New Lineup with the M/V Victory I and II
Victory Cruise Lines, committed to small-ship cruising on the Great Lakes, North American and Canadian coasts, is excited to unveil a new lineup of shore excursions following the recent announcement of six new itineraries onboard the M/V Victory Iand M/V Victory II for the 2020 season. Operated by American Queen Steamboat Company, a leader in U.S. river cruising, the 202-guest M/V Victory I and M/V Victory II will transport guests to dynamic and immersive ports of call to deliver authentic, cultural experiences that highlight the novelty of each coastal destination.
Also new for 2020, guests will have the opportunity to select from a number of premium shore excursion upgrades in addition to the already included new daily itineraries. The new M/V Victory I and M/V Victory II shore excursion highlights include:
Known as America’s “North Coast,” Cleveland features a wide variety of cultural attractions amidst the city’s cool, revitalized atmosphere. Guests can expand their minds at the world-class Cleveland Museum of Art with over 45,000 works to explore, while music lovers can enjoy a trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Also available as a premium experience is the Authentic Amish Adventure, which offers a glimpse into a simpler way of life with a visit to an Amish home for a traditional wedding feast in Geauga County.
Nothing beats the Motor City when it comes to exploring the captivating history of America’s automotive industry. A visit to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is available as an optional premium excursion and will delight any auto-aficionado with its vast and varied artifacts collection. All guests may choose from included excursions to the Detroit Institute of Arts and its staggering 100-plus galleries, the Motown Museum, the West Canfield Historic District and other city highlights.
This outdoor escape on Lake Michigan’s eastern shore offers multiple state parks and trails, two rivers perfect for paddleboarding, 26 miles of beaches and a winter sports park. Maritime historians will appreciate the included tour of the USS LST (Landing Ship, Tank) 393 Veterans Museum. An optional premium experience finds guests traveling by motorcoach to Grand Rapids to visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum to learn about the life of America’s 38th president and pay respects at his burial site. Thrill seekers will enjoy the, the Dune Buggy Adventure premium excursion, which includes an exhilarating ride through the diverse geography and dunes of Muskegon’s landscape.
Sault Ste. Marie
Also known as the international twin cities, “the Saults” are neighbors on either side of St. Mary’s River on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and in Southern Ontario. A narrated tour showcases local highlights, including the retired lake freighter and current museum, SS Valley Camp, and offers an inside look at the engineering spectacle of the world’s busiest canal (in terms of tons), the Soo Locks.
A true hidden gem, Mackinac Island’s itinerary takes guests on a carriage tour of the charming island, followed by a visit to Fort Mackinac. Afterward, guests can take a step back and unwind with warm hospitality and old-world charm at the Grand Hotel for a delicious mid-day meal. The hotel also boasts the world’s largest porch featuring stunning views of the Straits of Mackinac.
The many colors of this historic town come to life during this engaging excursion, from the red-flowing wineries to vibrant markets full of local cultivators and purveyors selling goods year-round. Jokingly referred to as a ‘pelican playground,’ this coastal destination’s craft breweries, boutiques and of course, fresh sea fare make it a favorite stop for cruisers.
Bar Harbor, Maine
During the fall months, this idyllic port on Mount Desert Island is the first city to welcome daybreak in the United States. The Acadia National Park and Sand Beach are on full display in this excursion so that guests can experience the unparalleled and diverse beauty of the region, from its pink granite landscape to its towering evergreens. Adventure seekers can choose the premium excursion, a Scenic Flight Over Acadia National Park, and enjoy a birds-eye view of the breathtaking towns and villages of Mount Desert Island and the Schoodic Peninsula.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
With roots in the Garden of the Gulf, Charlottetown invites travelers to revel in whimsical architecture and rose-gold shorelines. Where beachside vistas meet emerald green pastures, the coastal town serves as the original inspiration for Anne of Green Gables. Its charming city center boasts local haunts and the culture of a true port city, with fresh ocean-to-table-cuisine. The premium excursion, Explore North Shore: Anne of Green Gables, invites guests to tour the original farmhouse that inspired L.M. Montgomery’s famous 1908 novel. Along the way, guests will learn about the history of the area with stops at the fishing village North Rustico, Cavendish Beach and the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company.
As the former capital of the “pine tree state,” Portland lends urban sensibility to the wild splendor of the ragged coastline. Restaurants and revelry fill the city’s 19th century warehouses, inviting visitors to stroll the cobblestone decorated streets. At Cape Elizabeth, slightly south, the Portland Head Light stands as a beacon to ocean travelers and is a true marvel during this delightful excursion. Portland also features an optional shore excursion, Lobsters and Lighthouses, inviting guests to climb aboard a traditional lobster boat to learn from an expert about the local crustacean and how to catch them.
Quebec City, Quebec
A glittering jewel brightening the banks of the St. Lawrence River, Québec City exudes old-world charm. Excursion highlights include the Château Frontenac towering above the rampart-lined neighborhood of Upper Town and the Joan of Arc Garden where the city’s English heritage is on full display. Guests traveling on Canada’s Southern Coast itinerary will enjoy a stop at the Notre-Dame des Victoires, a beautiful and historic Roman Catholic stone church dating back to 1723. The Treasures of Quebec premium shore excursion takes guests to the Albert Gilles Copper Art and Museum to witness world-renowned coppersmith techniques firsthand. Afterward, guests will head to the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, one of Canada’s eight national shrines. The excursion will conclude with breathtaking views of the Île d’Orléans via gondola lift to the apex of Montmorency Falls, which is higher than Niagara by almost 100 feet.
Showcasing where the St. Lawrence River connects with both history and contemporary design, Montreal is the epitome of metropolitan sophistication. A mountainous river island in an archipelago, its landscape is as diverse as its population. A city tour reveals some of the area’s hidden gems and true delights, followed by time to leisurely explore local boutiques, galleries, museums, restaurants and more. To sweeten this port stop, a premium excursion is available, taking guests to Sucrerie de la Montagne – a traditional sugar shack in the heart of Mont Rigaud. For those on either Canada’s Southern Coast or Canadian Crown Jewels itineraries, a visit to the Notre-Dame Basilica is also included, enchanting guests with the church’s ornate detail and fascinating history.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Just a short coach-ride from Port Colborne sits Niagara Falls and Horseshoe Falls – also known as Canadian Falls. After taking in the majestic beauty of the falls, a narrated driving tour reveals popular attractions, including the Whirlpool Rapids, the Floral Clock and Table Rock Park. The day concludes with a stop in downtown Niagara Falls to stroll, shop and eat at the guests’ leisure. A premium excursion is also available, allowing guests to get up close and personal with the falls on the famed Hornblower boat tour, including a ride up to the top of the Skylon Tower to take in the 360-degree view of the area.
Little Current, Manitoulin Island
The natural beauty of Georgian Bay leads to the world’s largest freshwater island, Manitoulin, featuring scenic granite outcrops and rolling farmland. Little Current, the island’s largest town, weaves together indigenous life with European history, resulting in a unique cultural blend. Guests will visit the Immaculate Conception Church with its distinctive tepee-like architecture. Following, a performance by the drummers and dancers of the native Anishinaabe people will delight guests as they bring the sacred rhythms of the island to life. A Horseback on Honora Bay premium excursion is also available, taking guests on a 30-minute rollicking gallop over the island.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
The capital city of Nova Scotia, Halifax is where coastal living, rugged wilderness and urban culture converge. This immersive excursion includes stops at the Public Gardens and the fortified summit of Citadel Hill. On Canada’s Southern Coast and the Canadian Crown Jewels itineraries, guests will get to also explore the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.
Albany-based Victory Cruise Lines operates Victory I and Victory II, identical 202-passenger ships and the upcoming newly-built 200-passenger vessel, the Ocean Victory, on order to be delivered by 2021. Victory Cruise Lines operates all-inclusive cruises to Canada, the Great Lakes, New England, with upcoming itineraries in Alaska.
Fares for Victory Cruise Lines’ 2020 voyage itineraries begin at $3,299 per person on board M/V Victory I and $3,799 per person on board M/V Victory II. For more information, or to book with Victory Cruise Lines, please visit the website, call 888-907-2636 or contact your travel agent.