Great Lakes of North America
* Subject to availability.
- A cruise in partnership with GEO.
- An all-new PONANT cruise crossing four of the five Great Lakes of North America, between the United States and Canada.
- An itinerary combining nature and culture: picturesque landscapes and geological curiosities, the history of the Native Americans inhabiting the region before European colonisation, charming villages, and metropolises bearing witness to North American economic vitality.
- After your cruise, the discovery of Quebec, whose old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Possibility of excursion to Niagara Falls.
- Charming port of call on Mackinac Island, with its preserved Victorian buildings.
- Staterooms & Suites
- LE CHAMPLAIN
- Port of call & excursions
- Guest(s) Lecturer(s)
- Pre/Post & Overlands
Staterooms & Suites
There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.
Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.
As the second ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Champlain will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.
Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.
Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.
Port of call & excursions
MilwaukeeEmbarkation 06/10/2019 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 06/10/2019 at 18H00 .
Nested on the shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, the largest city in the State of Wisconsin, harmoniously combines tradition and modernity. Industrial long ago, the city, known as Brew City because of its old breweries renowned all over the world, is experiencing a certain renaissance. While warehouses have given way to restaurants, bars, theatres and art galleries in the city centre, the district still retains traces of its manufacturing past. Further south lies Chicago, the economic centre of the Midwest, with an interesting mix of natural and urban landscapes: its immense skyscrapers, diverse architecture, many parks and magnificent beaches make the city a popular destination.
7 October 2019 – Sailing Lake MichiganArrival 07/10/2019. Departure 07/10/2019.
You will sail the United States’ largest freshwater body, which gave its name to Michigan, one of the four states that border this lake measuring 500 km long and 200 km wide. The first colonists settled in the south at the end of the 17th century, on the site of the current megalopolis of Chicago. Wild landscapes of forests with sparkling colours, cliffs, golden sandy beaches and dunes as far as the eye can see stretch along its 2,600 km of shoreline. In the north, magnificent wind-swept islands rise out of the lake’s emerald waters. At 8 km long, the Mackinac Bridge, which spans the straits between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges.
7 October 2019 – Mackinac IslandArrival 07/10/2019 midday. Departure 07/10/2019 early evening.
Close to the banks of Lake Huron in the State of Michigan, Mackinac Island promises a real journey through time. Originally inhabited by Amerindians, then occupied by French and British colonists, this small island measuring only a few km² still retains an atmosphere of yesteryear today, with its Victorian-style buildings and elegant horse-drawn carriages. Fort Mackinac, on the heights of the island, is a reminder of the conflicts that punctuated the history of this strategic place, a former fur trade centre. In addition to this scenery from the past, the island offers magnificent fine sandy beaches and is home to one of the oldest National Parks in the United States.
8 October 2019 – Sault Ste. MarieArrival 08/10/2019 early morning. Departure 08/10/2019 late afternoon.
Located to the east of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Separated from its Canadian twin city by St. Marys River, it is famous among other things for its locks, known as either the Sault Locks or the Soo Locks, which enable ships to travel the metres in change in elevation between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. These locks, which date back over 160 years, are considered the most important in the world due to their shipping traffic. Make sure you visit the Museum Ship Valley Camp where you can visit the interior of a former freighter that sailed on the Great Lakes for more than 50 years.
9 October 2019 – Little CurrentArrival 09/10/2019 midday. Departure 09/10/2019 early evening.
A small port town located along the North Channel of Lake Huron, Little Current is considered to be the gateway to Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater island in the world. The town’s emblematic construction, the Little Current Swing Bridge built in 1913, provides the only land access to the island, peaceful lands whose name means “the island of spirits” in the local dialect. A real haven of peace, sheltering wild nature and some hamlets, the place is ideal for outdoor activities such as horse-riding and hiking.
10 October 2019 – Parry SoundArrival 10/10/2019 early morning. Departure 10/10/2019 late afternoon.
The charming city of Parry Sound enjoys an exceptional natural setting in the heart of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, east of Georgian Bay. A holiday destination favoured by the province’s inhabitants, the city and its surroundings offer a condensed version of all that the Great Lakes region has to offer: windswept forests of conifers, rocky shores characteristic of the Canadian Shield, beaches of fine sand, clear and calm waters producing magnificent reflections that change with the time of day and luminosity… A real paradise for fauna and flora, the place will delight fans of nature and photography.
11 October 2019 – Sailing along Flowerpot IslandArrival 11/10/2019. Departure 11/10/2019.
In the heart of Georgia Bay, discover the magnificent coastal landscapes of Flowerpot Island. Surrounded by crystal-clear water, the site is reputed for its sheer cliffs, its dense vegetation, its rare flora, its heritage lighthouse, and its two strange rock formations that look like flowerpots. A result of the actions of the wind and rain, these pillars of stone detached from the coast are one of the site’s curiosities and gave the island its name. Your ship will sail along these coasts and give you the opportunity to take magnificent photos of this island belonging to the Fathom Five National Marine Park, which is Canada’s oldest National Marine Conservation Area.
11 October 2019 – Sailing Lake HuronArrival 11/10/2019. Departure 11/10/2019.
A natural border between the American State of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario, Lake Huron is one of the five American Great Lakes and one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. Comprising the main lake, Saginaw Bay, the North Channel and Georgian Bay, and home to around 30,000 islands, it offers varied coastal landscapes and unique views. From your ship, you’ll thus be able to admire the wild beauty of the wooded and at times craggy coastline of Manitoulin Island, or the spectacular cliffs of the Bruce Peninsular.
12 October 2019 – Sailing St. Clair RiverArrival 12/10/2019. Departure 12/10/2019.
Forming a natural line of separation between the United States and Canada, the St. Clair River, which flows from Lake Huron into Lake St. Clair, is a significant element of the Great Lakes Waterway. Used in the 18th century for the fur trade by the French colonists of North America who sailed it on small boats to trade with the Amerindians, it was then travelled by freighters transporting lumber, iron ore and copper from the Great Lakes region to the cities of the Rust Belt.
12 October 2019 – Sailing through DetroitArrival 12/10/2019. Departure 12/10/2019.
During your navigation along the Detroit River, an important commercial waterway linking Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair to Lake Huron, you will sail along the largest city in Michigan. You’ll then enjoy panoramic views over the skyscrapers of the former Motor City, jewel of the automotive industry, Fordism and Motown music in the 20th century. You’ll also be able to admire the Ambassador Bridge, which spans the river and enables access to Windsor, on the Canadian shore of the river. This steel suspension bridge, over two kilometres long, was constructed in 1929. This bridge alone carries over 25% of trade between the United States and Canada.
12 October 2019 – Sailing Lake ErieArrival 12/10/2019. Departure 12/10/2019.
Located to the south of Lake Huron and connected to Lake Ontario by the Welland Canal, Lake Erie, which owes its name to one of the Amerindian tribes which peopled its banks before the arrival of the French in the 17th century, is remarkable for its unique ecosystem. Its shallow fish-filled waters make it an excellent fishing spot, while its banks, famous for their many migratory birds, attract photographers and ornithology enthusiasts.
13 October 2019 – Port ColborneArrival 13/10/2019 early morning. Departure 13/10/2019 midday.
Port Colborne is a small port city located in southern Ontario, at the mouth of the Welland Canal. It is well-known for one of the longest locks in the world: measuring 420 metres, this lock, the 8th in the canal, has an observation footbridge and marks the final transit point before the Erie Canal. In addition to the discovery of this tremendous hydraulic infrastructure, this port of call will be your privileged access point to the famous Niagara Falls, renowned all over the world for their spectacular beauty. Located on the river of the same name, which means “water thunder” in Amerindian language, these wonders of nature are among the most powerful waterfalls in the world.
14 October 2019 – Going through the Welland Canal locksArrival 14/10/2019. Departure 14/10/2019.
More than 42 km long, the Welland Canal is part of the Saint Lawrence Seaway and enables ships to travel between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. With eight locks today, this canal, whose first version dates from 1824, is considered to be one of the major technical constructions of the 20th century. Its completion revolutionised trade in the Great Lakes region by facilitating the transport of goods from the big industrialised cities of Chicago, Cleveland or Milwaukee to the Atlantic Ocean. Sailing along this technological masterpiece is a unique experience that will let you admire the different locks, real jewels of engineering, and enjoy the magnificent surrounding scenery.
14 October 2019 – TorontoArrival 14/10/2019 early morning. Departure 14/10/2019 midday.
The largest city in Canada and capital of the province of Ontario, Toronto fascinates as much by its incredible diversity as by its size. Make sure you visit the CN Tower, the tallest tower in the western hemisphere, as well as the St. Lawrence Market whose stalls reflect the multicultural wealth of this city known as the global city. Not far from there, the historic Distillery District unveils its brick-paved streets imbued with romantic charm and its myriad of small restaurants, cafés, boutiques, theatres and art galleries. The Royal Ontario Museum and its impressive collections devoted to the world’s natural and cultural history will also be an unmissable stop during this port of call.
14 October 2019 – Sailing Lake OntarioArrival 14/10/2019. Departure 14/10/2019.
15 October 2019 – Sailing River Saint Lawrence and going through its locksArrival 15/10/2019. Departure 15/10/2019.
Linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes region inland, the Saint Lawrence Seaway was inaugurated in 1959, more than 250 years after the initial construction aiming to avoid the rapids obstructing navigation in these parts. This large engineering project, which required four years of huge work, offers a unique sailing experience, punctuated by the passage of the different locks marking out this corridor, which is almost 4,000 km long.
15 October 2019 – Sailing through MontrealArrival 15/10/2019. Departure 15/10/2019.
QuébecDisembarkation 16/10/2019 at 08H30 .
The capital of ﾓLa Belle Provinceﾔ sits at the confluence of the St Charles River and the Gulf of St Lawrence in south-east Canada. Founded in the 17th century, the city still has an encircling wall ﾖ a historic civil engineering work and the only one of its kind remaining in North America. You will love the postcard-perfect stone houses of Old Quebec, the historic district listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shopping is a pleasure in pedestrian streets such as Petit-Champlain Street, or you can relax over a spruce beer, seasoned with pine buds. Dufferin Boardwalk, an esplanade near the emblematic Château Frontenac, is the perfect place for views of the river and old city.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
USA: Depending on your nationality, an ESTA or Visa may be required. Please contact USA consulate website for details. A copy of your visa or ESTA must be sent to PONANT at the very latest 45 days prior to your cruise date. In case the ESTA is sufficient to enter the USA, we also ask you to keep a copy of your ESTA with your passport throughout the duration of your trip.
Canada: Travel by sea - The eTA is not required for US, Australian and British citizens, however, should your flight transit via Canada you must apply for the ETA before your departure on http://www.canada.ca/en/index.html. Other nationalities: a Visa may be required, please contact Canada consulate or website.
Eric Meyer is currently the editor-in-chief of GEO, which is France’s leading travel & news magazine.
After being appointed as editor-in-chief in March 2010, he broadened the range of GEO brand, by adding GEO Histoire, GEO Extra, GEO Savoir, GEO Art, and Geo Terroirs. GEO has also been published as books and developed as an app for its users.
As a graduate of the prominent French business school ESSEC, Eric Meyer began his career with the Group Expansion as a journalist for “L’Entreprise,” a business magazine.
He joined Prisma Media in 1993 as editor-in-chief of “Management” and was later appointed editor-in-chief of various websites in the group. In 2000, he founded the magazine Newbiz (Group Tests/Express) and became its editor-in-chief.
From 2001 to 2003, he was deputy managing editor of “Le Figaro Magazine,” before launching a start-up company, Arts Magazine. In the summer of 2006, Eric Meyer was appointed deputy editor-in-chief of GEO, and associate publisher at Prisma Presse, before taking the position of editor-in chief of the Geo brand in March 2010.
Eric Meyer is also the author of three books. An essay, "Les Ressuscités," published by Flammarion in 2004, and two novels: "La porte dérobée,” published by Robert Laffont in 2007 and "Les Fils de Ramsès,” published by JC Lattès in 2010.
Languages spoken: French, English, German
Photo credit: Thierry Suzan
Olivier Touron (b. 1969, France) followed a university curriculum destining him to teach math when he decided to change course and make his passion his profession. In 1999, he joined EMI-CFD and became a freelance photojournalist.
Formerly based in the north of France near Lille, he freelances with the French and international press (Géo, Libération, L’Humanité, Le Monde, L’Express, VSD, Pèlerin, La Vie, Marianne, Marie-Claire, STERN, Financial Times, Newsweek Japan). His personal work on the Tunisian revolution, minors and justice and the Kurds, have been presented in exhibitions and books.
Olivier also leads photography workshops and teaches master’s students in Journalism at the Faculty of Humanities in Lille.
He is now based in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, where he practises his two favorite activities, photography and motorbike.
Languages spoken: French, English
Photo credit : D Alkembrecher
Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.
Pre/Post & Overlands
Before your cruise
05/10/2019 – Chicago architectural highlights (1 night)For your comfort and serenity, this programme benefits from a PONANT accompaniment***.
The escort, mandated by the company, accompanies you and remains at your disposal during your stay.
His mission: offering you assistance and facilitating the organisation to ensure the full success of your stay.950.00 $ **
04/10/2019 – Chicago world's class art and architecture (2 nights)For your comfort and serenity, this programme benefits from a PONANT accompaniment***.
The escort, mandated by the company, accompanies you and remains at your disposal during your stay.
His mission: offering you assistance and facilitating the organisation to ensure the full success of your stay.1620.00 $ **
After your cruise
** Prices per person, based on double occupancy