After a long winter mostly spent cooped up indoors, my family and I were admittedly looking for a change of scenery and a safe way to do some exploring.
But rather than a traditional road trip or cottage rental we wanted to do something different; something that felt a bit more adventurous. We found exactly what we were looking for with a houseboat vacation through Le Boat, a company with over 50 years of experience on the water.
A short break on a private, luxury houseboat provided the perfect combination of relaxation, adventure and family fun. Since I’m sure there are a lot of other people looking for a safe summer escape this year, here are a few of the main reasons Le Boat makes a great option for a houseboat vacation.
It’s easier than you think
While a houseboat vacation might seem daunting for first-timers, the whole experience was easy from start to finish. And the best part is, no previous boating experience or a boating license is required.
Before our trip, I was a little intimidated about navigating a 50-foot houseboat, but it really is as easy as they say–if you can drive a car, you can drive Le Boat. The staff are so helpful and ensure you have everything you need before you head out. A short but important safety briefing and a lesson about how to captain the boat are all you need for a memorable stay on the water. The Parks Canada staff are also very helpful. They are there to guide you as you go through the historical Rideau Canal locks and transition from one body of water to another.
Luxury in the great outdoors
After a long winter we wanted to plan a getaway that incorporated the great outdoors, but in a way that felt elevated. Think of a Le Boat vacation like renting a luxury cottage–but one that allows you to cruise Ontario’s waterways, soaking up stunning scenery along the way. As we didn’t have a lot of time, our adventure had to be simple and comfortable and Le Boat checked all of the boxes.
Brand new Horizon Cruisers come with comfortable beds and air cooling, each cabin comes with its own private bathroom and ensuite shower and there’s even a fully operational kitchen and top deck BBQ hot plate.
There are several sized boats to choose from depending on your group size (sleeping from 2-12 people).
Create your own itinerary
Depending on the time you have, you can explore the small towns and villages along the route spanning 202 kilometres from Kingston to Ottawa. We picked up in Smith’s Falls and chose to go south. I hear that cruising into Ottawa on the UNESCO-listed Rideau Canal is epic, but it takes more time than we had and we were looking for more open water and lake experience.
What we found was a trip reminiscent of Muskoka, the 1000 Islands and Algonquin park all rolled into one. But less crowded! Going south there are plenty of great swimming spots and places to moor. You’ll also find many spots to roast marshmallows over a firepit or even dine at a winery.
A safe staycation option
There’s no question that people are looking for ways to get out and travel. But current options are limited and travellers are apprehensive about choosing a safe getaway.
Le Boat has launched a new COVID Safety Charter. It outlines new cleaning protocols, new passenger check-in procedures and social distancing measures for extra protection. All of this has been put in place while following Ontario’s new Health and Safety Guidelines for re-opening. It also follows the recommendations outlined by the Boating Ontario Association (of which they are a member).
It really is the perfect solution—a family getaway without compromising safety or quality of experience.
After our time on the water, I know there will be more boating adventures in our future. I’m already looking ahead to when it’s safe to travel further afield. Le Boat also offers rentals across Europe, including France, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, England, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
Want to learn more about a luxury yacht, cruiser or houseboat vacation? Don’t miss this: What It’s Really Like to Travel on a Luxury Yacht, Cruiser or Houseboat
For more information about houseboat rentals in Canada or Europe: leboat.ca
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