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Tuesday,  June 18, 2024 8:53 PM 

Le Boat's Canadian headquarters officially open

Le Boat's Canadian headquarters officially open

Le Boat has officially opened its first Canadian base with a VIP event held in Smiths Falls, Ontario yesterday, following the launch of its Rideau Canal self-guided boat tours on May 18.

Approximately 150 guests joined Le Boat’s international team for the celebration, which gave Le Boat’s global team of sales and marketing staff from around the world an opportunity to thank Le Boat’s Canadian partners, and showcase some of the uniquely Canadian experiences Le Boat cruisers can expect while traveling on the Rideau Canal.

The grand opening celebrations included one of the hallmarks of any boat launch, a celebratory champagne christening of Le Boat’s fleet. Christening activities were presided over by the Godparents of the fleet, Smiths Falls Mayor, Shawn Pankow; Executive Director Ontario and Waterways, Parks Canada, Darlene Upton, accepted by Jewel Cunningham Director, Ontario Waterways; and Le Boat Project Manager, Shannan Brennan. Each played a pivotal role in the initiative.

“We’re very excited to finally see this day come to fruition, and the first of Le Boat’s Horizon fleet heading out on cruises on the Rideau Canal,” said Cheryl Brown, global managing director for Le Boat, “This celebration not only marks the expansion of Le Boat’s operations, but also recognizes the tremendous amount of effort and collaboration from Le Boat staff and our partners.”

The launch followed the opening of the Rideau Canal for this season on May 18 and celebrated the arrival of 16 new Horizon boats to Le Boat’s new North American headquarters in Smiths Falls, and is the culmination of a multi-year undertaking to expand operations to North America.

READ MORE: Le Boat bringing Canada on board next May

Grand Opening Ribbons.jpgThe official ribbon cutting

Repeat clients

Sales for the 2018 season on the Rideau waterway are 72 per cent sold and run until Oct. 8.

Andrew Le Duc, head of global customer engagement, told PAX that while 65 per cent of the Rideau Canal bookings have been made from within North America, there’s also lots of interest from markets such as Germany, South Africa and New Zealand. In addition, half of the current bookings are repeat Le Boat clients.

While the majority of bookings are for the summer, Le Duc said that given the scenery, there is also increasing interest in cruising the Rideau in the fall.

“Everyone’s very excited! There’s so much interest in all of the new regions were opening,” Le Duc said.

Travel agents have also been getting on board with Le Boat, Le Duc said, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from the Canadian travel agent community. In a previous interview with PAX, Brown said that the company expects to see more than half of its Canadian bookings come through travel agents (who can earn up to 15 per cent commission on bookings), adding that the Le Boat product is ideal for niche agents seeking a unique product to sell clients.

Cruising for all nine Le Boat cruising destinations for the 2019 season are now available for reservation. For more information, visit