Road Scholar : Home
Chicago’s Gold Coast and the Far Shores of Lake Superior

Program Number: 21366RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/8/2014 - 8/19/2014;
Duration: 11 nights
Location: Ontario/Minnesota/Illinois/Wisconsin/Michigan
Price starting at: $5,565.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising
Meals: 32; 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian    

Voyage along the Great Lakes for a special, in-depth portrait of historical maritime towns, urban dynamos and majestic natural environments. From the shores of Thunder Bay, through the Soo Locks to Lake Superior to Chicago on Lake Michigan,come to understand the interplay of man and nature on America’s majestic inland seas.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to five blocks at a time over varied terrain, standing for up to an hour. There is no elevator on the ship.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Minneapolis, Minn., 1 night; aboard Yorktown, 9 nights; Chicago, Ill, 1 night.



Days 1-2: Arrival Minneapolis, Minn / coach to Duluth:

Discover Minneapolis, the “City of Lakes,” on an expert-led field trip. Lodging: Three-star downtown hotel.



Day 3:Grand Marais, Minn.:

In a wilderness area rated to be among the finest in the country, choose to hike along scenic trails, kayak or visit historic sites, such as the Grand Portage National Monument.



Day 4: Thunder Bay:

Sail into Thunder Bay and visit Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, home to Mute Swan, Pacific Loon, and Bald Eagle among many other species of birds.



Day 5: Red Rock:

Choose to either explore the wilderness at Ouimet Canyon, Eagle Canyon, or the mighty Nipigon River.



Day 6: Marathon / Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario:

Spend the day exploring nearby Pukaskwa National Park, known for its boreal forest and its breathtaking views of Lake Superior.



Day 7: Sault St. Marie:

See the Soo Locks, known as the busiest in the world, then visit a 1917 Great Lakes freighter (now a museum).



Day 8: Mackinac Island:

Learn the fascinating history of idyllic Mackinac Island, a Victorian-era haven where cars are forbidden and bicycles share the road with horse-drawn carriages.



Day 9: Manistique, Mich.:

Call at Manistique, a small town on the bucolic Garden Peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan. Explore this scenic region and experience Fayette, an evocative industrial ghost town.



Day 10: Manitowoc, Wis.:

Learn about this former ship-building town on expert-led visits to the superb Wisconsin Maritime Museum and Pinecrest Historical Village.



Days 11-12: Disembark / Chicago, Ill./ 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 Minneapolis
  Minneapolis 1 night
   Yorktown
  Yorktown - At Sea 9 nights
   Palmer Hilton House
  Chicago, Illinois 1 night
 Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The newly renovated Hyatt Regency Minneapolis is perfectly situated on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis with beautiful city and park views. The hotel includes a striking new lobby, luxurious new guestrooms and suites, and a brand new restaurant and market place. The redesigned hotel pays tribute to the unique culture of Minnesota, with sleek mid-century Scandinavian décor highlighted by a spacious lobby featuring an expansive stone fireplace framed by rustic wooden logs.
  Contact info: 1300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403 USA
phone: 612-370-1234
web: www.minneapolis.hyatt.com
  Room amenities: Each room features wireless Internet access (for a fee), a television, personal safes, a telephone, individual climate control, full bath amenities, iron and ironing board, alarm clock, hair dryer, and coffee and tea making facilities.
  Facility amenities: This hotel offers wireless Internet access (free in the lobby), laundry and dry cleaning services, safe deposit boxes at the front desk, soda and ice machines on each floor, a gift shop, a hair and manicure salon, restaurant, bar, indoor pool, and fitness center.
  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:
Minneapolis, Minnesota. Welcome Orientation in the hotel. You will be staying at Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 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:  Minneapolis
  From End of Program
  Location:  Chicago, Illinois
Travel Details
 

From the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport to the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

   

Take a taxi from the airport to the hotel. It will cost approximately $35 and approximately 20 minutes to travel the 10 miles.

 

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.

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
(Friday, August 8)
   
 Afternoon: Arrivals in Minneapolis. Welcome Orientation in the hotel.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner.
   
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Minneapolis, Minnesota / Embark Yorktown
(Saturday, August 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Guided excursion of Minneapolis.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transfer to Duluth to embark the Yorktown at 4:00 PM.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Grand Marais, Minnesota
(Sunday, August 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Along Minnesota’s untamed Lake Superior coastline, known as the North Shore, are superb wilderness areas, rated to be among the finest in the country. For example, not far from the coast is Superior National Forest, which comprises of an incredible three million acres. The forested coast borders the Sawtooth Mountains, where glacial lakes, rivers, falls, and wildlife abound. From the lovely small town of Grand Marais, we will have the opportunity to explore this beautiful region, offering options of activities that will include hiking along scenic trails, kayaking, and visiting historic sites, such as the Grand Portage National Monument, a flourishing trading center during the 18th century, with its evocative reconstructed buildings.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Continue your full day excursion before attending a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Old Fort William / Thunder Bay, Ontario
(Monday, August 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: The land around attractive Thunder Bay was first settled by the French in 1679. Shortly after the American Revolution, the British established a settlement, Fort William, which flourished on the booming fur trade. Visit Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, home to Mute Swan, Pacific Loon, and Bald Eagle among many other species of birds.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Red Rock, Ontario
(Tuesday, August 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: A choice of excursions exploring the nearby wilderness at Ouimet Canyon, Eagle Canyon, and the mighty Nipigon River.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Pukaskwa National Park / Marathon, Ontario
(Wednesday, August 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Spend the day exploring nearby Pukaskwa National Park, known for its boreal forest and its breathtaking views of Lake Superior.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Continue your full day excursion. Later, attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
(Thursday, August 14)
   
 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: Enjoy some time at leisure. Take in a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Mackinac Island, Michigan
(Friday, August 15)
   
 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. See the ancient limestone formations that were considered sacred by the Straits Indians; the impressive Fort Mackinac; and the landmark Victorian Grand Hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Continue your full day excursion. Later, attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Manistique, Michigan
(Saturday, August 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Sail into Manistique, a small town on the Garden Peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan. Explore this scenic area, including the Big Spring, in Palms Book State Park, its crystal clear waters stretching 200 feet across; and Fayette, the center of a large smelting operation in the 19th century, now one of the country’s most evocative industrial ghost towns, protected as a state park site.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Manitowoc, Wisconsin
(Sunday, August 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Originally home to Native American tribes of Ottawa, Potawatomi, and Ojibwa, this tranquil coastal area attracted later fur traders, who had established posts by the late 1700s. In the early 1800s, Manitowoc was also the base of an enormous and prosperous fishing industry, as well as the center for building sailing ships, earning it the name, Clipper City. Explore the town, including the superb Wisconsin Maritime Museum, where rich exhibits chronicle the maritime history of the Great Lakes; the Pinecrest Historical Village, and ensemble of more than 20 historic buildings set in beautiful grounds; and the Rahr-West Art Museum, with its collections of 19th- and 20th-century American and international art. Around Manitowoc there are beautiful natural areas, and opportunities will be offered to explore them.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time. Later, attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Disembark / Chicago, Illinois
(Monday, August 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Disembark. Enjoy a guided excursion through Chicago's Art Institute.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue your guided excursion of Chicago before checking into your hotel.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Palmer Hilton House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Departures
(Tuesday, August 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the 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


Lake Country, A Series of Journeys


Author: Kathleen Stocking


Description: In this second collection of 21 essays, Stocking writes with great affection and enthusiasm for her native Michigan. Themes of spirituality, nature and humanity permeate her reflections on Michigan's wildlife, small towns, local residents and the college town of Ann Arbor.



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.



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 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.



The Song of Hiawatha


Author: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Description: This Everyman’s Library Classic of Longfellow’s epic narrative poem, set along the south shore of Lake Superior and loosely based on the legends of the Ojibwe and other Native Americans, includes an introduction and the latest scholarship on the classic.



The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald


Author: Frederick Stonehouse


Description: Stonehouse presents the circumstances and evidence for the loss of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, which disappeared during a heavy snow storm on Lake Superior in the early evening of November 10, 1975. With no evidence and no witnesses, the captain and crew of 28 are still listed as missing.





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