Five Fascinating Facts About the Great Lakes

Five Fascinating Facts About the Great Lakes
Andrew Jackson November 20, 2022

Did you know that the Great Lakes are the largest system of freshwater lakes in the world? Did you know that the Great Lakes provide drinking water for more than 40 million people and play a vital role in both the United States and Canadian economies? There are so many interesting aspects to these natural wonders in North America, making them one of the most popular domestic cruise destinations for many travelers. America's Great Lakes are just one of several comprehensive North American regions we're proud to bring our guests to at Vantage, and a true treasure for travel enthusiasts and history buffs alike. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at five fascinating facts about these incredible bodies of water!

  1. Bigger than you think: The Great Lakes are massive! In fact, they are the largest system of freshwater lakes in the world. Covering more than 94,000 square miles, the Great Lakes contain about 21% of the world’s fresh surface water. Great for drinking: More than 40 million people in eight different states and two Canadian provinces get their drinking water from the Great Lakes. That’s about 10% of the entire population of North America.

  2. Big for business: As mentioned before, the Great Lakes are a vital part of both the United States and Canadian economies. Great Lakes ports handle more than 160 million tons of cargo each year, and the Great Lakes tourism industry is worth billions of dollars. When it comes to trade, the Great Lakes region is responsible for about 30% of all U.S. exports by tonnage, and before air cargo was an efficient option, the Great Lakes were a key part of transportation for people and goods between the East Coast and the Midwest.

  3. Great for recreation: In addition to being a major historical trade route, the Great Lakes have always been a fantastic source of summer (and other seasonal) recreation for both locals and visitors. There are more than 11,000 beaches along the Great Lakes, and visitors flock to the Great Lakes region for fishing, boating, hiking, camping, and much more. For many, a Great Lakes cruise is the perfect way to see the sights and enjoy the scenery of this special region. Great Lakes cruises offer a variety of itineraries and activities, so there’s sure to be something for everyone.

  4. Cultural significance: Did you know just how culturally significant the Great Lakes are to the U.S. Midwest and Canada when it comes to local culture? The Great Lakes have played an important role in both American and Canadian history, and their influence can still be seen today. From the Great Lakes Indian Fish Commission to the Great Lakes Folk Festival, the Great Lakes region has a rich culture that is definitely worth exploring. Whether you’re looking to explore North America’s rich history, or discover a cultural heritage you never knew existed, a Great Lakes cruise is a great way to do it.

  5. Connectivity: From the Great Lakes, you can reach the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, and the Great Lakes are connected to the Mississippi River via the Illinois Waterway. This connectivity is what has made the Great Lakes so important to trade and transportation throughout history. The Great Lakes region feeds into many of the biggest regions for trade along the central and eastern parts of the United States, making it a key part of the American economy.

There is so much to see, do, and learn about on a Great Lakes cruise, and Vantage offers a variety of itineraries to choose from. Whether you’re interested in exploring the Great Lakes from a historical perspective, or simply want to enjoy the natural beauty and recreation the Great Lakes have to offer, we can help you plan the perfect Great Lakes cruise vacation. Visit the itinerary section of our website today to learn more about our Great Lakes cruises, and how we can help you plan your next North American adventure!



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