We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Sailing from Canada to USA

Which Toronto hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Venice, Italy
3 posts
Save Topic
Sailing from Canada to USA

Hello out there. Have been contemplating this trip for some time but now I really must get down to organizing it and gettings things done. Have not yet booked or reserved flights or hotels. Here goes with my dilema/request.

We are both seniors who intend visiting Canada and Chicago in August, travelling from Venice to Montreal via Air Transat. Do not foresee any difficulty during our Canadian stay.

Montreal 3 nights at Hilton - local sight-seeing.

Moving on to Ottawa by public transport (rail/coach) visiting city on our own or with the help of hotel staff.(Hilton)

Then on to Toronto by public transport again as Ottawa. No Niagara.

After Toronto move on to Chicago for a 3 night stay after which we will return to Toronto for our flight home to Venice.

REQUEST QUESTION: I know Porter Airlines fly Toronto/Chicago cheap and fast BUT I WANT TO SAIL on Lake Erie to Toledo? ? Is it feasible or am I just dreaming?

Thanks,

Margaret

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
Level Contributor
72,023 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Sailing from Canada to USA

Hi Margaret;

There are no passenger boats that travel from Toronto to Toledo.

Best Regards

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6,858 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Sailing from Canada to USA

I'm not aware of any such thing either. It'd be a very long trip -- more than 500 km, which would take several days in an actual sailboat and something like 15 hours at cruise ship speeds.

Unless anyone else knows of something, you could consider daytime sailing excursions when you're in Toronto and Chicago. One option for Toronto is http://www.tallshipcruisestoronto.com/ .

Edited: 19 March 2012, 16:55
London, Canada
Level Contributor
2,338 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Sailing from Canada to USA

A quick 'google' of "Lake Erie Cruises" produces dozens of boat trips etc on Lake Erie, BUT all from the American side (Cleveland, Sandusky etc).

fairwindsailing.com/sailing_charters/…

is one example. This might also interest you

peleedaysinn.com/leamington-pelee-ferry.htm

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
13,856 posts
48 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Sailing from Canada to USA

Hi Margaret931,

Welcome to the TORONTO TRAVEL FORUM

And I see you are NEW to the TA FORUMS… so a BIG Welcome Aboard as well !!

There are most certainly "cruise tour boats / small ships" that ply the Great Waterway that is the St Lawrence River & the Great Lakes during the summer months.

The first thing you’ll notice though is most likely the pricing… similar to River Cruising in Europe these types of sailings are not cheap… partly because they are not on the same big scale that can be found on other North American cruises such as the mega ships that cruise to the Caribbean each winter.

If not deterred by the cost…

Then the most popular routes are to be found in Canada’s east within the Province of Quebec (Montreal to Iles de Madeleine Corridor aboard the MV Vancancier… with a connection available also to Prince Edward Island on the MV Madeleine). Groupe CTMA (Cruises) = http://www.croisieresctma.ca/en/

There are also cruises that operate in the St Lawrence River between Quebec City and Kingston (at the mouth of Lake Ontario) with St Lawrence Cruise Lines on the MV Canadian Empress. They also offer cruises between Montreal and Kingston, as well as between Montreal and Ottawa via the Ottawa River. St Lawrence Cruise Lines = www.stlawrencecruiselines.com

As well in Eastern Ontario, there are scenic cruises on our two very historical canal waterways… the Rideau and the Trent-Severn. These are offered by Ontario Waterway Cruises Inc. aboard the Kawartha Voyageur = http://www.ontariowaterwaycruises.com/

On the Great Lakes, there are a few companies as well… of them the most known are...

The MV Yorktown that cruises from Boston to Montreal in the Spring (and then back again in the Fall). Its Summer season being devoted to the St Lawrence River and Great Lakes… Montreal thru to Chicago, as well as having itineraries that go between Detroit and Chicago, or a more northerly route that connects Detroit to Duluth. The MV Yorktown is operated by Travel Dynamics International = http://www.traveldynamicsinternational.com/

There is also Blount Small Ship Adventures that cruise from New England up thru the Great Lakes (MV Grande Caribe and MV Grande Mariner). Their cruises feature the inland waterways of New York including the Hudson River and the Historic Erie Canal, as well as cruises thru the Great Lakes. Blount Small Ship Adventures = www.blountsmallshipadventures.com

Blount does offer a cruise itinerary that goes from Toronto to Chicago (the cruise part actually starts in Midland, Ontario)… for more info see “2012 Great Explorations – Lake Huron & Lake Michigan” = blountsmallshipadventures.com/where-we-go/…

In all of the above cases, I have listed the cruise lines main info… as with other cruises, you’ll find that these cruises are sold on commission with other “travel agents / agencies” as well… many putting together comprehensive packages (that can include major mark-ups over pricing)… so something to be aware of !!

And if you have a true sense of adventure, then there are always the option of cruising the St Lawrence Seaway & Great Lakes on a commercial freighter / laker … a more economic choice, but not something for everyone (no fancy accommodations, eats or activities)… for more information on those options you can GOOGLE… many companies that offer such info though require one to become a member of their website, or join their “association”.

If you want to know more about Great Lake Cruising, then I suggest that you check out Cruise Critic which is TripAdvisor’s “sister” website… everything that TA is to general travel info, CC is to cruising info… there are Boards / Forums on that website where you can post Questions and chat with others who have similar experiences to share… here is the link to the Board on *Special Interest Cruising* ... it has sections on *River Cruising* and *Freighter & Non-Traditional Cruising* = boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=7

Hope this is helpful,

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Edited: 20 March 2012, 01:26
Venice, Italy
3 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Sailing from Canada to USA

My God!

I knew that Ta Forum would put me straight but had no idea it would be so fast, plentiful, exacting and absolutely incredible. Thank you so much for your reples, which I will now sit down and evaluate. Meanwhile do you have any comments on our general idea of the trip? Are we being sensible in choosing public transport etc. Would appreciate your insighted knowledge. Regards

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
Level Contributor
72,023 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Sailing from Canada to USA

You're Welcome, Margaret !

Public transportation (bus / train) within Canada will be fine, but for your trip to / from Chicago, I would suggest flying. Toronto is approx. 500 miles / 800 km from Chicago.

Best Regards

Edited: 20 March 2012, 12:59
Ontario
Level Contributor
999 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Sailing from Canada to USA

I'd also suggest that you look into Porter for Ottawa-Toronto and Toronto- Chicago. For the Chicago-Toronto leg returning to Pearson (YYZ) is likely to be more convenient if you are catching your flight to Venice the same day. Pearson has two terminals so, if possible, choose an airline that is in the same terminal as Transat- if not, the terminals are connected by a Monorail train. In Chicago, Porter uses Midway airport but for the flight to Pearson you will likely need to fly from O'Hare.

Porter frequently has sales that are 20-50% off so watch their website and subscribe to their email alerts. Westjet and Air Canada Aldo have discount codes from time to time for the Chicago-Pearson leg.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6,858 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Sailing from Canada to USA

Traveller_yyz's post got me thinking... you might be better off doing Chicago before Toronto. (I.e. if you end up flying to Chicago, fly from Ottawa. You could still fly Porter, with a connection in Toronto.)

Flying back to Toronto to catch your overseas flight on the same day on a separate ticket is a bit of a risk. Everything would _probably_ go fine, but there are a bunch of possible delays: weather at O'Hare or Toronto, baggage, Canadian customs/immigration, etc. Because they're separate tickets, Air Transat has no obligation to rebook you if you don't make it to the Venice flight on time. If you put your Toronto time after Chicago, you'd be much better protected against something going wrong.

Venice, Italy
3 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Sailing from Canada to USA

Thank you one and all for your advice. Of course the alternative of sailing is flying. So We will be flying Canada/Chicago bearing in mind the different terminals and airports, or as suggested first Chicago and then Canada, .

Here is another problem I have to face. Only Air Transat, as far as I know, offer direct flights from Venice at a good price. How could I do Chicago first? Direct Venice/Chicago or Venice/Canada/Chicago first leg?

I could even consider an extra night at airport hotel to guarantee no hassle return flight. But why do you both suggest OTTAWA and then Toronto?

Have a good day,

Margaret

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6,858 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Sailing from Canada to USA

You didn't say, but I assumed you were planning one or more nights in Ottawa. Theoretically it's doable as a day trip from Montreal, but there's enough to see to justify staying longer. You'd be backtracking if you returned to Montreal before continuing towards Toronto. (The cities you've mentioned are in a line running southwest: Montreal then Ottawa then Toronto then Chicago.)

Air Transat is a Canadian charter airline, so you won't be able to include a Chicago leg on a ticket booked with them. Personally, I'd do Montreal-Ottawa-Chicago-Toronto, with Ottawa-Chicago-Toronto booked on Porter or Air Canada/United. I'm guessing the flight back to Venice leaves Toronto in the evening, so an airport hotel would mean a very dull last day of your trip. Instead, I'd suggest a downtown Toronto hotel; you should be able to check out in the morning but leave your bags there for the day.