23826
Illinois/Michigan/Wisconsin/Ohio/Ontario/New York

American Cities Along the Great Lakes: A Voyage by Small Ship

Delve into the legacy of lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie on a fascinating voyage that traces the American heartland from Chicago to Buffalo.
Program No. 23826RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
5,199
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
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11 days
10 nights
29 meals
10 B 9 L 10 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Chicago, IL
D
Sheraton Grand Chicago

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff to receive any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. If you arrive early, you may leave your luggage with the hotel concierge and go out to explore the surrounding area; maps will be available.

Dinner: At the hotel, we will have a plated dinner; beverages include water, soft drink, and two vouchers for beer or wine.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar Adventures Afloat program. In addition to lectures and field trips exclusively for our Road Scholar group, you are invited to take advantage of activities and events aboard ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program. The time available in each port is set by the cruise line. Whenever possible, the Road Scholar daily schedule indicates port arrival and departure times (subject to change by the cruise line). This may mean that free time in port is limited. Regardless of the time in port, Road Scholar delivers a robust educational program. All routes, field trips, and excursions are subject to change as weather and sea conditions may affect the itinerary. Sea conditions could affect the progress of the ship, making it run late and sometimes miss ports because it is not safe to dock. Because of this, the cruise itinerary should always be regarded as provisional. The operators reserve the right to change the content of field trips and excursions without prior notice. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Each evening, a copy of the ship’s daily schedule for the following day will be delivered to your cabin. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Chicago Architecture Cruise
Chicago, IL
B,L,D
Sheraton Grand Chicago

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; walking approximately 1 mile, standing in museum.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will have a buffet breakfast, with water, juice, tea, coffee included.

Morning: We will start the day with a lecture at the hotel from a local expert. After departing the hotel we will take in Chicago's amazing skyline during an architectural boat ride along the Chicago River. We will see over 40 notable buildings like the Wrigley Building, the Aon Center, the John Hancock Building, and the Willis Tower—formerly known as the Sears Tower. We’ll learn about some of the famous architects and their designs, such as Helmut Jahn and the firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy classic Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Beverages included water and a soft drink.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will have a plated meal; beverages included water, soft drink, and a glass of wine or beer. Additional beverages for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Art Institute of Chicago, Embark Ship
Chicago, IL
B,L,D
M/V Victory II

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; walking up to 2 miles on sidewalks, standing during field trips.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will start the day with a motor coach exploration of Chicago with a local expert, stopping at various points of interests. After arriving by motorcoach, we’ll have an expert-led exploration of the Art Institute of Chicago. Its encyclopedic collection of nearly 100,000 works spans thousands of years of human creativity, from ancient to modern. We’ll also have some time for personal independent exploration.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We’ll transfer via motorcoach to the pier for embarkation that takes place from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. After completing embarkation procedures and boarding the ship, we’ll settle into our cabins and take some time to freshen up before we participate in the ship’s required safety drill. We’ll then gather with our group for cocktails and hor d'oeuvres as we prepare to set out on our Great Lakes learning adventure. Aboard ship, we’ll enjoy a variety of dining options in the main dining room or one of the smaller dining venues. For each meal, the dining hall offers a plated, 3-course meal featuring locally inspired cuisine. The grille offers a buffet for breakfast and lunch with rotating daily specials. Beverages available at all meals include juices, soft drinks, coffee, tea, water, beer, wine.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Muskegon-MI, White River Light Station
Muskegon, MI
B,L,D
M/V Victory II

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; walking up to 2 miles on sidewalks, standing during field trips. Uneven pavement, stones, pebbles, grass, sidewalk, dirt paths.

Breakfast: Aboard ship, we’ll enjoy a 3-course plated and served meal in the main dining room or the Grille’s breakfast buffet.

Morning: As the most populated city on the Eastern Shores of Lake Michigan, Muskegon is known as the “Riviera of the Midwest.” Boasting numerous beaches, campsites and hiking trails, Muskegon is a well-known summer destination for Michiganders. We will begin with an expert-led field trip of the historic city center of Muskegon by motorcoach. We will make stops at the USS Silversides Submarine Museum, and the WWII-era landing ship USS LST 393, which saw action in France on D-Day.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: After lunch we will be boarding a motorcoach that will take us on a scenic drive along Lake Michigan to the White River Light Station. There we will learn about the important role that lighthouse keepers play in the safety of the lakes. On the grounds is a small museum where a docent will give a brief introduction, followed by some time for independent exploration. We will have an opportunity to ascend the steps to the top of the tower to take in the views.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Green Bay-WI Oneida Nation Reservation
Green Bay, WI
B,L,D
M/V Victory II

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, walking on uneven surfaces and stairs, standing approximately 1 hour.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Native Americans first settled this area for its rich soil, fish, wild rice, and waterfowl. Falling under French control after the establishment of New France, the area then became part of the British Empire in 1761. It finally became a part of the United States with victory over the British in 1783. This morning we will board a motorcoach and ride to the Oneida Nation Reservation where a local expert will accompany us to three points of interest: Cultural Museum, Buffalo Overlook (they have a herd of 125 buffalo on the reservation), and the Cultural Village Area. We will end our experience with a storytelling session where we will learn firsthand about the rich oral tradition that is passed down from generation to generation.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Mackinac Island, Fort Mackinac, Grand Hotel, Free Time
Mackinac Island, MI
B,L,D
M/V Victory II

Activity note: Getting on/off horse-drawn carriages. Travel on the island is only by carriage or walking; uneven terrain. Walking up to 1 hour on uneven surfaces and some stairs.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: The Straits of Mackinac connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. Other than walking, the only mode of transportation allowed on the island is horse-drawn carriage, and we’ll go for a ride around the island. We’ll see Arch Rock, the Post Cemetery, Surrey Hill, and Skull Cave. We'll also visit Fort Mackinac. Originally a French outpost, it was subsequently taken by the British and massively reconstructed during the American Revolutionary War, relinquished to the U.S. in 1780, retaken by the British at the beginning of the War of 1812, and eventually re-retaken by American forces. We’ll then visit the Grand Hotel, a National Historic Landmark and one of the most romantic vestiges of the Victorian era. It opened in 1887 as a summer retreat for vacationers and boasts the longest porch in the world. The 1980 movie “Somewhere in Time” is a love letter to the grandest remaining hotel of a bygone era.

Lunch: At the Grand Hotel, we’ll enjoy the famed buffet in the main dining room that features fresh salads, a variety of cheeses, slow-roasted meats, seafood, fruits, and fresh-baked pastries. Soft drink, juice, and water included.

Afternoon: Free Time.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: During dinner, we will enjoy a talk on the history of the Grand Hotel from a local expert. Afterwards, the rest of the evening is at leisure.

DAY
7
Lake Huron
At sea
B,L,D
M/V Victory II

Activity note: Full day aboard the ship.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We'll gather for a shipboard guest lecture.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We'll gather for a shipboard guest lecture.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Detroit-MI, Henry Ford Museum
Detroit, MI
B,L,D
M/V Victory II

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking according to personal interest at museum.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll dock in Detroit, then board a motorcoach and ride to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, just outside Detroit. The vast museum is designed to document not only the achievements of Henry Ford himself, but also “the genius of the American people.” It also contains historic artifacts such as the upholstered rocking chair in which President Abraham Lincoln was seated at Ford’s Theater when he was shot on April 14, 1865; the bus Rosa Parks was riding on December 1, 1955, when she was arrested for violating the segregation laws of Montgomery, Alabama; and the presidential limousine that bore President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963. We’ll then return to the ship.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We will enjoy an expert-led field trip by motorcoach around the city of Detroit, including Motown Records, the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, called “the Birthplace of the Model T,” the beautiful homes of Ferry Street, and the Detroit Art Institute. We will also make a stop at the intricately-detailed Art Deco Fisher Building for a short walk-through what is considered the largest art object in the city.

Dinner: Aboard ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Cleveland-OH, Museum of Art
Cleveland, OH
B,L,D
M/V Victory II

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; walking approximately 1 mile, standing in museum.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Disembark the ship and board a trolley with a local expert providing in-depth historical and colorful commentary in Cleveland. There will be a stop at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame where you can dive into the history and memorabilia of the musicians, producers and notable figures who helped shape the genre.

Lunch: Aboard ship

Afternoon: We will take a motorcoach to the Wade Memorial Chapel at Lake View Cemetery, built in honor of the industrialist and philanthropist Jeptha Wade. We will take in the Tiffany-designed interior, including its large glass mosaics. We will visit the Cleveland Museum of Art, where a docent will point the highlights of the collection and allow personal time to explore. The museum, free to the public, houses over 61,000 works of art from all around the world, including a bronze cast of Rodin’s The Thinker that was damaged by a bomb in 1970 and preserved in its unrepaired state.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Disembark, Niagara Falls-ON, Buffalo-NY
Buffalo, NY
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn Buffalo Downtown

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach and boat; walking approximately 1 mile; generally even sidewalks and pathways, but an incline when exiting boat cruise. Boat ride is approximately 1/2 hour.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We will disembark and bid farewell to the ship in Port Colborne, Ontario, and set out on a field trip to the iconic Niagara Falls. There, we’ll board a state-of-the-art, 700-passenger catamaran for an unparalleled, close-up experience, entering as close as safely possible to world-famous Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will have a buffet lunch. Beverages include water and soft drinks.

Afternoon: We’ll continue onto Buffalo and our hotel in the downtown area.

Dinner: At the hotel, we will enjoy a plated meal, with water and soft drinks included.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Program Concludes
Buffalo, NY
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will have a breakfast buffet including coffee, tea, juices, eggs, bacon/sausage/meats, breads, cheese, cereals, jam, butter, yogurt, and fresh cut seasonal fruits. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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