Join us as we cruise from Green Bay, WI to Florida. We’ll be making stops in Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland before heading south.
Checkout this video:
The Great Loop
The Great Loop is a system of inland waterways that allows boaters to cruise around the eastern half of the United States and parts of Canada. The route is approximately 6,000 miles long and includes the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
Many people choose to cruise the Great Loop because it allows them to see different parts of the country from a unique perspective. Boaters can take their time and explore different ports along the way, or they can choose to make the journey in one season.
Either way, cruising the Great Loop is an adventure that you will never forget!
The Inland Waterway
Mariners have long enjoyed the 3,000-mile journey from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico via the Inland Waterway. The route is dotted with charming towns, pristine anchorages and beautiful scenery.
It’s possible to cruise the Inland Waterway from Green Bay, Wisconsin, all the way to Florida without ever exiting the protected waters. The route follows a series of natural and manmade waterways, including the Fox River, the Illinois River, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and the Mobile Bay.
The journey can be broken down into stages, with each stage offering its own unique highlights.
Stage 1: Green Bay to Chicago
The first stage of the journey takes cruisers from Green Bay through Lake Michigan and down the Illinois River to Chicago. This section of the route is well-traveled and offers a wide range of amenities and attractions.
Stage 2: Chicago to Tennessee
From Chicago, cruisers can continue down the Illinois River or take a shortcut through Lake Michigan via one of several shipping channels. The journey then continues down the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway to Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee-Mississippi border.
Stage 3: Tennessee to Mobile Bay
The third stage takes cruisers from Pickwick Lake down the Tennessee River to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and then through a series of locks and dams into Wheeler Lake. From Wheeler Lake, it’s a short journey downriver to Decatur, Alabama, and then through another series of locks and dams into Wilson Lake. From Wilson Lake, cruisers can enter Mobile Bay and continue on to their final destination in Florida.
The Intracoastal Waterway
The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) is a 3,000-mile (4,800 km) inland waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States, running from Boston, Massachusetts to Brownsville, Texas.
The Great Lakes
The Great Lakes, comprising Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario, are the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world by total surface area. They are a vital component of the North American continent, impacting the environment, economy, and societies of the United States and Canada. The Great Lakes region is home to a significant proportion of the population of both countries and is a popular destination for recreation and tourism.
The Great Lakes are currently experiencing a number of environmental challenges, including invasive species, water pollution, and climate change. These problems have led to reductions in water quality and fish populations, as well as increased beach closures due to harmful algal blooms. Climate change is expected to cause further problems for the Great Lakes in the future, including more frequent and intense storms, warmer water temperatures that favor invasive species and intensify algae blooms, and changing precipitation patterns that could impact water levels.
The St. Lawrence Seaway
The St. Lawrence Seaway is a system of locks, canals, and channels in northeastern North America that permits oceangoing vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes of North America and vice versa. The seaway is named for the Saint Lawrence River, which flows from Lake Ontario to the Atlantic Ocean.
In 1948, the seaway was created jointly by the United States and Canada as a bi-national project with the primary purpose of easing transportation difficulties between the two countries. Although it is sometimes referred to as a canal, the seaway consists of a series of channels, canals, locks, and dams that allow ships to pass between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.
The seaway begins at Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan, where vessels must first pass through locks in order to enter Lake Superior. It then continues through lakes Huron and Erie before reaching its terminus at Montreal in Quebec, Canada. Along the way, there are a total of 15 locks that provide a way for ships to navigate around Niagara Falls and other obstacles.
The St. Lawrence Seaway is an important waterway for both recreational and commercial vessels. Each year, thousands of people use the seaway to travel between Montréal and Toronto or points further west. In addition, the seaway is used by a variety of commercial vessels transporting goods between Canadian and American ports.
The Erie Canal
The Erie Canal is a man-made waterway that extends from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Florida. The canal was built in the early 1800s to connect the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. Today, it is used for recreational purposes, such as cruising, fishing and swimming.
The Hudson River
The Hudson River is a 315-mile (507 km) river that flows from north to south through eastern New York in the United States. The river originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York and flows southward through the Hudson Valley to the Upper New York Bay between New York City and Jersey City. It then drains into the Atlantic Ocean atNew York Harbor.
The Delaware River
The Delaware River is a tidal river that flows through New York City and Philadelphia into the Delaware Bay. The river is named after Lord De La Warr, the governor of Virginia from 1610 to 1618. The bay was named after Sir Walter Raleigh, an English explorer who led an unsuccessful attempt to colonize Virginia in the 1580s.
The Delaware River is about 500 miles (800 km) long and rises in the western Catskill Mountains of New York state. The river flows southeast through the Mohawk Valley, then turns southwest andsouth through the Appalachian Mountains. It joins with the Lehigh River in eastern Pennsylvania to form the Delaware Water Gap, which gapes more than 1,000 feet (300 m) between Blue Mountain to the north and Kittatinny Mountain to the south.
The Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is a huge body of water and one of the busiest bodies of water in the United States. It’s located on the Atlantic coast and extends from Virginia to Maryland. The bay is home to many different types of fish and wildlife. It’s also a popular destination for cruising, boating, and fishing.
The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway
A division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) is a 3,000-mile (4,828 km) inland waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States, running from Boston, Massachusetts to Brownsville, Texas. The waterway provides a navigable route along its length without encountering tidal headwaters and is therefore suitable for vessels that draw limited draft, includingConstructed for defense purposes in World War II, the AIWW walkway today serves recreational and commercial vessels traveling between ports along the coasts of 14 states.