Cruising the Great Lakes aboard Le Bellot

Cruising the Great Lakes aboard Le Bellot



Explore all five Great Lakes to admire magnificent scenery and discover North America’s passion for nearly two centuries of North American innovation and maritime history from Milwaukee to Toronto. Cruise aboard the Five-Star, small ship Le Bellot and experience the historical charm of Mackinac Island, the unspoiled beauty of the UNESCO-inscribed Niagara Escarpment, the cultural largesse of Detroit and the thunderous Niagara Falls. Transit the Welland Canal and Soo Locks, among the world’s greatest engineering feats of the 19th century.

Study leaders are on the following departures. Grace Gary Sept. 18, Barbara Horlbeck Sept. 25, John Meffert Oct. 2, 2023.

Pricing from

SAVE up to $4,200 per cabin if reserved reserved by August 18!

Trip Type
Closer to Home, Group Travel Tour
Departure Dates
Sep 18, 2023 - Sep 25, 2023
Sep 25, 2023 - Oct 2, 2023
Oct 2, 2023 - Oct 9, 2023


Pre-Program Option Toronto
Start your Great Lakes voyage early in cosmopolitan Toronto, one of North America’s most celebrated cultural melting pots. Enjoy a walking tour of the Distillery District, Canada’s premier arts, culture, and entertainment destination, and visit Fort York, built in 1793 on the shores of Lake Ontario. Enjoy a specially arranged lunch in the CN Tower’s 360-degree revolving restaurant. Visit Casa Loma, a Gothic Revival mansion and garden built in the style of a European castle by Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. Tour the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto’s crowning jewel with a collection of over 80,000 works, including the world’s largest collection of Henry Moore sculptures. Accommodations for two nights are in the historical Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
Price per person, based on double occupancy: $1,195
Price per person, based on single occupancy: $1,395

Post-Program Option Milwaukee
canceled for the Sept. 18 departure

Rich in architectural treasures and world‑class institutions that reflect its storied history, vibrant Milwaukee is the perfect extension to your Great Lakes cruise. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the historical North Point neighborhood—home to one of the finest collections of Victorian mansions in the Midwest—and tour the expansive Milwaukee Art Museum, an impressive addition to Milwaukee’s revitalized waterfront, with more
than 25,000 pieces of art. Visit the striking Pabst Mansion, built in Flemish style by Pabst Brewing Company president Frederick Pabst. Accommodations for two nights are in the historical, centrally located Pfister Hotel.
Price per person, based on double occupancy: $895
Price per person, based on single occupancy: $1,195
Further details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.




  • Barbara Horlbeck

    Barbara Horlbeck

    Barbara Horlbeck, M.A., is an arts and culture professional with extensive global experience. She is a lecturer, writer, independent researcher and adjunct instructor of art history, and has developed and teaches college and university-level art history courses, including “Arts of the Islamic World” and “Arts of the Ancient World.”  As Founder of Arts and Influences, Barbara developed the successful Food for Thought Lecture and Lunch Series and created a series of in-depth seminars covering a broad range of topics from “Arts of the Medieval World,” and “Arts of China, India and Japan” to “Collectors, Collections, and the Modern Museum.”  As a docent at the Minneapolis Institute of Art for nearly 20 years, Barbara has led tours for educators, specialists and the general public. She has traveled in nearly 40 countries, including five continents and the North Pole, as well as Iran, India, Pakistan and China. Barbara loves helping travelers develop a deeper understanding of our rich artistic and cultural legacy while, at the same time, placing works of art and architecture in their rich historical context.

  • Grace Gary

    Grace Gary

    > Grace Gary’s relationship with the National Trust began when, while in graduate school, she was chosen as a National Trust Maritime Intern.  She’s hard to pin down on how many years ago that was, but she admits to having served as a lecturer on more-than fifty Trust tours over a span of more-than thirty years.  She is also the author of two titles in the Trust’s “Information” series and served as director of the Trust’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Office.  She also served as executive director of Preservation Pennsylvania, Longue Vue House and Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg’s Tourism Leadership Program, and Nemours Mansion and Gardens.  While at Nemours she oversaw an $80 million restoration program, which received the highest award from the AIA ever bestowed on a restoration project.  She and fellow National Trust Tours lecturer Dwight Young also co-authored “Nemours: A Portrait of Alfred I. DuPont’s Home,” which was published by Rizzoli.  She is a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and has a Master’s in architectural history from the University of Virginia, where she had the privilege of living on the Range in one of the original, Thomas Jefferson-designed rooms.

  • John Meffert

    John Meffert

    John Meffert, consultant on Heritage Conservation Services, has a long tradition with the National Trust. He has served as the Director for our Southern Office from and was the director of the Preservation Society of Charleston, the oldest nonprofit organization in the United States, responsible for preserving the historic resources of Charleston, S.C. John has delighted many study tour groups with his lectures and insights on preservation, and receives rave reviews as study leader.


CANCELLATION FEES: Final payment due at least 95 days prior to departure. Cancellation fees and penalties apply as follows:


96 days or more prior*

95-61 days prior

60-45 days prior

44-0 days prior


Full refund

50% of program price

75% of program price

100% of program price

*In the event of a cancellation between 45 and 95 days prior to departure, the refund will be by credit, usable on a future Gohagan & Company trip which commences on or before December 31, 2023. In addition, for all bookings, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees and administrative fees may apply. Click here for more information.


Great Lakes map


  • day 1

    Depart home city/Arrive in Toronto, Canada/ Embark Le Bellot/ Lake Ontario/Welland Canal

    Arrive in Toronto and cruise through eight locks of the Welland Canal, one of North America’s most important economic lifelines. Constructed in the early 19th century, the canal links Lake Ontario to Lake Erie and was instrumental in opening the Great Lakes to commerce and prosperity; the canal carries nearly 40 million tons of cargo per year. Enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening.
    Itinerary operates in reverse Sept. 25

  • day 2

    Niagara Falls/Lake Erie

    Drive to Niagara Falls and ride the Hornblower Cruise Funicular down the 19-story rock walls of the Great Gorge and back up. Cruise toward the base of Horseshoe Falls and experience the sheer force of this geological wonder. After a specially-arranged lunch, see the 410 million‑year-old layers of the Niagara Gorge and the Whirlpool Rapids, among the world’s most extreme. Discover the Sir Adam Beck Power Station, the world’s first large‑scale hydroelectric generation project, and Niagara’s famous Floral Clock, intricately filled with 20,000 plants and flowers. This evening, cruise Lake Erie.

  • day 3

    Detroit, Michigan, US

    Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts, one of the most significant collections of art in the nation, housed in a magnificent Beaux Arts building. See Diego Rivera’s monumental Detroit Industry mural, which captures the city’s blue-collar history, as well as master works by Auguste Rodin; Michelangelo; Vincent van Gogh; Edgar Degas; and Paul Cézanne. Continue to Grosse Point to visit the Edsel and Eleanor Ford Mansion.

  • day 4

    Detroit/Lake Huron

    Visit the acclaimed Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, which spotlights the creative genius of American inventor and innovators that represent defining moments in U.S. history. See Kennedy’s presidential limo, the chair where Lincoln was assassinated in Ford’s Theater, and the bus where Rosa Parks refused to vacate her seat. This evening, cruise Lake Huron.

  • day 5

    Tobermory, Ontario/Lake Huron

    In Tobermory, embark on a glass‑bottom boat cruise from Little Tub Harbor to Big Tub Harbor. See the remains of the schooner Sweepstakes, Big Tub Lighthouse, and the Flowerpot Island. Enjoy time at leisure. Prepare for more stunning views this evening as you cruise across Lake Huron.

  • day 6

    Soo Locks/ Lake Superior/Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, US

    This morning, transit the Soo Locks from Lake Huron to Lake Superior and back. Arrive in Sault Ste. Marie and explore the SS Valley Camp, a retired lake freighter that is now a museum featuring exhibits of faithfully restored living quarters and the tragic loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Continue to the Soo Locks Interpretation Center and watch colossal freighters lower 21 feet from Lake Superior to enter Lake Huron. This  evening, cruise Lake Huron.

  • day 7

    Mackinac Island/Lake Michigan

    Set off on a nostalgic horse‑drawn carriage ride around the island with a photo stop at the famed Arch Rock. Continue to Fort Mackinac for a guided visit. Enjoy lunch at the National Historic Landmark, Grand Hotel Mackinac in the hotel’s elegant Main Dining Room overlooking the world’s longest porch displaying the hotel’s many American flags, as well as the glistening Straits of Mackinac. Cruise Lake Michigan and attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception this evening.

  • day 8

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin/Return to home city

    Itinerary operates in reverse Sept. 25

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