Crusing the Rideau Canal

Cruising the Rideau Canal



starting fromUS $2,983per person

  • Get this trip plan customized to cover everything you want to see.
  • Learn which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.

Best of Ottawa and the Rideau Canal

Visit Canada's capital city, Ottawa and then spend 4 nights cruising in your private boat along the Rideau Canal. The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO heritage site and is made up of 47 locks. Cruise the canal in these small leisure cruiser boats where you choose to stop and go as you please. There are plenty of small towns and villages to visit along the way. Explore some of the unique antique shops, take a hike up a local mountain for a different perspective of the canal, relax at one of the local swimming beaches, or cruise along fishing the waters.

Trip at a glance

8 Days / 7 Nights

Arrive in Ottawa 2 nights in Ottawa 4 nights onboard cruiser boat 1 night in Ottawa Depart Ottawa

  • View Details Of Each Day

    Detailed Sample Itinerary

    Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized trip plan for you that matches your travel style, schedule and budget.

    Day 1 – Welcome to Ottawa
    Arrive in Canada’s capital city – Ottawa. Ottawa is a beautiful Canadian city, with countless attractions and hidden gems.

    Overnight in Ottawa.


    Day 2 – Explore the Capital – Ottawa
    Ottawa is the federal capital of Canada, so museums abound – the Museum of Civilization, the Canadian War Museum and the National Art Gallery, all awaiting your visit.

    Today you have 3 options from which to choose from:

    • Option 1: Bike Tour
      Join a local guide for a leisurely bike ride along the Rideau Canal pathway, continuing to the Locks, a wildlife garden and arboretum, and ending with a short visit to the Parliament area. You will get a great view of Ottawa’s downtown core and beyond on this tour, staying 95% on designated safe bike paths.
      Activity rating: Easy
    • Option 2: Byward Market Food Tour
      There’s nothing quite like exploring a city on a culinary adventure! Your guide will weave you thru this bustling market zone, Canada’s oldest marketplace, of both local and international flavours. Of course, you get to sample tasty offerings along the way so bring an appetite.
      Activity rating: Easy
    • Option 3: Private Historical Walking Tour
      Stretch your legs on this privately guided walking tour where you visit the historical highlights of Ottawa located in the downtown core. Hot spots include; Parliament Hill, the National War Memorial, Sparks Street, the Fairmont Château Laurier and the ByWard Market.
      Activity rating: Easy

    Overnight in Ottawa.


    Day 3 – Onward to Smiths Falls
    Travel by private transfer from your hotel in Ottawa to the town of Smiths Falls where you will begin your boating experience on the Rideau Canal. You have the complete flexibility to go where you want on the canal for the next 4 full days. The following 4 night / 5 day description is just a sample of where you can go.

    Overnight onboard your boat.


    Day 4 – Rideau Canal
    The Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously-operated canal system in North America. There are plenty of locks along the canal, don’t miss the Beveridges Locks to connect you to Perth. This area features some of the best wildlife viewing.

    Overnight onboard your boat


    Day 5 – Rideau Canal
    Perth is a beautiful 200 year old town renowned for its limestone architecture. There is plenty to do in this town from touring museums, hiking, biking, golfing and horse riding, to name a few.

    Overnight onboard your boat.


    Day 6 – Rideau Canal
    As you start to make your way back be sure to count how many locks you have passed through. There are a total of 47 locks/23 lockstations on the canal and there are 2 that link Tay Canal to the Rideau.

    Overnight onboard your boat.


    Day 7 – Return to Smiths Falls and Ottawa
    Today you will make your way back to the town of Smiths Falls where you will need to dock and say goodbye to your floating home from the past 4 nights. Next continue by private car back to Ottawa for your final night.

    Overnight in Ottawa.


    Day 8 – Depart Ottawa
    Much too soon you will say goodbye to the beautiful city of Ottawa as you return home.

Cruising the Rideau Canal



Places Visited

OttawaRideau Canal

Accommodation Style


Activity Level


What you'll love about this trip

  • Exploring Ottawa

  • No boat license or previous boating experience required

  • Stunning lake views and small towns

  • Complete flexibility of where to go and what to see, you are the driver

  • Historic UNESCO heritage site

  • Total of 47 locks on the canal

Common Questions

  • Where am I staying on this trip?

    You'll be staying at various local three to five star hotels or lodges along your route, some of which are very iconic properties with great locations, views and history. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We'll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.

  • What is included in the price?

    Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don't have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You'll receive your detailed digital travel documents, and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal throughout your trip to answer any questions.

  • Can I customize this trip?

    Your trip can be as rich as you'd like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can request your personalized trip plan to decide what you'd like to see and do.

    If your trip is a special occasion, we'll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you're traveling with a group, we'll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.

  • What are the best ways to travel around Canada?

    Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.

  • When is the best time to see wildlife?

    That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.

  • Is this an escorted tour?

    With the exception of our guided wildlife trips, our vacations are not typically 'escorted.' We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.

  • Will it be cold when I visit Canada in summer?

    The temperature varies from mild to hot, depending on location. Northern Canada will range between 50°F to 64°F (10°C – 18°C) in summer. The interior of BC, prairies, Ontario and Quebec can reach temperatures around 95°F (35°C). Canada's west coast, mountain regions, and Maritimes enjoy milder summer temperatures. They range on average from 59°F to 77°F (15°C – 25°C).

  • How much does my trip cost?

    All our trips can be customized to fit your schedule and budget. The price depends on travel season, train service, hotel level, and the sightseeing tours you choose. Request your personalized trip plan and quote which will provide you with a detailed cost estimate.

  • What's Included

    What's Included in the Price

    These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.

    • 3 nights hotel accommodation
    • 4 nights onboard a Horizon cruiser boat


    Boat Experience & Inclusions:
    • Full use of boat for the duration of rental
    • Full briefing by base staff, including a practice run before departure, no previous experience required
    • Safety Equipment – life jackets, life ring, boat hook & fenders, first aid kit
    • Lock fees and moorings at all Parks Canada locks
    • Cruising maps, user manual and tourist information
    • Fully equipped kitchen and outdoor BBQ hotplate
    • All linens (no beach towels)
    • Golden Bundle Package – Unlimited engine hours, collision damage waiver, rental of adult or child bike per passenger, eco cleaning pack, starter provisions pack, gas BBQ, LED lantern, captains hat, end-of-cruise boat cleaning, and extra bed linen


    Ottawa Experiences:
    Choose 1 of 3:
    1. Food Tour
    2. Private Historical Walking Tour
    3. Ottawa Bike Tour


    Transfer Inclusions:
    Round-trip private transfers between Ottawa Airport and downtown hotel
    • Round-trip private transfers between downtown Ottawa hotel and Smiths Falls (boat base)


    Other Inclusions:
    • Digital Travel Documents
    • Gratuities for private transfers

    • Fresh Tracks Canada customer service support – from the time you book, you will be assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator with whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests.

    Not Included

    • Meals, including groceries while on the boat
    • Airfare
    • Gratuities for tours
    • Security deposit for the boat (to be paid locally, cost varies based on size of boat & duration of rental)

    • Trip Cancellation & Travel Medical Insurance (highly recommended)
    • Canadian Sales Taxes

    Ideas to customize this trip

    Think of this trip as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.

    • Upgrade to a larger boat to give you and your party more space to lounge and relax onboard your cruiser boat.
    • Travel by train between Ottawa and Smiths Falls
    • Explore more of the Rideau Canal and make it a 7 night or 10 night overnight journey


  • Prices & Dates

    Start Dates

    Daily departures from Ottawa


    Prices of this trip vary by departure date, hotel class and the choice of activities. Request your quote to check availability or to book this trip.

    Horizon 2 Boat
    from US $3,990 to US $4,676 per person
  • Accommodations

    Accommodation Options

    These are examples of this trip's accommodation choices. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.

    The Courtyard By Marriott Ottawa Downtown

    The Courtyard By Marriott Ottawa Downtown

    Overnight in a comfort level hotel, such as the The Courtyard By Marriott Ottawa Downtown. Our well-situated Comfort level hotels are typically rated at 3 stars. You'll enjoy clean and comfortable accommodations, plus great service.

    Horizon 2 Boat

    Horizon 2 Boat

    The Horizon 2 sleeps up to 5 people, and includes 1 large forward cabin with convertible double bed, 1 small cabin with 2 twin beds, 2 ensuite bathrooms, and a large saloon with convertible couch (sleeps 1).

This Trip in Pictures

Visit Ottawa and then spend 4 nights cruising along the Rideau Canal on your private boat.
Visit Ottawa and then spend 4 nights cruising along the Rideau Canal on your private boat.
The Rideau Canal has 47 locks and 23 lock stations that you can travel through.
The Rideau Canal has 47 locks and 23 lock stations that you can travel through.
Comfortable bedding while sleeping onboard your private boat.
Comfortable bedding while sleeping onboard your private boat.
Enjoy quality time with friends and family.
Enjoy quality time with friends and family.
There are plenty of spots along the canal to dock.
There are plenty of spots along the canal to dock.
Watch for wildlife along the shorelines on some parts of the canal.
Watch for wildlife along the shorelines on some parts of the canal.
Sit back and relax as you float along the Rideau Canal.
Sit back and relax as you float along the Rideau Canal.
There is plenty of water activities to keep the whole family entertained.
There is plenty of water activities to keep the whole family entertained.

Get your personalized trip plan organized and arranged for you

Get your personalized itinerary
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
Schedule a call or call us directly toll-free:
call1 877 395 5771

Customized Trips

All our trips can be personalized to match your dates, travel style, and budget.

Canadian Insiders

Advice From Canadians

Make the most of your time in Canada with advice from our local Insiders.


Everything Arranged

Feel in control with all the details of your trip organized and booked for you.