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Ottawa Tourism Welcomes Le Boat to Rideau Canal

December 7, 2017 River Cruising No Comments Email Email

Ottawa Tourism officially welcomes Le Boat, Europe’s largest operator of self-drive boating vacations, to the Rideau Canal in 2018 as the company’s first destination outside of Europe. The capital of Canada is an ideal spot to begin or end a Le Boat vacation, with museums, family-friendly attractions, great shopping, and a thriving dining and craft beer scene.

“The addition of Le Boat to Ottawa’s tourism scene is exciting,” says Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “It is the perfect way to explore Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal, and will in turn expose Ottawa’s charms to a new clientele from a new vantage point.”

Ottwa benefits from easy road, train, and air access from all major Canadian cities; it is also easily accessible from most major eastern U.S. cities and has direct air access to and from Frankfurt (summers) and London Heathrow (year-round).

“We are beyond thrilled to introduce our new route – Le Boat’s first destination in North America – to our customers,” said Cheryl Brown, Managing Director at Le Boat. “Ottawa and the Rideau Canal have so much to offer and there is no better way to experience the new course than by exploring the stunning capital itself. The abundance of exciting activities, scenic landscapes and rich culture will attract our customers seeking for a new vacation destination.”

Key Attractions in Ottawa
From the Canadian Tulip Festival in May, through music and cultural festivals in the summer months, to the gorgeous fall colours to be seen in Ottawa along the Rideau Canal system, the options are endless. Le Boat vacationers will be able to moor their boats literally steps from Parliament Hill, the National Arts Centre, the vibrant ByWard Market shopping and dining neighbourhood, and the National Gallery of Canada.

Part of the charm of the Rideau Canal system is its variety of experiences—from quiet and rugged rural landscapes to the hustle and bustle of a G7 capital city’s downtown—and clients of Le Boat will be able to enjoy them all. The Rideau Canal system even forms part of the Ottawa city limits. The beautifully historic small town of Manotick (now part of Ottawa) is worth a stop for its still-functioning flour mill (Watson’s Mill) and variety of special tours and events.

The way downtown is peppered with public parks and greenspaces as well as lovely private homes. Mooney’s Bay Park at the south end of downtown Ottawa features Canada’s largest playground and great beach volleyball. As boats make their way through the locks of the Rideau Canal—still hand-operated as they were when construction finished in 1832—they’ll pass Carleton University, the Dominion Arboretum (highlighting dozens of species of trees), the University of Ottawa, and, finally, downtown.

Don’t miss a visit to the wonderfully quirky Bytown Museum, to learn about the construction of the Rideau Canal and the early days of Ottawa—once known as Bytown, after the builder of the Rideau Canal, Lt-Col. John By—as it evolved into the modern capital we know today.

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