Small Ship Sightseeing Tours are a Great Way to See Ontario’s Majestic Lakes and Rivers, Stay Safe and Socially Distance - RTO 9

Small Ship Sightseeing Tours are a Great Way to See Ontario’s Majestic Lakes and Rivers, Stay Safe and Socially Distance

South Eastern Ontario’s tour boat operators are once again welcoming visitors for summer and fall tours

1000 ISLANDS, ON – July 30, 2020 – Small ship sightseeing tours operating in South Eastern Ontario are excited to announce that they are once again welcoming visitors for summer tours.

As part of Ontario’s stage three opening strategy, small ship sightseeing tours are once again allowed to operate, providing residents and tourists with the opportunity to explore the 1000 Islands and travel the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Rideau Canal, and Lake Ontario. 

“We’re really excited that small ship operators in the area are once again allowed to open,” said Bonnie Ruddock, Executive Director of Region 9 (South Eastern Ontario) Regional Tourism Organization. “Small ship tours make it easy for people to get outdoors safely and have an amazing day trip or staycation, all while exploring one of Ontario’s best-known attractions.”

Planning your tour? Definitely book ahead!

The South Eastern Ontario boat operators in Rockport, Brockville, Gananoque, and Kingston are now ready to welcome passengers but recommend that anyone wishing to enjoy a tour book ahead to ensure that they secure a ticket. You could also consider a mid-week visit. Per provincial and community health authorities, all boats are running at a maximum of 50 person capacity to ensure physical distancing is possible so same-day and walk-on tickets are not guaranteed.

What you can 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 have been implemented with strict health and safety practices to ensure customers’ safety including reducing capacity by at least 50 percent on every voyage to ensure adequate distancing. 

“The health, safety, and well being of our staff and our customers is of the utmost importance to each operator,” said Ruddock. “We want everyone to be able to go out and enjoy themselves, but to also know that they are doing it in a safe and controlled environment.”

Each operator is following all guidelines set out by provincial and community health authorities regarding COVID-19 and is inspected by these agencies on a regular basis. In compliance with stage three operating guidelines, passengers can expect:

  • A rigorous process of cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing vessels and public areas
  • Increased frequency and focus of cleaning procedures, with focus on high touch areas such as handrails, doorknobs and all public surfaces
  • Staff and passenger screening before boarding
  • Staff and passengers required to wear masks while onboard
  • Frequent hand washing by staff
  • Enforced social distancing at ticket offices, boarding lines, boats and restaurant

What you will see

Small ship tours through beautiful South Eastern Ontario’s St. Lawrence Seaway, Rideau Canal, and Lake Ontario make for the perfect getaway to forget about life. 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 tranquillity, beauty, and unique perspective make seeing the region by water an unforgettable experience. 

What is open

Whether looking for a 60+minute sightseeing experience or a ‘staycation’ houseboat rental, there are many operators open and welcoming bookings.

The waterways of South Eastern Ontario are ready to welcome guests for a short getaway or a long holiday. The perfect staycation for safe, summer fun. Start your journey today.

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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.

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: 

Nicole Amiel

Director – Eastern Canada

Beattie Tartan

Direct: 416-436-5185 / M: 514-983-3959