oswego Canal and then begin your journey on the Erie Canal. After dinner this evening, disembark the vessel to explore Sylvan Beach, NY.

 

Amsterdam, NY

Cruise along the Erie Canal through historic towns and villages. Today, an optional excursion takes you to picturesque Cooperstown, NY, located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Experience an optional tour to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Farmer’s Museum or Fennimore Art Museum. This evening, enjoy a quiet overnight stop in Amsterdam, NY at Lock #11 along the Erie Canal.

 

Troy, NY

The highlight of the Erie Canal, enjoy a leisurely sail to Troy, NY. 5 locks will lower the vessel 169’, by passing Cahoes Falls where the Mohawk River flows into the Hudson. Later, watch as the retractable pilot-house is raised back to its full height. Tonight, delight in the local culture during an onboard musical performance.

Image Credit Destination Niagara USA
Kingston, NY

In Kingston, NY, dock in Rondout Creek just off the Hudson River. Included in your cruise is a visit to the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Next, you may join an optional visit to Hyde Park or the Vanderbilt Mansion (based on availability). The Hyde Park excursion includes a visit to “Springwood,” the estate of Franklin D. Roosevelt, now home to his presidential library and museum (tour available eastbound only).

 
West Point, NY

Travel to West Point, NY, home of the prestigious United States Military Academy, where you may opt to take a tour of its magnificent campus and admire its famed Gothic Revival-style Chapel. *Ability to tour West Point is subject to availability, determined by the U.S. government.

 
New York, NY

Take in the view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Battery Park, and the Big Apple’s world-famous skyline. Docked in Chelsea Pier, explore the New York High Line and Chelsea Market. Later join an optional private bus tour of New York City, led by a professional guide.

Your 16-day journey concludes today in New York City.

Pre and Post Cruise Packages

Let us assist with your pre and post cruise transportation and hotel accommodations. Call for details!

SHIPs

Great American Waterways ships and Cruise Dates.

Grande Caribe

Grande Mariner

Great American Waterways

2019 CRUISES
DEPARTS: New York

June 12 – June 27

New York to Chicago (Grande Caribe)
July 29 – August 13
New York to Chicago (Grande Mariner)
August 11 – August 26
New York to Chicago (Grande Caribe)
DEPARTS: Chicago

June 29 – July 14

Chicago to New York (Grande Caribe)
September 3 – September 18
Chicago to New York (Grande Mariner)
DEPARTS: New York
June 20 – July 5
New York to Chicago (Grande Mariner)
August 9 – August 24
New York to Chicago (Grande Mariner)
August 14 – August 29
New York to Chicago (Grande Caribe)
DEPARTS: Chicago
July 7 – July 22
Chicago to New York (Grande Mariner)
August 26 – September 10
Chicago to New York (Grande Mariner)
August 31 – September 15
Chicago to New York (Grande Caribe)
Category 15 Nights

These are the lowest priced cabins located main and lower deck. Restricted to either a porthole or no window with doors to an interior hallway. Select Cat I cabins have a marine shower which means that the toilet area and shower are in a shared space. 

All cabins in Cat II are located in the bow of ship on the main deck. These cabins all have porthole window and doors that open to an interior hallway.

Most Cat III cabins are located on the main deck with large fixed windows (unable to open but let in lots of light). The cabin size of Cat III is slightly larger than Cat I & II.

Most Cat III cabins are located on the main deck with large fixed windows (unable to open but let in lots of light). The cabin size of Cat III is slightly larger than Cat I & II.

These cabins are the most spacious out of the four categories with large fixed windows that open to allow a natural breeze. All Cat IV cabins are located on the sun deck. You may select whether you would like a cabin that opens to an interior hallway or sun deck.

+ Port Taxes + $295