The Great Lakes Cruise + Canada
13 days with Alexander+Roberts Rating:
Day 1 Welcome to Montreal, Canada
Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, our luxury hotel in the heart of this cosmopolitan city. Gather this evening for a Welcome Dinner. (D)
Day 2 A Taste of Montreal
With our expert Canadian guide, your morning city tour focuses on historic Old Montreal landmarks like the Notre Dame Basilica, a grand Gothic Revival landmark built in the early 19th century and graced with magnificent stained glass depictions of Montreal’s religious heritage. You’ll also experience the youthful vitality of the Latin Quarter and see the handsome campus of McGill University. Then delight in the lively sights and sounds of the historic Jean Talon Market, founded in 1933. Engage with the friendly merchants, mingle with city residents, and sample some local Quebecois specialties – perhaps some artisanal cheeses or freshly baked pastries. Then return to The Fairmont and enjoy the rest of your afternoon and evening at leisure. (B)
Day 3 Onward to Ottawa
Delight in the forested hills and deep valleys of the Laurentian Mountains as you make the scenic journey to Ottawa. With sharp eyes, you might even glimpse some of the native wildlife - including moose and deer. On arrival in the capital, you'll visit the National Gallery of Canada. Originally founded in the late 19th century, Canada’s premier art gallery is now housed in a striking contemporary structure of glass and granite. In addition to the country’s finest assemblage of European masterpieces, the National Gallery houses the world’s most complete collection of Canadian art. Continue with the city’s most important landmarks including the residence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the home of the Governor General – the Queen’s representative in Canada. On Parliament Hill, overlooking the river and downtown, you’ll admire the Parliament Buildings of Canada with their impressive Neo-Gothic façade and towers. Enjoy a restful overnight at the historic Lord Elgin Hotel. (B+L)
Day 4 Board the mv Victory I in Toronto
Today’s drive through the pastoral countryside follows the rivers and lakes of the historic Rideau Waterway. Stop for lunch in Belleville and continue to Toronto where you'll board the stylish and intimate mv Victory I with you’re A+R Host. Settle in to your outside stateroom before sitting down to an elegant dinner with wines, cocktails and beverages. (B+L+D)
Day 5 Thrill to Niagara Falls
Delight in today's Premium Excursion into the lovely vineyard landscapes of the Niagara Peninsula. A thrilling Hornblower Cruise will take you through the Great Niagara Gorge and past Bridal Veil Falls into the very heart of Horseshoe Falls - where the mighty spray and thundering roar of Niagara will virtually envelope you! Then sit down to lunch atop the Skylon Tower - 775 feet above Niagara Falls! From here, you’ll have breathtaking aerial views of all three of Niagara's Canadian and American cascades. And on a clear day, the view stretches for 80 miles to encompass the city skylines of Buffalo and Toronto. Before returning to ship, you’ll have time to explore the galleries and boutiques in the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. (B+L+D)
Day 6 Fine Art + Rock & Roll
Today's excursion begins at the Cleveland Museum of Art. With more than 61,000 works spanning 6,000 years, it's a fascinating and broad look at human artistic achievement - from ancient Greek sculptors and Monet's soothing Water Lilies to Andy Warhol's vibrant and colorful take on Marilyn Monroe. At the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, set in a striking lakefront structure designed by the renowned architect I. M. Pei, you'll discover more than just a collection of Rock & Roll memorabilia. Indeed, its well-curated and thoughtfully presented exhibits trace the evolution of this musical genre and explore its cultural impact upon generations of Americans. Among the items in the collection are Janis Joplin's psychedelic Porsche, Michael Jackson's famous glove, and scribbled lyrics that became 20th-century classics! (B+L+D)
Day 7 Henry Ford Museum + Greenfield Village
A+R guests enjoy today’s Premium Excursion to the Henry Ford Museum. More than just a showcase of the auto industry, this museum explores 300 years of history and innovation. Among the highlights are the limousine that transported John F. Kennedy through Dallas on November 22, 1963, the bus on which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in 1955, and even an artfully deconstructed, amazingly displayed Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman.
You’ll also tour Greenfield Village; encompassing 80 acres of interactive indoor and outdoor exhibits, the seven historic districts that make up Greenfield Village offer an inspiring look into American ingenuity and resourcefulness, showing how we've lived, worked and played over the past 300 years. (B+L+D)
Day 8 Cruising Lake Huron
Enjoy this day of cruising – enriched by our shipboard experts, fine dining, congenial camaraderie with your fellow passengers and our Open Bar. Your A+R Host is on-hand throughout to ensure a more rewarding and completely carefree experience. (B+L+D)
Day 9 Ashore on Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Sail into beautiful Georgian Bay and step ashore on Manitoulin Island to visit the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation. With its art galleries and state-of-the-art exhibits, this heritage museum is a great place to learn about the region's First Nations people. You can even participate in a smudging ceremony - an ancient ritual that uses smoke from cedar, sage, sweet grass and other plants regarded for their healing powers. A drum and dance performance offers further insight into Ojibwe culture.
You’ll also make a stop at the Immaculate Conception Church. With its unique in-the-round architectural style that evokes a teepee and the circle of life, this church is the spiritual focal point of the local community and brings together the beliefs and customs of the native Ojibwe culture and the Catholic Church. (B+L+D)
Day 10 The Soo Locks + Sault Ste. Marie
You might wish to arise early this morning as the mv Victory I transits through the historic Soo Locks where freighters, barges and tugboats traverse the 21-foot drop of the St. Mary’s River between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. The first lock here was built in 1855 and the canal was navigated by 27 vessels during its first year of operation. Today, more than 10,000 ships hauling 86 million tons of cargo pass through these historic parallel locks each year, even though they’re closed during the winter when ice shuts down shipping on the upper Great Lakes!
This afternoon’s Premier Excursion for A+R guests visits the Bush Plane Heritage Center on the Canadian site of the border. Here you will learn about the history and delve into the exciting stories of the country’s bush-plane forest fire protection efforts. At the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site, you’ll see two of the oldest stone buildings in Canada, both surrounded by period gardens that offer a look into the region’s pioneering days. (B+L+D)
Day 11 Mackinac Island with Lunch at the Grand Hotel
With no cars allowed on the island, your horse-drawn carriage tour is a great way to experience the Victorian ambience of this National Historic Landmark. Learn about the island's history and see spectacular turn-of-the-century summer homes built by early captains of American industry. High atop a bluff overlooking the Straits of Mackinac, your tour of Fort Mackinac delves into its strategic importance during the War of 1812.
Your sightseeing tour ends at the Grand Hotel, famed for its colonnaded verandah. Opened in 1887, it’s still the longest front porch in the world. As you take in the breathtaking views from this hilltop setting and walk through the Grand’s elegant interior spaces, you may recognize them from Somewhere in Time, the 1980 film starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour that was filmed here. Sit down to the hotel’s renowned Grand Luncheon Buffet and then return to ship as our cruise continues. (B+L+D)
Day 12 Cruising on Lake Michigan
Delight in another day of cruising as we navigate south toward Chicago. Take in the scenery from the expansive Observation Deck, enjoy congenial conversation in the Lounge, or join a final talk with our engaging Great Lakes experts. Elegant dining in two distinct venues – the Coastal Dining Room and the casual al fresco Grill - and our Open Bar enhance your day at sea. (B+L+D)
Day 13 Step off in Chicago
After a final breakfast onboard, disembark the ship in Chicago where we’ll take you to the airport or your hotel. (B)
All This Included
It’s an exclusive combination you won’t find any place else… The French and English charms of Canada combined with an all-inclusive Great Lakes voyage aboard the stylish, 202-guest mv Victory I. Attentively hosted by A+R from start to finish, you’ll enjoy the finest accommodations on land and water, extensive sightseeing and shore excursions, elegant shipboard dining, an Open Bar throughout your cruise, and all shipboard and shore excursion gratuities.
Montreal: The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth
Ottawa: Lord Elgin
Cruising: Cabin onboard mv Victory I
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.