Ontario Small Ship Sightseeing Cruises Set Sail For 2021 Season - RTO 9

Ontario Small Ship Sightseeing Cruises Set Sail For 2021 Season

South Eastern Ontario’s small ship tour boat operators launch their summer/fall season on Ontario’s waterways

1000 ISLANDS GANANOQUE, ON – July 20, 2021 – With Ontario’s recent transition to Stage 3, small ship sightseeing tours operating in South Eastern Ontario are thrilled to announce they are ready to welcome visitors again for summer and fall tours, with safety protocols and socially distant measures in place. Each sightseeing tour offers passengers an exhilarating experience along the water of Ontario’s most scenic routes including the iconic 1000 Islands.

With vaccination rollouts expanding, small ship cruises are perfect for family and friends wishing to reunite in a distanced and controlled environment, without the crowds. In another carefully curated season, all ships operate with strict COVID-19 Health and Safety programs in place including protocols for reduced passenger capacity, mask usage and physical distancing onboard. Passengers are able to cruise through Ontario’s myriad of rivers and waterways in comfort, providing residents and tourists with the opportunity to explore the 1000 Islands and travel the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Rideau Canal and Lake Ontario on both day trips and overnight stays. South Eastern Ontario operators are ready to sail Ontario waters and are now accepting bookings:

2021 Day Trip Cruising Experiences

2021 Overnight Cruising Experiences

“We’re thrilled that small ship operators in the area are permitted to open again this year and continue allowing guests the opportunity to explore some of Ontario’s most well-known attractions,” said Bonnie Ruddock, executive director of Region 9 (South Eastern Ontario) Regional Tourism Organization. “Small ship tours are the perfect activity for those looking to get outdoors and see what makes this region naturally beautiful.”

Planning a tour? Book ahead!

Now ready to welcome passengers, the South Eastern Ontario boat operators and cruising vessels operating on the Rideau Canal, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are recommending that anyone wishing to enjoy a tour book ahead to ensure that they secure a ticket. As weekends are the most popular time to experience the waterways, consider a mid-week excursion to ensure availability. Per provincial and community health authorities, all boats are operating at reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing is possible, so same-day and walk-on tickets are not guaranteed.

Special events

City Cruises (formerly Gananoque Boat Line) and St. Lawrence Cruise Lines are both celebrating milestone anniversaries this year. Marking 70 years in business in 2021, City Cruises Gananoque offers dinner cruises, sightseeing tours and a glimpse into the lost ships of the 1000 Islands. St. Lawrence Cruise Lines is also celebrating a milestone with its 40th anniversary this year, offering guests a chance to commemorate the occasion with a unique itinerary of rare tours and attractions, all while exploring the scenic and historic river.

What to expect

All regions in South Eastern Ontario and their business operators are taking the health and safety of their residents and visitors very seriously. Updated COVID-19 guidelines for operators are in accordance with Canadian federal and regional health and safety guidelines to ensure customers’ safety and can be found on their websites.

“Customers’ health and safety is a priority to each and every operator and just as they did last year, updated practices have been implemented to ensure passengers feel safe, secure and comfortable on each tour,” said Ruddock. “We know guests want to get out and enjoy the summer and we are taking every precaution to ensure they can do so safely.”

What to see

Small ship tours through beautiful South Eastern Ontario’s St. Lawrence Seaway, Rideau Canal and Lake Ontario make for the perfect getaway to get lost in the beauty of the region and experience relaxation and tranquility. Throughout the region, the lush landscape is dotted with luxurious cottages and vast estates. Pass in the shadows of ships plying the main shipping channel of the St. Lawrence Seaway, take in the Royal Military College, famed Boldt Castle, Fort Henry, Kingston harbour and Rideau Canal World Heritage Site. The intimate setting, quiet waters and unique perspective make seeing the region by water an unforgettable experience.

Whether looking for dinner or day cruises, staycations, short getaways or long holidays, the waterways of South Eastern Ontario are ready to welcome visitors for a safe and self-contained trip this summer.


About RTO 9

RTO 9 is a regional tourism organization established in 2010 that is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries. RTO 9 actively promotes tourism for the South Eastern Ontario region and works to support and grow the tourism industry through marketing, product development, investment attraction and workforce development initiatives. The regions of South Eastern Ontario are 1000 Islands GananoqueBay of QuinteBrockvilleCornwall and Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry CountiesFrontenac CountyKingstonLennox and AddingtonPrince Edward County and the 1000 Islands Rideau Canal Waterways.

Media Contact

To arrange an interview with Bonnie Ruddock, Executive Director of Region 9 (South Eastern Ontario) Regional Tourism Organization, or arrange high-res images please contact:

Erin O’Driscoll
Beattie Tartan
Direct: 416.319.8296