A Voyage Along the Great Lakes – with Smithsonian Journeys

A Voyage Along the Great Lakes – with Smithsonian Journeys

From AUD $10,100


In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.

This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.

Set sail with PONANT aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville for an 8-day cruise to discover the Great Lakes amidst the splendid colours of late summer.

You will leave from cosmopolitan and dynamic Toronto, Ontario, on the shore of Lake Ontario. Canada’s largest city will charm you with its museums, parks, and gardens.

Le Bellot will then sail the canal connecting Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. From your call in Port Colborne, you will be able to see the impressive Niagara Falls. These three powerful waterfalls, renowned the world over, are an exquisite natural spectacle.

Your next lake, Lake Huron, boasts myriad islands in its northern part, with white rocks capped with conifers plunging into the sapphire waters of the lake. Here you will discover the charming city of Parry Sound, in the heart of the fantastic UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Georgian Bay, and the quaint town of Little Current, gateway to Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island.

From Sault Ste. Marie, you will have the opportunity to transit the engineering marvel of the Soo Locks for a foray into Lake Superior, before continuing to Mackinac Island for an exploration of the island’s Victorian past by horse and buggy.

End your voyage by sailing the length of Lake Michigan, a veritable inland sea, following in the footsteps of the region’s indigenous Americans, first settlers, and trappers. Make your way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the United States’ “brew city,” for disembarkation.

Trip Name
A Voyage Along the Great Lakes – with Smithsonian Journeys
Vessel Type: Luxury Passenger Capacity: 92 cabins Built: 2017/2018 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 first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Dumont d'Urville 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. RESTAURANTS As it is an essential part of French culture, gastronomy will naturally have pride of place aboard this new ship. Through its two restaurants, Le Dumont d'Urville will invite you on a journey to elegance and epicureanism. In a relaxed atmosphere, a first dining area located on Deck 3 and able to seat 70 will serve grilled meats daily, along with a variety of salads and desserts. To the back of Deck 4, you will find a 260 m² panoramic restaurant which can accommodate all of our passengers in a single sitting. Designed differently to that on our other ships, this dining area, which opens onto the outside, will have a buffet of salads, desserts and cheeses at your disposal. Our discreet and attentive crew will provide table service for hot meals. PUBLIC AREAS Like Le Boréal and its sisterships, Le Dumont d'Urville has many common areas that are designed and equipped to meet all of your needs while preserving the intimacy of each passenger. A 140 m² reception area includes: A reception/concierge desk, An excursions desk, The ship’s administrative services, The sales office, manned by our Guest Relations Officer, Our 50 m² boutique which sells clothing, jewellery, beauty products, postcards and various accessories, Toilets accessible to passengers with reduced mobility. A new hydraulic platform with adjustable height provides: Easier boarding than on any other cruise ship, Easier Zodiac embarkation and disembarkation for expeditions, Easier access to the sea for swimming and practising various water sports such as kayaking or paddle-boarding. A pool deck offering: A pool with a panoramic view, equipped with a counter-current swimming system, A pleasant solarium, An outdoor bar and lounge with armchairs and sofas. A 200 m² main lounge which can accommodate all of our passengers to share convivial moments and to host activities organised during the day or evening. Lastly, a theatre that seats 188, equipped with: The latest sound and lighting technology, A LED wall as the stage backdrop, for the projection of high-resolution images and videos.


Day 1 - Day 1 TORONTO
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.
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.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.
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.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.
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.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.
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.
Day 6 - Day 6 SAULT STE. MARIE
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.
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.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.
Day 8 - Day 8 MILWAUKEE
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.
Day 9 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
28-08-202304-09-2023AUD $10,100Deluxe Stateroom
28-08-202304-09-2023AUD $27,330Grand Deluxe Suite
28-08-202304-09-2023AUD $28,690Owner's Suite
28-08-202304-09-2023AUD $11,140Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
28-08-202304-09-2023AUD $11,670Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
28-08-202304-09-2023AUD $12,290Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
28-08-202304-09-2023AUD $16,880Deluxe Suite
28-08-202304-09-2023AUD $22,640Prestige Suite Deck 5
28-08-202304-09-2023AUD $23,780Prestige Suite Deck 6
28-08-202304-09-2023AUD $24,930Privilege Suite
09-10-202316-10-2023AUD $10,100Deluxe Stateroom
09-10-202316-10-2023AUD $11,140Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
09-10-202316-10-2023AUD $11,670Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
09-10-202316-10-2023AUD $12,290Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
09-10-202316-10-2023AUD $16,880Deluxe Suite
09-10-202316-10-2023AUD $22,640Prestige Suite Deck 5
09-10-202316-10-2023AUD $23,780Prestige Suite Deck 6
09-10-202316-10-2023AUD $24,930Privilege Suite
09-10-202316-10-2023AUD $27,330Grand Deluxe Suite
09-10-202316-10-2023AUD $28,690Owner's Suite


    • A voyage specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers including discussions with experts, transfers before and after your cruise, and an included excursion in each port of call.
    • Engaging discussions onboard with two Smithsonian Journeys Experts.
    • A cruise with the opportunity to explore the five Great Lakes of North America, between the United States and Canada.
    • A cruise along the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Georgian Bay.
    • An itinerary combining nature and culture: picturesque landscapes and geological curiosities, the history of indigenous Americans inhabiting the region before European colonisation, and charming villages.
    • An excursion to the magnificent Niagara Falls.
    • A visit to charming Mackinac Island, with its preserved Victorian architecture.