A Voyage Along the Great Lakes
Set sail aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville for an 8-day cruise to discover our beautiful Great Lakes amidst the splendid colors of early autumn. From sand dunes to shoreline views, the Great Lakes are among the world’s most precious natural resources.
Travel with Dr. Karen Murchie, Shedd’s Director of Freshwater Research, and discover the timeless beauty of the Great Lakes. During this week-long cruise, you will see the engineering marvels of the Welland Canal and the Soo Locks and witness the natural marvels of Niagara Falls and Georgian Bay. You will encounter First Nation culture on Manitoulin Island and enjoy the Victorian ambience of Mackinac Island. At Georgian Bay, on Manitoulin Island and in Sault Ste. Marie you will have opportunities to experience the natural beauty of the lakes up close on hikes and walks.
Ways to Register
Email Shannon Fuller for more information OR call PONANT at 1-833-889-0800 to sign up. Reference the Shedd Aquarium group when booking.
Space is limited to our specified group room allotment, and this Shedd Adventure will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
October 9 – 16, 2023
Toronto – Milwaukee
Starting from $6,270 per person
- From your call in Port Colborne, you will be able to see the impressive Niagara Falls. These three powerful, world-renowned waterfalls are an exquisite natural spectacle.
- Discover the charming city of Parry Sound in the heart of the fantastic UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Georgian Bay. Explore the quaint town of Little Current, gateway to Manitoulin Island, which is the world’s largest freshwater island.
- From Sault Ste. Marie, you will have the opportunity to see the engineering marvel of the Soo Locks as you pass into Lake Superior. You’ll continue to Mackinac Island where you’ll explore the island’s Victorian past by horse and buggy.
- Enjoy group lectures with Dr. Karen Murchie, Shedd’s Director of Freshwater Research, as well as discussions with other experts onboard including naturalist guides and Smithsonian Journeys hosts.
Top center: © Wiltser/Getty Images, Bottom left: © jimfeng/Getty Images,
Top: © Wiltser/Getty Images, Third row: © jimfeng/Getty Images,
Your expert trip host
Dr. Karen Murchie has a diverse background in fisheries research, having worked in freshwater systems from the Arctic to the Amazon, and in marine ecosystems in The Bahamas. She now oversees a staff of research biologists engaged in freshwater biodiversity conservation efforts, with her own work focusing on fish migrations in the Great Lakes. At nearly every port of call on this Shedd Adventure, Karen has experience collaborating with stakeholders to help manage and protect the native species in our Great Lakes. Dr. Murchie looks forward to sharing this time with you immersed in the beauty of our Great Lakes in the fall.
Itinerary (8 days/7 nights)
Sunday, October 9
Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Embark (D)
Monday, October 10
Port Colborne, Niagara Falls | Sailing Lake Erie
Port Colborne is the site of the locks that raise ships 328 feet from the water level in Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. It is also your gateway to iconic Niagara Falls. Your excursion to this natural wonder includes a 20-minute ride in a specially designed vessel that brings you within feet of the falls and their spray. Sail along Lake Erie, keeping an eye out for migratory birds. (B,L,D)
Tuesday, October 11
Detroit, St. Clair River
Sail through Detroit, taking in views of Motor City and Ambassador Bridge. Cruise the St. Clair River, used by French fur traders in the 18th century, on the way to Lake Huron. (B,L,D)
Wednesday, October 12
Parry Sound, Georgian Bay
Discover this region of “30,000 islands” from the water, aboard a specially constructed vessel. Or you may prefer to explore it on land by joining a walk through Killbear Provincial Park’s mix of beaches, rugged shoreline, windswept pine and views of the islands. Whichever option you choose, you will understand why Georgian Bay has earned a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve designation. (B,L,D)
Thursday, October 13
Little Current, Manitoulin Island
Manitoulin Island is the world’s largest freshwater island and home to the thriving Native American community of the M’Chigeeng First Nation. Learn about the history and traditions of this community on a visit to the museum and art gallery of the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, where you will be invited to participate in the traditional ceremony of dance, drumming and song called ‘Pow-Wow.’ Or kayak in the clean, cool waters of the Kagawong River in the hopes of sighting beavers, muskrats and waterfowl along its banks. (B,L,D)
Friday, October 14
Saul Ste. Marie, Michigan, United States
Sault Ste. Marie is home to the Soo Locks, the busiest locks in the world. Learn more about the locks on an excursion that includes passage into Lake Superior and a tour of the massive freighter SS Valley Camp, which has been converted into a museum. Alternatively, you may travel to Tahquamenon Falls State Park for a leisurely stroll through the woodlands that surround the falls, followed by a tour of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum on the shores of Lake Superior at Whitefish Bay. (B,L,D)
Saturday, October 15
Mackinac Island | Sailing Lake Michigan
Arrive on beautiful Mackinac Island, a Victorian-era haven where cars are forbidden and bicycles share the road with horse-drawn carriages. Your excursion includes a tour of the island aboard one of these carriages, passing by the landmark Grand Hotel and pausing to take in the sights at Arch Rock before continuing to historic Fort Mackinac. This afternoon, Le Dumont-d’Urville passes through the Straits of Mackinac. (B,L,D)
Sunday, October 16
Milwaukee, Wisconsin | Disembark (B)
The deluxe, five-star Le Dumont-d'Urville is one of a series of six new luxury PONANT Expedition ships that launched in 2018 – 2020. These state-of-the-art vessels combine PONANT’s understated elegance with the spirit of adventure and feature Blue Eye, the world’s first underwater passenger lounge. Le Dumont-d’Urville is a small-capacity ship with 92 staterooms and a crew of 110. Guests will enjoy attentive service, gourmet French-inspired cuisine and a relaxed, congenial ambiance. The PONANT EXPLORER ships are certified Clean Ships and meet the highest environmental standards for energy conservation and resource management. Call PONANT at 1-833-339-0800 to choose your state room.
- Shedd Aquarium host, Dr. Karen Murchie, to accompany the group and provide formal and informal discussions throughout the trip.
- Comprehensive 7-night cruise aboard the deluxe Le Dumont-d’Urville. All accommodations are outside staterooms and suites and all feature a private balcony.
- Two Smithsonian Journeys experts join guests to provide onboard education
- Complete program of shore excursions led by expert guides.
- All meals aboard ship, including early riser’s coffee and pastries, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and special sweets from Ladurée.
- French-inspired gourmet cuisine, with menu creation and chef training by Ducasse Conseil.
- Complimentary open bar aboard ship including select wines served with lunch and dinner.
- Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions aboard ship.
- 24-hour room service; Unlimited WiFi.
- Airport/pier transfers and handling of luggage.
- Gratuities to shipboard personnel, porters, guides and drivers.
- Port taxes and charges; Pre-departure materials.
- Airport taxes
- Passport and visa fees and/or immigration reciprocity taxes (if applicable)
- Trip cancellation and baggage insurance
- Independent meals and beverages ashore
- Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, etc.)
Getting there and getting home
You will need to make your own travel arrangements to Toronto, Ontario, Canada and from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
Cancellations and refunds
- From confirmation of booking date up to 91 days prior to departure: 10% of full fare to be kept by PONANT
- 90-61 days prior to departure: 50% of full fare to be kept by PONANT
- Within 60 days prior to departure: 100% of full fare to be kept by PONANT
*We recommend travel insurance in the event of unforeseen circumstances and can make recommendations if requested.
Email Shannon Fuller for more information or call PONANT at 1-833-889-0800 to sign up. Reference the Shedd Aquarium group when booking.
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