Anyone who’s walked the steep sands of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the largest sand dunes west of the Sahara Desert, sea kayaked and camped on the secluded white sand beaches of the Apostle Islands, and hiked the trails of one of the least visited national parks in America, Isle Royale, can tell you firsthand the beauty of the Great Lakes. The problem has always been inaccessibility, especially to the northern fringes of these vast waters. Not anymore. Great Lakes Cruising has just announced that their spanking new 138-passenger vessel, the MV Yorktown, will sail Lake Huron, Lake Superior, and Lake Michigan, along with sister ships Grande Mariner and Niagara Prince the summer of 2012. The eight to eleven-day itineraries include stops at Mackinac Island, Charlevoix, Sturgeon Bay, and Apostle Island. This comes on the heels of the opening of the new $21.5 million cruise pier in Detroit that opened last June, already expanding from 2 to 13 cruise ships in 2012.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life.His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.