Ever since I was a child watching Tim Curry acting all handsomely sneaky-like in Muppet Treasure Island, the idea of exploring new places by boat or ship seemed exhilarating. To this day, I still love being on the open water, regardless of the destination, or lack of celebrity pirates, and you don’t have to be in the middle of the Caribbean to be excited about it.
There are so many gorgeous sights on our lakes here in Ontario which are very much worth the trip throughout the year.
Here are a few favourites!
1000 ISLANDS CRUISES – Kingston & Gananoque
So many islands, and so many cruising options! From a 90-minute discovery exploration on the Island Bell to a 3-hour dining experience on the Island Queen, you can basically create your own island adventure when you make your way to Kingston for a day on the water.
Not only will you see the gorgeous islands, you also get spectacular views of other popular Limestone City attractions like Fort Henry and Kingston Penitentiary, former “home” to notorious criminals like Paul Bernardo, the Shafia Family and Russell “Colonel Mustard” Williams.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, or have an additional love of castles, I highly recommend driving further down the highway to Gananoque where you can board the Boldt Castle Stopover Cruise. This 5-hour excursion option included 2-hours of on-foot exploration at Boldt Castle, a 120 room structure of unfinished beauty, originally left abandoned by its first owner on Heart Island.
This particular cruise requires a valid passport as you will cross onto American waters.
PIRATE ADVENTURES OTTAWA – Ottawa
Opening again for the season on May 26th, 2018, Pirate Adventures Ottawa is described as an interactive pirate-theatre cruise, set on a real pirate ship on Mooney’s Bay. Fun for adults and kids alike, this 75-minute experience includes costumes, face paint, treasure maps, sword fights, water cannons, and even sunken treasure. Plus, you get to take in views of the Rideau Canal Locks, go hiking on Hog’s Back nature trails, enjoy Mooney’s Bay Beach + a massive playground for the young mateys (and young mateys at heart!).
For that extra pirate feeling, guest crew-to-be are welcome to attend 30 minutes early to become dressed like real pirates!
These sailing adventures are available in both English and French and are also wheelchair accessible.
MARIPOSA CRUISES – Toronto
Mariposa Cruises has everything you’d expect from a Toronto-based line. From sails specializing in brunch to lunch, sip ‘n’ sails (including cocktails) to scenic routes, there’s almost literally a cruise adventure for just about anyone, for personal pleasure or business get-togethers.
You can even get married on one.
For a little more entertainment during your dine & sail, keep your eye on the calendar for special themed events, plus most of Mariposa’s dinner cruises include danceable tunes of multiple genres from some of the city’s top DJs.
Any sailors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and (sorry, ladies) high heels are not reccomended for safety reasons.