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Ottawa

Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended Ottawa Cruises & Boat Tours

Ottawa: Sightseeing River Cruise

1. Ottawa: Sightseeing River Cruise

Discover the natural beauty of the region that captured the imagination of the first European explorer Samuel de Champlain. Climb aboard the 'Paula D' for a 1.5-hour sightseeing cruise on the Ottawa River. This must-do experience offers an entertaining glimpse of the region's rich history and leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your stay. For your convenience, there are two departure docks, one located in Gatineau and another in Ottawa. Once boarded, sit back and relax as you cruise down the river. Enjoy spectacular views of the city and learn about the river's past life as a watery highway for transporting resources with your guide's engaging and informative commentary in both English and French. During your cruise, you'll have the opportunity to see the Parliament Buildings, the Rideau Canal Locks, and the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau from the river. You'll also be able to spot some sights that are only visible from the water or from Gatineau. While you're taking in the sights, savor a nice cold beverage (at your own expense) on the large open-air upper deck. Alternatively, escape the elements and visit the closed-in lower deck to take advantage of the on-board canteen with a bar.

Ottawa: Rideau Canal Cruise

2. Ottawa: Rideau Canal Cruise

Discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rideau Canal aboard a brand-new electric vessel. Admire top attractions like the Canadian Museum of Nature, Château Laurier, Dow’s Lake, and the National Arts Centre from this iconic waterway. The cruise departs from the heart of downtown Ottawa. Step aboard North America’s largest 100% electric passenger vessel, the only one of its kind. Your experienced and friendly crew will answer your questions and ensure your safety. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the view as your live guide shares entertaining insights into the region, its history, and rich cultural heritage. Discover the Rideau Canal from the Chateau Laurier to Dow's Lake. Learn about 30 different sites that have marked the history of Ottawa including the Trans-Canada Highway, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canal Ritz, Lansdowne Park, Bank Street Bridge, Dow’s Lake, Commissioners Park, Dominion Arboretum, and many more.

Ottawa: Haunted Night Walking Tour

3. Ottawa: Haunted Night Walking Tour

Experience Ottawa like never before on a 75-minute Original Haunted Walk. Spend an evening with fascinating tour guides who are chosen from the best local storytellers and have a passion for sharing the unexpected side of Canada's capital city.  On the Original Haunted Walk, your expert cloaked guide will reveal to you their favorite ghost stories from the Downtown Ottawa area and lead you by lantern light to some of the city's most well-known haunted spots. Visit locations such as the Fairmont Château Laurier, Grant House, and Ottawa’s haunted high school. A favorite stop is the haunted Bytown Museum where many of the guides have had their own experiences to share. You’ll never look at the city and these buildings the same again.  After being led through the streets of Downtown Ottawa, your guide can walk you back to the start location or leave you to enjoy a (sleepless) night in the city.

Ottawa: 1-Hour Bilingual Guided Tour by Amphibious Bus

4. Ottawa: 1-Hour Bilingual Guided Tour by Amphibious Bus

Climb aboard a unique vehicle that can travel on land and water and discover the historical attractions of Ottawa and the Ottawa River from different perspectives. Spend 40 minutes on land and 20 minutes on the water. Admire landmark monuments and attractions such as Lake Dow, Landsdowne Park and Byward Market. Get a magnificent view of the city as you cruise along the river aboard the amphibious vehicle. See all the important sights of Ottawa and the city of Gatineau, located just across the water. Avail of an activity that is both fun and educational for the entire family, and ideal for those who are short of time but want to see it all.

Ottawa: Ottawa River Tour by Hawaiian Palapa Hut

5. Ottawa: Ottawa River Tour by Hawaiian Palapa Hut

Take a relaxing tour up and down the Ottawa River on a Hawaiian-style palapa hut in a boat trip like no other. Just head to one of the embarkment sites, climb aboard and get the party started. The activity provider's captains are all small vessel certified and licensed. Enjoy fancy drinks and snacks as the tiki bar takes you along the river, offering stunning views of the shoreline. Whether it’s just hanging out with friends for a fun time, spending some relaxing time with your family, taking a romantic cruise, or a group excursion, this tour is one of the most unique ways to get out on the water. Cruise the time away sipping drinks, and listening to or singing karaoke to your favorite tropical tunes.

Ottawa: Small Group Half-Day City Sightseeing Tour

6. Ottawa: Small Group Half-Day City Sightseeing Tour

Enjoy a half-day tour to visit some of Ottawa's most popular attractions including various Parliament buildings. After exploring these landmarks, take part in a canal cruise and catch a glimpse of must-see sites throughout the capital city. Start the day with pickup from your downtown Ottawa hotel. While heading to your first stop on the tour, which is Parliament Hill, your guide will give you your first introduction to the city. They are able to answer questions, provide you with fun facts and point out important landmarks and sites. On your tour of the Parliament headquarters, get a behind-the-scenes look at the state-of-the-art facilities. There will be plenty of free time available where you can explore the surrounding buildings, wander the grounds, and capture some amazing photos of the nearby sites.  Finish the day with a relaxing 1.5-hour river cruise that will have you leisurely floating down Rideau Canal (seasonal availability from mid-May to mid-October). After your memorable experience, your tour guide will take you back to your downtown Ottawa hotel.

Ottawa: Afternoon, Sunset, or Night Yacht Tour with 1 Drink

7. Ottawa: Afternoon, Sunset, or Night Yacht Tour with 1 Drink

Cruise along the Ottawa River for a mellow tour aboard a classic yacht. Meet some new people or opt for an intimate experience by booking all 12 spaces. Relax in the breezy open-air deck to see landmarks such as the Chateau Laurier, the Rideau Canal Locks, the Parliament Buildings, and Rideau Falls. Meet the captain and first mate of the modest Everly or the more spacious Dolce Far Niente and get a quick safety briefing before setting sail. You can also grab dry bags for your electronics. These yachts are proudly maintained by a Canadian-owned tour company that’s accredited by Transport Canada. Kick back and take in the sights and sounds of Ottawa’s busy riverside at your ideal time of day with options in the afternoon, at sunset, or by night. Enjoy alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages served on board with one drink included or bring your own drinks which staff will be happy to serve to you. Alcoholic drinks: • Cantina Trevigiana Prosecco • Barefoot Pinot Grigio • Grand Sud Chardonnay • Bombay Tonic • Jose Margarita • Sainte- Marie Mojito • Smirnoff Ice Cans • Smirnoff Vodka Soda Raspberry • Johnny Whiskey Old Fashioned • Fling Vodka Soda Cucumber Mint Non-alcoholic options: • Clever Pink G and Tonic Premium Mocktail (0% alc) • Clever G and Tonic Premium Mocktail (0% alc) • Clever Mojito Premium Mocktail (0% alc) • Grüvi Dry Secco • Grüvi Golden Lager • Grüvi Juicy IPA • Töst Sparkling Rosé Whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, the first drink is included. Additional alcoholic drinks are available for $8. Additional non-alcohol drinks are available for $5. Pop and juices are sold for $2 each. Unlimited bottled water is available for free.

Ottawa: Guided Yacht Tour with Lunch and One Drink

8. Ottawa: Guided Yacht Tour with Lunch and One Drink

Spend the day on the Ottawa River on this luxurious yacht tour. Whether you're organizing a team-building trip or a getaway with friends, you'll enjoy beautiful panoramic views of Ottawa as you coast down the river. Meet your crew aboard your yacht and start with a safety briefing. Set sail with your fully-licensed captain and crew. Enjoy lunch prepared by some of Ottawa's best culinary artists and served by your crew. Alcohol is not sold on yachts, but you may bring your own bottles to enjoy. Your tour includes one gourmet sandwich with homemade chips. From the open-air deck, take in Ottawa’s riverside landmarks. Admire views of the Chateau Laurier, the Rideau Canal Locks, the Parliament Buildings, and Rideau Falls from the waterway that separates the border between Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec. Choose from the 42' long x 14' wide Everly or the 37.5' long x 11.5' wide Dolce Far Niente yachts. The Everly’s massive bow and spacious cockpit allow you more space to bring the party outside. On the Dolce Far Niente, enjoy the inviting cockpit and cabin, the massive sit-down bow, and the extended swim platform. Lunch options• Prosciutto and ham sandwich with home-made chips (prosciutto, ham, cheddar, olive, sun-dried tomato tapenade, tomatoes, and lettuce)• Gravlax sandwich with homemade chips (cured salmon, brie, beer-marinated red onions, and pesto)• Vegetarian sandwich with homemade chips (halloumi, house pickles, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, avocado, and jalapeno cream) Enjoy alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages served on board with one drink included or bring your own drinks which staff will be happy to serve to you. Alcoholic drinks:• Cantina Trevigiana Prosecco• Barefoot Pinot Grigio• Grand Sud Chardonnay• Bombay Tonic• Jose Margarita• Sainte- Marie Mojito• Smirnoff Ice Cans• Smirnoff Vodka Soda Raspberry• Johnny Whiskey Old Fashioned• Fling Vodka Soda Cucumber Mint Non-alcoholic options:• Clever Pink G and Tonic Premium Mocktail (0% alc)• Clever G and Tonic Premium Mocktail (0% alc)• Clever Mojito Premium Mocktail (0% alc)• Grüvi Dry Secco• Grüvi Golden Lager• Grüvi Juicy IPA• Töst Sparkling Rosé Whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, the first drink is included. Additional alcoholic drinks are available for $8. Additional non-alcohol drinks are available for $5. Pop and juices are sold for $2 each. Unlimited bottled water is available for free.

Ottawa: 2 or 3.5-Hour Sightseeing Bike Tour

9. Ottawa: 2 or 3.5-Hour Sightseeing Bike Tour

Get on a bicycle for a 2 or 3.5-hour guided tour to discover many of downtown Ottawa’s major attractions, must-see spots, and hidden gems. Choose your own adventure from two tour options and the option of a French, German, Spanish or Dutch speaking guide. 2-Hour Express Tour A fun and short sightseeing tour ideal for newer or easy-going bicyclists, who want to learn about Ottawa’s downtown and beyond. All ages will enjoy the leisurely 8.5-mile ride, stopping at major attractions for sightseeing and photos. Highlights include Parliament Hill, War Memorial, Rideau Canal Pathway, Rideau Hall, Rideau Falls, Quebec province, the National Art Gallery, the Museum of History, the Rideau Locks and Bytown Museum. 3.5-Hour Highlights Tour Discover more of Ottawa’s must-see spots and hidden gems on a slight longer 3 to 3.5-hour tour, with 95% of the route on bicycle paths. This 12-mile bike tour includes short stops along the way for sightseeing and photos plus a power bar snack. Highlights include Rideau Canal, War Memorial, Love Lock Bridge, Rideau Canal Locks, the Glebe, Lansdowne Park, Arboretum, Dow’s Lake, Little Italy, Ottawa River, province of Quebec, Museum of History, Rideau Hall, Rideau Falls,  National Gallery of Canada, Byward Market, and Parliament Hill.

Ottawa: Foods of the World Exploration Game

10. Ottawa: Foods of the World Exploration Game

The city game starts at Ottawa’s Bike Cafe. It will take you between 2 to 3 hours to complete and you can also explore at your own pace: pause the game and resume anytime from the location where you paused it. You will finish at Beyond the Pale Brewing Company. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and exact directions on your phone will guide you to the next location. So, are you up for an exciting city game? After your booking, you will receive an email with instructions on how to download and play the game on your phone. You can play on your own, in a large group or in several smaller groups that compete against each other and meet at the final stop of the game. We recommend that each user purchases a ticket for an optimal experience, although several people can share a phone.

Frequently asked questions about Ottawa Cruises & Boat Tours

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Other Sightseeing Options in Ottawa

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What people are saying about Ottawa

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 78 reviews

the guide was excellent and very knowledgeable. Although the narration was sometimes hard to hear if you ventured out on the deck, the guide circulated easily and talked to the passengers. The Captain was professional and quite adept at getting us close to the falls! A most enjoyable experience and one that I will continue to bring visitors to.

I rarely write reviews but this was really cool! My husband and I tried this and we enjoyed it! It was a very interesting experience with this Hawaiian style boat, very relaxing! Captain Cris and his assistant Bobby are very nice and friendly. We would not hesitate to encourage our friends to try this cool adventure.

Great tour! The staff was knowledgeable and great history here in Ottawa

We enjoyed the morning tour as it was a great start to our day!

Very entertaining and quite informative! Brendan is so funny!