Sightseeing boat tours and cruises in Ontario
From sightseeing boat tours and leisure cruising vessels to high-speed crafts and more, there are seemingly endless nautical adventures to be had in Ontario.
Here is a selection of diverse cruise and boating experiences that will set sail this season.
Ottawa and Southeastern Ontario
The heritage waterways of Southeastern Ontario include the Ottawa River, Rideau Canal, Trent-Severn Waterway, St. Lawrence River and the 1000 Islands.
- Travel through the heart of Ottawa via the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Rideau Canal Cruises or on the Ottawa River with Paul’s Boat Line. Both will provide commentary on the landmarks you pass and the history of the city.
- Families with younger kids are invited to climb aboard the interactive theatre cruise with Pirate Adventures Ottawa on Mooney’s Bay.
- St. Lawrence Cruise Lines offers overnight cruises on the St Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers.
- Tour eastern Ontario’s 1000 Islands with City Cruises Gananoque on their signature ‘Lost Ships of the 1000 Islands Cruise’ or on the ‘Palaces and Palisades Cruise’ with Rockport Cruises.
- 1000 Islands Cruises sets out from Kingston on a spectacular three-hour “Heart of the Islands” sightseeing tour as well as unforgettable dinner cruises.
- You’ll love the friendly atmosphere of the 45-passenger Kawartha Voyageur Riverboat on multi-day trips on the Trent-Severn with Ontario Waterway Cruises.
Muskoka and Georgian Bay
With a steamship heritage that out-dates Canada, cruising is a must-do in Muskoka and Georgian Bay.
- Experience the RMS Segwun, the oldest continually operating mail steamship in North America.
- Muskoka’s magical landscapes set the stage for an evening of drinks, dining and cruising with Lady Muskoka.
- For family-friendly, “high-sea adventure”, join Muskoka Steamships on the Pirate Cruises departing from Gravenhurst. Dress up for the themed excursions that engage with other ships on the pirate-infested waters of Lake Muskoka.
- Explore the 30,000 islands and beautiful sites in Georgian Bay with Georgian Spirit Cruises out of Midland.
- Admire the turquoise waters and famed shipwrecks in Fathom Five National Marine Park and iconic Flowerpot Island aboard a glass-bottom or jet boat cruise with the Blue Heron Company in Tobermory.
- Ojibwe for ‘big canoe’, the MS Chi-Cheemaun offers so much more than just a ferry service between Tobermory and Manitoulin Island. Check the schedule for their special sunset dining and ‘stargazers delight’ night cruises.
From Nipissing to Lake of the Woods, the legendary lakes of Northern Ontario are unforgettable.
- The Chief Commanda II cruises into the magnificent vistas of Callander Bay on Lake Nippissing in North Bay.
- All hands on deck for a guided outing with Sail Superior out of Thunder Bay for an unforgettable journey on the greatest of the Great Lakes. Heart-pounding tours ranging from 30 minutes to six hours on the 12-person Zodiac aptly named the "Superior Rocket". Or opt for a more leisurely Wine & Cheese Cruise aboard their 12 metre (40-foot) vessel.
- A visit to Kenora in Sunset Country isn’t complete without a sundowner aboard the MS Kenora, while cruising the scenic water of Lake of the Woods.
- The 26 metre (85-foot) yacht Grace Anne II is a picture of elegance and craftsmanship. She also sails across Lake of the Woods to the all-inclusive Grace Anne II Lodge.
Toronto, Grand River and Niagara Region
Southern Ontario also has its share of amazing boat tours and cruises.
- Dial up the romance with dinner, drinks and dramatic sunsets. Toronto’s skyline at night is an impressive setting for City Cruises’ sunset dinner and cocktail sail in the harbour.
- Grand River Cruises’ evening excursions set out just south of Hamilton on the scenic Grand River and treat you to a four-course dinner.
- For the adrenaline seekers, Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours will zip you out on a one-hour, high-speed ride through the rapids below Niagara Falls, leaving you soaked and stoked.
Pack your passport and chart a multi-day course on these splendid voyages.
- Pearl Sea Cruises explores the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay on 7 and 11-night trips.
- Viking Expeditions also sails the Great Lakes as well as the Niagara River.
- Ponat multi-day cruises travel from Toronto across Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Huron.
Last updated: June 1, 2023