If you’re an avid explorer and looking to have an immersive cruising experience, a cruise on the Great Lakes is a must for you. These are a series of interconnected lakes in the upper mid-east region of North America that connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. These lakes include five large freshwater lakes. For centuries, the ageless charm of these giant inland seas that contain more than one-fifth of the world’s stagnant fresh water, have fascinated seafarers and homesteaders, storytellers and poets, cartographers and preachers, and native Americans and settlers.
If you’re planning a Great Lakes cruise in North America, you need to make sure that you travel with a cruise line that caters to the desires of the explorer within you. From itineraries and travel guides to onboard amenities and travel charges, you need to take everything into account before you decide to travel by a certain cruise line. Here’s a concise overview of the best companies that offer cruises on these scenic lakes:
Pearl Seas Cruises
Pearl Seas Cruises is a cruise company that mostly offers small ship voyages. They offer luxurious accomodations with all kinds of amenities on their cruise ship, the Pearl Mist. From small and cozy cabins to big staterooms with private balconies, they offer a wide range of options. On-board entertainment options include a sun deck, library, and fitness area.
Hapag Lloyd Cruises
Hapag Lloyd offers an all-inclusive cruise on the Great Lakes with their fine cuisine, glass balconies, spa services, shore excursions, luxurious staterooms, and seaside adventures. They offer Great Lake cruises on their cruise ship called the Hanseatic Inspiration. The Hanseatic Inspiration is where you’ll experience the vivid history of North America meeting the vast wilderness of the region. Hapag Lloyd offers a wide range of Great Lake cruises with different itineraries and embark and disembark ports.
Victory Cruise Lines
If you’re looking to have a scenic coastal cruising experience, you should cruise with Victory Cruise Lines. They offer Great Lake cruises on their twin ships i.e. Victory I and Victory II. Each ship has two dining venues, two lounges, and an on-board enrichment program with entertaining guest lectures.The ships are small and agile and have the ability to navigate locks, ports, and canals of the Great Lakes that are not easily accessible to larger cruise ships. The ships can accommodate up to 200 guests. With more than 80 people in the ship’s personnel, each guest gets special attention and personalized services.
Owned by Xanterra, the Windstar Cruises is one of the world’s best small ship cruise companies. The cruise line offers cruises across various parts of the world including New England. It started its Great Lake cruises with the launch of one of their most sought-after cruises, the Star Pride. The Star Pride offers a personalized cruise experience that makes you feel you are sailing on your own private yacht. The Star Pride was relaunched in 2017 with an extensive makeover. It is one of the largest ships that offer Great Lake cruises. Despite the expansion in its size, it can still be anchored to small ports and has the ability to navigate narrow waterways and canals along the North American coasts. The ship offers luxurious in-room and on-board amenities including laundry services, fitness center, watersports, hot tubs, yoga classes, swimming pool, complimentary robes and slippers, 24/7 room service, and many others.
Ponant Explorer Cruises
Launched in 2018, Ponant Explorer offers small ship cruises that come with all the adventures and amenities of large ship cruises. With 110 crew members and 88 staterooms, you get high-quality and personalized on-board and in-room services. The smaller capacity of the ship provides the passengers with an intimate atmosphere combined with elegant design and luxuries. A cruise on these lakes with Ponant Explorer allows you to fully immerse yourself in the magnificent beauty of the villages and cities fringing the Great Lakes. The two cruise ships of Ponant Explorer, Le Champlain & Le Bellot, have a portable marina platform that enables the passengers to swim and engage in a wide range of nautical activities e.g. paddleboarding and kayaking. Le Champlain also has an underwater guest lounge named as the Blue Eye, located within the structure underneath the waterline.