Gliding by: A Great Lakes Cruise Co.
Cruise enthusiasts seeking a
new experience: Look due north. Great Lakes Cruise Co.
(888-891-0203; www.greatlakescruising.com) offers luxury cruising on
the Great Lakes and other North American waterways. The Ann Arbor,
Mich.-based company has five vessels offering a range of 32 to
205 cabins and departing from unlikely home ports such as Buffalo
(N.Y.), Chicago and Québec City.
The Great Lakes fell out of favor as a cruise destination in
the 1940s, says company president Chris Conlin, due to the increase
in automobile vacations and, later, a lack of small ships able to
ply the lakes. But Great Lakes Cruise Co. aims to change all
Cruise lengths run anywhere from three to 15 days. Itineraries
include the Erie Canal, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Thousand
Islands, and “Routes of the Traders and Explorers.” One sailing
skirts by the majestic Niagara Falls.
While the cruise line operates between June and October, the
vessels are not dry-docked in the winter they sail to other parts
of the world under the auspices of other companies.
The company also arranges pre- and post-accommodations, a wide
variety of shore excursions, and private cocktail parties and
receptions. Groups can buy out the smaller boats in the fleet in
their entirety, though due to the growing popularity of the
cruises, planners are advised to book well in advance.