Welcoming Destinations on the Great Lakes

Excursions Create Out-Of-The-Ordinary Cruise Experiences

Approximately one-third of cruise vessels being built today carry fewer than 400 passengers, providing a more intimate experience.  These smaller vessels appeal to veteran cruisers looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience.

Ships in the St. Lawrence Seaway are small enough to navigate the locks and channels, but large enough for superior handling and stability in rough seas.

Unique onshore experiences immerse passengers in local history, art and architecture, and native cultures.

Travelers disembark on Mackinac Island for horse and carriage rides and can visit Green Bay, Wisconsin to tour the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and National Railroad Museum. They experience the Victorian homes and art museums of Muskegon, Michigan, and the gourmet cuisines of Milwaukee’s beer city food markets.  Visitors tour the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the famous, historic Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. Â They visit the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, Minnesota and Navy Pier and the John Hancock Building in Chicago.

At every stop along the way, passengers are treated to award-winning cuisine and breathtaking views.

Seasoned travelers

Passengers who cruise North America’s Great Lakes are experienced cruisers, many having sailed the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Alaska, Australia, and South America. They want something new and different, to expand their personal horizons.

Local support

Local ports, conventional and visitor bureaus, and state marketing agencies are on hand to assist shipowners in establishing new ports and activities. Many cruises include direct international flights to major cities across the Great Lakes region.

Each arrival is celebrated.

Each arrival is celebrated.

The docks host musical performances, presentations of city keys and natives adorned in colorful regalia. For the duration of their stay, passengers become part of the community, discovering its character and heritage. Activities are planned and exploration encouraged.

Untapped potential

As cruise lines and passengers explore the regions historical, cultural and natural assets, the potential is limitless. Countless excursions along the shores of eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces are yet to be discovered. With so many ports and potential itineraries possible, there’s room for new and unique experiences each year for cruise lines and their returning passengers.

Each port offers distinctive welcomes, emphasizing their unique characteristics.

With centuries of natural beauty drawing settlers and travelers, Midwesterners are experts in hospitality. City officials, schools, native tribes, historians, and culture buffs work together to plan and take part in official greetings.

Seasonal Sailing

Warm and welcoming, local port communities go out of their way to celebrate the ships and their passengers as they sail in throughout the spring, summer, and fall:

Spring Manitowoc Badger

Late Spring

With snow and ice melted by May, spring brings blooming lilacs, migrating birds and the beginning of warm-weather festivals. Ships begin sailing here in May.

Temperatures: Maximum Average 68° F (20° C)

Minimum Average 45° F (7° C)

Summer Season


July and August are the warmest months of the year. The outdoors is alive as festivals, concerts and water sports peak.

Temperatures: Maximum Average 81° F (27° C)

Minimum Average 59° F (15° C)

Fall Lake Superior


September and October tours are known for displaying an array of fall foliage colors.

Temperatures: Maximum Average 50° F (10° C)

Minimum Average 40° F (4° C)