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T h e S m o o t h C r u i s e o n Vi c t o r y 1 Article and Photography by Steve Gillick

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aptain Gary Kerr of the Victory 1 Cruise Ship, part of the fleet owned by the American Queen Steamboat Company, has an endearing quality about him. His distinct Sean Connery-esque, Scottish accent, along with his personable nature and sense of humour identify him as one of the key components of the Great Lakes Grand Discovery Cruise.

Photo: Victory

Captain Gary joined me on the sundeck of the ship while I was taking photos one afternoon. When I asked about the attraction of this particular cruise, he began by saying that “on the big ships you would hardly ever get the meet the captain” and then he explained that the passengers, mostly ‘very experienced travelers’, like the idea of exploring their own backyard and that the

simple shore excursions allow the passengers to learn, socialize and appreciate each destination. Later, just prior to our visit to the Niagara Region, Captain Gary congratulated the passengers in Cabin 311: “You’ve just won the draw. You get to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel”. He then thanked his multi-national staff in front of all the passengers, with pauses to allow for applause, mixed with ‘bravos”. In fact, a hallmark of the Victory 1’s charm is the friendly crew. I chatted with Lourdes the head bartender on several occasions about her home in the Philippines and the delicious foods that I enjoyed on a visit there several years ago. The Martinis that Lourdes concocted (shaken, not stirred) would have impressed any James Bond or Sean Connery!

The Victory 1 began its journey in Chicago on Lake Michigan, headed north to HollandMusekgon, then up to Mackinac Island before entering Lake Huron to explore Little Current on Manitoulin Island. A stop in Detroit followed, as well as another in Cleveland, before cruising to Port Colborne, Ontario for visits to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. The ship then traveled through the Welland Canal locks from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario with disembarkation on the last morning in Toronto. On this abbreviated trip, we would get a taste of the Great Lakes Discovery Cruise, joining the ship for the Detroit to Toronto portion. With thoughts of stormy lakes and howling winds, I prepared myself for the worst, with sea bands around my wrists and

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Canadian World Traveller Summer 2019 issue  

Now in our 17th year of publishing, Canadian World Traveller explores the culture and history of worldwide destinations, sharing the adventu...

Canadian World Traveller Summer 2019 issue  

Now in our 17th year of publishing, Canadian World Traveller explores the culture and history of worldwide destinations, sharing the adventu...

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