Le Boat, Europe’s largest operator of self-drive boating vacations, will officially begin taking reservations for its first North American destination in Ontario, Canada’s historic Rideau Canal, on May 15, 2017 for the 2018 boating season.
With no experience required, Le Boat makes it easy for vacationers to discover the unparalleled natural scenery of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lined with rich history and a vibrant culture, the route takes travellers down a chain of beautiful lakes, rivers and canals between Ottawa and Kingston.
“The picturesque Rideau Canal is the place to be next Summer. With endless land and water activities along the route from fishing, paddle boating, canoeing to hiking, biking and bird-watching, this will be an experience you’ll will never forget,” said Cheryl Brown, Managing Director at Le Boat. “We are seeing a lot of interest from our European and U.S. customers with all of them saying they would travel to Ontario for a boating holiday.”
All cruises will start and finish at the Smith Falls base located mid-way between Ottawa and Kingston. Suggested routes are offered, however, travellers have complete flexibility with their itinerary and the freedom to cruise as much or as little as they want, ensuring the boats are returned at the agreed date and time.
The new base will launch with a fleet of 16 state-of-the-art Horizon cruisers offering a high level of comfort with large forward staterooms and roomy upper deck with sunbathing area equipped with al-fresco dining amenities. Each spacious en-suite cabin comes with air-cooling and heating system as well as plenty of USB ports accessible for passengers to recharge their portable gadgets.
Le Boat is looking to expand this fleet to at least 32 cruises in the next five years. A seven-day cruise on a two-cabin horizon boat, sleeping four starts at $2,856. This cost does not include fuel or marina fees to park your boat.
THINGS TO DO ON THE RIDEAU CANAL
The historic area offers visitors culturally enriching experiences unique to Canada where culture vultures could:
Discover a little slice of Netherlands with a Canadian twist at Ottawa’s annual Canadian Tulip Festival in May
Find North America’s only remaining operating grist mills in Manotick, Ottawa
Explore Canada’s prettiest village, Merrickville, also dubbed as the ‘Jewel of the Rideau’
From fabulous fine-dining experiences, to chic boutiques and trendy watering holes, the area also caters to those who prefer the “finer thing in life” where they could:
Spoil themselves at Perth Brewery and try its maple-flavoured ale for a true taste of Canada
Indulge in a lakeside wine-tasting and lunch at the Scheuermann Vineyard and Winery in Westport
Test your knowledge of cheese in Portland at the Forfar Cheese Factory, the oldest in Ontario
Marvel at mouth-watering, handcrafted chocolate creations at Ridgeway Confections in Seeley’s Bay
With diverse geography and access to crystal clear waters, the area is a thrill seekers wonderland. Adventurous vacationers could:
- Learn how to fish in Newboro, a favourite sport among fishermen for over 120 years
- Go climbing at the spectacular Kingston Crag at Kingston Mills or head to Canada’s tallest indoor wall located in Kingston
- Get in touch with nature at Baxter Conservation Area and wonder through the picture-perfect forest, wetlands and meadows