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Sixteen boats have been delivered to Smith Falls, Ontario, which has become the first Le Boat charter base in North America. Smith Falls was chosen to give charter customers access to the scenic Rideau Canal waterway. Le Boat, which operates on the canal systems of eight European nations, eventually plans to bring another 16 Polish-built boats to the base over the next five years.

The charter season will run May through 

“We are extremely excited about establishing our footprint in North America, and especially pleased to be launching our new venture in the beautiful province of Ontario, Canada," said Cheryl Brown, managing director of Le Boat. "The picturesque Rideau Canal is a vacationer’s dream and the place to be next summer. With endless land and water activities along the route from fishing, paddle boating, canoeing to hiking, biking and bird-watching, this will be an experience our customers will never forget.”

About Le Boat:

-Clients tend to be groups and couples aged 55-plus and families with children aged 8-plus. They are well-travelled and loyal customers (30 percent repeat visitation) with a large percentage from France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and the U.S.

-Le Boat holiday experiences allow renters to be the captains, provided they hold a valid Pleasure Craft Operator Card and complete an orientation course with Le Boat.

-Le Boat boats are safe and easy to drive and will meet all government regulations. All boats will be equipped with bow and stern thrusters for manoeuvring into and out of locks. They are also completely bumpered for safety and have a capped speed of 5 1/2 knots for the Rideau.

The charter season will run May through he end of September. Charter packages vary from three or four days to 10 days. The cost for a weeklong charter ranges between $1,800 and $6,000.   


Wikipedia on the Rideau:

The Rideau Canal, also known unofficially as the Rideau Waterway, connects Canada's capital city of Ottawa, Ontario, to Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River at Kingston, Ontario. It is 202 kilometres in length. The name Rideau, French for "curtain," is derived from the curtain-like appearance of the Rideau River's twin waterfalls where they join the Ottawa River. The canal system uses sections of two rivers, the Rideau and the Cataraqui, as well as several lakes. The Rideau Canal is operated by Parks Canada.

The canal was opened in 1832 as a precaution in case of war with the United States. It remains in use today primarily for pleasure boating, with most of its original structures intact, operated by Parks Canada. The locks on the system open for navigation in mid-May and close in mid-October. It is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, and in 2007 it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Rideau Canal locks in Ottawa.

Rideau Canal locks in Ottawa.

Find more information here.