A new “Inside Passage” cruise route has been identified by the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition (GLCC) with the assistance of Parks Canada, Destination Northern Ontario (DNO) and several of Lake Superior’s North Shore communities. The GLCC is the bi-national organization responsible for building the Great Lakes cruise product to its present level of eight independent cruise lines. Parks Canada is responsible for development and stewardship of the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area which embraces a significant swath of the north Shore of Lake Superior. DNO is the tourism authority responsible for product development and marketing this northern region of the Province of Ontario.
Over the past two years, the GLCC has been investigating the potential for Expedition style cruise ships to cruise inside the North Shore Archipelago, a series of islands standing adjacent to the shoreline. From time to time, several of these inside passages have been used for various types of merchant shipping, but their potential for Expedition style cruising has only recently been recognized. Working with stakeholders in the North Shore communities of Terrace Bay, Rossport, Schreiber, Red Rock, Nipigon and Thunder Bay and with the assistance of staff in Parks Canada and DNO, the GLCC has been able to identify a series of routes and anchorages that can offer a totally new product to the already growing Great Lakes Cruise trade.
SNAPSHOT OF THE LAKE SUPERIOR NORTH SHORE INSIDE CRUISE PASSAGE
Cruising westwards along the North Shore from Sault Ste Marie,passages and shipping channels of varying depth and length allow cruise guests to experience the pristine natural wilderness for which the North shore of Lake Superior is famous. The North Shore Inside Passage offers an opportunity to visit several uninhabited islands, using fleets of kayaks and zodiacs to explore these narrow passages and coves. Some of these islands have wildlife that has migrated from the mainland and, on some islands, wolves have been able to cross the ice in winter and leave their markers in the forested land.
The Lake Superior North Shore Inside Passage offers a rare opportunity to visit several north shore communities from contiguous protected anchorages. Terrace Bay and Rossport offer excellent hiking and kayaking opportunities, while Red Rock and Nipigon have a series of handsome pictographs and an opportunity to experience Indigenous culture at Red Rock First Nation.
Abandoned silver mines, stunning views of the legendary Sleeping Giant, magnificent waterfalls, historic lighthouses, unique Northern cuisine and superb hiking throughout the region, offer outstanding opportunities for guests to enoy the North Shore Inside Passage to its maximum potential.