Journey from nature to culture
From urban skylines to uninhabited islands, discover North America’s wilderness alongside renowned cultural attractions while cruising the striking waterways of the Great Lakes. Immerse yourself in the lakes’ compelling shipping history, experience the power of thundering Niagara Falls and keep watch for scores of migratory birds at Point Pelee. Led by a team of experts, explore sheltered bays and woodlands to uncover complex ecosystems and hidden treasures.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada / Milwaukee, United States
2024 Sailings from April to October
2025 Sailings from April to September
* Please check with us for dates & pricing
Cruise fare from $7,795.0 per person
* Please check with us for dates & pricing
Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. Toronto is beloved by many as one of Canada’s boldest and most innovative capitals. Hugging the shores of Lake Ontario and facing the picturesque Toronto Islands, it was founded by British loyalists fleeing the American Revolution in 1793. Today the city is a pleasure to explore on foot, whether strolling past the Victorian bay-and-gable homes of Rosedale, or the historic enclave of Wychwood Park, an Ontario Heritage Conservation district. The city’s Distillery District is home to North America’s largest preserved collection of Victorian industrial architecture.
The Welland Canal is one of Canada’s greatest engineering feats of the 19th century. Built from 1824 to 1833 to bypass the Niagara River and its mighty falls, the Welland comprises eight locks that lift or lower ships a total of 326 feet between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. This vital canal is the spine of the peninsula’s trade and industry, with numerous docks receiving ships and roadways crossing the water. Viking’s latest expedition vessels are purpose-built to traverse this impressive waterway, allowing ships to dock safely while navigating this important crossing.
Port Colborne proudly proclaims itself the “Gateway to Navigation.” It is also the gateway to North America’s largest and most powerful cascade, Niagara Falls. Epic in its scope and volume, the falls hurl 42 million gallons of water down 20 stories every minute. Its mile-wide length straddles the Canadian and US borders and is split by islands into three smaller cataracts: Horseshoe Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls. Long a storied destination for young honeymooners, today the mighty torrent is a thrill for visitors.
Point Pelee is a pristine area that points into Lake Erie from Ontario, tapering off to a fine point before disappearing into the waters. The peninsula comprises woodlands and the largest freshwater marshes on the Great Lakes. It was proclaimed a national park in 1918 and is further protected by the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty that protects wetlands. Located at the convergence of two major bird migration flyways, about 350 species have been recorded here. Boardwalks deliver visitors into this unique ecosystem of vast, open vistas and wave-kissed shores.
Detroit sits on one of the four straits that link the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence Seaway and has emerged as a city rich in culture. In 2015, it became the first US city to earn designation as a “City of Design” by UNESCO for its creativity in urban development. Detroit was founded as a fort in 1701 and later grew into the epicenter of the US automobile industry. Today the city is beloved as the birthplace of Motown, a portmanteau of “motor” and “town.” Its waterfront reveals remarkable examples of postmodern and art deco skyscrapers.
Alpena is the largest city in Michigan’s thinly populated lower peninsula. The town faces Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay and is home to Alpena Light, a brilliant red steel structure built in 1914. After its founding in 1840, fishing and logging were introduced to bolster its economy; today it is home to one of the largest limestone quarries in the world. Two of its architectural gems are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the art deco County Courthouse and the late-Victorian IOOF Centennial Building, once the city’s courthouse.
Steeped in the charms of simpler times, Mackinac Island is a gem of the Great Lakes. Located in the Straits of Mackinac where Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas are closest and Lakes Huron and Michigan meet, this bucolic haven preserves gilded Victorian-era treasures along car-free streets traversed by horse-drawn carriages. The perimeter road is the only state highway in the US that does not permit motor vehicles. More than 80% of Mackinac is protected as a state park, from its Greek Revival Grand Hotel and British-built Fort Mackinac to its preserved wilderness areas.
Milwaukee was first settled by Europeans in 1818, when French-Canadian fur trader Solomon Juneau arrived. German, Polish and Eastern European immigrants followed, bringing with them a long tradition of beer brewing. For several decades in the 20th century, Milwaukee became the world’s most prolific beer producer. Today, the city is a vibrant center of art, history and culture. The RiverWalk, a pedestrian walkway along the Milwaukee, is a popular spot for enjoying relaxing strolls or viewing public art installations.
Milwaukee lies on the shores of Lake Michigan at the confluence of three rivers—the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic. For centuries before the arrival of Europeans, the area was inhabited by indigenous peoples, such as the Potawatomi, Menominee, Fox and Winnebago. In 1647, missionary Jacques Marquette came to Milwaukee’s shores, and fur traders soon followed. The settlement was a secondary trading post until after the Revolutionary War, when Jacques Vieau established the “Milwaukee Outfit” and made the outpost an important stop on the western shores of Lake Michigan. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.
* One shore excursion included per port; all others available at an extra charge.