Close to home is one of the great natural wonders of the world. Nearly fifteen thousand years ago, the last of the great glaciers retreated, leaving us with the legacy of the Great Lakes.
The lakes are unique, for although they are called lakes, they are in reality vast inland seas that comprise one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water. First used as a means of transport by Algonquin and Iroquois tribes, the lakes later became a thriving commercial hub and a heavily traveled waterway with the arrival of European settlers. More than fifty years ago, the Great Lakes were the busiest waterway in the world and North America’s treasured summer destination. Today, travelers are rediscovering the charms of the vast, sweet water.
On the shores of Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior, welcoming towns have changed little since the 19th century—in marked contrast to much of the North American continent—and warm summer breezes skim through the lush leaves of the woody, rocky coasts. Aboard the 100-guest Clelia II, with its combination of intimacy and elegance, we are pleased to revive the grandeur and pleasure of a classic Great Lakes cruise.
On this unique itinerary, which sails between American and Canadian ports, travelers will thrill to the thundering of Niagara Falls, witness Native American culture on Manitoulin Island, enjoy Mackinac Island’s bygone Victorian charms and revel in the pristine beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula, one of North America’s most unspoiled regions. A highlight of our voyage will be transiting the many scenic waterways and locks that connect the Great Lakes as we sail the vast expanse between Lake Ontario and the western shores of Lake Superior.
Special Theme Cruises
Several of our Great Lakes cruises will feature special themes that are aimed to enhance your experience aboard Clelia II. These themes are in addition to the lectures and presentations on the history, geology, ecology, and other topics related to the Great Lakes, which will be presented on every cruise. The special themes that will be offered are as follows:
- Family Cruises (July 3-10 & July 24-31): These two July cruises will be especially attractive to multi-generataional families. Learn about the history of North America’s native peoples, the War of 1812, and the fur trade as well as the region’s natural wonders and feats of engineering. Grandparents and parents will enjoy talks by expert lecturers while children participate in educational and recreational activities designed to bring the Great Lakes alive.
- Photography Cruises (July 17-24 & September 11-18): Improve your photography skills during workshops led by photographer, author, and educator Allen Rokach. Allen will be on hand to help create memorable photographs of your cruise, lecturing on key elements of travel photography, including digital. His photographs have appeared in National Geographic, and he is the author, with wife Anne Millman, of Focus on Travel: Creating Memorable Photographs of Journeys to New Places.
- Music Cruise (July 10-17): Our July 10th cruise features classical and American music performed by musicians from an esteemed symphony orchestra.
- Technology Cruise (September 4-11): The Welland Canal, part of the celebrated St. Lawrence Seaway, remains to this day a supreme technological achievement. Science and technology buffs will enjoy discussions by William Halal, an aerospace engineer on Apollo, Air Force officer, Silicon Valley manager, and professor.
- Health & Wellness Cruise (September 18-25): This cruise will focus on how to maintain your health. A series of lectures will be led by Dr. Stephen Sinatra, an integrative cardiologist who treats patients with the best of conventional and alternative therapies, including nutrition and stress reduction. Also offered will be a yoga program led by Peggy Cappy, seen nationwide on PBS and whose gentle yoga approach helps reduce stress and create greater ease in body, mind, and spirit.