Boating Holidays Masthead
Boating Holidays Masthead

Boating Holidays in Canada

Discover stunning vistas, beautiful towns and lively cities as you cruise along the UNESCO-listed Rideau Canal.

The Rideau Canal, which opened in 1832, flows between two fascinating cities - Ottawa in the north and Kingston in the south. There are 24 Lockstations and 47 locks in total.

The Rideau region is perfect for those who love fishing as the waters are home to Largemouth Bass and Northern Pike, to name but a few. The area is also a haven for wildlife and boasts several parks, including Murphy’s Point and Rideau River Provincial Park. Take advantage of the nearby cycle routes, the perfect way to explore, and try the delicious Canadian cuisine. Ottawa and Kingston and arguably the two main gastronomic cities but there are plenty of smaller culinary hotspots to be discovered along the canal. For lovers of history, the region offers a wealth of museums, including the fascinating Smiths Falls Railway Museum.

We can arrange flights from the UK to Canada, and hotel stays so that you can extend your Canada adventure. Why not continue on to Toronto, capital of the Ontario province, or explore the awe-inspiring Niagra Falls State Park with its dramatic waterfalls?

Cruiser Boat Base

The cruiser boat base at Smiths Falls is located midway along the canal. This beautiful town in the heart of Eastern Ontario has a thriving arts community and a deep-rooted history. From the boat base, there is the option to cruise north towards Ottawa or head south towards Kingston. We offer 3-night short breaks as well longer 14-night options.

Cruise south to Beveridges Locks and on to the Tay Canal, which links the town of Perth to the Rideau Canal. This area is one of the best for wildlife sightings including the famous Canada Geese, beavers and otters.

Further south is the village of Portland on Big Rideau Lake which can be explored on the Cataraqui trail or perhaps visit one of the wineries. The next stop is Westport, a haven for nature lovers, Chaffey’s Lockstation and picturesque Jones Falls, home to the impressive Great Stone Arch Dam. Further along the Rideau Canal is Seeley’s Bay, a beautiful village where you can stock up on groceries and try the local beverages.

There is also the option to cruise north from the boat base at Smiths Falls to Merrickville, arguably Canada’s prettiest village with its Victorian houses lining the banks of the canal. Hop off at Burrits Rapid and perhaps follow the Tip to Tip Trail past stunning scenery, before heading to Long Island Locks, perfect for fishing and enjoying a picnic.

Off the Beaten Track

The Rideau offers a wealth of key places to visit, but venture off the beaten track and you won’t be disappointed. We’ve put together some of our favourite hidden gems.

The Baxter Conservation Area on the shores of the Rideau River in Ontario boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in the region. It is also home to the unique Filmore Park Nut Grove plus a variety of trails, showcasing breathtaking forests, meadows and wetlands.

The Smiths Falls’ Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario is well worth a visit. The museum is housed in a former Canadian Northern Railway Station which has been listed as a National Historic Site. The site also encompasses the Canadian Northern Railway Roadmaster’s houses as well as Nolan’s Corners Flag Station. Learn about the history of the railway and enjoy a ride on one of the old trains.

Learn about how pure maple syrup is made at the Wheelers Maple Sugar Camp in Ontario. The Wheelers Maple Heritage Museum houses antique items relating to maple syrup production, while the nature trails allow you to explore the stunning grounds.

The Jones Falls Dam on the Rideau Canal was once the largest dam in North America. It has been nicknamed the Whispering Dam as someone speaking at one edge of the dam can be heard over 360 feet away at the other edge. This is due to the unique arch shape and the use of sandstone.

For fashion lovers, Kilborns department store in Newboro is a must-visit, while a visit to the Scheuremann Vineyard and Winery in Westport provides the perfect excuse to try the high-quality wines.

Area Highlights

Highlights of Canada

  • Baxter Conservation Area
  • Smiths Falls’ Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario
  • Wheelers Maple Sugar Camp
  • Jones Falls Dam
  • Scheuremann Vineyard and Winery
  • Rideau Canal
Big Rideau Lake

Useful Information:

  • The traditional locks on the Rideau are operated by hand by a team of lockkeepers.
  • A mandatory fee will be added to your booking to cover overnight moorings at Parks Canada sites, plus the marinas of Portland, Seeley's Bay, Perth and Westport.
  • Short breaks and longers cruises are available from the base at Smiths Falls.

Suggested Cruises from our base in Canada

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Canada Boating Map

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Boat Holidays from Smiths Falls

Smiths Falls is a beautiful town in Eastern Ontario with a strong heritage and thriving arts community. Discover the Heritage House Museum located in an elegant Victorian property, visit one of the many art galleries where talented local artists exhibit their work, or take in the natural beauty and wildlife of the area on one of the town's trails. There are also several beautiful parks, perfect for enjoying a picnic in the summer months, as well as a host of sports.

One Way Routes

Smiths Falls - Kingston - Seeley's Bay

One Way • 1 Week • 34km • 25 Locks • 34hrs

Out and Back Routes

Smiths Falls - Portland - Jones Falls - Smiths Falls

Return Trip • 7 Days • 123km • 12 Locks • 27hrs

Smiths Falls - Newboro - Seeley's Bay - Smiths Falls

Return Trip • 7 Days • 69km • 20 Locks • 33hrs

Smiths Falls - Merrickville - Burritts Rapids - Long Island - Smiths Falls

Return Trip • 7 Days • 146km • 20 Locks • 34hrs

Smiths Falls - Merrickville - Long Island - Ottawa - Smiths Falls

Return Trip • 10 Days • 192km • 36 Locks • 43hrs

Smiths Falls - Merrickville - Newboro - Kingston - Smiths Falls

Return Trip • 14 Days • 300km • 30 Locks • 50hrs

Smiths Falls - Beveridges - Smiths Falls

Return Trip • 3,4 or 5 Days • 30km • 8 Locks • 7hrs

Smiths Falls - Perth - Smiths Falls

Return Trip • 3,4 or 5 Days • 46km • 8 Locks • 10hrs

Smiths Falls - Merrickville - Smiths Falls

Return Trip • 3,4 or 5 Days • 45km • 10 Locks • 13hrs

Rideau Lakes

Boat holidays from Seeley's Bay

Seeley’s Bay is a charming town in Eastern Ontario, located on the beautiful southern route of the Rideau Canal and surrounded by expansive lakes. Learn about the region's history at the Tipi in Centennial Park which commemorates the original Tipi of 'Granny Seeley' who ran a trading post and conducted business with native Indians and European settlers in the 1800s. There are many outdoor activities on offer at Seeley's Bay including fishing, golfing, water sports, cycling and hiking.

One Way Routes

Seeley's Bay - Kingston - Smiths Falls

One Way • 1 Week • 34km • 25 Locks • 34hrs

Out and Back Routes

Seeley's Bay - Westport - Seeley's Bay - Kingston - Seeley's Bay

Return Trip • 1 Week • 152km • 28 Locks • 33hrs

Seeley's Bay - Kingston - Seeley's Bay

Short Break Return Trip • 3,4 or 5 days • 70km • 14 Locks • 17hrs

Seeley's Bay - Smiths Falls

Short Break One Way • Min 4 days • 17km • 11 Locks • 17hrs

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