Great Lakes

Untouched wilderness. Cosmopolitan cities. One-of-a-kind historic and cultural wonders. The Great Lakes have it all! From experiences like visiting car-free Mackinac Island to transiting the Soo Locks to sailing Lake Superior, find out what makes America’s Great Lakes so great!

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Great Lakes Cruises

The Great Lakes play a vital role in our planet’s ecosystem, holding 84% of North America’s freshwater. The five Great Lakes — Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario — span a total surface area of 94,600 square miles and are connected by various lakes and rivers, making them the most extensive freshwater system in the world. The lakes are also home to one of the world’s largest freshwater coastal dune systems, which are explored and hiked by residents and visitors alike.

The Great Lakes have more than 10,000 miles of coastline that attract millions of tourists annually. These massive lakes — the biggest lake system in the world — offer adventures in nature that leave visitors awestruck. Road Scholar offers numerous experiential learning adventures for seniors, such as these cruises on the Great Lakes.


The Best of Sault Ste. Marie and Mackinac Island

Imagine an island only accessible by boat, where transportation is limited to horse and buggy. It sounds like an island from a century ago, but this is Mackinac Island today. Mackinac Island is one of many islands on the Great Lakes. This beautiful island exudes Old World Victorian charm, from the ferry ride to the island to the calming sounds of horses and carriages on the streets. 

Road Scholar offers an eight-day adventure between two countries — Canada and the United States — to explore one of the oldest settlements in North America. Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, Canada, has been inhabited for thousands of years. Mackinac Island has been a popular vacation destination since the 1800s. Explore the art and architecture of these historic cities, as well as their history and heritage, with Road Scholar experts on this Great Lakes tour. 

Road Scholar also offers a six-day tour of Mackinac Island, where travelers can go birding and take an expert guided walking tour to explore the island’s beauty. 


Cruises on The Great Lakes: A Small Ship Adventure

Nearly one-fifth of the planet’s freshwater comes from the five Great Lakes spanning Canada and America. Road Scholar has created a one-of-a-kind 11-day Great Lakes cruise to see all five lakes on a small ship. Cruise the pristine waters of the Great Lakes while deeply diving into North America’s history and natural wonders. Road Scholar offers excellent tips about cruising small ships and what to expect while aboard. 


Road Scholar Great Lakes Tours

At Road Scholar, you’ll find many Adventures Afloat around the world, including the best Great Lake cruises. You can search based on your desired destination, activity level, duration, price and date range. Enroll in one of our Road Scholar tours today to visit The Great Lakes and explore the unique and diverse landscape America offers.