Cruise & Travel Lifestyles

St. Lawrence River and the 1000 Islands Discovery Cruises

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St. Lawrence Cruise Lines is a family built and operated Canadian business with 40 years of experience operating river cruises on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, St. Lawrence Seaway and the 1000 Islands aboard their classic riverboat Canadian Empress. It offers a variety of calm water cruises, from 4 to 7 nights in length, with departures from Kingston, Ottawa, Montréal and Québec City between May and October. The intimate size of the vessel allows her to get up-close and personal to her destinations and nature lovers will enjoy wild life sightings along the shores from island to island. The ship travels exclusively in domestic waters and stops at ports in Ontario and Québec, including Gananoque, Brockville, Montréal, Montebello, Trois-Rivières, Ottawa and Québec City.

In 2024, St. Lawrence Cruise Lines is debuting two new cruise departures under their Discovery Cruise Series. These 4 night/5 day cruises were created for travellers who want to deepen their knowledge of the history, geography, and culture of the 1000 Islands and St. Lawrence River and are enhanced with unique attractions, step-on speakers, and an overall destination educational focus. Itineraries are identical and start and end in the Canadian Empress’ homeport of Kingston and feature overnight stops in the 1000 Islands, Brockville, Morrisburg, and Gananoque, allowing for longer explorations.

Discover the River (May 12-16, 2024)
1000 Islands Fall Cruise (October 15-19, 2024)
Kingston, Gananoque, Brockville, Prescott, Morrisburg, Gananoque, Kingston

Cruise Highlights: 
Enjoy a guided tour of the 1000 Islands Heritage Museum dedicated to interpreting the history, geology, ecology, and culture of the region in Gananoque. Visit Canada’s oldest railway centre and Canada’s First Railway Tunnel built in Brockville between 1854 and 1860, 21 years before construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway even began. Enjoy a guided tour of the Tunnel and finish your visit with an afternoon tea at Cosies Tea Room. In Prescott, disembark for a guided tour of Fort Wellington National Historic Site before cruising along the old Galop Canal and passing through the Iroquois Lock at the Seaway control dam. Cruise the Canadian Channel to view and learn about the Statue of St. Lawrence, a 5-metre white limestone statue holding a gridiron in one hand and a book in the other, located on the Canadian Palisades, a long cliff that runs under the Canadian shoreline, visible only to the boaters on the river. Returning to Gananoque, visit the 1000 Islands Boat Museum, a hands-on museum where history becomes something that can be touched, built, and experienced.

Step on speaker: Viktor Kaczkowski, Marine Historian, currently at the Brockville Museum
Lost Villages Presentation by Maggie Wheeler, a murder mystery author

The Canadian Empress is a classic Canadian riverboat built in 1981. She is 108 feet long and has 32 intimate staterooms across four accommodation categories, with twin fixed beds, private bathrooms, and featuring a river view. All staterooms are above the waterline and include daily maid service. It is a grand ship with a warm and friendly personality, and the size and design of the vessel serves to enhance the intimacy of river cruising. The exterior emulates the classic steamboats of the Victorian era, while the interior is a mix of charming early heritage style, with brass handrails, ornate metal ceilings, and contemporary fashion. There is even a Corner Store with a nice selection of souvenirs and toiletries.

The staff at St. Lawrence Cruise Lines regard travel as one of life's special experiences, to be savoured, to be recalled with a special feeling. They will keep you informed every nautical mile of the journey and you will have access to charts, hear appropriate announcements and commentaries, and enjoy reading the ship's daily newsletter. Your cruise directors are your guides to everyday ship life as well as to special events taking place. The Grand Saloon and decks provide a complete range of choices for quiet comfort and open activity, including a game of shuffleboard or kite flying. And you can be assured that your all Canadian crew will make your shipboard experience truly memorable.

The Canadian Empress Experience:  
•    Magnificent, ever-changing scenery, and protected gentle waters between safe and secure overnight ports
•    All shore excursions are included and educational information is presented en route
•    Wholesome, generous regional cuisine 
•    All riverboat staterooms are outboard, completely above the water line, and have modern conveniences
•    Friendly, helpful, and hard-working crew 
•    Daily housekeeping service
•    Fun loving entertainment nightly
•    Complimentary domestic beer or ship's private reserve wine with meals
•    Family and reunion groups welcomed and accommodated

Join your fellow travellers in exploration of the most scenic, calm water rivers in this part of the world while a professional, highly trained crew spoils you with exceptional cuisine and genuine hospitality. You will experience first-hand the tremendous beauty and rich history of Canadian Waterways

2024 cruises are open for booking and you may call 1-800-267-7868 to check space availability or to request the schedule and rates. Additional information is available here.


Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.