Great Lakes of North America

Great Lakes of North America

Set sail with PONANT aboard Le Bellot for an 8-day cruise discovering the Great Lakes of North America, in the heart of a flamboyant nature full of the colours of the Indian summer.

 

You will leave from Milwaukee, in the US state of Wisconsin, the beginning of your voyage following the footsteps of the first settlers, trappers and Native Americans, before a lovely sailing experience on Lake Michigan, a veritable inland sea.

 

The next lake, Lake Huron, boasts a myriad of islands in its northern part, with white rocks capped with conifers plunging into the sapphire waters of the lake. Sumptuous landscapes unveil multiple original panoramas, in particular near Flowerpot Island*, which you will be able to approach by zodiac. 

 

You will also discover the charming city of Parry Sound, in the heart of the wonderful UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Georgian Bay.

Ponant ship during sunset
Ponant cruise during sunset

Le Bellot will then sail the canal connecting Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. From this call in Port Colborne, you will be able to see the impressive sight of Niagara Falls. These three powerful waterfalls, renowned the world over, are an exquisite natural spectacle.

 

To round off your cruise, you will sail along the shimmering waters of Lake Ontario before making your way to the cosmopolitan city of Toronto, where you will disembark.

Waterways Navigated:

Lake Michigan

Lake Huron

Straits of Mackinac

Soo Locks

Georgian Bay

Lake St. Clair

Detroit River

Lake Erie

Welland Canal

Lake Ontario

Map of Great Lakes f North America cruise destinations

Great Lakes Collection

2023 CRUISES

*Specials valid on new, paid-in-full bookings Not valid on group bookings or existing reservations.

DEPARTS: Milwaukee

October 9 – October 16

Milwaukee to Toronto (Le Bellot)

October 16 – October 23

Milwaukee to Toronto (Le Dumont D’Urville)
DEPARTS: Toronto

August 28 – September 4

Toronto to Milwaukee (Le Dumont D’Urville)

October 9 – October 16

Toronto to Milwaukee (Le Dumont D’Urville)
Category 14 Nights
2023 Prices
  • One king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm) and TV
  • A bathroom with shower
  • A private 4 m² balcony with two armchairs
  • A glazed panoramic swing door and a rectangular window
  • One king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm) and TV
  • One chaise longue
  • A bathroom with shower
  • A private 4 m² balcony with two armchairs
  • A panoramic sliding bay window or a glazed panoramic swing door
  • One king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm) and TV
  • One chaise longue
  • A bathroom with shower
  • A private 4 m² balcony with two armchairs
  • A panoramic sliding bay window or a glazed panoramic swing door
  • One king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm) and TV
  • One chaise longue
  • A bathroom with shower
  • A private 4 m² balcony with two armchairs
  • A panoramic sliding bay window
  • Priority boarding
  • Butler service
  • One king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm) and TV
  • An armchair and a sofa (90 x 190 cm)
  • A bathroom with shower
  • A private 6 m² balcony with two armchairs
  • A panoramic slidging bay window

+ Port Taxes

Itinerary

Milwaukee

Nested on the shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, the largest city in the State of Wisconsin, harmoniously combines tradition and modernity. Industrial long ago, the city, known as Brew City because of its old breweries renowned all over the world, is experiencing a certain renaissance. While warehouses have given way to restaurants, bars, theatres and art galleries in the city centre, the district still retains traces of its manufacturing past. Further south lies Chicago, the economic centre of the Midwest, with an interesting mix of natural and urban landscapes: its immense skyscrapers, diverse architecture, many parks and magnificent beaches make the city a popular destination.

 

Milwaukee skyline
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Sail Lake Michigan

You will sail the United States’ largest freshwater body, which gave its name to Michigan, one of the four states that border this lake measuring 500 km long and 200 km wide. The first colonists settled in the south at the end of the 17th century, on the site of the current megalopolis of Chicago. Wild landscapes of forests with sparkling colours, cliffs, golden sandy beaches and dunes as far as the eye can see stretch along its 2,600 km of shoreline. In the north, magnificent wind-swept islands rise out of the lake’s emerald waters. At 8 km long, the Mackinac Bridge, which spans the straits between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges. 

 

Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island

Close to the banks of Lake Huron in the State of Michigan, Mackinac Island promises a real journey through time. Originally inhabited by Amerindians, then occupied by French and British colonists, this small island measuring only a few km² still retains an atmosphere of yesteryear today, with its Victorian-style buildings and elegant horse-drawn carriages. Fort Mackinac, on the heights of the island, is a reminder of the conflicts that punctuated the history of this strategic place, a former fur trade centre. In addition to this scenery from the past, the island offers magnificent fine sandy beaches and is home to one of the oldest National Parks in the United States.

 

Sault Ste. Marie

The oldest city in Ontario and the centre of one of North America’s oldest settlements, Sault Ste. Marie has a rich historical heritage due to its Amerindian, British and French influences. Linked to its neighbouring and homonymous American city by a bridge spanning St. Marys River, the city owes its name to the river’s many rapids, called “les saults de Sainte-Marie” by French colonists. The gateway to the Algoma region, renowned for its wild expanses, Sault Ste. Marie is also known as the home of the National Historic Site of the Sault Ste. Marie Canal, which was completed at the end of the 19th century and constitutes the final part of a navigation network that connects the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Superior.

Little Current

A small port town located along the North Channel of Lake Huron, Little Current is considered to be the gateway to Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater island in the world. The town’s emblematic construction, the Little Current Swing Bridge built in 1913, provides the only land access to the island, peaceful lands whose name means “the island of spirits” in the local dialect. A real haven of peace, sheltering wild nature and some hamlets, the place is ideal for outdoor activities such as horse-riding and hiking.

 

Parry Sound

The charming city of Parry Sound enjoys an exceptional natural setting in the heart of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, east of Georgian Bay. A holiday destination favoured by the province’s inhabitants, the city and its surroundings offer a condensed version of all that the Great Lakes region has to offer: windswept forests of conifers, rocky shores characteristic of the Canadian Shield, beaches of fine sand, clear and calm waters producing magnificent reflections that change with the time of day and luminosity… A real paradise for fauna and flora, the place will delight fans of nature and photography. 

 

Parry Sound
Parry Sound
Sailing Along Flowerpot Island

In the heart of Georgia Bay, discover the magnificent coastal landscapes of Flowerpot Island. Surrounded by crystal-clear water, the site is reputed for its sheer cliffs, its dense vegetation, its rare flora, its heritage lighthouse, and its two strange rock formations that look like flowerpots. A result of the actions of the wind and rain, these pillars of stone detached from the coast are one of the site’s curiosities and gave the island its name. Your ship will sail along these coasts and give you the opportunity to take magnificent photos of this island belonging to the Fathom Five National Marine Park, which is Canada’s oldest National Marine Conservation Area.

 

Lake Huron
Lake Huron
Sailing Lake Huron

A natural border between the American State of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario, Lake Huron is one of the five American Great Lakes and one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. Comprising the main lake, Saginaw Bay, the North Channel and Georgian Bay, and home to around 30,000 islands, it offers varied coastal landscapes and unique views. From your ship, you’ll thus be able to admire the wild beauty of the wooded and at times craggy coastline of Manitoulin Island, or the spectacular cliffs of the Bruce Peninsular.

 

Sailing St. Clair River

Forming a natural line of separation between the United States and Canada, the St. Clair River, which flows from Lake Huron into Lake St. Clair, is a significant element of the Great Lakes Waterway. Used in the 18th century for the fur trade by the French colonists of North America who sailed it on small boats to trade with the Amerindians, it was then travelled by freighters transporting lumber, iron ore and copper from the Great Lakes region to the cities of the Rust Belt.

Sailing Through Detroit

During your navigation along the Detroit River, an important commercial waterway linking Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair to Lake Huron, you will sail along the largest city in Michigan. You’ll then enjoy panoramic views over the skyscrapers of the former Motor City, jewel of the automotive industry, Fordism and Motown music in the 20th century. You’ll also be able to admire the Ambassador Bridge, which spans the river and enables access to Windsor, on the Canadian shore of the river. This steel suspension bridge, over two kilometres long, was constructed in 1929. This bridge alone carries over 25% of trade between the United States and Canada.

Sailing Lake Erie

Located to the south of Lake Huron and connected to Lake Ontario by the Welland Canal, Lake Erie, which owes its name to one of the Amerindian tribes which peopled its banks before the arrival of the French in the 17th century, is remarkable for its unique ecosystem. Its shallow fish-filled waters make it an excellent fishing spot, while its banks, famous for their many migratory birds, attract photographers and ornithology enthusiasts.

 

Port Colborne

Port Colborne is a small port city located in southern Ontario, at the mouth of the Welland Canal. It is well-known for one of the longest locks in the world: measuring 420 metres, this lock, the 8th in the canal, has an observation footbridge and marks the final transit point before the Erie Canal. In addition to the discovery of this tremendous hydraulic infrastructure, this port of call will be your privileged access point to the famous Niagara Falls, renowned all over the world for their spectacular beauty. Located on the river of the same name, which means “water thunder” in Amerindian language, these wonders of nature are among the most powerful waterfalls in the world.

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls
Toronto

The largest city in Canada and capital of the province of Ontario, Toronto fascinates as much by its incredible diversity as by its size. Make sure you visit the CN Tower, the tallest tower in the western hemisphere, as well as the St. Lawrence Market whose stalls reflect the multicultural wealth of this city known as the global city. Not far from there, the historic Distillery District unveils its brick-paved streets imbued with romantic charm and its myriad of small restaurants, cafés, boutiques, theatres and art galleries. The Royal Ontario Museum and its impressive collections devoted to the world’s natural and cultural history will also be an unmissable stop during this port of call.

Pre and Post Cruise Packages

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

SHIP Details

Great Lakes Collection

Great Lakes Collection

Join this expedition across the historic waterways of all five of the majestic Great Lakes. Experience culture-rich urban centers and admire the awesome power of thundering Niagara Falls. Explore the granite islands and sheltered inlets of Georgian Bay and traverse the famous Soo Locks. Study the aquatic ecosystems of the Lakes and venture into the dense boreal forests that line the shores of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Waterways Navigated:

Lake Ontario

Welland Canal

Lake Erie

Detroit River

Lake St. Clair

Lake Huron

Georgian Bay

Straits of Mackinac

Lake Michigan

Lake Superior

Great Lakes Collection

2023 CRUISES

*Specials valid on new, paid-in-full bookings Not valid on group bookings or existing reservations.

DEPARTS: Duluth

June 24 – July 8

Duluth to Toronto

July 22 – August 5

Duluth to Toronto

August 8 – September 1

Duluth to Toronto

September 12 – September 26

Duluth to Toronto
 
DEPARTS: Toronto

June 10 – June 24

Toronto to Duluth

July 8 – July 22

Toronto to Duluth

August 4 – August 18

Toronto to Duluth

August 29 – September 12

Toronto to Duluth
Category 14 Nights
2023 Prices
  • Largest suite on board: 1,223 sq. ft. with a 792 sq. ft. private garden lounge area with badestamp
  • All amenities of the Explorer Suite, plus:
  • Priority stateroom access
  • Floor-to-ceiling drying closet
  • Four guaranteed priority reservations at each alternative restaurant (100 days prior to departure)
  • First priority expedition activity reservations (107 days prior to departure)
  • First priority booking of spa treatments (100 days prior to departure)
  • Dinner & guided tour with ship officers (subject to availability)
  • Large master bathroom, plus one guest bathroom
  • Separate dining area/board room that seats six guests
  • Private library, wine & music collections curated by Chairman Torstein Hagen
  • And more; ask for details
  • Size including Nordic Balcony & private veranda: 580 sq. ft.
  • 11 AM stateroom access
  • Floor-to-ceiling drying closet
  • Priority expedition activity reservations (97 days prior to departure)
  • Three guaranteed priority reservations at each alternative restaurant (90 days prior to departure)
  • Priority booking of spa treatments (90 days prior to departure)
  • Mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water & snacks, replenished once daily
  • In-suite binoculars, coffee & Marius-weave blanket
  • Laundry, dry cleaning, pressing & shoe shine services
  • Complimentary Silver Spirits beverage package & bottle of champagne
  • Exclusive access to shared Explorer Suite private garden lounge area
  • Size including Nordic Balcony: 322 sq ft
  • 11 AM stateroom access
  • Floor-to-ceiling drying closet
  • Priority expedition activity reservations (87 days prior to departure)
  • Three guaranteed priority reservations at each alternative restaurant (80 days prior to departure)
  • Priority booking of spa treatments (80 days prior to departure)
  • Mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water & snacks, replenished once daily
  • In-suite binoculars, coffee & Marius-weave blanket
  • Laundry, dry cleaning, pressing & shoe shine services
  • Bottle of champagne
  • Size including Nordic Balcony: 269 sq ft
  • 1 PM stateroom access
  • Floor-to-ceiling drying closet
  • Priority expedition activity reservations (77 days prior to departure)
  • Two guaranteed priority reservations at each alternative restaurant (70 days prior to departure)
  • Priority booking of spa treatments (70 days prior to departure)
  • Mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water & snacks, replenished once daily
  • In-suite binoculars, coffee & Marius-weave blanket
  • Pressing & shoe shine services
  • Bottle of champagne
  • Size including Nordic Balcony: 222 sq ft
  • 2 PM stateroom access
  • Floor-to-ceiling drying closet
  • Priority expedition activity reservations (67 days prior to departure)
  • One guaranteed priority reservation at each alternative restaurant (60 days prior to departure)
  • Priority booking of spa treatments (60 days prior to departure)
  • Mini-bar with soft drinks, water & snacks, replenished once daily
  • In-suite binoculars, coffee & Marius-weave blanket
  • Size including Nordic Balcony: 222 sq ft
  • 2 PM stateroom access
  • Floor-to-ceiling drying closet
  • Priority expedition activity reservations (67 days prior to departure)
  • One guaranteed priority reservation at each alternative restaurant (60 days prior to departure)
  • Priority booking of spa treatments (60 days prior to departure)
  • Mini-bar with soft drinks, water & snacks, replenished once daily
  • In-suite binoculars, coffee & Marius-weave blanket
  • Size including Nordic Balcony: 222 sq ft
  • 2 PM stateroom access
  • Floor-to-ceiling drying closet
  • Priority expedition activity reservations (67 days prior to departure)
  • One guaranteed priority reservation at each alternative restaurant (60 days prior to departure)
  • Priority booking of spa treatments (60 days prior to departure)
  • Mini-bar with soft drinks, water & snacks, replenished once daily
  • In-suite binoculars, coffee & Marius-weave blanket
  • Size including Nordic Balcony: 222 sq ft
  • 3 PM stateroom access
  • Floor-to-ceiling drying closet
  • Expedition activity reservations (60 days prior to departure)
  • Mini-bar with soft drinks, water & snacks
  • In-suite binoculars & Marius-weave blanket
  • Size including Nordic Balcony: 222 sq ft
  • 3 PM stateroom access
  • Floor-to-ceiling drying closet
  • Expedition activity reservations (60 days prior to departure)
  • Mini-bar with soft drinks, water & snacks
  • In-suite binoculars & Marius-weave blanket

+ Port Taxes

Itinerary

Duluth, Minnesota
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Duluth, Minnesota
Sail Lake Superior
Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan

Founded by French missionaries in 1668, Sault Sainte Marie is Michigan’s oldest city and one of the oldest in the US. It is also home to the famous Soo Locks, a series of parallel locks that make river travel between Lake Superior and Lake Huron possible, thereby linking Superior to the lower Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. Opened in 1855 to allow ships to bypass the St. Marys River’s 21-foot fall over roiling rapids, this innovative lock system was one of the great engineering projects of its day. Today, it guides ships past Sault Sainte Marie and its twin city in Ontario.

 

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Steeped in the charms of simpler times, Mackinac Island is a gem of the Great Lakes. Located in the Straits of Mackinac where Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas are closest and Lakes Huron and Michigan meet, this bucolic haven preserves gilded Victorian-era treasures along car-free streets traversed by horse-drawn carriages. The perimeter road is the only state highway in the US that does not permit motor vehicles. More than 80% of Mackinac is protected as a state park, from its Greek Revival Grand Hotel and British-built Fort Mackinac to its preserved wilderness areas.

Alpena, Michigan
Door Peninsula (Algoma), Wisconsin

Algoma is the gateway to the scenic Door Peninsula, a slender limestone peninsula projecting out into Lake Michigan. It was first explored by French missionaries and fur traders during the 17th century, who named it Port des Mort, or “Death’s Door,” because of the treacherous waters separating the peninsula from nearby Washington Island. The peninsula is also the westernmost edge of the Niagara Escarpment, a prehistoric ridge that stretches more than 650 miles across the Great Lakes region, and is home to boreal forests, rugged rock formations and sandy beaches.

 

Alpena, Michigan
Explore Georgian Bay
 
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
 
Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland sits on the shores of Lake Erie at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River and is a major port along the St. Lawrence Seaway. This industrial city is also a gateway to the Cuyahoga Valley and its namesake national park, a region of reclaimed nature covering 51 square miles of landscape between Cleveland and Akron. A mix of forests, wetlands and canals, as well as the majestic cascade of Brandywine Falls, the park has more than 125 miles of hiking trails that crisscross the land, including one that runs along the former route of the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Niagara Falls (Port Colborne)

Port Colborne proudly proclaims itself the “Gateway to Navigation.” It is also the gateway to North America’s largest and most powerful cascade, Niagara Falls. Epic in its scope and volume, the falls hurl 42 million gallons of water down 20 stories every minute. Its mile-wide length straddles the Canadian and US borders and is split by islands into three smaller cataracts: Horseshoe Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls. Long a storied destination for young honeymooners, today the mighty torrent is a thrill for visitors.

Scenic Sailing

The Welland Canal is one of Canada’s greatest engineering feats. Built from 1824 to 1833 to bypass the Niagara River and its mighty falls, the Welland comprises eight locks that lift or lower ships a total of 326 feet between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. This scenic canal is the spine of the peninsula’s trade and industry, with numerous docks receiving ships and roadways crossing the water by either bridge or tunnel. Of the former, most open via vertical lift or drawbridge, allowing ships to pass along its waters.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto is beloved by many as one of Canada’s boldest and most innovative capitals. Hugging the shores of Lake Ontario and facing the picturesque Toronto Islands, it was founded by British loyalists fleeing the American Revolution in 1793. Today the city is a pleasure to explore on foot, whether strolling past the Victorian bay-and-gable homes of Rosedale, or the historic enclave of Wychwood Park, an Ontario Heritage Conservation district. The city’s Distillery District is home to North America’s largest preserved collection of Victorian industrial architecture. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.

Niagara Falls

Pre and Post Cruise Packages

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

SHIP Details