Yes, massive ocean-liners sail the Great Lakes too. After missing two years due to the pandemic, four of the five cruise lines will be back in the water in '22.

It's not the high seas, but adventure awaits on the freshwaters of the Great Lakes. In recent years, luxury cruise ships like those often seen in the Caribbean have begun to chart voyages across Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario from ports in Canada to the United States and vice versa. All vessels remained docked in 2020 and 2021, tied up in their home ports amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and now, they are ready to cast off and say "bon voyage" again.

What Cruise Lines Sail the Great Lakes?

Pearl Seas Cruises has a week-long trip that will take you into the waters of 4 of the 5 Great Lakes, with ports of call in Milwaukee, Holland, Muskegon, Mackinac Island, and Sault Ste. Marie, prior to four Canadian cities including the final destination of Toronto.

In January 2020, Viking announced plans to bring a fleet of luxury cruise ships to the Great Lakes. They're still on schedule for a 2022 launch and are booking 8-16 day vacations, including a 15-day, 2-country epic trek across all 5 of the Great Lakes from Toronto, Canada to Duluth, Minnesota including stops in Thunder Bay, Sault, Ste. Marie, Mackinac Island, and Niagra Falls.

Victory Cruise lines put plans on hold in 2020 to sail Lake Michigan with stops in the ports of Detroit, Mackinac Island, Muskegon, and others. The company has since been sold to American Queen Voyages and is sailing from Chicago to Toronto all summer, with trips from Montreal to Detroit resuming in September.

Knowing a ship in the harbor is safe, even though that's not what they are built for, Blount Small Ship Adventures "has suspended operations as a result of the ongoing global health crisis and will not be conducting cruises in the future."

Finally, not only are the Great Lakes international waters between the United States and Canada, a French cruise line called Ponant plans to visit the Great Lakes with fall color cruises between Quebec City and Milwaukee.

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LOOK: Here are the best lake towns to live in

Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.