Great Lakes Cruises

The famed ‘inland oceans’ of North America await

Containing an estimated fifth of the planet’s entire fresh water, the five Great Lakes of the North American are breathtaking in every respect and earn a place on any voyager’s bucket list. From the enormity of Lake Superior to the wonders surrounding each lake, anyone taking a Great Lakes cruise is sure to discover marvels in nature and civilisation alike.

Helpful Things To Know Before You Go

  • The season for cruising the Great Lakes runs from late May to mid-September, and is the only viable period for these cruises, as the rest of the year the water is variably frozen over. You may catch autumnal colours in late August and early September in the northern areas.
  • The Great Lakes sit within US and Canadian territories, using the US and Canadian dollar respectively. Tipping is expected in both countries, so be sure to keep cash on hand and take tips into account when planning meals and activities on land.
  • Expect lots of ‘sea’ days, and plan accordingly. The Great Lakes are enormous and crossing them takes some time. Bear this in mind when choosing your cruise, with an eye for the shipboard facilities and entertainment you’re most interested in, so you can enjoy your time aboard your luxurious ship to the fullest.
  • Given your Great Lakes cruise will occur during the warmer months of the year, packing for cold weather isn’t necessary, but bringing waterproofs in case of sudden showers while hiking or exploring is a good idea. Suncream, too, is a must-have.
  • Great Lakes cruises are often one-way, meaning you’ll be departing from a different airport to the one you arrived at when you return home. This offers a good opportunity to pursue a post-cruise holiday inland to explore more of North America.

Things To Do

  • Visit Niagara Falls. Accessible via the Niagara River off Lake Erie, these towering falls and their attendant city make for an absolutely unforgettable destination for any traveller. Truly a magnificent sight, and one you’ll not want to miss.
  • Explore bustling American and Canadian cities. From Chicago to Toronto, there’s some famous and iconic cities studding the shores of the Great Lakes. Your cruise here is a great chance to discover the many wonders they have to offer.
  • Marvel at spectacular scenery and natural beauty. From the shimmering surfaces of the lakes themselves and the daily spectacle of the sunset over the waters to rugged island shores, the Great Lakes hold fathomless beauty. Nature lovers can hike in a number of state parks or visit islands, enjoying the views in every moment.
  • Learn local history and culture. From the far-reaching history of the indigenous peoples of North America to the storied tales of the many colonists, the Great Lakes have many tales to tell. Their enormity, so great as to compare them to inland seas, has made them critical hubs of trade, civilisation and commerce throughout history.
  • Take advantage of seasonal highlights. Cruisers coming early in the Great Lakes season may get the chance to attend the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan, featuring thousands of tulips. Meanwhile, those travelling towards the end of the season in September will have the chance to see the breathtaking autumnal colours begin to cover the forested horizons.

Why Book With Kenwood Travel

With decades of experience in crafting the perfect cruises, Kenwood Travel has the knowhow and the passion to bring your Great Lakes cruise dream to life. Our specialists have expert local knowledge that allows us to arrange the very best itineraries for you, giving you finely-tailored advice on which ports to pick and the best excursions for your desires, and so much more. Get in touch today, and we’ll help you plan the Great Lakes voyage of a lifetime.

Ports of Call & Places to Explore

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

The only Great Lake that sits entirely within US territory, it takes it’s name from the Ojibwe language word for ‘great water’. A range of iconic American towns and cities sit around its border, with opportunities to call at Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay and more. Explore rich history in the ports, appreciate the spectacular scenery, and appreciate the natural beauty in flora and fauna alike.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior

The largest of the Great Lakes, this body of water covers nearly 32,000 square miles, containing countless wonders in its breadth and borders. A site for civilisation and trade as far as recorded history goes, today Lake Superior is a magnificent cruise destination for those looking to appreciate natural beauty. Stopping by Thunder Bay, Apostle Islands and Duluth will give you a glimpse at incredible lakeside rock formations, the towering mesas of the Sleeping Giant, and so much more.

Lake Huron

Lake Huron

Second largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron joins to Lake Michigan at its westerly edge and holds within itself the largest freshwater island in the world – Manitoulin. Cruising on Lake Huron will bring you to sights like iconic local lighthouses, the stunning scenery of Cheboygan State Park, and historic cities like St. Ignace. An excellent place to learn about the region’s history, or appreciate a good view.

Lake Erie

Lake Erie

Boasting some of the most beautiful sights and iconic sites of the Great Lakes, this is one you’ll not want to miss. Gorgeous light displays crown the heavens every day at sunrise and sunset, glimmering across a body of water that leads to Niagara River and then the Niagara Falls in turn. Witness these magnificent falls for yourself, explore the ecosystems and wildlife of Lake Erie, or visit cities like Cleveland to discover the lakeside culture.

Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario

Surrounded by great cities and state parks, Lake Ontario is bountiful in natural beauty and civilisation alike. Visit Canadian cities like Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City, or New York ports like Clayton, Rochester and Oswego. Explore the many wonders of these cities, or venture to the Sandbanks Provincial Park or Sandy Island Beach State Park to witness the unique wetland ecosystem created by the sandbars.

Destination map



Talk to our expert

Our dedicated team brings years of expertise to curating unforgettable cruise holidays, ensuring that every aspect of your voyage is nothing short of perfection.

Emma Sanger-Horwell
Emma Sanger-Horwell
Cruise Expert

At Kenwood Cruise, Emma and the Team take immense pride in delivering exceptional personalized service tailored to each of our valued customers. Our dedicated team of experts is committed to providing nothing short of excellence in customer care. No request is too challenging for us.

With a wealth of personal travel experiences and over 70 years of collective expertise spanning all 7 continents of the world, our experts possess the knowledge and insight to cater to your every need.

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