Great Lakes cruises are an underrated part of the industry. This is partially due to the fact that few people know about these cruises! While ocean and river cruises seem to get all the love, there are many incredible itineraries that take place on the Great Lakes. This sector of the cruise industry is growing, with many cruise lines now starting to offer trips on the lakes. While they might sound like an underwhelming cruise destination compared to the ocean, you’d be surprised at just how big the Great Lakes are. It’s easy to forget you’re not out at sea while sailing on them! To get you excited about the idea of a Great Lakes cruise, let’s go over a few of the reasons why they’re so amazing.
The first pro to sailing on the Great Lakes is the sheer variety of ports you’ll get to see. The stops are diverse, with Illinois, Michigan, and Ontario being on most itineraries. Great Lakes cruises also generally feature a nice mixture of large cities and smaller, more historic towns. A trip that begins in Chicago might then head to Manitoulin Island, a tight-knit community with a population of only 13,000. Even just getting the chance to explore Canada and America in a single cruise is a treat, and you’ll be amazed at the amount of culture you can absorb in a relatively short amount of time.
Another excellent part of Great Lakes cruises is that they receive far less attention than mainstream cruises to locations like the Bahamas or the Caribbean. That means that you will enjoy a much more intimate and personal experience. Rather than fighting for spaces on beaches and dealing with crowds on each deck of the ship, you’ll have time to quietly think and observe the beauty around you. And that brings us to our final point….
The Great Lakes are gorgeous. It doesn’t matter which one you are sailing on — you are going to be treated to some amazing sights on each of the lakes. The powerful Niagara Falls is a common stop, and the incredible Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore needs to be seen (and, preferably, kayaked around) to be believed. A Great Lakes cruise is perfect for sightseers or photographers looking to snap their next spellbinding nature shot.
There are lots of reasons why a Great Lakes cruise might appeal to you. But keep in mind that the season is short! Unless you want to freeze your behind off, try to schedule your cruise for the summer. Cruise lines like Viking and Ponant offer itineraries on the Great Lakes during the summer season, so get shopping!