You can now ride a cruise ship on the Great Lakes from Toronto to Milwaukee

Viking Great Lakes Cruise

Cruise ships have returned to the Great Lakes and Toronto, which is great news now that summer is around the corner and Ontario people are returning to the long-forgotten holiday ritual.

But with airports still a complete mess and so much natural beauty right in our backyard, there’s always the option to cruise to sunny, exotic destinations like…wait…Milwaukee?

Am I reading this correctly?

It turns out that the beer capital of North America is indeed a hot destination for Ontario travelers, or at least the terminus of a popular Viking Cruises Canada Great Lakes cruise itinerary.

And even if you’re not a fan of cheap beer or a Giannis Antetokounmpo Stan, there’s a lot more to this cruise’s itinerary through four of the five than just the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the Midwest, the Great Lakes.

Milwaukee might not be for everyone, especially for those coming from the much larger and more cosmopolitan Toronto, but there are a total of four stops in between, plus all the quirky bells and whistles of the Octantis ship.

@VikingCruises vessel Octantis is currently docked at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary on shore excursions to Alpena, MI. #greatlakes #lakehuron #michigan @LakeHuron

— Daniel B. (@danieb9600) May 4, 2022

You can cruise the Welland Canal to Niagara Falls, visit Canada’s southernmost point at Point Pelee (farther south than the California-Oregon border!), enjoy the ruins and revival of the Motor City with a stop in Detroit, and check out the quiet Beauty of Lake Huron with stops at Alpena and Mackinac Island before arriving in Milwaukee.

A cruise ship going up the Detroit River is quite a sight! @VikingCruises Octanis maiden voyage leaves Detroit and heads to Alpena! #vikingcruises

— Carl Jones II (@CarlJonesPhoto) May 3, 2022

Cruises depart regularly from Toronto and Milwaukee throughout the spring and summer and cost between $7,795 and $9,095 per person, although August appears to be fully booked. Viking offers airfares starting at $599 per person.

If that all sounds like a lot of money, then it is.

Take a quick look at the website of any major cruise line like Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line and you’ll find plenty of destination options that, on the surface at least, seem a lot cheaper and a lot more exotic than Milwaukee or any of the places in between.