When the summer sun shines upon the 1000 Islands there’s no better place to be than cruising along the St. Lawrence River. Cool water mists around the boat, birds call overhead, lush islands pass to your left and right, and a warm river breeze gently rustles your hair. It’s relaxing, yet invigorating. It’s the kind of lazy day adventure summer dreams are made of.
St. Lawrence River cruises are among the most unique in the world. Unlike ocean liners that drift on the water for days on end, leaving wanderlust souls feeling somewhat trapped, Thousand Island cruises last a day, an afternoon, or a couple of hours. They also boast fascinating and breathtaking views of millionaire mansions, wild islands, and even castles!
Check out these boat cruise options to find out which experience is right for you:
Uncle Sam Boat Tours offers several unforgettable excursions that allow you to disembark and explore the castles for yourself! All of their day tours offer an unlimited stop at Boldt Castle, a modern chateau with a heartbreakingly romantic story. Located on Heart Island, the majority of the 120-room castle and its outbuildings were built at the turn of the 20th century, but abandoned for 70 years when tragedy struck the Boldt family. Today, it has been painstakingly completed and restored, and is open for public viewing. Uncle Sam also offers trips out to Singer Castle, a mysterious property with a rich history and rumors of hauntings!
If castles aren’t your style, Clayton Island Tours offers several one-of-a-kind St. Lawrence River experiences. Join a Rock Island Lighthouse tour and journey to Rock Island Lighthouse State Park, a boat-access only island. Climb the lighthouse for an incredible bird’s eye view of the river and visit the Light Keeper’s Home, which has been converted into a museum and gift shop. Or, climb aboard Night Heron, a glass bottom boat that offers exclusive views of the history and life living beneath the surface of the St. Lawrence River.
If you’re coming from Canada, take advantage of Gananoque Boat Line’s a la carte cruise options. Learn the fascinating history of sunken ships and almost-forgotten seamen on their “Lost Ships of the 1000 Islands” tour, enjoy cover songs of your favorite bands on one of their evening concert cruises, or charter a boat for a river adventure entirely your own!
Visiting the 1000 Islands with your special someone? Treat them to a date night they will never forget. Rockport Boat Line offers lunch and dinner cruises with panoramic views as fantastic as their food. Set sail just before sunset and watch the day’s light slip below the horizon of the St. Lawrence River from the upper promenade deck before descending to one of two lower levels to enjoy a delicious country buffet.
The St. Lawrence River is the heart of the region. No matter which tour you choose, a cruise will undoubtedly be the highlight of your summer getaway in the 1000 Islands, and the best way to discover the river’s hidden treasures!