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21866
Ontario/Michigan/Illinois

Voyage to All Five Great Lakes: A Small Ship Adventure

Explore the pristine beauty of all five Great Lakes aboard a small ship, delving deep into the region’s heritage, history and natural wonders.
Rating (4.71)
Program No. 21866RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
7,299
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
Ontario/Michigan/Illinois

Voyage to All Five Great Lakes: A Small Ship Adventure

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
Starts at
7,299
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
Program No. 21866 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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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 20 - May 30, 2022
Ship Outside 7,299
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Jun 16 - Jun 26, 2022
Ship Outside 7,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

Jun 25 - Jul 5, 2022
Ship Outside 7,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Jul 13 - Jul 23, 2022
Ship Outside 7,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Jul 31 - Aug 10, 2022
Ship Outside 7,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Aug 7 - Aug 17, 2022
Ship Outside 7,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Aug 18 - Aug 28, 2022
Ship Outside 7,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Sep 5 - Sep 15, 2022
Ship Outside 7,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Sep 14 - Sep 24, 2022
Ship Outside 7,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

DATES & PRICES

Ship Outside
Accommodation Details

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

May 20 - May 30, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 8,899
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Jun 16 - Jun 26, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,099
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

Jun 25 - Jul 5, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,099
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Jul 13 - Jul 23, 2022
Ship Outside 9,099
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Jul 31 - Aug 10, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,099
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Aug 7 - Aug 17, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,099
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Aug 18 - Aug 28, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,099
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Sep 5 - Sep 15, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,099
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Sep 14 - Sep 24, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 9,099
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 for free air from many cities!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Toronto and ends in Chicago.

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 and storied waterways like the Soo Locks and Welland Canal.
  • Discover Mackinac Island, a Victorian-era haven where cars are forbidden and horse-drawn carriages rule the roads.
  • Experience Niagara Falls up-close aboard the Hornblower.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Michele Sigmon
Michele “Micki” Sigmon began her career in education, teaching outdoor education and recreation for 12 years. When an opportunity to work as a travel director fell into her lap, she knew she had found her calling. Micki has been working in the travel industry for about 20 years. She has owned her own travel company, worked on domestic river cruises and steamboats and led groups throughout Chicago and the Great Lakes region. Micki looks forward to sharing her knowledge and love of learning.

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

Profile Image of Michele Sigmon
Michele Sigmon View biography
Michele “Micki” Sigmon began her career in education, teaching outdoor education and recreation for 12 years. When an opportunity to work as a travel director fell into her lap, she knew she had found her calling. Micki has been working in the travel industry for about 20 years. She has owned her own travel company, worked on domestic river cruises and steamboats and led groups throughout Chicago and the Great Lakes region. Micki looks forward to sharing her knowledge and love of learning.
Profile Image of Roger Dammarell
Roger Dammarell View biography
Roger Dammarell is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable fellow who spent 33 years in the radio business — he achieved his goal of working in San Francisco, the country’s fourth-largest radio market — before leaving the crowded freeways behind and falling in love with his new home in Corvallis, Ore. He has since developed an affinity for the world of educational travel and is a favorite Road Scholar Group Leader.
Profile Image of Laurieanne Wysocki
Laurieanne Wysocki View biography
Laurieanne Wysocki received a Certificat Pratique de Langue Francais in Angers, France and graduated with a B.A. in French from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1985. She began working as a group leader for Road Scholar in 2000, predominantly on Adventures Afloat. When not facilitating Road Scholar programs and otherwise journeying abroad, Laurieanne pursues vocations in writing and art while living on a lake in western Massachusetts where she also enjoys swimming, hiking, and gardening. Her adventure stories have been published by GoNomad.
Profile Image of Debra Levin
Debra Levin View biography
Debra Levin graduated with honors from Penn State University and went on to work in the family jewelry business before becoming a teacher and then transitioning into travel operations. She has led groups of travelers around the world for over 20 years. Debra now lives in Boston and travels seasonally. She enjoys music, theater, art and ballet and volunteers with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Museum of Fine Arts, WGBH public broadcasting and the Brookline Senior Center. Debra has two daughters and four grandchildren.
Profile Image of Gayle Felix
Gayle Felix View biography
Gayle Felix has loved group leading for Road Scholar since she began in 2015. With a history degree from Boston University, Gayle enjoys sharing Boston's history as well as discovering new places. Gayle leads a variety of programs in New England and Washington D.C. including On the Road adventures in Cape Cod and Maine, signature city programs in Boston and Washington D.C. and programs focusing on politics and music. During her free time, Gayle spends time with her family and friends biking, kayaking and traveling.
Profile Image of Beverley Citron
Beverley Citron View biography
Beverley Citron was born and raised in Bournemouth, England with a desire for adventure and thirst for new experiences. Beverley has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and South America while working aboard cruise ships as a member of entertainment staff. She regularly led excursions into the ports to enjoy scenery, history, art and music. After leaving the cruise lines, she continued in tourism as a Group Leader in and around South Florida, with the opportunity to work for Road Scholar being a perfect fit.
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.
Inventing Niagara
by Ginger Strand
A witty, well-researched tale of the transformation of a natural wonder into an engineering feat, spectacle and monument.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Great Lakes Water Wars
by Peter Annin
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mackinac Island
by Terry Phipps
Phipps captures the splendor of the architecture and gardens of Mackinac in this collection of photographs.
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.
Great Lakes Wildlife
by Raymond Leung (Illustrator), James Kavanaugh
This laminated fold-out card illustrates almost 150 animals in the Great Lakes region.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
12 Reviews
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4.71 Average
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

A Home Run Road Scholar! Judy & I greatly enjoyed our 5-Great Lakes (almost) trip. As always (our 4th trip) the pre-trip planning and administration was classic Road Scholar, very well done. Pre-trip resources prepared us well. Our guide, Laurieanne Wysocki was stellar. Knowledgable, energetic and very effective at keeping our Blue Group organized without undue stress. Please make a note that we would be happy to travel with Laurieanne anyplace in the world. The other guides, Roger Dammarell, Beverley Citron, Robyn Edwards and Debra Levin on the trip sere similarly well qualified for their respective groups as well and all activities ran smoothly. Kudos to the whole team. On board speakers were especially noteworthy especially someone of the caliber of Fred Stonehouse with his extensive writings on the Great Lakes history and culture. He was an excellent presenter and greatly appreciated by program participants. Respective city guides should also be mentioned as they invariably added to our knowledge of each location visited. We came away with a much greater appreciation for the communities that surround the Great Lakes. We appreciated the professionalism of the Victory I crew and Captain for their professionalism especially when we had mechanical issues departing Detroit which required an additional day at Mackinac Island (a tough assignment) to repair. Quick action by American Steamship Lines had the necessary parts waiting dockside when we arrived. The Victory I engineering crew replaced the defective parts, got Coast Guard sign off and we departed to Chicago on time, avoiding a long 6-hour bus ride. Road Scholar has a good business partner with the Victory I and American Steamship lines. In closing, please extend our gratitude to the entire Road Scholar Team that enabled us to have a wonderful Great Lakes trip. Our paths will cross again very soon. Best Regards Jim & Judy Tischer Woodland, CA

(4)

This was a pretty relaxed trip, not very physically challenging. The pace is pretty slow. I learned a lot about the Great Lakes, as a group of lakes, and about each one individually. There is not a lot of free time off the boat, and the fall weather was not conducive to enjoying the open deck areas. I would suggest an earlier tour might have been more enjoyable.

(5)

Are you interested in life-long learning and travel, without touring on a casino- and shop-filled party boat? Road Scholar will take you to places you've always wanted to experience, in comfort, with friendly and helpful staff and ship's crew.

(5)

Our 1st Road Scholar experience and it was wonderful! Learned so much about the Great Lakes area of the US and Canada both historically and currently. And how important this area is to our economy and defense.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

Most of this trip was excellent. The ship staff were very good at maintaining the small rooms and bathrooms, and the food and alcohol were provided well. Our major aggravation on arriving to Chicago was not being able to get into the Sheraton hotel room until after 6:15 p.m.; there was no explanation of why so many Road Scholar guests were forced to wait hours to get rooms. It was good to see many areas along the Great Lakes and hear quite a few good lectures on the ship.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This trip was wonderful and so educational. The ship Voyager 1 was great with the 185 passengers. Not too big — it was a more personal trip. Loved the ambiance!

(5)

I have had a life long interest on ships in the Great Lakes so this cruise was perfect.

(5)

Road Scholar is a wonderful program. If they can't deliver on something in the itinerary, though no fault of theirs, they make it right. Take a trip with them, you will not be sorry.

(4)

After I signed up for the "5 Great Lake Cruise" I got to thinking maybe there would be too many lectures, etc I found everything prefect....we are looking to book another Road Scholar tour!

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

We had a very pleasant experience traveling with some friends to see a part of the country we had not yet experienced. Our group leader Laurieanne Wysocki was fun, professional and well organized. The ship, Victory 1, was comfortable and the food was good. Staff were excellent as well. Although we missed 2 scheduled ports of call due to engine trouble, we enjoyed the extra day on Mackinac Island. Special praise is due for the lectures by Fred Stonehouse. They were all exceptional and made the trip so much more interesting. We would not hesitate to recommend this trip.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

The was a trip of a life time.

(5)

This Great Lakes Tour, provided by Road Scholar, was a wonderful experience. The accommodations, tours, food, guest lectures and all staff involved did an outstanding job. I would highly recommend this tour for anyone interested in the history of the Great Lakes.






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