loading spinner
Ontario/Michigan/Illinois

Voyage to All Five Great Lakes: A Small Ship Adventure

Program No. 21866RJ
Explore the pristine beauty of all five Great Lakes aboard a small ship, delving deep into the region’s heritage, history and natural wonders.
Length
11 days
Rating (4.87)
Activity Level
Starts at
7,699
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
airfare
Need airfare?
Our airfare tool can help. Check it out
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

DATES & PRICES

Ship Outside
Accommodation Details

A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.

May 15 - May 25, 2023
Ship Outside 7,699
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto. The ship for this departure is the Ocean Navigator.

May 26 - Jun 5, 2023
Ship Outside 7,699
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto.

Jun 4 - Jun 14, 2023
Ship Outside 7,999
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

Jun 13 - Jun 23, 2023
Ship Outside 7,999
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto.

Jun 22 - Jul 2, 2023
Ship Outside 7,999
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

Jul 10 - Jul 20, 2023
Ship Outside 7,999
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

Jul 19 - Jul 29, 2023
Ship Outside 7,999
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto.

Jul 28 - Aug 7, 2023
Ship Outside 7,999
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

Aug 6 - Aug 16, 2023
Ship Outside 7,999
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto.

Aug 15 - Aug 25, 2023
Ship Outside 7,999
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

Aug 24 - Sep 3, 2023
Ship Outside 7,999
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto.

Sep 11 - Sep 21, 2023
Ship Outside 7,999
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure we have the whole ship! This date starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto.

DATES & PRICES

Ship Outside
Accommodation Details

A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.

May 15 - May 25, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,199
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto. The ship for this departure is the Ocean Navigator.

May 26 - Jun 5, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,199
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto.

Jun 4 - Jun 14, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,499
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

Jun 13 - Jun 23, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,499
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto.

Jun 22 - Jul 2, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,499
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

Jul 10 - Jul 20, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,499
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

Jul 19 - Jul 29, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,499
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto.

Jul 28 - Aug 7, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,499
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

Aug 6 - Aug 16, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,499
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto.

Aug 15 - Aug 25, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,499
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

Aug 24 - Sep 3, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,499
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto.

Sep 11 - Sep 21, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,499
Special Offer

Enroll by Feb. 28, 2023 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure we have the whole ship! This date starts in Chicago and ends in Toronto.

At a Glance

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, 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 Level
On Your Feet
Walking and standing for up to an hour at a time during field trips. Embarking and disembarking from the boat up and down steep gangways.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Sail all five Great Lakes, the Soo Locks and Welland Canal.
  • Discover Mackinac Island, a Victorian-era haven with horse-drawn carriages and no cars.
  • Experience Niagara Falls up-close aboard the Hornblower.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Debra Levin
Debra Levin graduated with honors from Penn State University and went on to work in her family’s jewelry business before becoming a teacher and then transitioning into travel operations. She has led groups around the world for more than 20 years. Debra now lives in Boston and travels seasonally. She volunteers with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Museum of Fine Arts, WGBH public broadcasting, and the Brookline Senior Center. Debra has two daughters, four grandchildren, and enjoys music, theater, art, and ballet.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Debra Levin
Debra Levin View biography
Debra Levin graduated with honors from Penn State University and went on to work in her family’s jewelry business before becoming a teacher and then transitioning into travel operations. She has led groups around the world for more than 20 years. Debra now lives in Boston and travels seasonally. She volunteers with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Museum of Fine Arts, WGBH public broadcasting, and the Brookline Senior Center. Debra has two daughters, four grandchildren, and enjoys music, theater, art, and ballet.
Profile Image of Gayle Felix
Gayle Felix View biography
Gayle Felix has been a Road Scholar Group Leader since 2015. With a history degree from Boston University, she enjoys sharing Boston’s history as well as discovering new places. Gayle leads a variety of programs in New England and Washington, D.C. as well those focusing on politics and music in Cape Cod and Maine. During her free time, Gayle spends time with her family and friends biking, kayaking, and traveling.
Profile Image of Nolan Hines
Nolan Hines View biography
Nolan Hines is a native Ohioan, born on a farm just south of Columbus. He attended Ohio State University intending to become a veterinarian, the became involved in singing and theatre activities. He spent eight years on the ships of Holland America Line as an entertainer, excursion assistant, and cruise director, then four years aboard The American Queen steamboat. Nolan now lives in Florida and since 2017 has enjoyed discovering the treasures of new places and helping participants to enjoy cultural highlights with Road programs.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Pandora's Locks, The Opening of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway
by Jeff Alexander
This detailed history of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which opened in 1959, focuses on the engineering feat's often devastating environmental effects.
Inventing Niagara
by Ginger Strand
A witty, well-researched tale of the transformation of a natural wonder into an engineering feat, spectacle and monument.
Niagara, A History of the Falls
by Pierre Berton
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.
Shipwrecks and Lost Treasure Great Lakes, Legends and Lore, Pirates and More!
by Michael J. Varhola
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 Middle Ground, Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815
by Richard White
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.
North American Indian Tribes of the Great Lakes
by Michael G. Johnson
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.
Lake Superior Flavors, A Field Guide to Food and Drink Along the Circle Tour
by James Norton
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.
The Death and Life of the Great Lakes
by Dan Egan
Egan explores the past, present, and future of the Great Lakes and their ecologies using insightful research and political commentary.
Great Lakes Birds
by Raymond Leung (Illustrator), James Kavanaugh
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.
The Devil in the White City, Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
by Erik Larson
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.
Unless
by Carol Shields
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."
The Great Lakes
by Wayne Grady
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.
Selected Stories
by Alice Munro
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.
Great Lakes Water Wars
by Peter Annin
Learn about the controversial history of water use in the area.
Great Lakes for Sale, From Whitecaps to Bottlecaps
by Dave Dempsey
Dempsey calls for action to stop the diversion of water from the Great Lakes watershed.
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
by Frederick Stonehouse
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.
Shining Big Sea Water, The Story of Lake Superior
by Norman K. Risjord
A swift, illuminating history of Lake Superior, from its geological birth and native inhabitants to early explorers and industries, developers, cities and future challenges.
Great Lakes Wildlife
by Raymond Leung (Illustrator), James Kavanaugh
This laminated fold-out card illustrates almost 150 animals in the Great Lakes region.
The Long Ships Passing, The Story of the Great Lakes
by Walter Havighurst
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
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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 Living Great Lakes
by Jerry Dennis
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.
Mackinac Island
by Terry Phipps
Phipps captures the splendor of the architecture and gardens of Mackinac in this collection of photographs.





Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.