Ottawa Canal Cruise – Full 7 Day Itinerary

Boating the Rideau Canal is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Canada, and by chance going via the historic lock system could be achieved with out proudly owning your individual boat. Heck, you don’t even want boating expertise. Because of Le Boat organising store in Smiths Falls, Ontario, there’s a fleet of luxurious houseboats simply ready so that you can drive up or down this well-known UNESCO World Heritage Web site.

Le Boat is the primary supplier of sailing holidays has been providing canal journeys all through Europe for greater than 50 years. When deciding to begin working houseboats in North America, The Rideau Canal was a pure match. This attractive 200 km (125 miles) lengthy waterway is like driving via slightly slice of Europe. It’s dotted with quaint villages, historic ruins, scenic vineyards, and delightful surroundings. To not point out the 200-year-old locks which have been constantly in operation since 1832.

Household pleasant boating holidays – Household Day Financial savings

Le Boat has curated their high boating suggestions for household enjoyable and in honor of yesterday’s household day right here in Canada, they’re supplying you with an additional 5percentoff whenever you use the PROMO CODE: FAM5 on the time of reserving. CAll 1-800-734-5491 to guide now. And the good information is, this provide is combinable with different gives ( as much as 15%)*

  • Ebook your loved ones vacation earlier than Feb. 28, 2021 to Save an additional 5%
  • Quote Promo Code FAM5, at time of reserving
  • *This provide is combinable with different gives ( as much as 15%)new reserving solely
  • Name 1-800-734-5491 to guide utilizing this particular Household Day provide (FAM5)
  • Extra Particulars on journeys and Le Boat Household Holidays right here.

The Rideau Canal Le Boat Expertise

The journey begins with an hour-long introduction to your Le Boat. Throughout this time you’ll be proven how you can learn the maps and charts, how you can use the range, and the place all the vital devices and tools are, present you the knots you’ll have to tie up on the docks, however most significantly, how you can drive the boat!

Le Boats on the Rideau Canal are very straightforward to drive. The Horizon Fleet boats are all geared up with entrance and rear thrusters making it straightforward to activate a dime. When pulling as much as moor, it’s straightforward to park between boats are in tight areas by utilizing the aspect thrusters to inch right into a slot. All Le Boats have throttlers on them so you’ll be able to’t go sooner than 10 km per hour making it straightforward to cruise and chill out all through your journey.

Le Boat Canada Driving Lesson

After your lesson and should you really feel assured, your teacher will information you thru the primary set of locks educating you lock etiquette and how you can safely pull in. You should have all of the instruments you could comfortably cruise via the Rideau Canal in your luxurious yacht.

Save 10% on choose boats leases on the Rideau Canal

  • Save 10% on Horizon 2 and Horizon 3 boat leases on the Rideau Canal, Canada
  • Legitimate on departures from June to August 2022
  • Legitimate on brief breaks and 7-10+evening cruises
  • New bookings solely, combinable with different gives for as much as 15% most low cost

Horizon Fleet

Le Boat Horizon Fleet Smiths Falls Ontario Canada

We booked a four-bedroom, four-bath for 3 {couples}. My dad and mom got here with us in addition to my brother and Sister in Regulation. We additionally had two cats on board. Le Boat is pet-friendly, so you’ll be able to deliver the whole household together with the pets alongside!

Every room has its personal lavatory and bathe. There’s a giant sitting space inside that comfortably sat all of us. Although there are 4 bedrooms and 4 baths, I feel it could have been crowded downstairs with {couples}, however there are the higher deck and picnic tables the place folks can unfold out. If the climate is nice, it could be straightforward to suit 4 {couples} within the Horizon 4. We cruised throughout fall colors, so we had some very chilly days and nights and spent extra time downstairs than we did throughout our summer season trip on the Horizon 3.

Le Boat Canada Horizon 3 Interior

The kitchen has two small fridges, and there’s a barbecue up high, so cooking is simple on Le Boats. We additionally introduced coolers to retailer drinks and meals because the fridges on the Horizon 4 aren’t full measurement. There’s loads of deck area, so that you don’t have to fret about it being crowded.

Tips on how to Select Which Route to go

Ottawa Canal Map

Selecting to take a ship journey on the Rideau Canal is the straightforward half, however selecting which method to go could make for a tricky determination. Smiths Falls is situated nearly straight in the course of the Rideau Canal. Should you go north, you’ll be heading to Ottawa, Canada’s capital metropolis. Should you go south, you’ll be making your method to Kingston, Canada’s first capital metropolis. Each are nice cities to go to and each instructions provide attention-grabbing stops alongside the best way, so in the present day, we’re going to offer you some perception into selecting which method to boat on the Rideau Canal from Smiths Falls.

Overview of North and South

Ottawa Canal cruise North

We had the chance to drive each north and south and might attest that each are very good journeys. They’re, nevertheless, fairly completely different, so selecting which method to go relies on the kind of journey you wish to have.

When boating north in the direction of Ottawa, there are lots of extra locks to undergo. Between Smiths Falls and Ottawa, there are 12 lock stations containing 21 locks. The waterways are narrower and the journey feels extra like an precise canal journey than a boating trip in Ontario. It’s potential to get to Ottawa and again on a week-long journey when going on this path.

Le Boat Canada Houseboats

When going south, the bodes of water are bigger and you’ll be driving on lakes which are related by locks. At instances you don’t even really feel like you’re on a canal system, however as an alternative in Ontario’s cottage nation. There are extra selections of cities to cease at and you are able to do extra of a loop as an alternative of an out and again journey.

Except you will have plenty of time, most individuals gained’t make all of it the best way to Kingston and as an alternative normally cease on the high of Jones Falls Locks, which is commonly thought of essentially the most lovely locks on the Rideau Canal. To get to Jones Falls, you’ll undergo 8 lock stations (after departing Smiths Falls) with solely 8 locks which suggests you will have extra cruising time and fewer time contained in the locks.

For extra info on cruising south on the Rideau Canal, learn our full publish right here: Superb Rideau Canal Cruise – A Distinctive Cruise Vacation with Le Boat

The Journey North to Ottawa

Ottawa Cana Boat Cruise in Autumn

We have been most excited to spend the evening downtown Ottawa on our boat when planning our northern Le Boat journey. Le Boats park proper downtown in entrance of the Rideau Middle with views of the Parliament Buildings and the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. In previous journeys to Ottawa, we’ve seen yachts moored within the canal and will solely dream of creating this journey. Now that it’s potential to hire a houseboat, anybody can be a part of this unique membership of sailing the historic Rideau Canal.

Day 1 Merrickville (4 hours)

Ottawa Canal Merrickville

The primary cease from Smiths Falls is the city of Merrickville the place we moored for the evening on the blue line of the Merrickville locks. When mooring in Merrickville, we recommend staying on the high of the locks so you’ll be able to simply get pleasure from exploring the city. You don’t have far to go the following day, and Merrickville is unquestionably a spotlight of this Rideau Canal cruise.

Ottawa Canal Downtown Merrickville

This was our favorite cease on our northern Rideau Canal route. Merrickville has every thing you may want. Merrickville was voted “Canada’s Most Stunning Village by Communities in Bloom” and it is extremely fairly. There’s loads of buying downtown and we picked up fairly a couple of gadgets for our home. Be sure to walk its essential road and pop into the retailers. Our favourite place was the Grey Artwork Glass Studio the place we purchased a beautiful centerpiece for our eating room desk and Stella Luna Cafe for gelato. The proprietor studied the artwork of creating Gelato at Carbigiani Gelato College in Bologna! Dave and I’ve really toured that college!

Merrickville Ruins

Merrickville Ruins on the Ottawa Canal

A spotlight of visiting Merrickville is strolling to the attractive ruins. The inspiration of an deserted woolen mill is situated in a picturesque setting simply on the opposite aspect of the Rideau Canal from city. There’s a strolling path, lovely stone foundations, an influence generator, and views of the Rideau Canal. Don’t miss strolling throughout the bridge to see them. Whereas docked in Merrickville, you can even go to the previous blockhouse that has been changed into a museum.

Day 2 – Burritts Rapids (3 hours)

Burritts Rapids on the Ottawa Canal

The subsequent cease is Burritts Rapids. When leaving Merrickville there are three locks and a swing bridge to undergo. As soon as you’re via these locks, it’s not lengthy till you’re at Burritt Rapids. At Burritts Rapids there’s a good mountaineering path, The Tip to Tip. It’s a 4.3 kilometer is an out & again path the place you’ll cross the village of Burritts Rapids as you make your method out to the tip.

Rideau Woodland Ramble near Burritts Rapids on the Ottawa Canal

For us, the spotlight right here was visiting Rideau Woodland Ramble. Should you’ve rented bicycles along with your Le Boat (or bringing your individual) you’ll be able to bike to this lovely show backyard and heart. It is just 1.7 km from the Burritts Rapids Lock station, so you can even stroll there. These gardens are lovely with strolling trails via attractive shows. There’s even a labyrinth within the backyard the place you’ll be able to take a second for quiet meditation. There are Japanese maples, quiet ponds, backyard gnomes, and the Totem Path. Be sure to spend a while perusing the gardens and stocking up on provides to your personal backyard.

It’s dinner on the boat tonight as you get pleasure from a phenomenal sundown from the lock station.

Day 3 – Lengthy Island (5 hours)

Long Island on the Rideau Canal to Ottawa

In the present day is a protracted boating day so attempt to be first via the locks so you can also make your method to Lengthy Island. As soon as you’re via the Merrickville Locks, it’s clean crusing as you cruise the Rideau River to Manotick. It is a lengthy portion with lovely surroundings and it’s alongside this route that the massive houses begin coming into view. We simply beloved sitting on the deck watching the surroundings go by.

In the present day is an efficient day to have somebody put together lunch and snacks on board so you can also make good time. We needed to get via the Lengthy Island locks as a result of it’s nonetheless a protracted method to Ottawa. However you will need to notice that when going via lock stations, you could be on the locks 1.5 hours earlier than closing. Since we have been cruising in Autumn to see the autumn colours, that meant that the lock station closed at 5 pm, so if we have been to get via, we would have liked to reach at 3:30. Fortunately we timed at the present time to occur on the weekend when hours are longer, so by leaving at 9 am sharp, we simply made it via the Lengthy Island locks.

BBQ Lunch on the way to Ottawa Canal Long Island

That is undoubtedly a lock station that you simply need to undergo should you can and park on the backside as a result of it’s one other lengthy day on the water, so you want to have the ability to go away brilliant and early. Should you park on the high, you’ll want to attend for the lock station to open at 9 am.

Black Rapids (1 hour)

Black Rapids Lock Station Rideau Canal Le Boat

We made such good time, that after we received via the Lengthy Island Locks, we determined to push ahead to Black Rapids Locks. It’s lower than 10 km from Lengthy Island to Black Rapids and since we have been boating on the weekend, we had time to make it via Black Rapids to remain on the backside of the locks in order that we might push ahead to Ottawa very first thing within the morning.

It had began to rain, so this was a very good time to make up far. We moved downstairs to drive from under in heat and luxury and continued to Black Rapids the place we spent the evening on the backside of the locks. We have been the final boat via and Now had a really brief day forward of us to Ottawa.

Day 4 Ottawa (4 Hours)

Ottawa Canal Le Boat Fall

It’s an thrilling day as a result of it’s the ultimate stretch to the Capital Metropolis of Canada. The houses are nearer collectively and proceed to develop in measurement with floatplanes and motorboats lining their docks. Pleasant kayakers wave as you cross and after passing marinas and bridges, the channel narrows as you method Ottawa. There are two last locks to cross via earlier than reaching town of Ottawa. Hartwell and Hogs Again locks. At this level, you undoubtedly really feel like you’re in an city setting. Cyclists trip their bicycles alongside the shore, persons are strolling alongside the trail and crowds cease to look at the boats undergo the locks. Fortunately you’ve been driving Le Boat for 4 days by now, so that you undergo the locks like a professional!

Dows Lake

Dows Lake neat Ottawa on the Canal

It’s now time to decide. Dows Lake is simply outdoors of downtown Ottawa, however it’s a great spot to moor for the night. The big marina has three eating places and watersport leases. That is additionally the place the place you’ll need to pump out your boat and refill your water. You’ll be able to park right here for the evening, however to remain on the Marina, there may be an additional value. (roughly $80)

Day 5 Downtown (half-hour to 1 hour)

Downtown view on the Ottawa Canal Le Boat

After pumping out and filling our water, we continued on to downtown Ottawa from Dows Lake. This manner, we might park within the coronary heart of town and are inside strolling distance from many of the metropolis’s high sights. The cruise into Ottawa is gorgeous. Many individuals pay for a Rideau Canal cruise from downtown, and on Le Boat, you get to drive your individual boat on this historic stretch of waterway. From Dows Lake to Downtown, it’s only a 20 to 30-minute cruise, however you do want to attend for one carry bridge. The telephone quantity is in your charts, so name forward to let the bridge grasp know you’re in your method. They’ll then cease site visitors and allow you to via.

Learn all these Ottawa Guides that can assist you plan your go to

Issues to do in Ottawa close to Le Boat parking

Ottawa Canal Downtown slip Le Boat

You now have the afternoon to get pleasure from all of the wonderful issues to do in downtown Ottawa. We’ve got visited this metropolis usually and have many articles on Ottawa sights. But when it’s your first time, you’re in an amazing place since you are inside strolling distance to the ByWard Market, The Parliament Buildings, The Rideau Centre, and Sparks Road. The ByTown museum is shut by and for simply $2 you’ll be able to go inside and stroll via this beautiful museum that traces the historical past of Ottawa recognized then as Bytown

We recommend heading to ByWard Marketplace for dinner. There are many locations to eat available in the market and make sure you go as much as the highest of the Andaz Resort for cocktails on the rooftop bar and wonderful views of Ottawa.

Explore Sparks street in Ottawa, Canada

Earlier than dinner, take a stroll to Parliament Hill to see the federal government parliament buildings and to look throughout the Ottawa River on the metropolis of Gatineau Quebec. In your method again, hop as much as Sparks Road. This pedestrian road is nice for a stroll and comes out on the Conflict Memorial the place you’ll be able to see the altering of the guards on the Tomb of the Unknown soldier at 9 am and 5 pm.


Haunted walking tour in Ottawa Le Boat

A night in Ottawa gives numerous issues to do. One enjoyable factor for the entire household is to take a haunted strolling tour. Study concerning the metropolis of Ottawa and its historical past as you stroll to a few of its well-known sights whereas listening to enjoyable tales about ghosts within the evening.

Day 6 Ottawa (Optionally available Full Day in Ottawa)

Full day tour in Ottawa with Le Boat

Should you solely have at some point in Ottawa, one of the best factor to do is to take a tour. We booked an e-bike tour with Escape Bicycle Tours and it was a wonderful method to go to all the highest Ottawa sights. What we beloved about e-biking is that it’s good for a multi-generational journey. My dad and mom joined us on this journey and so did my brother and sister-in-law. All of us have completely different ranges of biking, however using an e-bike ranges the taking part in area. It’s really easy!

E-Bike Tour in Ottawa Escape Bike Tours

We met our information Andrew at their workplace on Sparks Road. It’s a improbable location the place you’ll be able to order specialty coffees, beer, and wine. We had espresso earlier than the tour and wine after. After studying how you can navigate the bikes we adopted Andrew via town on the well-appointed bike paths. Ottawa is a really bikeable metropolis. My household was a bit frightened about biking within the metropolis, however their nerves have been rapidly eased as soon as we began biking. There have been paths all through town and once we have been in site visitors, bikes had their very own lanes.

Gatineau Quebec from Ottawa on Bike Tour

The tour took us throughout the Ottawa River into Quebec the place we noticed Canada’s busiest Museum, The Canadian Museum of Historical past. We then cycled throughout the Alexandra Bridge on the designated bike and strolling path to the Nationwide Gallery of Canada the place we noticed the wonderful Maman spider set up and took within the views of the Notre Dame Basilica. It was then out to Sussex Drive together with to see Rideau Corridor, the house of Canada’s governor-general. The tour was lovely, showcasing one of the best of town whereas having fun with the good outdoor.

After our tour, we had some beer and wine on the Escape Bicycle out of doors patio on Sparks Road. It’s such an amazing ambiance, and proprietor Maria got here out to hitch us for a cappuccino. When visiting Ottawa, be sure to guide a tour or bicycle rental with Escape Bicycle Excursions, go to their web site for particulars.

Escape Manor in Ottawa

Within the night we had a enjoyable household bonding expertise at Escape Manor the place we labored collectively as a workforce to get out of the Asylum. It was the primary escape room we’ve ever achieved and I extremely advocate doing it. Particularly in case you are with your loved ones.


Flora Hall Brewing Ottawa for dinner

Taking a stroll alongside Financial institution Road we made our method to Flora Corridor Brewing for dinner. It is a improbable setting in an previous storage. The native craft brewery has an intensive menu from falafels and beet hummus to Burrata salads. It’s all open-concept and you’ll see the vats of beer behind glass the place they make their very own microbrew. It’s then again to the boat for cocktails on deck with the Ottawa lights glistening within the clean waters of the canal.

Day 7 – Ottawa to Lengthy Island (3-4 hours)

Ottawa Canal Views from Le Boat

In the present day it’s time to say goodbye to Ottawa and begin making your method again to Smiths Falls. You’ll be backtracking so that you’ll be seeing plenty of the identical surroundings, however it is a enjoyable time to cease on the locations you’ll have missed. Since we b-lined it via Lengthy Island from to Black Rapids on the best way to Ottawa, we determined to go straight to remain in a single day at Lengthy Island on the best way again.

Ottawa Canal Cruise Day 7

Lengthy Island is a beautiful lock station with three locks and a swing bridge. It’s wonderful to look at the Parks Canada workers at work. They crank the locks by hand and push the trolley to open the swing bridge in circles. It’s really like stepping again in time.

From the Lengthy Island Locks, it’s a 15-minute bike trip to the city of Manotick. It’s price going into this historic city with 1860s Watson’s Mill being the spotlight. There are a number of cafes and specialty retailers for buying, or you’ll be able to merely chill out on certainly one of its patios.

Day 8 – Nicolson Locks

Rideau Canal Ottawa Final Day

In the present day is a leisurely cruise as you make your method again alongside the Rideau Canal. It’s not possible to get to Smiths Falls in a day from Lengthy Island, so you’ll be able to determine the place you need to spend the evening on the best way again. Chances are you’ll need to revisit Merrickville to get pleasure from some scrumptious pizza at Iron Forge Pizza, or you might have considered trying an evening on the water at Burrits Rapids or Nicholsons Lock. We made it via Burrits Rapids and determined to remain at Nicholsons to get pleasure from a night in peace and quiet on Le Boat.

Utilizing the barbecue on the higher deck, we loved cocktails and dinner because the solar set over the water. It was the right ending to our final evening on the boat.

Ultimate Day – On to Smiths Falls

Ridea Canal Fall colours Smiths Falls

Our last push had us leaving very first thing within the morning to get via to Smiths Falls the place we backed the boat into the slip. We’ve come a good distance child, 8 days in the past we have been nervous about driving Le Boat’s Horizon 4 and now we’re backing it with precision proper into the slip alongside the remainder of the fleet.

As one individual went to get the carts to assist carry our gear, the remaining began to unload the boat and get it prepared for sign-off. It was an exquisite week with household on the Le Boat Horizon 4 and it was bittersweet saying goodbye to it. We extremely advocate getting your loved ones or shut associates collectively to share this once-in-a-lifetime expertise.

Le Boat and Rideau Canal – The Deails

Le Boat and Rideau Canal - The Deails

Le Boat is situated in Smiths Falls within the heart of the Rideau Canal. Boat holidays can go both method alongside the canal from Smiths Falls and don’t have to go all the best way to Ottawa in your journey. We met many individuals who took shorter three to four-day journeys to Merrickville or Burritts Rapids. You additionally don’t have to spend two nights in Ottawa.

We needed my household to expertise our favorite metropolis in Ottawa, so we selected to spend an additional evening within the metropolis, however you’ll be able to select to remain as lengthy or as brief as you want. The one additional value for Le Boaters in Ottawa on the canal is the price of energy which is $9.20 per evening.

Rideau Canal Hours

Rideau Canal Hours

When planning your Le Boat route on the Rideau Canal, it’s vital to have a look at lock instances. Le Boats can solely go 10 km per hour, so you’ll be able to’t zip from lock to lock. It’s meant to be a gradual and stress-free boat rip on the Rideau. So, be sure to understand how far you need to journey and the way a lot you need to see earlier than reserving the variety of days from Smiths Falls.

Attending to Ottawa in 3 days is doable, however you will need to make good time between locks and to plan if you’re going to keep on the high or backside of locks. Going via the locks can take some time and should you park on the high however need to transfer on within the morning, you gained’t have the ability to till the lock opens. We regularly went via the lock within the night in order that we might park on the backside and be on our method very first thing within the morning.

Lock instances change relying on the time of the yr and you could be on the locks 1 1/2 hours earlier than they shut as it might probably take that lengthy to get boats via. So if the locks shut at 4:00 pm within the autumn, you will have to be going via by 2:30 on the newest.

Opening Hours:

  • Might 21 – June 17
    • Monday to Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Friday to Sunday and holidays 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • June 18 – Sept. 6:
    • Monday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Friday to Sunday and holidays 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • September 7 – October 11:
    • Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, Sunday & Thanksgiving 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wrap Up Ottawa Rideau Canal Cruise autumn

It’s free for Le Boaters to remain on the Parks Canada locks, however if you need energy, there’s a cost of $9.80. You don’t essentially want energy as Le Boats cost all day whereas driving, however if you wish to run the air conditioner in summer season or warmth in Spring and Autumn, you might have considered trying energy for peace of thoughts. Should you keep at a Marina, some are included in your rental and others have an additional price. Simply verify with the workers earlier than you allow to seek out out which marinas are freed from cost. Some provide free stays for the primary two Le Boaters that arrive, so if you need an evening at a specific marina, be sure to reach early.

Taking a Le Boat Trip on the Rideau Canal is a once-in-a-lifetime expertise. Going via the historic locks is a dream trip that’s on many an avid boaters bucket checklist. It’s wonderful that Le Boat has opened up store in Canada providing luxurious 45-foot yachts to permit the general public to expertise a visit that was as soon as solely accessible for individuals who personal their very own boats. If you’re searching for one thing distinctive to do in Ontario this summer season, put Le Boat on the high of your checklist!

Go to the Le Boat web site for luxurious boating holidays in Europe and Canada at

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