Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2024

64 ASSOCIATION HIGHLIGHTS: REPORT The great adventure Stretching from Lake Superior to the Atlantic Ocean, the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River and Atlantic Canada is a vast and varied region offering a multitude of experiences for cruise guests to discover. Alex Smith reports The long journey across the Great Lakes begins in Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake. From there, the St. Marys River leads south into Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, before the waterway heads through the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River to arrive in Lake Erie. The voyage continues through the Welland Canal, over Lake Ontario and northwest along the mighty St. Lawrence River until it finally comes to an end at the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. In total, the system of lakes, rivers, and canals extends some 3,766 kilometres from Duluth, Minnesota, to Atlantic Canada on the coast, and every part is accessible onboard an oceangoing cruise ship. Blending both river and ocean cruise experiences, the unique journey offers guests a vast range of destinations and excursions to enjoy. A cruise through the region offers passengers a chance to explore a familiar landscape in a new way. “For American and Canadian guests, the Great Lakes and Canadian Maritimes is a beautiful region to cruise that is close to home and easily accessible,” says Alexa Paolella, public relations manager for Pearl Seas Cruises. “Many of our guests, both those who have grown up in the area, and even those who still live there now, are cruising the region for the first time and experiencing it anew from the water.” For those arriving from further afield, the voyage is one full of new discoveries, as they visit the many ports and destinations that line the banks of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. “For many of our guests, the Great Lakes remains quite an under-the-radar destination,” says Neil Barclay, head of sales at Viking UK. “I think this is part of the attraction for some travellers – our guests want to visit hidden, undiscovered destinations which are off the beaten track.” Viking offers several cruises exploring the Great Lakes, including the 15-day ‘Great Lakes Collection’, itinerary. The voyage sails through all five of the lakes and includes a visit to Makinac Island, along with calls to Toronto, Niagara Falls, Georgian Bay, Silver Islet and Thunder Bay in Canada and Cleveland, Detroit, Alpena, the Door Peninsula, Milwaukee, Muskegon and Duluth in the USA. “Visits to the remote national parks is also a key part of each itinerary,” says Barclay. “Point Pelee is one of these and is a pristine area that points into Lake Erie from Ontario. The peninsula comprises woodlands and the largest freshwater marshes on the Great “ Our guests want to visit hidden, undiscovered destinations which are off the beaten track” Neil Barclay Viking UK