Hapag-Lloyd charts return to the Great Lakes

Six sailings aboard HANSEATIC inspiration in 2023

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will return to North America’s Great Lakes this year, with a total of six voyages operating across Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Expedition ship HANSEATIC inspiration, which debuted in 2019 and was purpose-built with the Great Lakes in mind, featuring a retractable bridge wing to negotiate the numerous narrow locks and shallow draft, will operate four sailings between May and July 2023, and two further voyages in September. One sailing, a 14-day voyage, will explore all five of the Great Lakes, and another operates from Milwaukee all the way through to Halifax.

“It’s an American dream come true for us,” said Julian Pfitzner, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

“We had previously planned to visit the Great Lakes with our new expedition fleet. Now we can hardly wait to be one of the very few providers to head for the region with our HANSEATIC inspiration,” Pfitzner added.

HANSEATIC inspiration Pooldeck

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Passing forests, grasslands and wetlands that are home to numerous wildlife, HANSEATIC inspiration arrives at coastal locations that remain inaccessible to most cruise lines. On the voyage from Toronto to Milwaukee, starting on 19 May 2023, the 22-meter-wide ship will cross the Welland Canal, which connects Lake Erie with Lake Ontario. This almost 45-km-long canal serves to bypass Niagara Falls. Eight locks are required to overcome the almost 100 metre difference in altitude.

During the voyage on 30 May 2023 from Milwaukee to Windsor (Detroit), HANSEATIC inspiration passes through the largest lock system in the world, the Soo Locks. This feat of engineering bridges the 20-foot (6-metre) vertical drop between Lake Huron and Lake Superior. A trip on the deepest and coldest body of water in the Great Lakes, Lake Superior, is considered a rarity. Only a few cruise ships go to the second-largest inland body of water on earth. HANSEATIC inspiration stops here in Duluth and Thunder Bay before cruising along the north bank.

Image courtesy of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

In addition to outdoor activities, especially hikes, bike tours or kayaking, the guests on board the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises expedition fleet particularly appreciate the background information provided by the numerous experts. The region and the excursions that are possible there are also intensively prepared and followed up in lectures. Among other things, Dr. Wolfgang Grams, specialist for emigration to the USA, accompany two trips. For 25 years he has been bringing descendants of emigrants from both sides of the Atlantic together with “Routes to the Roots”. Stephan Börries, an expert in architecture and art, will shed light on the relevant developments in the field of architecture and urban development in his lectures.

The Great Lakes 2023 voyages (which operate as an international cruise with both English and German-speaking languages) include:

More details on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises at hl-cruises.com/

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