Archive for the ‘Great Lakes Ports of Call’ Category

Great Lakes cruises don’t have to be long affairs that cover hundreds or thousands of miles. They can be short cruises centered around scrumptious dinners or lunches, or simply designed to sample the amazing sunsets that the Great Lakes provide. One Great Lakes ship that provides such cruises is the Spirit of Chicago.

If you want a truly unique dinner cruise experience, the Spirit of Chicago offers a Thanksgiving Dinner cruise featuring Walnut crusted turkey breast, orange glazed ham and slow braised center cut sirloin. There are also two after Thanksgiving Champagne brunch and dinner cruises available on November 27th. There are few other small ship cruise lines that offer this level of dining, or trips as late into the fall as the Spirit of Chicago offers.

For those who like the night, the Spirit of Chicago offers a midnight moonlight cruise. This Lakes cruise includes a professional DJ, cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres. Sorry, this cruise is adults only (over 21) and you must be able to show a valid photo ID before boarding.

Another cruise offering is the Sweetest Day Dinner cruise which is offered October 17th. Offering live music, champagne and memorable views of the Sweetest Day fireworks, this cruise promises to be a winner. Fireworks cruises are always popular among dinner and evening cruisers and small cruise ships offer an outstanding platform for viewing fireworks unobstructed by either buildings or milling crowds. The Spirit of Chicago offers an upper level observation deck as well as several open patios on the other decks and should allow excellent viewing.

Fireworks cruises are available on the Spirit of Chicago on the fourth of July, Sweetest Day and News Years Eve. Since many Great Lakes cruise ships are closed for business during the winter season, this makes the Spirit of Chicago exceptional as it offers cruises most of the year.

The spirit of Chicago offers three dining decks and an observation deck and has a reported capacity of 572 passengers. They will take single passengers, small groups or even large group charters that occupy one or more decks. The decks are open and spacious and appear well lighted. The ship departs from Navy pier and the cruise provider reports that ample parking is available at the Navy Pier parking lot. There is also a continuous running (and free to ride) trolley that carries passengers from the parking a lot along Navy pier.

There is a dress code of sorts for the dinner cruises, so be certain to check with the cruise providers for exact recommendations. These cruises are generally not shirt and tie affairs, but the cruise line prefers passengers on the dinner cruises be a little more dressy. There are also enhancements you can add to your cruise to make to more memorable. These include private tables, balloons, roses, appetizer plates, open bar, champagne, wine, souvenir glasses, photographs, guaranteed window seats and other perks that add to the experience of a Great Lakes cruise on this small ship.

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