Small Ship Cruising

Cruising the Great Lakes: Toronto to Chicago

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Direction and Year

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Days
12
From (per Person)
£8,640
Journey Type
Small Ship
Time of Year
Aug - Sep
Cities & Landmarks
Chicago, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Toronto, Lake Michigan, Mackinac Island, Detroit
Toronto, Canada

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Uniquely Tauck

EXPERIENCE WITH TAUCK

 

View the distinctive architectural styles of the Chicago skyline on an informative river cruise in Chicago, hearing the stories behind iconic works by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and others

 

Enjoy an early morning, private opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

 

TAUCK VALUE INCLUDES

 

Gratuities to Tauck Directors, ship staff and local guides

 

Tauck's private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at £3,600

 

Two nights in Chicago at your choice of Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park or Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

 

Two nights in Toronto at your choice of Fairmont Royal York or Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

 

Seven nights aboard a Ponant small ship, cruising Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and Michigan

 

SEE WHAT YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES

Activity

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Guests should be able to easily walk one to two miles, which may include climbing one or two flights of stairs and walking over uneven pavement, groomed hiking trails or cobblestones. Standing up to one hour or more may be required.

Pace

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Moderately paced, and may include some early morning hotel departures, one or two on-tour flights, and extended motor coach travel.

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Cultural journeys and expeditions

The mighty Great Lakes have played a vital role in the history and cultural fabric of North America for centuries... explore their storied waters... and unique cities and towns... that have grown along their shores...

Enjoy a 7-night Great Lakes cruise between Chicago and Toronto aboard a beautiful Ponant yacht, plus two-night stays at your choice of premium hotels in these two great anchor cities. You'll sail through Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and Michigan, calling on destinations including Detroit, Mackinac Island, Cleveland and more. Explore urban planning and revitalization in a re-emerging Detroit; celebrate American invention and ingenuity at The Henry Ford in Dearborn;  enjoy lunch at Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel; ride a dune buggy along the Lake Michigan shore; sample Holland, Michigan's Dutch heritage, tulips and beer culture; experience an architectural cruise, a taste of Chicago in America's "Second City," and much more! Read Less

See for yourself what Small Ship Cruising is all about

The majesty of Niagara Falls

Experiencing the thunder of Niagara Falls on the US-Canadian border

North America's most powerful waterfall – and one of its most famous and often-visited natural treasures – Niagara Falls actually comprises three distinctive waterfalls on the Niagara River, perched on the border of Ontario, Canada and New York. Every minute, some six million cubic feet of water plunges over the crests of the Horseshoe, American and Bridal Veil Falls and tumbles down nearly 200 feet into the rocky gorge below into a thundering cauldron of water and mist. Experiencing the raw power of Niagara Falls firsthand is something you'll never forget... and just what you'll do as you first view the falls from a panoramic spot high above... then don a hooded raincoat and board a private boat for an up-close – and very wet – encounter with this iconic "wonder of the natural world."

Traverse the Welland Canal

A marvel of engineering two centuries in the making...

Comprising eight locks that enable ship traffic to travel between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario by bypassing the Niagara River and Niagara Falls, the Welland Canal is a 200-year engineering marvel that actually represents four successive canals. Originally designed and built in the 1820s, a second canal replaced it in the late 1840s, and a third opened in 1887. The construction on the fourth and current Welland Canal – which your ship on "Cruising the Great Lakes" will traverse in about 11 hours, accompanied by an expert guide – began before World War I was not completed until 1932 and expanded some 40 years later.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Step back in time on Michigan's Mackinac Island

Vehicle-free Mackinac Island – off the Michigan coast in the Straits of Mackinac connecting Lakes Michigan and Huron – has been a popular retreat since 19th-century industrialists built imposing summer "cottages" here, and remains serenely lost in time. The only way to get around is by foot, bicycle, or horse-drawn carriage, as you make your way past impeccable Victorian mansions and out to the fringes of forest, marshes, beaches and 19th-century Fort Mackinac. The island is home to the palatial Grand Hotel, which lays claim to the longest porch in the world. Since 1887, the Grand has hosted many presidents, as well as the likes of Mark Twain and Thomas Edison (who first demonstrated his phonograph on the hotel's iconic porch).

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Deck Plans

Welcome Aboard

Deck 7

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Deck 6

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Deluxe Suite

Prestige Stateroom

Prestige Suite

(Two combined Prestige Staterooms)

Privilege Suite

Grand Deluxe Suite

Deck 5

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Deluxe Suite

Prestige Stateroom

Prestige Suite

(Two combined Prestige Staterooms)

Privilege Suite

Owner's Suite

Deck 4

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Prestige Stateroom

Deluxe Suite

Deck 3

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Deluxe Stateroom

Deluxe Suite

Deck 2

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Your Journey

Pricing & Availability

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Eastbound: Chicago → Toronto

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Four Seasons Hotels Additional Cost Per Person:

Double – £636; Single – £1,272; Triple – £424

Four Seasons Hotels, Chicago and Toronto: Hotel accommodations on this cruise are at Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park and Fairmont Royal York (Toronto); if you wish, hotel accommodations at Four Seasons hotels in Chicago and Toronto are available (additional cost per person, subject to availability).

About Booking This Tour

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Travel Documents

If you are a U.S. citizen traveling internationally, you will need a passport valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay for entry into Canada; however, you do not need a visa for the short duration of this tour.

If you are a citizen of another country traveling internationally, you should contact the embassies or consulates of the United States and Canada to determine what travel documentation is required.

Please Note: Longer stays abroad for any purpose may require additional travel documentation.

We recommend that you make at least two photocopies of all the travel documents that you bring with you. Include copies of the photo page of your passport that contains the date of issuance, the date of expiration and your citizenship. Secure one set of copies in the safe in your room while traveling and leave one set behind with someone at home who will assist you in the event your documents are misplaced, lost or stolen.

To facilitate Travel Requirements, destinations are increasingly utilizing online forms that require digital proof that you've successfully completed your submission (via an email, QR code, etc.) To ensure smooth travels and peace of mind, we strongly recommend all guests carry a personal smart phone and sign up for international data plans before traveling overseas.

Cruise Regulations

International Maritime Security guidelines require that your passport information be provided to us prior to your embarkation. You need to provide this information to us as soon as you book your cruise or boarding may be denied.

 

TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN AS A GUARDIAN: If you are traveling as the guardian of a child/children, we strongly suggest that you carry a letter from both parents of the child authorizing emergency treatment in the event of illness or accident. For travel abroad, many foreign countries have specific entry requirements for children under 21 who are traveling internationally without BOTH parents. (These requirements are in response to the increased incidence of children being abducted and taken abroad.) PLEASE NOTE THAT TAUCK IS NOT RESPONSIBLE for the disruption of travel caused by improper documentation for children traveling without both parents.

Deposit & Booking Information

Deposit Information:

The deposit and the fees for the optional Protection Plan or Cancel Fee Waiver [CFW] coverage are due at time of booking. Your deposit is £750.

Terms and Conditions:

For additional information pertaining to our Tauck Journeys, including Cancellation Information and Booking Conditions, click here to learn more.

At the time of booking, please have the following information ready:

  • Tour Name and Departure Date Desired
  • Traveler Name(s):  Please have first and last names as they appear on the passport or driver's license.
  • Traveler's Address(es)
  • Traveler's Phone Number(s)
  • Emergency Contact Information: This would be a relative or friend whom we could contact during the tour in the event of an emergency. Please provide their name and phone number(s).
  • Interest in purchasing a travel protection product (US and Canada)
  • Interest in extending your trip by staying in a Tauck recommended hotel before your trip begins or after it ends
  • Interest in our specially negotiated airfares.

Regarding your final payment:

Final Payment is due to Tauck 60 days before departure for lands trips, and 120 days before departure for cruises and rail journeys. If your deposit was made by credit card, final payment will be automatic unless you opted out at time of booking. Bookings without full payment at this time may be subject to cancellation without notice. Failure to make payment will be a considered a cancellation by the guest and all applicable cancellation fees will apply.

Protect Your Travel Investment

Customer Protection: Our UK-based agents comply with the bonding requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority and provide full financial protection for the package holidays that we sell in the UK. For flight-based holidays, this is through the Air Travel Organiser's Licence (details of which are available from the UK-based agent with whom you book). When you buy a package holiday that doesn't include a flight, protection of your monies paid to our UK-based agent will be provided by way of a bond.

Travel Requirements For This Tour

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Air Information and Luggage Restrictions

AIRFARE: Airfare to and from this destination is not included in the journey cost. If purchasing your air elsewhere, it is very important to provide us with your confirmed arriving and departing flight information no later than 3 weeks before your arrival date. Flight information can be submitted to Tauck (or verified, if you've already provided it) in the My Account section of Tauck.com.

TAUCK AIRPORT TRANSFERS are included at the start and end of the journey between the airport and the Tauck hotel. Airport transfers are available for any pre tour or post tour hotel stays immediately consecutive to the tour, providing flight information is received in the Tauck office no later than three weeks in advance. Details on locating your transfer upon arrival to the tour start city will be included in your final documents.

AIRLINES and CHECKED LUGGAGE: Due to space limitations during your Tauck journey, we ask that you please limit your checked luggage to one average-size suitcase per person. Besides complying with the Tauck restriction noted above, you should also be sure to research and comply with all airline baggage restrictions relating to your flights to and from your Tauck journey. Airlines have become much more strict in enforcing size and weight limits in recent years, and are free to revise luggage policies without notice. Researching and complying with airline luggage restrictions is the responsibility of the guest, and Tauck cannot be held responsible for any costs or disruptions to travel caused by the failure to research and comply with airline policies. PLEASE NOTE that if you are booked on a tour that includes on-tour flights, the checked luggage weight restrictions for these flights may be lower than the weight restrictions for your international flights.

Checked Luggage – General

Due to space restrictions, we ask that you please limit your checked luggage to one suitcase per person weighing no more than 50 pounds (23 kg) and with overall dimensions (length + width + height) not exceeding 62 inches (158 cm).

Besides complying with the Tauck restriction noted above, you should also be sure to research and comply with all airline baggage restrictions relating to your flights to and from your Tauck journey.

Airlines are free to revise luggage policies without notice, and certain airlines have different baggage allowances for different classes of service. Researching and complying with airline luggage restrictions is the responsibility of the guest, and Tauck cannot be held responsible for any costs or disruptions to travel caused by the failure to research and comply with airline policies.

Tauck luggage tags will be provided by your Tauck Director on Day 1 of your itinerary. Please do not attach a Tauck luggage tag to any carry-on items, as the Tauck tags designate luggage that is to be handled and transferred by ground operators and hotel staff during your journey.

Health, Safety and Mobility

HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS

Please check with your health insurance provider to determine whether you are covered while traveling. If you will not be covered under your current policy, we strongly suggest that you arrange for adequate coverage while on tour.

The Ponant Explorer-Class Ship is registered in France. If you have a medical condition that might limit your participation in activities, please consult your physician for pre-departure health advice and notify us as soon as possible, if you have not already done so. We will advise your Tauck Director accordingly. 

The Ponant Explorer-Class ship has a licensed and registered physician onboard for professional and emergency services, which are available at customary charges. The ship's small infirmary is designed to provide medical care for certain temporary illnesses and accidents, and is not intended to or capable of providing on-going treatment of pre-existing medical conditions.

VACCINATIONS

If you are a resident of the U.S. traveling internationally, no vaccinations are currently required for travel to Canada. For complete vaccination and inoculation information, contact your physician, the public health service in your area, or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. The Travelers' Health Section of the CDC operates a 24-hour "Travelers' Health Hotline" at 800-232-4636 (toll-free in the U.S.). You may also log on to the CDC website by clicking here.

If you are a resident of another country traveling internationally, please contact an embassy or consulate of each of the countries on the itinerary to determine what vaccinations may be required for you to visit.

MOBILITY

You should be in good health and able to walk reasonable distances over uneven terrain that may, at times, be uneven, as some of the most memorable sightseeing can only be accomplished on foot. Therefore, roads and walkways may present difficulties for some guests with physical disabilities. For the most part, however, the amount of walking you do is at your discretion. Pack sturdy, comfortable walking shoes that have already been broken-in in order to appreciate fully the sometimes challenging terrain.

Onboard ship, health and fitness devotees will find a spa and fitness center on Deck 7.

We regret that we're unable to provide individual assistance to guests with walking difficulties or other personal needs. The responsibility of the Tauck Director who accompanies your trip is to ensure that the larger group enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing individual assistance to any one guest. Guests requiring such individualized assistance must be accompanied by an able-bodied companion who can provide it.

SPECIAL DIETARY REQUESTS

The restaurants, hotels, caterers and numerous other partners we work with all do their best to accommodate special dietary requests from Tauck guests. However, given the diverse nature of those food providers (from small wineries to grand hotels to world-famous restaurants in more than 70 countries worldwide), some of our partners are better able than others to accommodate such requests. We therefore cannot guarantee that all dietary requests can be accommodated at every meal. Also, please note that where dietary requests can be accommodated, choices will frequently be limited. Guests must advise Tauck of any food allergies or special dietary needs at the time of booking.

SMOKING

Smoking is not permitted on the motor coaches or inside the ship, including inside staterooms. Smoking is only permitted on the outer decks in the designated smoking areas. These regulations pertain to e-cigarettes as well.

Reading List

We have compiled a reading list of recommended books to give you more information about the destinations you will be traveling to on your upcoming journey!

You can view the reading list here.

Weather

Temperatures in this region typically range in the 70s to 80s degree Fahrenheit (21 to 27º C) during the summer and can range from the 40s to 70s degree Fahrenheit  (5 to 21ºC) during the spring and fall; be prepared for occasional extremes. We suggest that prior to departure you check a newspaper or the weather forecast on the Internet for up-to-date information. To read about current weather conditions, we suggest you log on to the Internet website, noaa.gov, by clicking here.

To read about current weather conditions, we suggest you log on to the Internet website, noaa.gov, by clicking here.

 


What To Pack

Bringing the right clothing for your trip is important – we've partnered with New Headings (Necessary Gear) who provide an "easy-to-use, one-stop shop" for your Tauck travel needs, specifically selected for this trip. Click here to visit their site.

Your journey is designed with leisure in mind. Dress for comfort and convenience with a wardrobe that is adaptable and allows for layering. Generally, during the day, casual, comfortable, cotton clothing is recommended. Cool weather at night will require warmer, layered clothing. Formal wear is never required.

In the ship's main dining room, slacks and a collared shirt are acceptable for gentlemen, and for women, slacks/skirt and a blouse are appropriate.  We have found, however, that the international mix of travelers on board tend to dress somewhat more formally than one might expect.  Thus, you may prefer to wear a jacket and tie or a cocktail dress for special evenings like the Captain's welcome and farewell dinners aboard the Ponant Explorer-Class Shipand for the special welcome and farewell dinners at the beginning and end of your journey. For dinner and throughout the evening, guests should refrain from wearing swimming shorts, bathing suits, t-shirts, tennis shoes or flip-flops.

Valet, laundry and dry-cleaning services are available for a fee at the hotels. Onboard, valet, laundry and pressing services are available for a fee.

We recommend that you pack an adequate supply of your prescription medication in its original container to last through your entire journey, together with a copy of your doctor's prescription or a letter from your health-care provider on office stationery explaining that the medication has been prescribed for you, a list of the generic names of your medication, your travel documents and a change of clothing in your carry-on bag to avoid any inconvenience in the event that your flight or luggage is delayed. No medications are sold on board the cruise ship other than those prescribed and stocked by the ship's physician.

Hairdryers are available at the hotels and aboard the ship. For safety reasons, curling and clothes irons are not permitted aboard the ship.

Following is a list of recommended items to pack for a cruise:

  • Comfortable walking shoes (VERY IMPORTANT)                                        
  • Rainwear, such as a raincoat and rain hat, plus a collapsible umbrella            
  • Short and long-sleeved shirts/T-shirts (extra T-shirts are always a good idea)                                                                         
  • Shorts and pants for casual daytime wear                                          
  • Sport coat for men (with tie suggested for Captain's dinners) and slacks/dress for women for evening wear                                                         
  • Lightweight sweater                                                               
  • Camera, lenses, batteries, chargers and extra memory cards                        
  • Swimwear                                                                          
  • Binoculars                                                                        
  • Sunglasses                                                                        
  • Sunscreen and hat (baseball caps are recommended)                                 
  • Small flashlight                                                                  
  • Insect repellent                                                                  
  • Daypack for your photographic equipment or other belongings                       
  • Headphones with standard (non-Apple) jack, for use with listening devices on guided excursions (While our listening devices feature disposable headphones, many of our guests prefer their own headphones for sound quality, comfort and/or environmental considerations).
  • Travel alarm clock (many hotels do not have clocks in the rooms)                
  • Prescription medicines (an adequate supply to last your entire journey), and written copies of your prescriptions from your doctor.  While it may be possible to refill prescriptions during your journey, the availability of refills cannot be guaranteed.   

The Tauck Experience

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Book Today... And Travel Dreams Begin

Discover The World

Call us, or call your travel advisor, to book your preferred departure date today – and explore our beautiful brochures to find your inspiration for your next journey.

Book Today... And Travel Dreams Begin

Discover The World

Call us, or call your travel advisor, to book your preferred departure date today – and explore our beautiful brochures to find your inspiration for your next journey.

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