If you are looking for a voyage to a world-class destination, but wish to stay close to home, come with us to discover the amazing Great Lakes. Join Peter Onuf, U.Va. history professor and one of NPR’s History Guys on the weekly radio show BackStory, for a cruise on the vast inland seas comprising one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water.

Nearly fifteen thousand years ago, the last of the great glaciers retreated, leaving us with the legacy of the Great Lakes. First used as a means of transport by Algonquin and Iroquois tribes, the lakes later became a thriving commercial hub and a heavily traveled waterway with the arrival of European settlers. More than fifty years ago, the Great Lakes were the busiest waterway in the world and North America’s treasured summer destination. Now you can cruise once again in the Great Lakes on this unique itinerary, which encompasses American and Canadian ports. Operating between two great American cities, Detroit and Chicago, our itinerary includes several of the most significant places found along the shores of this North American treasure. Visit the quaint village of Bayfield and experience Native American culture on Manitoulin Island before transiting the impressive Soo Locks, which connect Lake Huron and Lake Superior. Also witness the majestic grandeur of Lake Superior at Whitefish Point, discover Mackinac Island’s bygone Victorian charms, and enjoy the delightful towns of Sheboygan and Saugatuck. Your ship for this voyage is the American-flagged and operated Yorktown. Accommodating 138 guests in 69 exterior cabins, the Yorktown is the perfect vessel for relaxed and convivial exploration of the Great Lakes. In addition to being in the company of like-minded travelers, you will also be accompanied an excellent group of study leaders. Through lectures and informal conversation, they will introduce and explain the natural environments and the past and present cultural landscapes through which we sail.

Program Highlights

  • Visit the charming village of Bayfield filled with art galleries, delightful boutiques and cafes.
  • Explores Manitoulin, the world’s largest freshwater island and home to the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve.
  • Transit through the Soo Locks and tour Whitefish Point.
  • Take a stroll in beautiful Mackinac Island, a Victorian era haven where bikes share the road with horse-drawn carriages.


Peter S. Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor of History

Peter S. Onuf is Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor of History at the Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia. An extremely popular professor and faculty director of the U.Va. Jefferson Symposium, Peter is author/editor of eleven books including Jefferson’s Empire: The Language of American Nationhood(University Press of Virginia, 2001) and is co-editor of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson: History, Memory, and Civic Culture (University Press of Virginia, 1999) and The Revolution of 1800: Democracy, Race, and the New Republic (University of Virginia Press, 2002) and editor of Jeffersonian Legacies. With his brother, Nicholas G. Onuf, his most recent publication is Nations, Markets, and War: Modern History and the American Civil War (University of Virginia Press, 2006). Peter is one of the History Guys on NPR’s weekly radio show BackStory. Peter has been faculty on Cavalier Travels trips Mediterranean ’06 and Historic Atlantic Shores ’09.


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Fly to Detroit and transfer to the pier to embark Yorktown. (D)

2 -

Goderich, Ontario, Canada/Bayfield

Arrive in Goderich, located on the shore of Lake Huron and famed for its sunsets. Drive south along the shore to the charming village of Bayfield. Perfectly blending the tranquility of village life with some of the finest offerings of any big city, Bayfield is a quaint village filled with many delights. Spend time enjoying its art galleries, delightful boutiques, and smart cafés.(B, L, D)

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Little Current, Manitoulin Island/Lake Huron

Land at Little Current, the main settlement on Manitoulin, the world’s largest freshwater island and one of 30,000 islands that grace Lake Huron. Manitoulin, home to the rare Redshouldered hawk and Cape May warbler, is also home to the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, a thriving Native American community that bears the distinction of being the only tribe in Canada never to have ceded title to their land. Visit the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, whose exhibits chronicle the story of the native people of Manitoulin. Then enjoy a traditional Native American powwow. (B, L, D)

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Soo Locks/Whitefish Point/Lake Superior

Yorktown will transit the Soo Locks, known as the busiest in the world, where some 12,000 ships pass annually. We then arrive at Whitefish Point, located on Lake Superior and drive to Tahquamenon Falls State Park for a look at the Upper Falls. Return to Whitefish Point where there will be an opportunity to visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, located in a Coast Guard station built around a lighthouse which dates from 1861. (B, L, D)

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Mackinac Island, Michigan

Arrive in beautiful Mackinac Island, a Victorian-era haven where cars are forbidden and bicycles share the road with horse-drawn carriages. Explore this idyllic island and see the ancient limestone formations that were considered sacred by the Straits Indians; the impressive Fort Mackinac, built atop a high cliff by the British in 1780; and the landmark Victorian Grand Hotel. Also enjoy free time to stroll along streets lined with ginger-bread-trimmed buildings and browse in the charming shops. (B, L, D)

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Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Call in lovely Sheboygan, located on the shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Sheboygan River. French explorers landed on the shores in the 17th century, and in the early 19th century, William Farnsworth established a fur trading port here, and was later joined by William Paine and others who further developed the town. Today, Sheboygan is enjoying revitalization. Visit its nearby attractions. (B, L, D)

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Saugatuck, Michigan

Arrive in Saugatuck, nestled off the shores of Lake Michigan and Kalamazoo Lake. Originally a lumber town, Saugatuck eventually became known for its fruit production, especially its peaches. In the early 1900s Saugatuck was a prime summer destination for Chicago urbanites. Today, it is known for its historic buildings and churches, unique shops, and many art galleries, which you will explore on a walking tour. (B, L, D)

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Chicago, Illinois/ Fly home

Disembark in Chicago and transfer to the airport for return flights home. (B)


The Yorktown is the perfect vessel for relaxed and convivial exploration of America’s great coastal waterways. Built in Florida in 1988 specifically for coastal cruising and certified by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Yorktown flies the American flag and is staffed by friendly and experienced American officers and crew. 257 feet long, 43 feet wide, with a draft of 8 feet, the Yorktown is able to maneuver in secluded waterways and visit small ports that are inaccessible to larger vessels. And Yorktown’s American registry makes it possible to operate domestic itineraries unavailable to foreign-flag ships. In addition to a large sun deck, the Yorktown boasts a spacious lounge for social gatherings and lectures as well as quiet space for private conversation. The ship’s cuisine, served in a dining room large enough to accommodate all guests at once, emphasizes American regional culinary traditions and specialties. Both the lounge and dining room are surrounded by large picture windows that afford unobstructed views of the passing scenery. Accommodating 138 guests in 69 exterior cabins, the Yorktown enjoys an atmosphere of warm and relaxed informality that endears it to repeat and new guests alike.


All meals aboard ship, including house wine, beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner.

Program Fees

Double occupancy rates by cabin category:

Category E: $3,995
Category D: $4,495
Category C: $4,995
Category B: $5,595
Category A: $5,995
Category AA: $6,495
Category S: $6,995  [SOLD OUT]

Single rates:

Category C: $5,890
Category B: $6,490
Category A: $6,890

Optional 1 Night Cruise Extension in Detroit: $275 per person double occupancy, $100 single supplement

Includes: One night at the Atheneum Suite Hotel with breakfast, half-day tour and transfer between the hotel and pier.

Optional 1 Night Cruise Extension in Chicago: $295 per person double occupancy, $175 single supplement

Includes: One night at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with breakfast, half-day tour and transfer between hotel and pier.

Price includes:

  • 7-night cruise aboard the 138-guest Yorktown
  • Complete program of tours and excursions
  • Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions aboard ship
  • All meals aboard ship, including house wine, beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Educational program of lectures and discussions by onboard study leaders
  • Professional Travel Dynamics International tour staff
  • Complete pre-departure materials
  • Port and embarkation taxes
  • Gratuities to guides and drivers

Price does not include:
Airfare; transfers; luggage and trip cancellation insurance; alcoholic beverages other than wine and beer with lunch and dinner; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, faxes, and e-mail service; and gratuities to shipboard personnel.


Airfare is not included in the Cruise and Land Rates. Please contact your preferred airline, travel agent, or the Travel Dynamics International air desk operated by Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc. (VWTI) for airfare information and to reserve flights. Consultants are available Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 5:30pm (EST) toll-free at 1-877-711-9896. Please have your tour name, code (12609), and dates handy for reference.

General Terms & Conditions

Payment Schedule: A deposit of $750 per person is required to reserve your space on the tour. For your convenience, you may charge your deposit to your American Express, Visa, Discover, or MasterCard. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Credit cards are not accepted for final payment. However, personal checks are accepted for both deposits and final payment.

Cancellations & Refunds: All cancellations are subject to a $300 per person fee. Cancellations received 61-90 days prior to departure will be assessed a penalty equal to 50% of the total program cost per person. Cancellations received within 60 days of departure are subject to 100% cancellation penalties.

Insurance: We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement.

Itinerary: The itinerary, accommodations, and arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of Travel Dynamics International.

Responsibility: Please read carefully the following terms and conditions, which constitute the sole, legally enforceable agreements between the passenger and Travel Dynamics International and the tour’s sponsoring organization. The passenger is also advised to review his/her separate ticket passage contract with the vessel’s owner/operator, which will constitute the sole, legally enforceable terms of carriage for this tour and is available on request from Travel Dynamics International. Travel Dynamics International and the tour’s sponsoring organization act solely as agents for the passenger with respect to all transportation, hotel and other tour arrangements. In that capacity, we exercise all reasonable care possible to ensure the passenger’s safety and satisfaction, but, we neither assume nor bear any responsibility or liability for any injury, death, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity arising in connection with the services of any ship, airplane, train, automobile, motor coach, carriage or other conveyance, or the actions of any third-party, involved in carrying the passenger or in affecting these tours. We are not responsible for damages, additional expenses, or any other losses due to cancellation, delay or other changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, civil disturbances, acts or threats of terrorism, travel warnings or bans, termination or suspension of war risks or other carrier insurance, quarantine, acts of God or other causes beyond our control. All such losses must be borne by the passenger, and tour rates provide for arrangements only for the time stated. In the event of cancellation, delay or rescheduling mandated by any of the aforesaid causes beyond our control, the passenger shall have the option of accepting in lieu of the original tour such rescheduled tour or other substituted tour(s) as may be offered by us, or else, receiving a refund of as much of such advance tour expenditures as we are able to recover on the passenger’s behalf from carriers, third-party tour vendors, etc., but, we shall not have any obligation or liability to the passenger beyond the foregoing. We reserve the right to make alterations to the tour’s itinerary and to substitute hotels, ships, or lecturers if this is required. We reserve the right to cancel, delay, or reschedule any tour prior to departure, and, so long as this is not due to any of the aforesaid causes beyond our control, the passenger shall be entitled to a full refund of all monies paid to that point if he/she so desires. No refund shall be made for any unused portion of any tour. By forwarding their deposit(s), the passenger certifies that he/ she and/or their dependents, minors or others covered thereby do not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that could create a hazard for them or other passengers. We reserve the right to decline to accept or to decline to retain any person as a member of any tour should such person’s health, condition or actions adversely affect or threaten the welfare or safety of other passengers or impede the tour. Baggage or valuables brought on the tour shall be transported, handled or stored at the passenger’s risk entirely, and, we shall bear no liability or responsibility for any damage or other loss thereto. Passenger tickets are not transferable and are not subject to alteration by the passenger. No suit shall be maintainable against the carrier, or vessel, for any losses, accidents, damages to person, property, personal injury (including death or other types of bodily injury) of the passengers, unless written notice of the claim, with full particulars, is delivered to the carrier or its agents at its office at the port of sailing or at the port of termination within six months from the day when such incident occurred. In no event shall any such suit or any claim against the carrier or vessel for any losses, accidents, damages to person, property, personal injury (including death or other types of bodily injury) of the passenger be maintainable unless such suit is commenced within one year from the day when the incident causing such losses, accidents, damages to person, property, personal injury (including death or other types of bodily injury) of the passenger occurs, notwithstanding any provision of law of any state or country to the contrary. Resolution of any disputes arising hereunder shall be brought within the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, pursuant to the applicable general maritime law, and applying the applicable general maritime law and Federal maritime statutes.

Rates: Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, and currency values. While we do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.

Fuel Supplement: Travel Dynamics International reserves the right to charge a fuel supplement, without prior notice, if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $85 per barrel. This supplement may be charged even if the cruise fare has been paid in full.

Ship’s Registry: USA