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Great American Waterways: Warren to Chicago

16 days with Blount  Rating: First Class

River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1: Warren, RI
Begin your voyage with a cruise through Narragansett Bay from Warren, RI, a charming New England town near famed Newport, home of decadent Gilded Age mansions, and the charming historic city of Providence.

DAY 2: : 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. Enjoy an evening cruise of New York Harbor, offering stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Battery Park, and the Big Apple’s world-famous skyline.

DAY 3: Kingston, NY
In Kingston, NY, dock on the Hudson River in Rondout Creek and visit the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Then choose an optional visit to Hyde Park or 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 4: Troy, NY
As you enjoy a leisurely sail to Troy, NY, transit the Mohawk River and Waterford Flight Lock, then 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 5 Amsterdam, NY
Spend a second full day on the Erie Canal, sailing where no other overnight cruise line can go! An optional excursion takes you to picturesque Cooperstown, NY, located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

DAY 6 Sylvan Beach, NY
Spend the day in lovely town of Sylvan Beach, tucked in on the Eastern Shore of Oneida Lake, NY, and along the Erie Canal. Beautiful Sylvan Beach is a lovely historic site, home to wide variety of restaurants and shops. Wander around town to take in the sights, or pick up some supplies and spend the day on the sandy beach admiring the diverse and scenic beauty.

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 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 Maid of the Mist (passport required). Tonight, local musicians entertain onboard the ship.

DAY 10 Erie, PA
In Erie, PA, named for the Native American tribe that once lived along its shores, an onboard discussion focuses on the area’s rich history. An optional tour takes you to beautiful Presque Isle Park and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, with plentiful photo stops along the way to capture memories of this magnificent peninsula (available eastbound only; westbound cruises do not visit Erie). 

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

Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
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 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. 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.
  • Cruise the famed Erie and Oswego Canals for a total of 30 locks going where no other overnight cruise lines can go.
  • On Victorian-era Mackinac Island, enjoy learning about the history of this region.
  • Cruise through four Great Lakes – Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.
  • Witness the unique feat of lowering the ship’s pilot house for traveling under low bridges.
  • View the stunning New York Harbor and pass by the Statue of Liberty.
Accommodations on this Tour
Category I cabin onboard the Grande Mariner or Grand Caribe
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Port charges: $295.
  • Valid passport required for Niagara Falls excursion.
  • All itineraries including ports, activities, and routes are subject to change based on availability, weather, river, water levels and sea conditions.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* 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. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.

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