Matz family cruise to Chicago

Matz family cruise to Chicago

The opportunity to create enduring memories with family and friends is one of a multitude of fulfilling rewards of the Riviera luxury life afloat.

The Matz family – Dad and Mum Alex and Laura, and children Yoni (16), Tal (15) and Mia (12) – have enjoyed a cruise from Orillia, Ontario, Canada to Chicago, Illinois, USA aboard their 4400 Sport Yacht, Knot Rushin. 

The 1400-nautical mile round trip that included traversing the locks and marine railways of the Trent-Severn Waterway that link the Great Lakes of North America.

Inspired by the voyage, Mia shares her excitement below …


By Mia Matz

“So what did you do this summer?”

My family and I went to Chicago…

“That’s fun – how long was the flight?”

Oh we didn’t fly… we cruised there on our Riviera 4400 Sport Yacht.

July 20, 2015

It all started at 7.30am in Orillia, Ontario (Canada) – Starport Marina to be exact. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and us Matz’ were ready to depart – the final destination of the day being Starport Severn, Georgian Bay.

She was a rough sea this windy day in July but our Riviera 4400 Sport Yacht Knot Rushin handled the seven-foot waves gracefully. Having owned her for three years now, this is a yacht built for any challenge.

Seven hours later, and after passing through three locks – Couchiching, and the marine railways of Swift Rapids and Big Chute – we were on land, in Tobermory, Georgian Bay. We docked and rested well for the night. The next day we planned on crossing one of the greats, Great Lake Huron.

July 21, 2015:

While we were all quite frightened, from previous experience and stories, we passed through the Port Severn Lock and realised we shouldn’t have been because Huron was like glass – calm and beautiful. “Almost like Lake Simcoe”, I said.

Four hours on and we were in the amazing and unforgettable Mackinac Island, Michigan. We had a nice relaxing day on the island – we went sightseeing, shopping and biking.

We knew that it wouldn’t be realistic to get all the way to Chicago, the final destination, today so we asked around and were told about Leland, a tiny but beautiful old fishing town that had a nice marina.

July 22, 2015

At 10am we were off and it was 69 nautical miles but we knew we could do it comfortably. The weather was not as promising as it had been for the past few days – the water was choppy and it was windy so we cruised closer to shore and it took us a little longer … but once we arrived we knew all those hours were worth it.

This place was top-to-bottom gorgeous, so our Riviera fitted right in and, as usual, we got plenty of stares and compliments towards her.

July 23 2015

Early the next mornin’ we were off – it was a calm, undisturbed, and tranquil sea. Today we all felt we could make big progress in our journey and we decided to cruise all the way to Milwaukee. The journey would be 154 nautical miles, but with the amazing weather we had, we knew we had to leave the beautiful Leland town and marina.

Cruising at around 30 knots and having burned only 17 gallons per engines per hour, we were all thinking the same thing: how lucky we were to have found this yacht. Around five hours later we were docked in Milwaukee Harbor. After dinner and walking around, we decided to hit the hay.

July 24 2015

The big day was finally here! Today we cross the finish line and, by this, I mean make it to our final and beautiful destination: Chicago, Illinois. The 70 knots left… the final stretch 2 hours to go… 1 hour left… 30 minutes… 15, 10, 5!

Chicago was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. The marina was right down town we could see everything and the best view was for sure from the water. We quickly had the next couple of days planned but “Knot Rushin” … just relaxing and taking it easy.

In a city this beautiful, time just flies by. In the first couple days we went down the Chicago River but, unlike most families, we didn’t take a ferry – we had our own way of transportation.

It’s amazing when you’re in the middle of a city and you can see everything or dock for a minute, have dinner the hop on your yacht and head on home. It was such an incredible experience and it was so amazing to have accomplished it together as a family.

The days passed on quickly and, sadly, it was time to go, but we did stay an extra day because of the weather. However, the next day, the weather was impeccable to cruise.

So off we went…


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