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Great American Waterways: Chicago to NYC or NYC to Chicago

16 Days, 15 Nights | Price Starting at $5,149.00

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Share 16 unforgettable days with captain, crew and fellow passengers as we make our way from Chicago to New York via 4 of the Great Lakes and the Erie Canal. When we make port in Manitowoc, WI, you can visit the Maritime Museum and board a WWII submarine. On Mackinac Island, MI, you’ll think you’ve traveled back in time to horse-drawn carriages as you take high tea in the Grand Hotel. 

At our stop in Wyandotte, MI, you can see the Henry Ford Museum featuring exhibits that capture the American spirit of inventiveness and ingenuity. In Cleveland, OH, we’ve put together an optional tour with everything from mansions on “Millionaires’ Row,” to Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The excitement spills over as our next destination, Buffalo, NY, offers you a chance to see the magnificent Niagara Falls! Next is Rochester, NY, with stunning views of towering High Falls on the Genesee River and other notable landmarks. But there’s even more to see in the New York cities and towns to come. 

At Oswego, we enter the Erie Canal where you’ll enjoy the natural landscape and marvel at the man-made locks that make this canal navigable. Enjoy the quiet town of Sylvan Beach, before we make for Amsterdam where you can tour Baseball’s Hall of Fame. At Troy, we go through the last 5 locks of our journey, then to the Hudson River and the city of Kingston for a chance to visit the home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. 

Next is West Point, home of the United States Military Academy. And finally, it’s the one and only New York City, with the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Battery Park and the New York skyline. No wonder the Great American Waterways Cruise is our top seller. It’s a journey you’ll retrace in your mind again and again.

Call us for current offers and discounts. 


Ports Visited

Waterways Navigated


ADVENTURE DAY-BY-DAY

Onboard Early Arrival

Enjoy an extra night of exploration and leisure in the Windy City. The “Early Arrival” option affords guests the opportunity to board the ship one day early, settle into their private cabin, and explore downtown Chicago at their leisure. For just $150 per person, passengers may board the vessel at 5 pm and enjoy a dinner prepared by the chef, as well as a hot breakfast the following morning.

Chicago, IL

Your voyage begins in Chicago, one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the country. Chicago is a vibrant city known for its amazing architecture, cutting edge cultural offerings and rich historical import as the shining metropolis of middle America. Take in the gleaming skyline nestled against the sunset as your adventure starts with an overnight sail to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Manitowoc, WI

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Enjoy an early morning arrival in Manitowoc, Wisconsin’s Maritime Capital. Nestled at the mouth of the Manitowoc River, it is home to several notable American companies, including the crane manufacturer of the same name. Manitowoc is also home to excellent museums, including the Rahr-West art museum, housed in a Victorian mansion, and the Wisconsin Nautical Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate which features a World War II submarine. Manitowoc is also close to Whistling Straits golf course, a traditional waterfront links course that hosted of the 2015 PGA Championships. Set sail in the early afternoon and wake up in Mackinac Island, a US National Historic Landmark.

Optional Excursions and Activities

*Optional sightseeing tours are at an additional cost unless otherwise specified.

Wisconsin Maritime Museum 
Explore the nation’s most completely restored WWII submarine and stroll the streets of a 19th century shipbuilding town as you experience a self-guided tour (or docent guided tour based on their set schedule) of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Learn about the maritime history of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes and view various art and artifacts in the galleries. Tour the USS Cobia submarine from top to bottom and get a feel for life aboard a sub. See the bunks where men slept above torpedoes and learn about the important role that US Navy submarines played in World War II, and how Manitowoc came to build 28 submarines during the war.

Mackinac Island, MI

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Mackinac Island sits astride the straits between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, just east of the mighty Mackinac Bridge. There are no cars on the island, and the old town embodies the grace of the Victorian era with beautifully preserved historic homes and horse-drawn carriages. An optional carriage tour of the island includes entrance to the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory and Surrey Hill Square Carriage Museum. A second excursion invites you to the Grand Hotel for a traditional afternoon tea. Alternatively, you can walk or bike the island’s 140 miles of trails, set in pristine natural surroundings including unique limestone formations and secluded beaches. Depart with the setting sun and arrive tomorrow in Wyandotte, Michigan.

Optional Excursions and Activities

*Optional sightseeing tours are at an additional cost unless otherwise specified.


Mackinac Island Carriage Tour

Step back in time on Mackinac Island where beauty and history have been preserved by allowing only horse-drawn carriages instead of motorized vehicles. This nostalgic carriage ride will showcase the highlights of this picturesque island along with a visit inside the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly conservatory. With weekly butterfly shipments, and over 200 different species represented, there is always an abundant array of colorful butterflies to experience. Also enjoy a visit to the Surrey Hills Carriage Museum, an antique carriage museum complete with a working blacksmith shop. Your tour ends at the majestic Grand Hotel.


 

Grand Style Afternoon Tea 
What an experience! You’ll feel as though you are royalty! In keeping with more than 100 years of tradition, indulge in Afternoon Tea in the Grand Hotel’s Parlor. You will not only enjoy this specially brewed traditional tea, but you can also enjoy sherry and champagne, as well as delightful petite finger sandwiches, fresh-baked scones, and an array of pastries, accompanied by a chamber music recital. Time permitting, you may also want to do a self-guided tour of the public places of this historic hotel, as well as enjoy the wonderful scenery that surrounds it. Transportation is not provided on this excursion.

Cruise Lake Huron

Admire the beautiful views of Lake Huron. Cruise past freighters or “Lakers” as they are called by many, while transiting the Detroit and St. Clair River System; a major throughway for vessels traveling between the western and eastern Great Lakes. This river system serves as the border between the U.S. and Canada as it flows through Detroit, under the ambassador bridge, the busiest border crossing in the U.S. and Canada and into Lake Erie.

Wyandotte, MI

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Spend a full day in Wyandotte, Michigan, on the quiet shores of the Detroit River. An optional tour in nearby Dearborn begins at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, home to President John F. Kennedy’s limousine, the Rosa Parks bus and the only existing Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion House. Continue your tour to Greenfield Village, where nearly 100 historical buildings have been relocated to create a demonstration of American life from the 1700s through modern times.
Optional Excursions and Activities
*Optional sightseeing tours are at an additional cost unless otherwise specified.

American Ingenuity Tour

Experience the past, present and future of American automotive manufacturing when you travel to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. With a rich and diverse offering of exhibits, demonstrations, programs and reenactments, The Henry Ford Museum celebrates yesterday’s traditions as well as today’s innovations. Housing one of the largest collections of its kind ever assembled, Henry Ford Museum showcases the people and ideas that have fired our imaginations and changed our lives. The museum has grown into the ultimate place to explore what Americans past and present have imagined and invented, and truly brings American ideas and innovations to life. Feel a sense of awe as your mind adjusts to a bigger sense of scale. The expansive, single-floor space with soaring 40-foot ceilings covers nine acres dedicated to showcasing the finest collection of its kind. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Greenfield Village. Spread over more than 90- acres, this living history attraction comes alive with the unforgettable sights, sounds and settings of America’s past. Entering the village is like stepping into a time machine thanks to its 83 authentic historic structures, from Noah Webster’s home, where he wrote the first American dictionary, to Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory, to the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. You can ride in a genuine Model T or “pull” glass with world-class artisans. Watch an 1867 baseball game or ride a train with a 19th-century steam engine. Spend a quiet moment pondering the home and workshop where the Wright brothers invented the airplane. Greenfield Village is a celebration of people, whose unbridled optimism and ingenuity came to define modern-day America.

Cleveland, OH

Wake up early to catch a spectacular Lake Erie sunrise before arriving in Cleveland, OH, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Explore this Great Lakes metropolis during an optional city tour via trolley or walk down West 25th street to explore the hip districts of Ohio City and Tremont on your way to West Side Market, a Cleveland landmark since 1912. Don’t miss the Great Lakes Science Center and educational facility on the shores of Cleveland Harbor, along with the Steamship William G. Mather Maritime Museum. Depart this evening for a cruise to Buffalo, at the eastern tip of Lake Erie.

Buffalo, NY

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Disembark at the mouth of the Niagara River to explore “the City of Good Neighbors,” known for its sports, snow, and special sauce. Don’t be surprised by the city’s vibrant sailing scene, as the city’s residents take advantage of the waterfront during the short but beautiful summer season. 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. 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 with Hornblower, Niagara Falls’ only boat tour experience (passport required).

Optional Excursions and Activities
*Optional sightseeing tours are at an additional cost unless otherwise specified.

Niagara Falls Tour 
A day of spectacular scenery is planned for you today on your journey to magnificent Niagara Falls! After crossing the border into Canada, we’ll head upriver to view the Upper Rapids and make a stop at the iconic Table Rock, the most famous viewing point to see the falls and the point where most of the daredevils have taken their plunge over the brink. Next stop is at the Whirlpool overlook, where the falls were located over 6000 years ago. From there you will see the beautiful Niagara Gorge, the Lower Rapids, the Spanish Aero Car, and the only whirlpool in America that changes direction twice a day. Then it’s off to view the Floral Clock and to stop to eat (box lunch provided). After eating, we travel back up to the falls area to board the Maid of the Mist (raincoats provided), the boat ride that takes you past the American and Bridal Veil Falls and right up to the base of the Horseshoe Falls. It is an exciting and safe ride that provides an unforgettable view of the falls.

**Please note: Passports are required for this excursion; this excursion crosses over into the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls.

Cruise the Welland Canal

Descend the 326 feet of elevation change between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario by traversing the eight mighty locks of the Welland Shipping Canal. Built in 1824 and expanded four times since, this 27 mile segment of the St. Lawrence Seaway is a true marvel of modern technological innovation, built to bypass Niagara Falls and capable of accommodating cargo ships up to 740 feet long. Admire the impressive locks, twinned flight locks, and bridges of various designs as Blount takes you through a vital and active waterway that few cruise passengers will ever experience. After exiting the canal, sail along the southern shore of Lake Ontario to Rochester, NY.

Rochester, NY

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Explore Rochester, situated in the middle Lake Ontario’s picturesque southern shore. Rochester is home to museums such as the Strong Museum of Play and the Susan B. Anthony House, as well as the birthplace of myriad successful companies such as Kodak, Western Union, French's, Bausch & Lomb, Gleason and Xerox. An optional tour showcases the city's most notable landmarks and offers stunning views of towering High Falls on the Genesee River, the economic driver of one of America’s first boomtowns. Depart in the early afternoon and spend the night in Oswego, NY.

Optional Excursions and Activities
*Optional sightseeing tours are at an additional cost unless otherwise specified.

Cultural and Historical Tour of Rochester

Rochester, located on the southern shore of beautiful Lake Ontario, is an important historic, educational and cultural American city. It sits at the middle of what has been called the 100 must-see miles of the Erie Canal. Learn of its economic evolution from “Flour to Flowers”, and of its famous inhabitants, such as Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass and George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak Company and the International Museum of Photography. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a guided tour of his home on the tour on 6/15. If your tour is 8/6, you will the opportunity to tour the Memorial Art Gallery. Visit the 96-feet high falls in the High Falls/Brown’s Race Historical District, which powered Rochester for over 100 years, when it was the center of the flour milling industry. Your tour continues through historic and beautiful neighborhoods; the Maplewood Rose Gardens, Highland Park and Mt. Hope Cemetery District.

Oswego, NY

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After the crew disassembles the boat’s top deck and uses a chain hoist system to manually lower the pilot house a full deck level, leave Oswego harbor and enter the Oswego Canal, one of four branches of the NY State Barge Canal System. Cruise the canal’s seven locks, interspersed with beautiful, winding stretches of natural river, and then sail across Lake Oneida to make port in the quaint resort village of Sylvan Beach, so named for its beautiful sandy beach on the lake’s southern shore.

Optional Excursions and Activities
*Optional sightseeing tours are at an additional cost unless otherwise specified.

Oswego Historical Walking Tour
Experience the port city of Oswego, located on the oldest fresh water port on the Great Lakes. While traveling along the beautiful Oswego River with your knowledgeable local guide, you will pass through the city’s historic downtown shopping district. You will then cross the Harbor Rail Trail, a reconstructed walkway that follows the original 1880’s train bridge in Oswego. The trail spans the Oswego River and features an enclosed concourse that provides breathtaking views of the city, the harbor and the river. Your tour will conclude with a visit to one of the most preserved homes in New York State, the Richardson-Bates Museum. This home & museum features an extensive archival collection and exhibit space documenting the history of Oswego County. The museum is also home to the Oswego County Historical Society.

Sylvan Beach, NY

After dinner this evening, disembark the vessel to explore Sylvan Beach, NY. This quiet town was founded around 1840. Railroads and ferries were the only form of public transportation and made the village a desirable resort community. The Village of Sylvan Beach was incorporated in 1971.

Amsterdam, NY

Depart with the dawn to begin your two day adventure through the Erie Canal, America’s original commercial highway and an almost unimaginable feat of determination and human ingenuity at the time of its construction in the early 1800s. Cruise the historic waterway that transformed New York City into the economic powerhouse it remains to this day, and enjoy an optional excursion to Cooperstown, NY to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Farmer’s Museum or the Fenimore Art Museum. Spend the night in Amsterdam, NY at Erie Canal Lock E11.

Troy, NY

Disembark from Amsterdam early in the morning and continue your descent through the Erie Canal to the Federal Lock and Dam at Troy, New York. Be sure to take advantage of the photo opportunities from Lock 5 onwards; these locks, circumventing Cohoes Falls and known as the Waterford Flight, will lower the vessel over 165 feet in just over a mile of distance. This is the greatest elevation change within the shortest distance of any canal in the world, and the descent offers spectacular views of the remaining locks and the surrounding scenery. Lock 4 offers particularly stunning perspectives of the Hudson River Valley. In the evening, watch the crew reassemble the top deck and raise the pilot house, then enjoy an onboard musical performance by local musicians.

Kingston, NY

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Depart Troy before daybreak and cruise past the picturesque Rondout Creek Lighthouse to arrive in historic Kingston, New York. This charming town was one of the three largest Dutch settlements in the Hudson River Valley, along with Albany and New York City, and was named the first capital of New York when the state constitution was written in 1777. Walk to one of several parks in the area, or visit the Hudson Maritime Museum, the Trolley Museum of New York, or the Riverport Wooden Boat School, all located on Kingston’s old waterfront a short walk from the ship.

Optional Excursions and Activities
*Optional sightseeing tours are at an additional cost unless otherwise specified.

Historic Hyde Park Tour

“All that is within me cries out to go back to my home on the Hudson River,” wrote President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his years in the White House. You will understand his sentiment when you visit Springwood, the first U.S. Presidential Library and Museum honoring America’s only president elected to four terms. On the grounds are the family home where FDR was born, and the graves of the president and his wife, Eleanor. Your guide will provide you with in-depth interpretation of this historic area and its founding family on your drive to and from the ship.

West Point, NY*

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Depart Kingston and spend your afternoon touring the historic and meticulously maintained campus of West Point, the oldest continuously occupied military post in America and the home of the United States Military Academy. Take in incredible views of the Hudson River Valley as you learn about West Point’s unique geographical location and strategic importance to the continental army, as well as its rich tradition and role in training US military leadership since 1801. After your tour, cruise south past the majestic Hudson River Palisades and Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

Optional Excursions and Activities
*Optional sightseeing tours are at an additional cost unless otherwise specified.

United States Military Academy

This unique tour brings you into “central area” where cadets live and attend classes. Enjoy the history and beauty of this section of the post. Visit the Parade Grounds where cadets of today drill and parade where George Washington drilled and organized the Continental Army. Tour Trophy Point, Battle Monument, and relics of wars dating back to the Revolution. Before the tour comes to an end,get ready for a “million-dollar view” of the scenic Hudson Valley.

**Please note: Due to security at West Point, you cannot visit the Academy on your own; you must be part of the tour group. Photo ID in compliance with the REAL ID Act is required, a passport is the most common form of REAL ID compliant ID. Tours are subject to accessibility and daily approval.

New York, NY

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Spend a full day exploring the cultural, financial and media capital of the world. Take a short walk to the beautiful Chelsea High Line, a New York Railway viaduct section that has been converted into an elevated park and is renowned as an icon of contemporary landscape architecture. Take in a Broadway show, head south to visit the World Trade Center or head north to wander the world-class museums of the Upper East Side. Alternatively, take a free Staten Island Ferry ride to enjoy panoramic vistas of Southern Manhattan, Jersey City and the Statue of Liberty, or take a short PATH train ride to Hoboken and take in a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline from Castle Point. Enjoy a special captain’s dinner to celebrate your final night onboard with your fellow passengers.

Optional Excursions and Activities
*Optional sightseeing tours are at an additional cost unless otherwise specified.

Hop On, Hop Off Big Bus Tour 

Have you ever been on a tour and wanted to hop off and explore a particular attraction? Well now you can with Big Bus Tours of New York City. You will have the option of not 1 but 2 tours, one of Uptown, one of Downtown, that you can hop on and off all day long! This exciting tour will start at the M&M World in iconic Times Square. On the Uptown you will see and hear all about the Broadway Theater District, Grand Central Terminal, the MET, the Frick Museum, Central Park Zoo, the Plaza Hotel, Columbus Circle, Carnegie Hall, and Madison Square Garden. On the Downtown tour you will see Times Square, Bryant Park, 5th Avenue, the Empire State Building, the Flatiron District, Union Square, Greenwich Village, NOHO, SOHO, Little Italy, Chinatown, Brooklyn Bridge, City Hall, Wall Street, the Charging Bull Statue, Statue of Liberty from Battery Park, and Restaurant Row. If you decide to explore any one of these destinations more, another bus will be along approximately every half an hour.

Terms

Optional sightseeing tours are at an additional cost and options are finalized 60 days prior to departure. All itineraries including ports, activities and routes are subject to change based on availability, weather, river, water levels and sea conditions. Valid passport required.

Pricing Per Person

Category I
$5,149.00
Category II
$6,899.00
Category III
$7,209.00
Category IV
$7,829.00
Category III Singles
$9,059.00
Port Charges
$395.00

Departure Dates

Embark: New York, NY
Jun 20, 2020
Disembark: Chicago, IL
Jul 05, 2020
Embark: Chicago, IL
Jul 07, 2020
Disembark: New York, NY
Jul 22, 2020
Embark: New York, NY
Aug 09, 2020
Disembark: Chicago, IL
Aug 24, 2020
Embark: New York, NY
Aug 14, 2020
Disembark: Chicago, IL
Aug 29, 2020
Embark: Chicago, IL
Aug 26, 2020
Disembark: New York, NY
Sep 10, 2020
Embark: Chicago, IL
Aug 31, 2020
Disembark: New York, NY
Sep 15, 2020
Embark: New York, NY
Jun 20, 2021
Disembark: Chicago, IL
Jul 05, 2021
Embark: Chicago, IL
Jul 07, 2021
Disembark: New York, NY
Jul 22, 2021
Embark: New York, NY
Aug 09, 2021
Disembark: Chicago, IL
Aug 24, 2021
Embark: New York, NY
Aug 14, 2021
Disembark: Chicago, IL
Aug 29, 2021
Embark: Chicago, IL
Aug 26, 2021
Disembark: New York, NY
Sep 10, 2021
Embark: Chicago, IL
Aug 31, 2021
Disembark: New York, NY
Sep 15, 2021

 

The Ship Grande Caribe

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The Grande Mariner

Your small ship adventure is a personal and casual one- like cruising on a friend’s yacht.

Hover over the cabin to view the room layout

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Cabin Bathroom

Includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hair dryer, fresh towels daily

 

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