The Great Lakes may not immediately spring to mind when you think of cruise destinations, but a rare start-up line called Pearl Seas Cruises is hoping to change that.
Launching in June, the U.S.-flagged, small-ship line will debut 10- to 14-day itineraries that include the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, bringing cruisers to such destinations as Quebec City, Chicago, Niagara Falls, and Toronto. Bonus: Most shore excursions are included in the cruise fare.
The Connecticut-based cruise line’s flagship will be the brand-new, 210-passenger Pearl Mist. The ship will feature oversized staterooms (all with private balconies and many with sliding glass doors), a spacious dining room, and intimate lounges.
But it’s the itineraries that really make the product stand out.
“Our passengers’ experience on shore is equally important as their experience aboard our ships,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, Pearl Seas Cruises, in a prepared statement. “Alongside our emphasis on creating a luxury experience aboard Pearl Mist is an additional emphasis on providing an upscale and enriching experience while guests are in port.”
On Great Lakes cruises, tours will be as diverse as a ride on Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls, a powwow with traditional Native American dance and drums on Canada’s Manitoulin Island, and a visit to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Cycling and kayaking will be available at many port stops. Onboard lecturers will also offer insight into the areas visited.
The ship will also cruise the coast of New England and Canada as well as in the Caribbean on 7-day and longer itineraries.