Great American Waterways (New York City to Chicago)
16 days with Blount Small Ship Adventures Rating:
DAY 1: New York, NY
Begin your voyage with a cruise today.
DAY 2: New York, NY
Take in the view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Battery Park, and the Big Apple’s world-famous skyline. Docked in Chelsea Pier, explore the New York High Line and Chelsea Market. Later join an optional private bus tour of New York City, led by a professional guide.
DAY 3: West Point, NY*
Travel to West Point, NY, home of the prestigious United States Military Academy, where you may opt to take a tour of its magnificent campus and admire its famed Gothic Revival-style Chapel. *Ability to tour West Point is subject to availability, determined by the U.S. government.
DAY 4: Kingston, NY
In Kingston, NY, dock in Rondout Creek just off the Hudson River. Included in your cruise is a visit to the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Next, you may join an optional visit to Hyde Park or the Vanderbilt Mansion (based on availability). The Hyde Park excursion includes a visit to “Springwood,” the estate of Franklin D. Roosevelt, now home to his presidential library and museum (tour available eastbound only).
DAY 5 Troy, NY
The highlight of the Erie Canal, enjoy a leisurely sail to Troy, NY. 5 locks will lower the vessel 169’, by passing Cahoes Falls where the Mohawk River flows into the Hudson. Later, watch as the retractable pilot-house is raised back to its full height. Tonight, delight in the local culture during an onboard musical performance.
DAY 6 Amsterdam, NY
Cruise along the Erie Canal through historic towns and villages. Today, an optional excursion takes you to picturesque Cooperstown, NY, located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Experience an optional tour to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Farmer’s Museum or Fennimore Art Museum. This evening, enjoy a quiet overnight stop in Amsterdam, NY at Lock #11 along the Erie Canal.
DAY 7 Oswego, NY
Admire the historic Oswego and Erie Canals during a full day of sailing. The New York State Canal System – which includes the Oswego Canal, East and West portions of the Erie Canal, the Champlain Canal, and the Cayuga-Seneca Canal – is considered one of the most important engineering accomplishments in American history.
DAY 8 Rochester, NY
Today, transit the Welland Canal and scenic Lake Ontario. Consisting of eight locks over 27 miles, the Canal has allowed large vessels to travel between the U.S. and Canada since 1829. The hidden gems of Rochester, NY are yours to discover on an optional tour, beginning with stunning views of towering High Falls on the Genesee River followed by a visit to the International Museum of Photography and Film, located in the former home of George Eastman, the founder of Kodak. Later, in Oswego, NY, approach the gateway to the Oswego and Erie Canals and watch as the ship’s retractable pilot-house is lowered, allowing the ship to slip gently beneath the Erie Canal’s lowest bridges.
DAY 9 Cruise the Welland Canal
Today, cruise the magnificent Welland Canal, which connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Located in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada, learn how ships travel through the locks of this gravity-flow canal. Transit through 8 locks which will lower the vessel 320 feet as you bypass the Niagara Escarpment and Niagara Falls.
DAY 10 Buffalo, NY
Located at the head of the Niagara River, Buffalo, NY is known for its sports, snow, and special sauce. Admire breathtaking views of world-famous Niagara Falls during an optional tour, including visits to the Whirlpool Overlook, the Table Rock area, and a boat ride on the Hornblower (passport required). Just steps away from where the vessel is docked, visit the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, home to 3 naval vessels, tanks, jets and other historical exhibits.
DAY 11 Cleveland, OH
Sail through Lake Erie for an introduction to the legendary American city of Cleveland, OH, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Explore this Great Lakes metropolis during an optional panoramic city tour via trolley. This evening, enjoy an onboard musical performance.
DAY 12 Wyandotte, MI
Spend a full day in lovely Wyandotte, MI, nestled on the Detroit River. An optional tour in nearby Dearborn, MI begins at the Henry Ford Museum, home to 12 acres of historical artifacts, including President John F. Kennedy’s limousine and the Rosa Parks bus. Continue your optional adventure to Greenfield Village, where nearly 100 historical buildings have been relocated to create a remarkable demonstration of American life from the founding of the country through modern times. Highlights include the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop and Thomas Edison’s lab. This evening, local musicians perform onboard the ship.
DAY 13 Cruise through Lake Huron
Relax on the sunny top deck and admire the beautiful views of Lake Huron during a day of cruising en route to Wyandotte, MI. The massive Great Lakes, collectively considered the largest body of fresh water on Earth, were carved by retreating ice sheets and filled with the meltwater from ancient glaciers. The indigo-blue waters of the Lakes are cloaked by forest-green pines, with classic lighthouses dotting the rocky cliffs whose banks are home to moose, wolves and river otters.
DAY 14 Mackinac Island, MI
Step back in time to a bygone era when you arrive at Mackinac Island, MI famed for its horse-drawn carriages and old-world charm. Admire the perfectly-preserved homes and architecture during an optional carriage tour of the island, including entrance to the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory and Surrey Hill Square Carriage Museum. This afternoon, a second optional excursion invites you to the stately Grand Hotel for a traditional Afternoon Tea, including scones, finger sandwiches, and champagne. After dinner, enjoy local musical entertainment.
DAY 15 Manitowoc, WI
Known as Wisconsin’s Marine Capital, Manitowoc is the home to Wisconsin’s Maritime Museum, which captures the riveting history of the entire great lakes area, including the building of 28 submarines for WWII. Manitowoc offers a variety of activities to choose from; take a walk on the Mariners Trail or visit the shops of downtown. Don’t miss out on the Rahr-West Art Museum which hosts pieces from Picasso, Miro, Dali, as well as many others.
DAY 16 Chicago, IL
Four stunning Great Lakes and the historic Erie Canal merge to create one amazing adventure. This journey will capture your imagination, leaving you lost in the peacefulness of this beautiful escape and its ever-changing panoramas. The Great Lakes, collectively considered the largest body of fresh water on Earth, were carved by retreating ice sheets and filled with the meltwater from ancient glaciers. The indigo-blue waters of the Lakes are cloaked by forest-green pines, with classic lighthouses dotting the rocky cliffs. Your cruise stretches across Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario; taking you from vibrant Chicago all the way to the classic ports of New England.
Category I cabin onboard the Grand Caribe or Grande Mariner
Terms and Conditions
For Blount Small Ship Adventures terms and conditions, please click here.
* 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.