Le Boat is opening a new base this May in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, to make it easier to cruise along the Rideau Canal, one of the most historic and picturesque boating areas in North America.
Le Boat also is adding two new cruisers to its fleet of houseboat rental boats on the Rideau, bringing the total to 32. Boating season starts there on May 19 (the Victoria Day long weekend in Canada).
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Rideau Canal opened in 1832, making it the longest continuously operated canal system in North America. It has a system of 45 locks along the 125-mile-long canal from Kingston, Ontario, at the junction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Lake Ontario, up to Ottawa.
The new base is in the heart of Ottawa; the other base is at Smiths Falls, about halfway up the canal. The canal runs through picturesque towns, unspoiled lakes and pastoral countryside, and visitors can explore, fish, kayak, bike and relax along the way.
Le Boat is a French company with the world’s largest fleet of river and canal charter boats. It started in 1969 with eight boats on the gorgeous Canal du Midi in France. It now has more than 950 boats in France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. The Rideau is Le Boat’s only operation in this continent.
You don’t need any boating experience or a boating license from Le Boat. The company will provide instructions and an orientation to people who’ve never chartered or operated a boat before. Most of the boats have bow thrusters or joy sticks to help with low-speed maneuvering.
This year, Le Boat offers a variety of cruises. One, called the Canadian Short Break, goes from Ottawa down to Long Island and Manotick before returning to Ottawa. It’s only 23 miles and lasts for three nights. Starting May 19, the cost is $2,090 for a Horizon 4 Plus boat (pictured) that’s 44 feet long and has four cabins.
The much longer Southern Rideau Cruise, starting in Smiths Falls, goes 78 miles over seven nights. Also starting May 19, it costs $2,145 on a 37-foot Horizon 1 boat designed for a couple. Read more at http://leboat.com and see the video below: