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A Voyage to All Five Great Lakes, Only With Road Scholar

Program Number: 21866RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/9/2015 - 8/20/2015; 8/18/2015 - 8/29/2015;
Duration: 11 nights
Location: Ontario/Michigan/Illinois
Price starting at: $4,579.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 31; 10 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Salt; Low Fat; Vegetarian    

Nearly 15,000 years ago, the last of the great glaciers retreated, leaving us the Great Lakes — Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario. These vast bodies of water contain more than one fifth of the planet’s fresh surface water. On a small ship exclusively chartered by Road Scholar, voyage to all five Great Lakes, discovering pristine natural beauty and learning the colorful stories of the people who’ve sailed and worked these waterways.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day; some uneven and hilly terrain. Mobility is essential, as small boats are sometimes used for disembarkation and re-embarkation.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Chicago, 1 night; aboard Saint Laurent, 9 nights; Toronto, 1 night.



Days 1-2: Arrival Chicago, Ill. / embark Saint Laurent:

An expert-led excursion highlights Chicago’s magnificent architecture before a visit the Art Institute of Chicago. Lodging: Historic hotel in the Chicago Loop.



Days 3-4: On Lake Michigan / Mackinac Island, Mich.:

Discover Mackinac Island, a Victorian-era haven where cars are forbidden and bicycles share the road with horse-drawn carriages. Visit Fort Mackinac, built by the British during the Revolutionary War.



Day 5: Transit Soo Locks / Sault Ste. Marie:

Transit the Soo Locks from Lake Huron into Lake Superior. Explore Sault Ste. Marie and visit the River of History Museum to learn more about the world’s busiest locks.



Day 6: Manitoulin Island (Canada):

On the largest freshwater island in the world, take a field trip to the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation to learn about the First Nations people that have long called this island home.



Day 7: Midland:

Step back in time at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, a reconstructed 17th-century Jesuit mission. Visit the SS Keewatin, a large liner that sailed for the Great Lakes Steamship Service for 60 years.



Days 8-9: On Lake Huron / Windsor / On Lake Erie:

Experience Windsor, Canada’s southernmost city and explore the Henry Ford Museum with an expert.



Day 10: Transit Welland Canal / Niagara Falls:

Make the passage to Lake Ontario via the Welland Canal, built in 1824 to enable ships to pass around Niagara Falls. Depart the ship for a field trip to Niagara Falls, where you take the “Voyage to the Falls” boat excursion.



Days 11-12: Toronto / disembark / departure:

Complete your adventure by exploring Toronto, a truly global city where 49% of the population was born somewhere other than Canada. Lodging: Comfortable hotel.



Saint Laurent

This 285-foot midsized ship is ideal for exploring ports and islands that a larger vessel couldn’t access. It features spacious indoor and expansive outdoor public areas and is outfitted with an elevator (Decks 1 to 4). In addition to delicious meals in the dining room, passengers can enjoy a snack at the outdoor café or a drink at Fog Cutters Pub.


Meals and Lodgings
   Palmer Hilton House
  Chicago, Illinois 1 night
   Saint Laurent
  At sea 9 nights
   Park Hyatt Toronto
  Toronto 1 night
 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 prior: N/A For additional nights, please contact the Palmer Hilton House at 312-726-7500. Please note that this hotel is not offering any discounted rates on additional nights for Road Scholar participants. The Palmer Hilton House will not have a record of your booking during the program nights until 30 days prior to the program departure.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Saint Laurent
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The 110 stateroom Saint Laurent is a 4-star, intimate, charming, and fully stabilized ocean-going vessel. Her spacious indoor and expansive outdoor public areas make her an ideal vessel for exploring destinations larger vessels cannot reach.
  Ship Information: Registered in Nassau, Bahamas. Length: 87.27 M Breadth: 15.24 M Draught: 4.12 M
  Contact info: Haimark Travel
1536 Cole Boulevard, Suite 333
Lakewood, CO 80401 USA
phone: 800-798-4223
web: www.haimarktravel.com
  Room amenities: Each cabin features a television, telephone, complimentary bottled water replenished daily, radio alarm with docking station, hair dryer, individual climate control, personal safe, a robe and slippers, and make-up mirror.
  Facility amenities: This ship features an expertly trained culinary team providing seated breakfast, lunch, and multiple course dinner; a casual outdoor cafe offering breakfast and lunch; 24-hour room service; a lounge with nightly entertainment; intimate and casual pub with library; an outdoor lounge with a full service bar; a spacious sun deck; and complimentary wireless Internet in all public areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Park Hyatt Toronto
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Perfectly situated in the heart of the fashionable Yorkville area, the Park Hyatt Toronto represents an elite level of luxury marked by subtle contemporary influence. Encircled by high-end retail stores and five-star restaurants, this hotel is within walking distance to some of downtown’s most renowned sites, including the Royal Ontario Museum.
  Contact info: 4 Avenue Road
Toronto, ON M5R 2E8 Canada
phone: 416-925-1234
web: www.parktoronto.hyatt.com
  Room amenities: Each room features complimentary Internet access, telephone, television, personal safe, mini-bar, coffee maker, alarm clock, complimentary daily newspapers, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, and 24-hour room service.
  Facility amenities: This hotel features 24-hour room service, business center, currency exchange, dry cleaning and laundry services (for a fee), complimentary shoe shine, yoga kits, fitness center, full service spa, and sauna.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A For additional nights, please contact the Park Hyatt Toronto at 416-925-1234. Please note that this hotel is not offering any discounted rates on additional nights for Road Scholar participants. The Park Hyatt Toronto will not have a record of your booking during the program nights until 30 days prior to the program departure.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Chicago, Illinois. 4:00 PM at the hotel. You will be staying at Palmer Hilton House that night.
  End of Program:
Toronto, Ontario. After breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Park Hyatt Toronto the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The Haimark Passenger Information Form is required. All participants are required to have a passport. Passport cards will not be accepted.
  Parking availability:
Program begins in Toronto and ends in Chicago so parking is not applicable.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Chicago, Illinois
  From End of Program
  Location:  In Transit
Travel Details
 

From the Chicago-O'Hare International Airport to the Palmer Hilton House

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation

   

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

 

From the Chicago-OHare International Airport to the Palmer Hilton House

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

   

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

 

From the Park Hyatt Toronto to the Pearson Airport via Public Transportation

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation

   

Walk 10 minutes to the St. George station and take the subway to the Kipling station. From there, take the 192 bus to the airport. Taking public transportation will cost $3 CAD and will take approximately one hour.

 

From the Park Hyatt Toronto to the Pearson Airport

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

   

Take a taxi from the hotel to the airport. It will cost approximately $55 CAD and will take approximately 40 minutes.

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
(Sunday, August 9)
   
 Afternoon: Arrivals in Chicago at 4:00 PM. Welcome Orientation at the hotel.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Palmer Hilton House
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Chicago, Illinois / Embarkation
(Monday, August 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy an excursion in Chicago, learning about the city's architecture.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Explore the Art Institute of Chicago during a guided excursion. In the late afternoon, embark the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Saint Laurent
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: At sea
(Tuesday, August 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Saint Laurent
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Mackinac Island, Michigan
(Wednesday, August 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Arrive at Mackinac Island, located at the end of the Straits of Mackinac, between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The island is a national historic landmark, preserved in the Victorian Era. There are no cars allowed on the island. Explore the island by horse-drawn carriage and learn about its history. Discover Fort Mackinac, which was constructed by British soldiers in 1780. Soak up the history of Fort Mackinac as it was taken by American soldiers in 1796 and was one of the first places of engagement for the War of 1812 as the British reclaimed this key position.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time on the island.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Saint Laurent
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Soo Locks / Whitefish Bay / Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
(Thursday, August 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Early this morning, transit the Soo Locks, traveling from Lake Huron into Lake Superior. Take in the views of Whitefish Bay, from the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Arrive to Sault Ste. Marie, the oldest city in the Midwest. It was originally established, by the Jesuit monasteries, as one settlement on both sides of the lake. Today disembark in Sault Ste. Marie on the Canadian side and transfer by bus to the US side. We will explore the town and learn about the locks during a visit the to locks visitors bureau, the River of History museum, and the town's historic water street.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Saint Laurent
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Little Current, Ontario, Canada
(Friday, August 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Little Current is a small town located on the island of Manitouilin which is the largest fresh water island in the world. Begin with an overview of the island and its rich history. Enjoy a visit to the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation which brings to life the heritage of the Objiwe Tribe, one of the first inhabitants of the area.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Saint Laurent
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Midland, Ontario, Canada
(Saturday, August 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Midland was founded in 1878 as one of the main towns in Georgian Bay. Discover the Jesuit mission of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons - a living museum that depicts missionary life in the 17th century. Afterwards explore the SS Keewatin which carried passengers on the lakes from 1907 ­- 1966.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Saint Laurent
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: At sea
(Sunday, August 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Saint Laurent
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
(Monday, August 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: On our way from Lake Huron to Lake Erie, we will stop in Windsor, the most southern city in Canada. Led by a docent, marvel at the Henry Ford Museum with nine acres of space dedicated to American ideas and innovations with exhibits presenting what Americans have imagined and invented — the finest collection of its kind ever assembled.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Saint Laurent
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Welland Canal / Niagara Falls
(Tuesday, August 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Transiting from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, the Welland Canal was built in 1824 to allow ships to pass around Niagara Falls. Disembark for this morning's excursion and drive through the countryside full of vineyards to Niagara Parkway for views of Niagara Falls. Enjoy an exciting ride on the Voyage to the Falls boat.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue your excursion before heading back to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Saint Laurent
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Disembarkation / Toronto, Ontario, Canada
(Wednesday, August 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Disembark. Enjoy an excursion in Toronto.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue your full day excursion before checking in to the hotel.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner.
   
Accommodations: Park Hyatt Toronto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Departures
(Thursday, August 20)
   
 Morning: Transfer to the airport.
 Morning: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
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


Unless


Author: Carol Shields


Description: A middle aged mother of three daughters lives a contented life as a writer until her oldest child Norah quits college to panhandle on the streets of Toronto. Norah's only communication with the outside world appears to be a sign she wears around her neck that reads "Goodness."



Great Lakes Birds


Author: Raymond Leung (Illustrator), James Kavanaugh


Description: This fold-out reference illustrates almost 150 species in the Great Lakes region. Laminated and pocket-sized, it's a handy item to take along in the field.



Great Lakes Water Wars


Author: Peter Annin


Description: Annin weaves an intriguing tale of behind the scenes compromise and conflict among the states and provinces making a grab for a portion of the water in the Great Lakes.



Great Lakes Wildlife


Author: Raymond Leung (Illustrator), James Kavanaugh


Description: This laminated fold-out card illustrates almost 150 animals in the Great Lakes region.



Great Lakes for Sale, From Whitecaps to Bottlecaps


Author: Dave Dempsey


Description: Dempsey calls for action to stop the diversion of water from the great lakes watershed.



Inventing Niagara


Author: Ginger Strand


Description: A witty, well-researched tale of the transformation of a natural wonder into an engineering feat, spectacle and monument.



Lake Superior Flavors, A Field Guide to Food and Drink Along the Circle Tour


Author: James Norton


Description: In this review of Lake Superior cuisine, the authors focus on local artisans and important dishes from the four regions they visit: Minnesota’s North Shore, Ontario, Michigan and Wisconsin.



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 primer presents the Native American tribes of the upper Midwest, their cultures, religions, leaders and roles in the colonial wars and the fur trade.



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.



Shining Big Sea Water, The Story of Lake Superior


Author: Norman K. Risjord


Description: A swift, illuminating history of Lake Superior, from its geological birth and native inhabitants to early explorers and industries, developers, cities and future challenges.



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 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 its 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: Jerry Dennis, known for his writing on fly-fishing and canoeing, interweaves observation, anecdote and history in this tale of the lakes and his month-long voyage aboard the schooner Malabar.



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 Middle Ground, Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815


Author: Richard White


Description: White takes in the history of Daniel Boone, George Washington, Pontiac and Tecumseh in this scholarly history of relations between native peoples and Europeans in "pays d'en haut," the region around the Great Lakes.



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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