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There's A Great Lakes Cruise From Chicago To Toronto & It Also Stops At These 2 US Cities

All aboard! 🚢

A lake-side view of Toronto. Right: Chicago with boats heading towards Lake Michigan.

A lake-side view of Toronto. Right: Chicago with boats heading towards Lake Michigan.

Toronto Associate Editor

If you love to hang by the water during the summer, why not make your next vacation a cruise?

Now that cruises have made their splash at Toronto's ports after a two-year hiatus, there are more trips that you can take, including one two-week trip that will take you from the Windy City and straight through to the 6ix (with of course a few stops along the way).

Vantage Deluxe World Travel has a Great Lakes cruise that disembarks from Chicago and sails across Lake Huron and Lake Michigan as it journeys to Toronto. But, depending on what travel date you pick, you can leave from Toronto to the Windy City, too.

The Great Lakes cruise route.The Great Lakes cruise route.Vantage Travel

After a day of eating deep-dish pizza and seeing all of the major sites in Chicago, this cruise makes its first stop on Mackinac Island, where you can walk throughout its "car-free" streets. The Ocean Explorer then sets sail for Sault Ste. Marie before it cruises through the Georgian Bay to Manitoulin Island.

The journey also stops off at Detroit and Cleveland, where art history buffs can check out the first Van Gogh painting to make it to the States and music lovers can jam at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Voyagers will, of course, make a stop to see Niagara Falls before heading right to Toronto.

While the whole trip is scheduled for 14 days, travellers do have the option to extend their vacay, which they can do either three days before in Chicago or three days after in Toronto (for an extra cost).

This trip does cost a pretty penny, though, as prices start at $8,699 for a two-person room. Solo travellers can expect to pay at least a grand more, and this is all in U.S. dollars too.

The Ocean Explorer does come packed with amenities though, like an onboard spa, and two hot tubs. There will also be some "curated" musical performances and cultural events, and alcoholic drinks like wine and beer are included at dinner.

Unfortunately, this Great Lakes Cruise is completely sold out for 2022, but there are two trips available for booking next year or even the year after that in 2024.

Great Lakes & Waterfronts: Chicago to Toronto

Price: Starting at $8,699USD per person

When: July 28 and August 6, 2023, August 1 and August 10, 2024

Why You Need To Go: You can spend nine days onboard a cruise ship as you set sail through Lake Huron and Lake Michigan from Chicago to Toronto.


Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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