Great American Waterways

Dates: Jul 24, 2017 - Aug 11, 2017

Exclusive!: One departure only!

Duration: 19 Days

Priced From: $5,695 per person

At Uncommon Journeys & Train Holidays, we have long had a reputation for designing holidays that are without equal in terms of imagination and uniqueness and to this end, we have created a brilliant itinerary:  downtown Chicago to Newport, Rhode Island by small coastal liner via Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, the Welland Canal, Lake Ontario, the historic Erie Canal and the Hudson River, to name just a few.  Nicer still, not only will our guests view America, up-close at 'see level' but we have included an amazing collection of ports on the way like quaint Mackinac Island, Wyandotte, Michigan, Cleveland, Erie, Oswego, NY, and West Point.

Happily, in addition to interesting ports, our 'pocket' cruise ship, the 88-passenger Grande Caribe is the perfect antidote to those tired of huge, mass-market cruise ships carrying 4000 guests at a time. With an all-American crew, life aboard is casual and informal with no need for 'dressing up'. Meals are superb and are naturally included in the fare. Snacks and beverages are available 24 hours a day and there is a comfortable observation lounge in addition to open deck space.  Better still, is what the does not offer: no napkin folding lessons, tired Vegas-style cabaret shows, gold chains by the inch and the relentless 'nickel and diming' found on so many ships nowadays. Guests enjoy a low-key, relaxed voyage on a well-designed ship, able to get up close to small ports of call. All cabins are comfortable with in-room facilities and both the lounge and dining room can seat all guests at one time.

Since one can never have enough time in Chicago, our guests enjoy an overnight stay aboard the ship docked right at Navy Pier before we set sail, thus allowing a full night in the Windy City.  We have intentionally left plenty of free time to explore all that Chicago has to offer including the nearby Art Institute and Grant Park, the Museum of Science and Industry. Saving the best for last, after our voyage from Chicago to New England, we disembark in Warren, Rhode Island, famed for its opulent mansions and seaside setting, for a two-night stay at the Newport Marriott.  Of course, this holiday is fully escorted by a professional tour manager from start to finish with special parties and events both ashore and aboard the But, with only 44 cabins, this voyage will fill up quickly so prompt reservations are encouraged!


  • Complimentary train travel to Chicago from any Midwestern point. Guests living in other parts of the country may take advantage of our special 'Add-on' train fares ranging between $99 and $299. depending on your home city. For those with less time, we also offer special airfares beginning at $199. pp with details available on request.
  • Fully hosted by professional tour manager from start to finish to handle all of the details with special parties and events ashore and aboard the ship.
  • Overnightis spent, aboard our ship docked at Navy Pier along with a special sailing day lunch at famed Giordano's Restaurant, known for its authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza.
  • Fifteen-night passage from Chicago to Newport, RI via the
  • Erie Canal aboard the miniliner 'Grande Caribe' with all meals & beverages while aboard included.
  • Two-night stay in glorious Newport RI with its opulent mansions and great history after the voyage at the superb Newport Marriott including sightseeing and a special Farewell Dinner.  We provide a complimentary transfer to Boston airport and train station on the final day of the holiday.

DAY 1: July 24 - Chicago

The Grande Caribe is our hotel tonight and enjoy a full day in Chicago.

DAY 2: July 25 -Set Sail

This afternoon we set sail for our epic journey through these Great American Waterways.

DAY 3: July 26 - Manitowoc, WI

Known as Wisconsin’s Marine Capital, Manitowoc is the home to Wisconsin’s Maritime Museum, which captures the riveting history of the entire great lakes area, including the building of 28 submarines for WWII. Don’t miss out on the Rahr-West Art Museum which hosts pieces from Picasso, Miro, Dali, as well as many others.

DAY 4: July 27 - Mackinac Island, MI

A charming Victorian village that astonishingly still relies on non-motorized transportation and we have included lunch at the famous Grand Hotel here.

DAY 5: July 28 - Cruising Lake Huron

Relax on the sunny top deck and admire the beautiful views of Lake Huron during a day of cruising en route to Wyandotte, MI. The Great Lakes were carved by retreating ice sheets and filled with the meltwater from ancient glaciers. The indigo-blue waters of the Lakes are cloaked by forest-green pines, with classic lighthouses dotting the rocky cliffs whose banks are home to many animals.

DAY 6: July 29 - Wyandotte - Detroit

Spend a full day in Wyandotte, MI, nestled on the Detroit River. An optional tour in nearby Dearborn, MI begins at the Henry Ford Museum, home President John F. Kennedy’s limousine and the Rosa Parks bus.

DAY 7: July 30 - Cleveland

An afternoon arrival in Cleveland, Lake Erie's newly discovered pearl, thanks to countless restoration projects including vibrant cultural arts centers created from old mills.

DAY 8: July 31 - Erie, PA

Pennsylvania's only Great Lake port.

DAY 9: August 1 - Buffalo, NY

See this amazing sight up close since we have included a complimentary shore excursion to Niagara Falls (passport required) during our visit.

DAY 10: August 2 - Rochester - Oswego, NY

The hidden gems of Rochester, NY are yours to discover on an optional tour, beginning with stunning views of towering High Falls on the Genesee River and a visit to the International Museum of Photography and Film. In Oswego, NY, approach the gateway to the Oswego and Erie Canals and watch the ship’s retractable pilothouse lower, allowing the ship to slip beneath the Erie Canal’s lowest bridges.

DAY 11: August 3 - Oswego, NY

DAY 12: August 4 - Sylvan Beach, NY

Spend the day in lovely town of Sylvan Beach, tucked in on the Eastern Shore of Oneida Lake, NY, and along the Erie Canal. Beautiful Sylvan Beach is a lovely historic site, home to wide variety of restaurants and shops.

DAY 13: August 5 - Erie Canal

Spend a second full day on the Erie Canal, sailing where no other overnight cruise line can go!

DAY 14: August 6 - Troy, NY

A walk through this 19th century town reveals wrought iron architectural details and a quaint downtown.

DAY 15: August 7 - Kingston, NY

Tour the Hudson River Maritime Museum and Rondout Lighthouse.

DAY 16: August 8 - West Point, NY

Visit the impressive U.S. Military Academy (subject to accessibility). Another highlight is majestic Bear Mountain today.

DAY 17: August 9 - Newport, RI

We disembark in Warren, RI today and transfer to Newport, RI. Newport is a blend of historic port and chic resort town, known for its opulent mansions. An optional city tour includes a visit to the Breakers, a magnificent Gilded Age ‘summer cottage’ once owned by the Vanderbilt family.

DAY 18: August 10 - Newport, RI

Two glorious days are spent in Newport, RI with its picturesque setting overlooking the Atlantic. Newport is famed for 19th century mansions and estates.

DAY 19: August 11 - Newport, RI

Two glorious days are spent in Newport, RI with its picturesque setting overlooking the Atlantic. Newport is famed for 19th century mansions and estates.


The Grande Caribe - This intimate pocket cruise ship is the perfect choice for exploring the Great Lakes offering casual comfort (no need for formal clothing here).  All cabins come with facilities, there is a large dining room offering delicious meals with just one seating and a comfortable lounge.  With only 88 lucky passengers, it is easy to make new friends.


Fares and Accommodations

I Economy Inside
Upper and lower beds, very limited availability

$5,695 pp

II Standard Outside
Upper and lower beds, porthole, very limited availability

$7,295 pp

III Standard Outside
One double or two lower beds, picture window

$7,595 pp

IV Superior Outside
One double or two lower beds sliding window, some have a door which opens to outside deck.

$7,995 pp

Fares are per person, double occupancy, and do not include applicable port charges and fees of $295 per person.

Single rates of 175% of the double occupancy fare.

All staterooms feature private restroom – shower facilities