For many years the Great Lakes were a major cruise destination for folks in the United States. The appeal of lake cruises slowly ebbed during the 1960’s and finally came to nearly a complete halt with the only cruises available being very small charter type boats and a few specialty craft.

In the mid-1990’s, that began to change and there are now several companies plying the waters of the Great Lakes with passenger craft some of which are capable of carrying up to 300 or 400 passengers.

One of the newest of this fleet of cruise ships is the Pearl Mist. This fantastic yacht will have 108 cabins, each with it’s own private balcony. According to the cruise lines website, the cabins range in size from 320 sf to double that size. There are elevators to all six decks, a spa and internet access throughout the ship. Each suite has a large, opening picture window and sliding glass doors to the private verandas.

Of course, the Pearl Mist also has the latest in technology, safety enhancements and stabilization.

The Pearl Mist is operated by Pearl Seas Cruises which is offering several cruises on the Great Lakes in 2009. These include tours of the St Lawrence Seaway and a Toronto to Chicago run.

Another cruise ship, the Clelia II operated by Travel Dynamics International has been completely refitted. Smaller than the Pearl Mist, the Clelia II is a 50 suite, 100 passenger liner. Because the Clelia II is smaller than the Pearl Mist the cabins are somewhat smaller too,  and the cabins are each reported to be 215 square feet. Each cabin has a sitting area or separate living room and twin or queen sized beds, satellite TV with DVD/CD player, telephone, refrigerator, marble bathroom with teak floor and 24 hour room service.

The ship itself has a library, 2 lounges with audiovisual facilites, a gym/spa, beauty salon, boutique, hospital, elevator to all decks, dining room, 2 sun decks, jacuzzi and a swimming platform. The ship is also outfitted with an ice strengthened hull and a fleet of zodiacs.

The Clelia II carries 100 passengers and has a staff of 60.

These two fine cruise ships are much like floating luxury hotels, although with a staff of 6 for every 10 guests, they may have more personnel than most hotels, even some of the most luxurious.

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