Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is happy to announce the return of their Great Lakes cruises in 2011. MS COLUMBUS, built in 1997 was specifically designed to navigate the locks of the Great Lakes, and is therefore one of the few ocean-going cruise ships that can successfully travel through the wonderful scenery of the Great Lakes of North America. The COLUMBUS offers a unique opportunity to experience a European cruise ship on two Great Lakes itineraries in 2011, as well as on one itinerary along the eastern coast of North America.

The two international (German/English) Great Lakes itineraries provide the rare opportunity to visit seven different states, two Canadian provinces, and all five lakes. A highlight of the Great Lakes journeys is when the COLUMBUS proceeds through the eight locks of the 28-mile long Welland Canal, after tackling a height difference of almost 328 feet. Guests will also be presented with numerous opportunities for outings which include: attending a real Pow-Wow and traversing the Agawa Canyon on an excursion that takes them where tourists seldom go, through a breath-taking wilderness with waterfalls, ravines and steep passes. 

Also offered on the COLUMBUS in Fall 2011, an eastern United States and Canada itinerary from Toronto to Florida. This itinerary cruising through the St. Lawrence Seaway, makes stops at all the big cities along the route including: Boston, Newport, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Also a dedicated golf cruise, this itinerary allows golf enthusiasts the opportunity to work with an PGA golf professional and to practice on a 21-course golf simulator onboard. Additionally the golf package allows guests to tee off at 5 golf courses along the route (golf package at an additional cost).

Guests will enjoy the casual, friendly atmosphere aboard the COLUMBUS, a 3-star-plus ship, according to the 2010 Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships. The COLUMBUS provides excellent value for the price, plus the exhilarating experience of travelling on an ocean liner, which includes sophisticated international cuisine, lounges, sports, a swimming pool and entertainment, for a maximum of 420 guests.

All three of the dedicated 2011 COLUMBUS international cruises ensure English-speaking passengers feel comfortable from the moment they step onboard. Travel Documents and information is provided to guests in English prior to their trip.  Documentation in English onboard includes: daily programs, menus, announcements, lectures/video presentations, and safety drill instructions. Shore excursions are offered in English at each port of call.  Lastly, the entire crew is fluent in English.

2011 International Cruises on the MS COLUMBUS:

Great Lakes Cruise – Toronto to Chicago 

September 5 – 18, 2011, 13 Days

Lake Highlights: Welland Canal, Windsor, Tobermory, Parry Sound, Georgian Bay, Little Current, Lock “Soo,” Thunder Bay, Duluth, Mackinac Island

*Rates Starting at: $3,540 per person/cruise only; a 5% early booking discount applies if booked by February 7, 2011

Great Lakes Cruise – From Chicago to Toronto

September 18 – October 1, 2011, 13 Days

Lake Highlights: Traverse City, Mackinac Island, Lock “Soo,” Thunder Bay, Little Current, Georgian Bay, Midland, Windsor, Welland Canal

*Rates Starting at: $3,470 per person/cruise only; a 5% early booking discount applies if booked by February 20, 2011

Eastern Coast of North America – From Toronto to Miami

October 1 – 19, 2011, 18 Days

Cruise Stops: Montreal, Quebec, Halifax, Boston, Newport, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston, Savannah, Port Canaveral

*Rates starting at: $4,280 per person/cruise only; a 5% early booking discount applies if booked by March 5, 2011

Golf Package $1,160 (includes tee time on 5 courses)