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Into the Heartland of North America: The St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes

Program Number: 20426RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/9/2014 - 6/22/2014;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Quebec/Ontario/Michigan/Illinois
Price starting at: $6,015.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 38; 13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Salt; Low Fat; Vegetarian    

From Canada to the U.S., across Great Lakes, through the canals and locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Welland Canal — embark on a nautical journey through North America’s “inland seas” encompassing amazing natural beauty, diverse cultures, historic small villages to soaring metropolises.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day and standing for up to four hours per day. Mobility is essential as small boats are sometimes used for disembarkation and re-embarkation.



The Aug 17 departure runs from Chicago to Montreal; all ports remain the same.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Montreal (Canada), 1 night; aboard Yorktown, 11 nights; Chicago, Ill., 1 night.



Days 1-2: Arrival Montreal (Canada) / embark Yorktown:

Get a taste of Europe in North America as you stroll Montreal’s streets with a local expert. Lodging: Comfortable hotel.



Day 3: St. Lawrence Seaway:

Navigate this engineering marvel of lakes, canals and locks that provides a deepwater passage from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Ontario.



Day 4: Kingston:

Explore one of Canada’s best preserved historic cities and enjoy a visit to the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes.



Day 5: Welland Canal / Niagara Falls:

Make the dramatic passage from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie via the locks of the Welland Canal. If you wish, disembark for an excursion to Niagara Falls.



Days 6-7: Sailing Lake Erie / Detroit, Mich.:

An expert-led excursion brings you to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village and Ford’s state-of-the-art Rouge River factory.



Day 8: Alpena:

Discover the lovely town of Alpena, home to an outstanding maritime museum with displays on Great Lakes maritime history.



Day 9: Sault Ste. Marie:

The scenic waterways of the North Channel lead to Sault Ste. Marie, where a train trek takes you inland through Ontario’s magnificent Agawa Canyon.



Day 10: Mackinac Island:

Discover this Victorian-era haven where cars are forbidden and bicycles share the road with horse-drawn carriages.



Day 11: Charlevoix:

Go ashore in Michigan’s scenic northwest, a region blanketed with maple and spruce. Explore lovely Charlevoix and the old port town of Harbor Springs.



Day 12: Saugatuck:

Learn about the fascinating history of this former lumber town that was a prime summer destination for Chicago urbanites at the turn of the century.



Days 13-14: Chicago, Ill. / disembark / departure:

A field trip in Chicago includes the renowned Art Institute of Chicago. Lodging: Iconic downtown hotel.



Yorktown

Built and registered in America and staffed by American officers and crew, the Yorktown is the perfect vessel for exploring America’s great coastal waterways. With a draft of only nine feet, it can sail where larger vessels cannot go, and its American registry allows it to operate domestic itineraries unavailable to foreign-flag ships. Passengers enjoy an informal onboard atmosphere and tend to spend much of their time underway enjoying lectures and concerts in the lounge or reading and relaxing on the sun deck.


Meals and Lodgings
   Hyatt Regency Montreal
  Montreal 1 night
   Yorktown
  Yorktown - At Sea 11 nights
   Palmer Hilton House
  Chicago, Illinois 1 night
 Hyatt Regency Montreal
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Discover this dynamic city from the perfectly situated Hyatt Regency Montreal hotel. Offering direct underground access to the Palais des Congrès (Montreal Convention Centre), as well as Chinatown, Old Montréal, Place des Arts (Performing Arts Centre) and the Metro transport system, Hyatt Regency Montreal is a top choice for business and leisure travelers alike. This downtown Montreal hotel has long been known as the "hotel of the festivals." Old Montreal holds centuries of history, fabulous restaurants and many festivals.
  Contact info: 1255 Jeanne-Mance
Montreal, Quebec, BC H5B 1E5 Canada
phone: 514-982-1234
web: www.montreal.hyatt.com
  Room amenities: Each room has satellite television, telephone, work desk, room service, air conditioning, coffee maker and WIFI Internet access.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, lounge, gym, indoor pool, sauna, safe box at reception, gift shop and WIFI Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: n/a It is possible to book one additional pre-program night through Road Scholar. To book an additional night, please contact the Road Scholar Amherst office at 413-253-9736.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Yorktown
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The Yorktown is the perfect vessel for relaxed and convivial exploration of America’s great coastal waterways. Built in Florida in 1988 specifically for coastal cruising and certified by the U. S. Coast Guard, the Yorktown flies the American flag and is staffed by friendly and experienced American officers and crew. With a draft of only 9 feet, the Yorktown is able to maneuver in secluded waterways and visit small ports that are inaccessible to larger vessels. And Yorktown’s American registry makes it possible to operate domestic itineraries unavailable to foreign-flag ships. The ship’s cuisine, served in a dining room large enough to accommodate all guests at once, emphasizes American regional culinary traditions. Accommodating only 130 guests in 65 exterior cabins, the Yorktown enjoys an atmosphere of warm and relaxed informality that endears it to repeat and new guests alike.
  Ship Information: Length: 257 feet Beam: 43 feet Draft: 8 feet Cabins: 69 Flag: American
  Contact info: Travel Dynamics International
132 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021 USA
phone: 800-257-5767
web: www.traveldynamicsinternational.com
  Room amenities: Most cabins have large picture windows, and each is furnished with comfortable beds, a writing desk, ample storage, a clock/radio/CD player, and has a private bathroom. Your cabin is the perfect place for peace and quiet and for private rest and reflection.
  Facility amenities: The ship offers a dining room, spacious observation lounge, large sun deck, library, and swimming platform. Both the lounge and dining room are surrounded by large picture windows that afford unobstructed views of the passing scenery. The water aboard ship is safe to drink, and bottled water will be provided on group excursions. Cash (USD) and credit cards are the preferred forms of payment aboard ship. For telephone communication onboard, you may use the ship's Maritime service satellite system which will be charged to a credit card. Email access on board: Internet-ready laptop computers will be available for use on board from which personal emails can be received and sent by accessing your own web-based email account. A fee will be charged for each 30 minutes of use. There is also wireless Internet access available for a fee. THERE IS NO ELEVATOR ON THE YORKTOWN. Stairs are unavoidable as there is no elevator on the Yorktown. The Lounge and the Dining Room are on separate decks so participants must be able to navigate stairs multiple times per day.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Palmer Hilton House
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: An iconic downtown Chicago hotel, the Palmer Hilton House offers its guests the opportunity to relish in the grandeur of tradition while experiencing an infusion of modern elegance. The hotel is located in the lakeshore city of Chicago, known for breathtaking architecture, destination shopping, decadent dining and a diverse selection of world famous attractions. With its stunning interior design and stories of legendary guests, experience Chicago the way that Potter Palmer lived it.
  Contact info: 17 East Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603 USA
phone: 312-726-7500
web: www.palmerhousehiltonhotel.com
  Room amenities: Each room features a plush top mattress with fine European style linens, easy to set alarm clock with radio and MP3 connectivity, individually controlled heat and air-conditioning, an iron and ironing board, a hairdryer, standard desk and lamp, television with premium television channels and movies, a telephone, and high speed Internet access (for a fee).
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, lounge, lobby bar, beauty salon, laundry service, safe and High-Speed Internet access (for a fee).
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A It is possible to book one additional post-program night through Road Scholar. To book an additional night, please contact the Road Scholar Amherst office at 413-253-9736.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Montreal, Canada. 5:00 PM Welcome Orientation in the hotel. You will be staying at Hyatt Regency Montreal that night.
  End of Program:
Chicago, Illinois. After breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Palmer Hilton House the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The TDI Traveler Information Form is required. All participants are required to have a passport in order to embark the Yorktown. TDI requires that participants submit a photocopy of their passport with their Traveler Information Form.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Montreal
  From End of Program
  Location:  Chicago, Illinois
Travel Details
 

From the Trudeau International Airport to the hotel

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
L-Aerobus

   

"L'Aerobus" is the shuttle service from the airport to the Montreal Central Bus Station. The shuttle will stop at 3 hotels before reaching the Bus Station. From there, a complimentary shuttle service is available to bring you to our hotel. CAD 13-one way CAD 22.75-round trip. The shuttle operates 4:00am-11:30pm.

 

From the Trudeau International Airport to the hotel

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

   

Take a taxi from the airport to the hotel. It costs approximately 38 CAD.

 

From the Palmer Hilton House to Chicago O'Hare Airport

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

   

Take a taxi from the hotel to the airport. It will cost approximately $45.00.

 

From the Palmer Hilton House to the Chicago O'Hare Airport via public transportation

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation

   

Take the Blue Line from the Monroe Station to the O'Hare station at the end of the line. It will cost $2.25 and will take approximately 1 hour.

 
Driving Directions
  To the Hyatt Regency Montreal Highway 87 North becomes highway 15 North at the border.-Follow the signs to Champlain bridge.-After the bridge keep to the right and follow the signs for highway 10 (Centre-Ville).-Highway 10 becomes University Street.-Keep to the right on University Street, then turn right on Rene-Levesque Blvd.-Keep left and turn left on Jeanne-Mance Street. Hyatt Regency Montreal is located on the right hand side of Jeanne-Mance Street and the corner of St. Catherine Street.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome Orientation
(Monday, June 9)
   
 Afternoon: Independent arrivals in Montreal. Welcome Orientation at 5:00 PM in the hotel.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner.
   
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Montreal
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Montreal, Quebec, Canada / Embark Yorktown
(Tuesday, June 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Begin the day with a guided bus excursion of Montreal. See part of Montreal's vibrant downtown before heading up to Mont-Royal for a panoramic view of the city.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a guided excursion of the Basilica Notre-Dame before transferring to embark Yorktown at 4:00 PM.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: The St. Lawrence Seaway
(Wednesday, June 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Navigate the St. Lawrence Seaway, a system of lakes, canals, and locks that provide a deepwater passage from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Ontario. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Continue sailing along the beautiful St. Lawrence Seaway. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
(Thursday, June 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Located at a strategic location, the junction of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, Kingston was founded in the 17th century by the French as a fur-trading settlement, becoming later an important British military post. Today, Kingston is one of Canada’s most charming and best preserved cities, justly known for its many historic 19th-century buildings. Our exploration of the city will include its major landmarks, such as the Fort Henry National Historic Site, built in 1832; the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes, whose exhibits highlight the maritime history of the Great Lakes, and the Bellevue House, with its beautiful gardens.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy and explore beautiful Kingston on your own before attending a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Port Weller, Ontario, Canada / Welland Canal / Niagara Falls / Lake Erie
(Friday, June 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: This morning the Yorktown begins the dramatic passage from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie via the Welland Canal. A series of seven locks designed as a continuous flight of “stairs” lifts Yorktown 324 feet over a distance of 27 miles. From the decks of the ship witness the mechanics of this engineering marvel, which took over 100 years to complete. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Stay on board for the entire transit or disembark for an excursion to Niagara Falls, one of North America’s most spectacular natural wonders, where we’ll see both the American Falls and Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Cruising Lake Erie
(Saturday, June 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: At sea. Spend the day enjoying the lectures aboard and amenities of Yorktown as we sail to Detroit.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Detroit, Michigan
(Sunday, June 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: After sailing through Lake Huron we’ll arrive in Detroit. Explore the Henry Ford Museum, a National Historic Landmark. This museum originated with Ford’s personal collection of historic objects and his desire to preserve them and to portray the Industrial Revolution. The permanent collection includes rare exhibits such as John F. Kennedy's presidential limousine, Abraham Lincoln's chair from Ford's Theatre, Thomas Edison's laboratory, the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop, and the Rosa Parks bus. The newly reopened Driving America permanent exhibit highlights the influence of the automobile on American culture and contains an unparalleled collection of historically significant vehicles and related artifacts. Other exhibits include antique machinery, pop culture items, locomotives, and aircraft.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: At sea. Sail through Lake St. Clair and Lake Huron towards Alpena. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Alpena, Michigan / Presque Isle
(Monday, June 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Thunder Bay to call at the lovely town of Alpena, home to an outstanding maritime museum with displays on Great Lakes maritime history. There is also the opportunity to travel north to the small peninsula of Presque Isle, an untouched place of great beauty with two historic lighthouses. Pristine forests, numerous inland lakes and 72 miles of Lake Huron shoreline on the central flyway make Presque Isle a birder’s paradise.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
(Tuesday, June 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Yorktown transits the Soo Locks, often called the busiest in the world, where some 10,000 ships pass annually. Dock at Sault Ste. Marie. See the Soo Locks from the viewing platform in town and visit a 1917 Great Lakes freighter, now a museum. Also drive outside Sault Ste. Marie to the Point Iroquois Lighthouse, resting on a bluff above Lake Superior. Climb the lighthouse for views of the entire coastline, see the lighthouse keeper’s memorabilia, and walk on the boardwalk to the beach.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Continue your full day excursion and then attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Mackinac Island, Michigan
(Wednesday, June 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Arrive in beautiful Mackinac Island, a Victorian-era haven where cars are forbidden and bicycles share the road with horse-drawn carriages. Explore this idyllic island and see the ancient limestone formations that were considered sacred by the Straits Indians; the impressive Fort Mackinac, built atop a high cliff by the British in 1780; and the landmark Victorian Grand Hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time to stroll along streets lined with ginger-bread-trimmed buildings and browse in the charming shops. Later, attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Charlevoix, Michigan
(Thursday, June 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: The tumbling hills of Michigan’s scenic northwest are blanketed with maple and spruce. From lovely Charlevoix, explore the old port town of Harbor Springs, with its panoramic views of the bay.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Saugatuck, Michigan
(Friday, June 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Arrive in Saugatuck, nestled off the shores of Lake Michigan and Kalamazoo Lake. Originally a lumber town, Saugatuck eventually became known for its fruit production, especially its peaches. In the early 1900s, Saugatuck was a prime summer destination for Chicago urbanites. Today, it is known for its historic buildings and churches, unique shops, and many art galleries, several of which you will have the opportunity to explore.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore before attending a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner and reception onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Chicago, Illinois / Disembark
(Saturday, June 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Disembark. Enjoy a guided excursion through the Art Institute of Chicago.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore Chicago.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner.
   
Accommodations: Palmer Hilton House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Departures
(Sunday, June 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Independent departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Bond of Union, Building the Erie Canal and the American Empire


Author: Gerard Koeppel


Description: Koeppel traces the politics, drama and impact of the building of the Erie Canal in this lively new history of the 1825 waterway that connected the Great Lakes to New York City.



Detroit, A Biography


Author: Scott Martelle


Description: Former Detroit News reporter, Martell traces the history of the once-great city from remote fur trading outpost to agricultural and industrial center through to its current beleaguered state.



Eastern Great Lakes Lighthouses


Author: Ray Jones, Bruce Roberts (Photographer)


Description: With color photographs, lore, history and practical details on visiting the lighthouses of Ontario, Erie and Huron.



Mackinac Island


Author: Terry Phipps


Description: Phipps captures the splendor of the architecture and gardens of Mackinac in this collection of photographs.



Niagara, A History of the Falls


Author: Pierre Berton


Description: Meticulously researched and entertaining, this history of Niagara Falls captures the sideshow atmosphere of the place with its honky-tonk attractions and daredevil feats. An engrossing social history.



North American Indian Tribes of the Great Lakes


Author: Michael G. Johnson


Description: Heavily illustrated, this handy guide presents the Native American tribes of the Midwest, their culture, religion, leaders and role in the fur trade.



Northeast to Great Lakes Map


Author: Borch Maps


Description: This handy laminated regional map includes more detailed inset maps of New York, Boston and Washington D.C.



Pandora's Locks, The Opening of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway


Author: Jeff Alexander


Description: This detailed history of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which opened in 1959, focuses on the engineering feat's often devastating environmental effects.



Selected Stories


Author: Alice Munro


Description: This collection of 28 short stories represents some of Munro's finest work. A powerful range of emotional, evocative tales set throughout the cities and rural towns of her native country.



Shipwrecks and Lost Treasure Great Lakes, Legends and Lore, Pirates and More!


Author: Michael J. Varhola


Description: Frederick Stonehouse provides the historical forward to these 21 riveting tales of ships that met their end in the treacherous waters of the Great Lakes, including the sinking of the British gunboat H.M.S. Speedy in 1804, the Navy brig U.S.S. Niagara in 1820, the Civil War steamer Island Queen in 1864 and the tanker Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975.



The Devil in the White City, Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America


Author: Erik Larson


Description: This fascinating account of Chicago's 1893 World's Fair interweaves the true stories of Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor, who terrorized its visitors.



The Great Lakes


Author: Wayne Grady


Description: Wayne Grady showcases the nature and ecology of the Great Lakes, hub of industry and agriculture, and home to 40 million people, in this illustrated portrait of the region, including the geological formation, conservation challenges, forests and resources. With hundreds of color photographs and illustrations by Emily Damstra.



The Living Great Lakes


Author: Jerry Dennis


Description: Raised on the shores of Lake Michigan, Dennis weaves the tale of his own month-long voyage on the Great Lakes aboard the Malabar with history and conservation in this outstanding portrait of the region.



The Long Ships Passing, The Story of the Great Lakes


Author: Walter Havighurst


Description: A vivid popular history of the Great Lakes, rich in anecdote, incident and drama. Havighurst recounts the early days of ships and shipping on the Great Lakes from the time of the early French voyageurs through the industrialization of the region at the turn of the century.





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