Unlocking The Mystery: Why Great Lakes Cruises Are So Expensive

Great Lakes cruises are expensive due to the luxury accommodations and amenities offered onboard, as well as the exclusive destinations and experiences available throughout the journey. Embarking on a great lakes cruise is an excellent way to explore some of North America’s most scenic waterways while enjoying top-notch accommodations and amenities.

However, a common question that many would-be travelers ask is why great lakes cruises are so expensive. The answer largely boils down to the exclusive nature of these voyages and the elements that make them so unique. On a great lakes cruise, passengers can expect to enjoy upscale accommodations, gourmet dining options, and a variety of onboard entertainments.

Additionally, these journeys typically stop at exclusive destinations and offer exciting experiences like scenic helicopter tours and hikes through remote wilderness areas. While a great lakes cruise may require a significant investment, the unparalleled experience makes it well worth the price.

The Great Lakes: A Unique Opportunity For Cruise Travel

The great lakes region, nestled in the heart of North America, is an overlooked but worthwhile destination for travelers exploring the continent. It’s a unique opportunity for cruise travel that is worth the expense. Here are the reasons why:

Limited Accessibility: Limited Cruisers And Operational Costs

  • The great lakes are not accessible to all cruise ships due to size restrictions on the Welland Canal, which connects lakes Ontario and Erie.
  • This limitation means fewer cruise ships operate on the great lakes, thereby inflating the cost. The operational costs of the ships are high.
  • Due to the lack of available ports, cruises on the great lakes are often one-way, so there are additional transfer costs.

Highly Specialized Cruises That Cater To Discerning Travelers

  • Great Lakes cruises cater to travelers who seek a unique experience, with itineraries that focus on the region’s culture, history, and natural beauty.
  • The small size of the ships means that passengers can explore the ports intimately, while onboard staff and crew offer personalized service and exclusive experiences.
  • Specialized cruises such as bird-watching, fall foliage viewing, and culinary-themed cruises cater to discerning travelers, ensuring that everyone has a bespoke experience.

Taking a great lakes cruise is a unique experience that justifies the expense. The stunning setting, history-rich destinations, and specialized cruises for discerning travelers make the cost worth it.

Operating Expenses: The High Cost Of Cruise Lines

Taking a great lakes cruise sounds like an incredible vacation idea, but have you ever wondered why these trips are so expensive? One of the primary reasons is the high operating expenses incurred by cruise lines. Let’s delve into the specifics.

Operating Expenses The High Cost Of Cruise Lines

Fuel And Maintenance Costs: The Challenges Of Navigating Through The Great Lakes

  • The great lakes region is known for its diverse weather patterns, which can make navigation challenging for ships. These conditions can increase fuel consumption, pushing up costs.
  • Great Lakes cruises run on diesel fuel and require significant amounts of it to power the ships. Additionally, these vessels require regular maintenance, which can be costly.
  • The lakes themselves present a unique set of issues for ships, among them strong currents, rough waters, and unseen reefs. To ensure passenger safety, ships must undergo specialized maintenance, adding to the total operating expenses.

Crew And Staffing: Unique Qualifications, Language Requirements, And More

  • Great Lakes cruise lines must employ experienced crews, and their qualifications extend beyond the usual certifications. These crew members must know the waters of the great lakes thoroughly, including the specific characteristics of each lake and its surrounding areas.
  • Additionally, cruise lines must employ staff with diverse language proficiency abilities to cater to passengers’ needs. This adds to the operating expenses.
  • Lastly, staff representatives must also be knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna as passengers often have an interest in learning about their surroundings during the trip.

Amenities And Features: Creating An Unforgettable Experience

Amenities And Features Creating An Unforgettable Experience

Luxury Cruise Features: The Stylish Design Of Cabins And Onboard Amenities

The great lakes offer a breathtaking experience for all who embark on a luxury cruise. Your comfort and level of enjoyment are the highest priority, so cruise lines aim to provide the best amenities and features on board.

  • Cabins on great lakes cruises are designed elegantly and with your comfort in mind.
  • All cabins come with large windows, which offer amazing views as you sail the great lakes.
  • You can choose from a range of cabins, including standard rooms to luxurious suites.
  • Onboard amenities are equally impressive, with options including fitness centers, spas, and swimming pools.
  • Great Lakes cruise ships also offer unique activities such as onboard theater shows, live music events, and movie screenings.

High-End Dining: Inclusive, Sumptuous, And Customizable Options

Dining is always a highlight of any cruise, but on a great lakes cruise, meals are especially unique, prepared fresh each day from high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.

  • Great Lakes Cruises offer an all-inclusive package, complete with delicious meals for every palate.
  • With talented chefs preparing all meals, each dish is a true culinary work of art.
  • Dining options cater to your every need, with menus that can be customized to meet dietary restrictions or preferences.
  • You’ll get to savor impressive selections featuring gourmet dishes sourced from the great lakes’ culinary landscape.
  • Whether you’re interested in seafood straight from the lake, or farm-to-table cuisine, the great lakes region has it all.

Unique Excursions: Exploring The Great Lakes’ Diversity And Cultural Heritage

Great Lakes cruises offer unparalleled opportunities to discover a range of destinations each with its unique set of attractions. On these trips, you’ll explore the heart of the Midwest and all of the natural, cultural, and historical treasures the region has to offer.

  • Shore excursions are always a highlight of any cruise, and great lakes cruises offer exceptional activities that highlight the region’s diversity and rich cultural heritage.
  • From small towns and vineyards to bustling metropolises, the great lakes region has something for every traveler.
  • You can take a guided tour of the historic Mackinac Island, or explore maritime history first-hand by visiting the great lakes shipwreck museum.
  • You can also request recreational activities such as biking, hiking, or kayaking to fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking surroundings.
  • Each port of call offers something unique and unforgettable, making great lake cruises a perfect way to explore and appreciate all that the region has to offer.

Great Lakes cruises are expensive but worth the cost. From state-of-the-art amenities onboard to sumptuous dining and unique shore excursions, your experience on a great lakes cruise will be unforgettable.

Why Opt For Great Lakes Cruises Over Other Forms Of Transportation: Comparing To Other Travel Options

Great Lakes cruises offer a unique and exciting way of traveling across this vast area. However, there are several other travel options to consider. Here is what sets great lakes cruises apart from other forms of transportation:

Why Opt For Great Lakes Cruises Over Other Forms Of Transportation Comparing To Other Travel Options

  • Driving: While driving might offer the opportunity to explore the region independently, it can be exhausting and limit what you can see. A great lakes cruise offers a different perspective on the area, allowing you to explore in comfort and luxury while enjoying the beautiful sights along the way.
  • Flying: Flying can be a quick and convenient way to travel, but you might miss out on the unique experiences available during a cruise. A great lakes cruise allows you enough time to explore the area in-depth while you get quality relaxation.
  • Train: Train travel can be a great way to explore the region’s scenic beauty, but it does not offer the intimate and personalized experience a great lakes cruise provides. Great lakes cruises offer onboard amenities, staff, and services that train travel lack.
  • Coach/bus travel: Although cheaper than the great lakes cruise, bus travel offers fewer amenities and services. Moreover, bus travel does not give you much flexibility to explore the area at your pace.

A great lakes cruise is expensive, but it offers a unique and personalized experience that is worth the price tag. As you consider your travel options, it’s essential to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each to make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions On Why Are Great Lakes Cruises So Expensive

Why Are Great Lakes Cruises So Expensive?

Great Lakes cruises are expensive because they offer a unique experience and require specialized ships. Supplies and staff are also costly due to the remote locations and limited availability in the region.

What Is Included In The Cost Of A Great Lakes Cruise?

The cost of a great lakes cruise typically includes meals, accommodations, and onboard activities. Excursions and alcoholic beverages may be extra. Be sure to read the fine print and understand what is and isn’t included.

Are Great Lakes Cruises Suitable For Families?

Great Lakes cruises can be a great family vacation option, with plenty of activities and amenities for all ages. However, some cruises may have age restrictions, and not all ships are equipped with kid-specific facilities.

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Take A Great Lakes Cruise?

The best time to take a great lakes cruise depends on personal preference and the specific itinerary. The summer months offer warmer weather and longer days, but fall foliage can be stunning and winter offers unique ice-breaking cruises.


It’s clear that great lakes cruises come with a hefty price tag due to the unique experiences they offer. From the stunning views of the surrounding scenery to the exclusive access to historical sites, there’s no doubt that these cruises offer an unparalleled adventure.

The cost of accommodating passengers on a vessel and maintaining it, coupled with other expenses associated with providing top-notch services, all contribute to the high prices. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the value of the experience and memories made is often priceless.

Before making any decisions, passengers should do their research, assess their budget, and choose a cruise that meets their needs and expectations. At the end of the day, the high cost is of secondary importance compared to the lifelong memories and experiences that the great lakes offer.

So, pack your bag, hop on board, and let the adventure begin!

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Elsie S. Pilla is an acclaimed travel writer, whose work has been published in numerous print and digital publications. With a passion for exploring new destinations and immersing herself in different cultures, Elsie has traveled extensively across the globe, from the beaches of Bali to the mountains of Peru. Her writing is known for its vivid descriptions, insightful commentary, and practical advice, making her a sought-after contributor to top travel publications. Through her work on taketravelinfo.com, Elsie continues to share her love of travel with a wide audience, inspiring others to embark on their own adventures.

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