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A Boating Paradise

Written by on April 29, 2013 in Boating, The Thousand Islands
Paddlers by Fish Dam Island/Photo by Kim Lunman

Sunset Canoe by Fish Dam Island/Photo by Kim Lunman


It makes sense that the only way to truly experience the wonders of the Thousand Islands is aboard a boat. Whether it’s by tour boat, kayak, power boat or Sea-Doo, it’s the best way to explore this amazing archipelago.

While not everyone gets the chance to see it from super-yacht pictured above, the River is an unparalleled boater’s bliss that can be enjoyed by all. Luna, which anchored here last July near Rockport, is a 377-foot yacht owned by Russian billionaire and oil tycoon Roman Abramovich, comes equipped with a helicopter, pool and 40 staff.

Ivy Lea boating traffic

Ivy Lea Boating Traffic/Photo by Kim Lunman

One of the great things about being out on the water here is watching a floating parade of everything from classic wooden boats to speed boats to steam yachts and tall ships. The scenery is spellbinding with islands dotted by castles, cottages and fabled bridges. There’s popular landmarks for boaters, or make that watermarks: Lake of the Isles, the International Rift, a narrow passage between Hill and Wellesley Islands between Canada and the U.S. There’s swimming spots for boaters to tie their vessels together and there’s the Lost Channel near the Thousand Islands Bridge. There’s the statue of Saint Lawrence on a waterfront cliff near Ivy Lea. There’s Wanderer’s Channel in the Admiralty Group and overnight docking at public islands with camping sites and plenty of hospitable marinas and places just to drop anchor.

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The Canadian Empress/Photo by Kim Lunman

There are charter yachts and cruises available aboard wooden boats, houseboats, kayak rentals and the area’s only overnight cruise ship, The Canadian Empress, of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines, that takes passengers from Kingston through the Thousand Islands to Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal.

Not a boater? Tour boats and ferries on both sides of the border can take you through the islands including Brockville, Rockport, Ivy Lea, Wolfe Island, Cape Vincent, Gananoque, Kingston, Clayton and Alexandria Bay to get you close to tourism attractions like Singer Castle, Boldt Castle and Millionaire’s Row. You climb aboard an antique wooden boat at Clayton’s Antique Boat Museum for a thrilling ride on the River.

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Sea-doo by Prince Regent Island/Photo by Kim Lunman

All these charming dockside communities offer up scenic sites, tourism attractions, shops and restaurants.

Of course you can truly enjoy these communities without even getting into a boat. You can even take in the sites during scenic drives along the Thousand Islands Parkway in Ontario and the Seaway Trail in New York. But the best way to see the Thousand Islands is on the River. So what are you waiting for? Don’t get left behind on the dock this summer!

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