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  • Spectacular wonders of the Great Lakes
    Destination Excellence
    Spectacular wonders of the Great Lakes
  • Step into the elegance of a bygone era
    Historic Treasures
    Step into the elegance of a bygone era

Destination Excellence™

  • Introducing Our Great Lakes Cruise Ports of Call
    Grand Explorations of North America's Five Great Lakes
    Embark/Disembark in Chicago, Illinois

    Host to one of the busiest airports on the planet, Chicago ranked seventh in the world in the 2014 Global Cities Index and is considered one of the most “walkable” cities in the United States. Its cultural contributions include improvisational comedy (most notably The Second City comedy troupe); jazz, blues, soul, and house music; a rich collection of outdoor public artworks (including the Chicago Picasso); film, theater, and visual arts. The Chicago School and Prairie School of architecture were developed in this city, which was home to famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Chicago’s waterfront location, upscale shopping along the The Magnificent Mile & State Street, and robust nightlife are major draws.

    Detroit, Michigan/Windsor, Ontario

    Sailing from Lake Huron to Lake Erie, we will call on Windsor, Ontario, known as The City of Roses, or Detroit, Michigan depending on itinerary schedule. Just outside of Detroit, we’ll visit the Henry Ford Museum which was created to document the genius of ordinary people. Housed in a sweeping, nine-acre, single-floor space with soaring 40-foot ceilings the museum is dedicated to showcasing the finest collection of its kind. The sheer scope and design of the museum is as grand as the vision that inspired it. Local experts will escort guests to see the museum’s highlights that include: the limousine that carried President John F. Kennedy on that fateful day in Texas, the bus in which Rosa Parks stood her ground and sparked the Civil Rights movement, and the chair from the Ford Theatre in which Abraham Lincoln was sitting when he was shot.

    Sault Ste.Marie

    In Sault Ste. Marie guests will have the option of a half day tour visiting attractions on either the US or Canadian side of the border. In Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, you will visit The Bush Plane Museum and Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site. The collections and exhibits of the bush planes tell the story of how these brave Canadians battled Ontario’s many forest fires. At the Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site, you’ll find stone buildings and period gardens from the 1800’s. In Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan you will visit The Valley Camp Museum Ship which houses over 100 exhibits in her 20,000 square feet of cargo holds which contains hundreds of interesting artifacts, paintings, shipwreck items, models, and exhibits of objects related to maritime history. In addition, The Edmund Fitzgerald exhibit holds the two lifeboats from the stricken vessel. Torn away during the sinking, these lifeboats are two of very few major artifacts recovered after the tragic demise.

    Soo Locks/Scenic Sailing Lake Superior

    Located at the mouth of the St. Mary’s river, the twin –“Soo’s” - of Sault Ste. Marie Ontario and Michigan were originally established as one settlement by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century, and remained so until the war of 1812. Today the locks on the American Soo side bypass the St Mary’s rapids that fall over 20 feet connecting Lake Superior to Lake Huron and Michigan. The Soo locks are the busiest in the world in terms of tonnage, accommodating 1000 foot freighters. Travelling upstream and arriving from Mackinac Island, the ship will dock on the Canadian side of the river at Roberta Bondar Place, named for Canada’s first female astronaut.

    Embark/Disembark in Toronto, Ontario

    Welcome to Toronto, the most multicultural diverse city on the planet, where over 140 languages are spoken. Toronto is remaking itself as Canada’s premier city, quietly slipping out of the shadow of Montreal and Vancouver. Last year, the Queens Quay on Lake Ontario reopened, part of the largest continuing urban revitalization project in North America. The Junction, a former industrial area, has emerged as Toronto’s most stylish neighborhood for its bars, live music and coffee shops. And the city is becoming easier to visit: a train now whisks travelers downtown from the airport in 25 minutes, and Air Canada offers extended stopovers for connecting passengers. Toronto has long been known for its cultural diversity and continues to draw major artistic and sporting events, including the Toronto International Film Festival each September, and the 2016 N.B.A. All-Star game, held outside the United States for the first time.

    Little Current, Manitoulin Islands (Georgian Bay)

    Sail into the rugged beauty of Georgian Bay where you’ll step ashore in Little Current, the gateway to Manitoulin Island. Learn about the island’s nautical heritage as you journey to the Immaculate Conception Church. With its distinctive architecture evoking a teepee, this church is a focal point of the community, bringing together the beliefs of the Ojibwe culture and Catholic Church. At the Ojibwe
    Cultural Foundation, enjoy a tour through the art galleries and exhibits of this heritage museum. You can browse the artisan shop and participate in a smudging ceremony, an ancient ritual that uses the 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.

    Mackinac Island, Lake Michigan

    We’ll awaken in the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. 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 turn-of-thecentury 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. Then take in the views from the Grand Hotel’s verandah, the longest in the world, and enjoy the hotel’s infamous Grand Luncheon Buffet. Back in town, you’ll have time to browse through galleries and boutiques. Before sailing this evening, the Grand Hotel’s resident historian Bob Tagatz will come onboard for a colorful talk on the history of Mackinac Island and its world-famous hotel.

    Niagara Falls (Welland Canal) Port Weller

    Opened in 1829, the Welland Canal continues to play a vital role, allowing goods to travel from Great Lakes ports like Cleveland and Detroit to the ocean ports of Montreal and Quebec City. As our ship begins its Canal transit, you’ll step off in Port Colborne for a scenic drive into the vineyard-laced landscapes of the Niagara Peninsula. Then a thrilling Hornblower Cruise takes you through the Great Niagara Gorge and past Bridal Veil Falls into the very heart of Horseshoe Falls–where the mighty spray and roar of Niagara virtually envelop you! At the Château des Charmes, founded by a fifth-generation French winegrower, you’ll enjoy a tour, tasting and lunch. You’ll have free time to explore Niagara-onthe-Lake before re-boarding the M/V Victory I, now docked in Port Weller on Lake Ontario.

  • Introducing Cuba's Hidden Treasures Ports of Call
    People to people programs on Cuban cultural voyages
    Miami, Florida

    Set sail on your iconic journey from the Port of Miami to the cultural capital of Cuba, Havana on the M/V Victory I. Upon embarkation, guests enjoy a Welcome Reception as well as a highly informative talk of the journey ahead. For itineraries that disembark in Miami, guests will depart to Miami airport for their flight home after breakfast onboard. We encourage our guests to arrive early in Miami or extend their stay in this very vibrant city. Along with the Cuban influence reflected on Calle Ocho in Little Havana, Miami is one of the world’s most popular vacation spots famed for it’s turquoise waters, the trendy South Beach and the Art Deco district.

    Havana

    Known as one of the most popular, unspoiled dive sites in Cuba with underwater landscapes unique to the Caribbean palm-fringed beach. Explore Maria La Gorda, on the Bahía de Corrientes, beginning in La Bajada. Meet with a local naturalist at Guanahacabibes National Park, the largest of Cuba’s six nature reserves. In addition to butterflies and bird life such as the endemic bee hummingbird and yellow-headed warbler, Guanahacabibes is home to a large profusion of orchids and epiphytes with a total of 16 species, some indigenous and some recently discovered. At a Meteorological Center, learn about forecasting weather patterns, storms and hurricanes that have left their mark in Cuba, along with how historic storms have impacted ordinary Cubans. Participate in an expert discussion at the “Honey House” on beekeeping and honey production.

    Maria La Gorda

    World known rhythms such as Mambo and Cha-cha-cha originated in Cuba; as well as the first known Salsa called “Echale Salsita” (Spice it up a little) recorded back in the 1930s. Following breakfast, guests aboard will be treated to a fascinating lecture on the colorful history, people and the culture that shaped Havana today. We will then disembark and begin our cultural exploration of this beautiful city by foot through the atmospheric squares of ‘Havana Viejo’, calling on artists in their studios as we pass. Visit Hotel Ambos Mundos, where Ernest Hemingway kept a room for years. The hotel served as a refuge for writing such works as “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and a base for frequenting his favorite bars. After dinner, we encourage guests to enjoy an evening performance at the historical Tropicana Theater or alternatively stroll to nearby Café Taberna, where one can enjoy Cuban music by the famed Buena Vista Social Club.

    Cienfuegos

    Cuba’s so-called Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South) has long seduced travelers from around the island with its elegance, enlightened French spirit and feisty Caribbean panache. If Cuba has a Paris, this is most definitely it. Arranged around the country’s most spectacular natural bay, Cienfuegos is a nautical city with an enviable waterside setting. Founded in 1819, it’s one of Cuba’s newest settlements, but also one of its most architecturally interesting, a factor that earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site listing in 2005. Geographically, the city is split into two distinct parts: the colonnaded central zone with its elegant Paseo del Prado (commonly shortened to Prado) and Parque Martí; and Punta Gorda, a thin knife of land slicing into the bay with a clutch ofeclectic early 20th-century palaces, including some of Cuba’s prettiest buildings.

    Trinidad

    Called “the museum city of Cuba”, Trinidad offers a window into the past of another era.Today, a city historian leads a walking tour of Trinidad, an architectural jewel proclaimed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Red tiled roofs atop pastel stucco structures line the cobbled streets. This port city reflects its 16th century past and founding by Conquistadors. Eighteenth century smugglers and pirates made frequent calls here or even used this port as their base of operations in the Caribbean. The wealth and importance of Trinidad continued into the 19th century, when sugar barons reigned. Make stops at the Museum Romantico and the Architecture Museum, mingle with local residents and call on artists in their studio as we wind our way through the city.

    Santiago de Cuba

    Arriving in Santiago de Cuba, we’ll explore the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca—better known as El Morro—inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “the most complete, best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture, based on Italian and Renaissance design principles.” This multi-level stone fortress built into the rocky promontory of El Morro has guarded the entrance to Santiago de Cuba Bay since 1638. During our stay, you’ll see some of the most beautiful burial crypts built in Cuba, witness the changing of the guard at the tomb of Jose Marti, a Cuban National Hero. Tour the Diego Velázquez House and Museum, the oldest standing house in Cuba.