Octantis, Niagara & the Great Lakes ex Milwaukee to Toronto

Canada & New England


7 Night Cruise sailing from Milwaukee to Toronto aboard Viking Octantis.

7 Night Cruise sailing from Milwaukee to Toronto aboard Viking Octantis.

From uninhabited islands to urban skylines, discover the wilderness on North America’s doorstep alongside renowned cultural attractions while cruising the striking waterways of the Great Lakes. Keep watch for scores of migratory birds at Point Pelee, experience the power of thundering Niagara Falls and immerse yourself in the lakes’ compelling shipping history. Led by a team of experts, explore sheltered bays and woodlands to uncover complex ecosystems and hidden treasures.

Day 1 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Arrive and meet your fellow travelers and expedition leaders on board your ship, which is docked on the shores of Lake Michigan. Get settled in and attend a briefing for the following day.

Day 2 Traverse City, Michigan, United States
Arrive in Traverse City, the “Cherry Capital of the World.” Nestled along the shores of Grand Traverse Bay, the charming vacation destination is surrounded by sand dunes, beaches, rolling hills and clear-blue waters. Indulge in the city’s emerging culinary scene during an excursion around the Leelanau Peninsula to sample award-winning wines or savor local favorites while soaking up the sights and history of Downtown Traverse City. Take a hike through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to admire sweeping views of its namesake dunes and Lake Michigan.

Day 3 Mackinac Island, Michigan, United States
Enjoy an exciting day on idyllic Mackinac Island, located in the Straits of Mackinac, which link Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. This charming island is well known as a haven for pedestrians and bicyclists; motor vehicles are banned here, and the only way to access the island is by boat. Take a sightseeing excursion by horse-drawn carriage to important historical sites. Or, choose to dine at the elegant Grand Hotel, a Victorian-era building with the world’s longest front porch. Alternatively, explore the forested shores of Mackinac Island by kayak.

Day 4 Alpena, Michigan, United States
Today visit Alpena, gateway to Thunder Bay National Maritime Sanctuary, an underwater preserve that protects an estimated 200 sunken vessels spanning much of the Great Lakes’ shipping history. Paddle a kayak along the shoreline and view several of these shipwrecks that rest in the shallows, then learn more about the region’s strong ties to Lake Huron during a visit to the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. Join a scientist for a Privileged Access exploration of Thunder Bay Island or learn about the local ecosystem during a hike at North Point Nature Preserve.

Day 5 Detroit, Michigan, United States
Experience the resilient culture of Detroit, nicknamed “Motor City” because it is considered the automobile capital of the world, which sits on the border of the US and Canada. Celebrate 20th-century American ingenuity during a visit to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and tour the centuries-spanning collection of works at the renowned Detroit Institute of Arts. Learn about the city’s maritime heritage or discover Detroit’s role in the Underground Railroad.

Day 6 Point Pelee, Ontario, Canada
The southernmost point on the Canadian mainland, Point Pelee is an important stopover point for migratory birds; more than 350 different species have been spotted on this tiny sandspit that juts into the northwestern corner of Lake Erie. Canoe or kayak through the marshlands that comprise much of the spit. Or, hike along park trails to discover local flora and fauna that inhabit the forests.

Day 7 Niagara Falls & Welland Canal, Ontario, Canada
From Port Colborne, leave your ship and head to the region’s main attraction—Niagara Falls. Experience the power and majesty of these natural wonders as you walk along the top of the gorge. Or, you may choose to don a rain poncho to get up close to Horseshoe Falls during a thrilling boat cruise to its misty base. Alternatively, delve into nature during a hike at the Niagara Glen nature reserve. Then, enjoy a scenic cruise through the locks of the Welland Canal, a man-made shipping channel that connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

Day 8 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Disembark your ship and return home or extend your stay with a land program exploring the pristine wilderness of Algonquin Park.

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