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Thursday,  June 13, 2024 4:20 AM 

Le Boat's new Horizon vessels cruise into Canada

Le Boat's new Horizon vessels cruise into Canada

Self-guided boat tour company Le Boat officially arrived in Canada this past week, with the delivery of 16 brand-new Horizon boats at their new North American base located in Smiths Falls, Ontario.

Custom-built for Le Boat in Olecko, Poland, the boats’ arrival is the next step of Le Boat’s North American CA$16 million investment to offer canal cruises along the Rideau Canal beginning in May. The boats were first loaded onto a cargo ship in Gdynia, Poland on Jan. 7, travelling 6,000 km over the course of three weeks before arriving on Friday, Jan. 26 in Port of Becancour, north of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, where they were loaded onto trucks and transported an additional 400 km to Smiths Falls.

“This is an emotional moment for me," says Cheryl Brown, global managing director for Le Boat, "We have prepared our expansion into Canada for close to three years. To finally see it all come together with the arrival of 16 newly built canal boats actually arriving at our new base in Canada is really something amazing! The Rideau Canal’s stunning natural surroundings, wildlife, quaint local towns, shops and restaurants along the route offers everything our customers are looking for.”

“We are delighted to welcome the arrival of Le Boat’s new canal fleet to Smiths Falls. These state-of-the-art boats, designed specifically for Ontario’s waterways, will offer visitors a new way to discover the scenic surroundings and history of the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Le Boat is not only enriching the tourist experience but also boosting local businesses, as many visitors discover the charming communities that line this great waterway,” said Daiene Vernile, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Each premier class cruiser offers spacious cabins, USB ports, a roomy “fundeck” with sunbathing area, barbecue hot plate, a light and airy saloon with fully equipped kitchen and oversized windows. Four different Horizon models will be available in Canada, sleeping between four and 10 guests. No previous experience or license is required to drive the boats and to make piloting the craft easier, the Le Boat Horizon model is equipped with bow and stern thrusters for easy manoeuvring into and out of locks. It is also completely bumpered for safety and has a capped speed at 10km an hour for the Rideau, Le Boat said.

Other modifications made specifically for Canadian standards include a full-length steel keel grounding plate, 110 V Shore power, and Power Inverters.

“Le Boat customers will be able to enjoy traveling this UNESCO World Heritage Site in luxury. The Horizon boats have been a popular choice for our European vacationers who want to explore our waterways in comfort and style; we are thrilled to bring them to Canada,” said Brown.

Along with the boat rental options, Le Boat offers their clients additional options of rental bicycles, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.

And in celebration of the Rideau Canal launch, Le Boat has donated $1,657 to breast cancer support and used pink lashings to secure our boats on the journey.