Cruising the 1000 Islands

A must-do while in Kingston (or in Gananoque or Brockville) is a boat cruise through the 1000 Islands.

There are various spots in the Kingston downtown area where you can find information about tours. I simply did a Google search and found some options with Kingston 1000 Island Cruises. I didn’t want to pay for a big meal and had read elsewhere that the hour and a half cruise was more of the Kingston shoreline, so the 3-hour tour was an easy choice – although I couldn’t help to giggle to myself as I thought of Gilligan and friends! I’m happy to report that my tour did not end up shipwrecked on an island. (For those of you too young to get the reference, google Gilligan’s Island.) I will say though, some of the islands we passed I wouldn’t have minded being stuck on! There is some serious money to be found in the 1000 Islands.

This was our boat, the Island Queen. There were 2 covered levels and an open rooftop. There was a cash bar where you could buy drinks and snacks on the middle deck, and a 2-piece band on the lower level. These were welcome options. I found the first hour a little boring since I did not bring a travel companion. After listening to some history as we headed out of the Kingston harbour area, we cruised up the St. Lawrence River. From the time we departed, it took about an hour to reach the point where the 1000 Islands begin, and where things became much more interesting.

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Once we reached this point, we realized it was worth the wait!

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There were lots of other boats and water craft out on the water.

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And remember I mentioned money in the 1000 Islands? I wasn’t joking! There are some massive, gorgeous homes (sorry – these don’t qualify as “cottages”!) with some serious toys.

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There are also many beautiful, more quiet and rugged spots. I was surprised to learn that there are bookable (and first-come-first-serve) camp sites on a few of the islands!

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And of course, we had great views of the Kingston coast line on both the departure and return.

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I really enjoyed this cruise and would recommend it, with the caveat/warning that you will have awhile to amuse yourself until you reach the 1000 Islands (if departing from Kingston). However, once you get to that point, it’s both beautiful and interesting. I would love to go back and do this tour in the fall once the leaves have changed – it would be stunning!

All images by me; copyright Tina Beynen, 2016.

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