Great Lakes cruises have changed dramatically in the last 10 years, and they will change even more in the next 10 years as this once flourishing industry gains new life and once again begins to grow. But often, Great Lakes cruising is associated with small charter fishing boats and not with luxury, paid-passenger carrying yachts. Many people still don’t know or don’t think that there are luxury cruises available on the Lakes.

Travel Dynamics International hopes to change that by introducing the Clelia II, a 50 suite, 100 passenger liner that was completely refitted in 2008 and is currently sailing the Lakes on some of her first trips since refitting. Part of the refitting included many safety items, like a fleet of zodiacs and state-of-the art navigational and communications equipment. Like all ships plying the Lakes, the Clelia II meets stringent U.S. Coast Guard requirements for reliability and passenger safety. The ship has also been equipped with fin stabilizers and an ice strengthened hull which allows it to offer cruises earlier and later in the season than some others.

The company describes the ships’ public areas as “Decorated with rich fabrics, handsome wood, polished brass, rare antiquities and fine works of art…” This definitely puts the Clelia II well within the class of “luxury” accommodations.

The ship has a library with internet access, 2 lounges with audio-video facilities, beauty salon, gym/spa, boutique, hospital, elevator, dining room, 2 sun decks, Jacuzzi, and a swimming platform. And perhaps best of all, everything is new. It’s like the difference between staying in a luxury hotel and a new luxury hotel and doing it while on a Great Lakes cruise.

The cabins of the Clelia II are reported to be 215 square feet and larger, and each one is appointed with a number of luxury features like satellite TV with DVD/CD player, telephone, refrigerator, air conditioning, mini-bar and a marble bathroom with a teak floor, terry robes and slippers, fresh flowers, and a fruit basket. The cabins each have a sitting area or separate living room and a bedroom with twin or queen sized beds. The ship also offers 24 hour room service.

The Clelia II’s 100 passengers are served by a staff of 60, making the ratio of staff to passengers better than most luxury hotels. The men and women who staff these ships are able seamen, and among the best available on any Great Lakes cruise. This ship truly offers a wonderful opportunity to tour the Great Lakes from the deck of a luxury cruise liner.

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