Guide & Itinerary For Ontario Lake Cruises


Ontario Lake Cruises cover a lot of water (and ground) between America’s north and Canada’s south. To be specific, it spans the distance between the Canadian province of Ontario on one side and the Niagara Peninsula and New York State in the United States on the other. There are a whole bunch of choices for travelers with different itineraries on offer from different cruise liners.

Perhaps it might be advisable to get better acquainted with the lake first in order to understand the choices. It would help at this stage if readers opened up a map of the region. It is the easternmost of the Great Lakes, fed by the Niagara River and pouring into the St. Lawrence River.

On the New York side, the points of interest where Ontario Lake cruises abound are at Buffalo, Rochester and Oswego. A cruise at Buffalo will include a foray into the Erie Canal and a trip to the Erie Canal Heritage Museum. The main attraction for cruise passengers at Oswego is Fort Ontario, which has a rich history dating back to 1755.

The route between Rochester and Oswego is a great spot for fishing, and some cruises and charters include both fishing and sight-seeing. Rochester is also probably the only place on the American side that is big enough to be called a city. Other attractions to be seen and enjoyed here include Alexandria Bay near the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Also not to be missed is Cape Vincent, where the waterbody pours into the river. Cape Vincent is a good place for a cruise stop, with plenty of things to see and do. This includes the historic Tibbetts Point Lighthouse which marks the point where the lakewater pours into the St. Lawrence River. There are also many old buildings that are landmarks, not to mention the fort on Carleton Island.

Cape Vincent is also the Western Gateway to the Thousand Islands, where passengers can enjoy a large number of pristine beaches. Heart Island gets cruise boats from both sides, packed with passengers who enjoy the spectacle of the distinctly European Boldt Castle on the island. On the Canadian side, there are specialty island cruises that take visitors on tours of the island chain off Toronto Harbor, including Centre Island and Hanlan’s Point.

Toronto is also worth a look-see from aboard a cruise. There are one hour sight-seeing expeditions that take passengers on narrated tours aboard cruise liners that hug the shore. These Ontario Lake cruises off Toronto include views of the harborfront and famous landmarks like the CN Tower, not to mention the Toronto Islands and the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse.

This is a lake that spans 7,540 sq miles, with dozens of towns, historic landmarks and tourist hotspots dotting the shores on both sides. Naturally, that makes it a bit hard to pick out a specific cruise out of all these options. Let’s just say that it’s a whole lot more fun discovering all these places and attractions while on a cruise, than it was for the early explorers and settlers.