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Ottawa Yacht Tours

ASK A QUESTION

Like our incredibly first-rate tours, here are plain sailing answers that batten down the hatches of the top 48 questions our guests have asked.

GENERAL INFORMATION

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1. When do tours operate?

Tours start Monday, May 15, 2023.

Tours end Sunday, October 15, 2023.

2. What tours are offered?

DAILY TOURS, offered 7 days/week:


Afternoon tours
(1.5 hours) at 11 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM, and 5 PM.

Sunset tours (1.5 hours)
at 8 PM before July 17, and
at 7:30 PM on or after July 17.


Nocturnal
tours (1.5 hours - Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only)
at 10 PM before July 17, and
at 9:30 PM on or after July 17.


SPECIAL DATE TOURS
are offered on 12 excusive dates only.


Canada Day Fireworks Tour
(2.5 hours) at 8 PM on Saturday, July 1 only.


Casino fireworks tours
(2.5 hours) at 7:30 PM on these 6 dates only:

  1. Wednesday, August 2
  2. Saturday, August 5
  3. Wednesday, August 9
  4. Saturday, August 12
  5. Wednesday, August 16
  6. Saturday, August 19

Long weekend Boat-apalooza (3 hours) at 1 PM on these 5 dates only, and come with many included add-ons, like our massive floating water mat:

  1. Monday, May 22 — Victoria Day
  2. Saturday, June 24 — QC St John Baptiste Day
  3. Saturday. July 1 — Canada Day
  4. Monday, August 7 — ON Civic Holiday
  5. Monday, September 4 — Labour Day

PRIVATE CHARTERS on our medium yacht (up to 12 passengers), or on our large yacht (up to 12 passengers), or on both yachts (up to 24 passengers), any time from 11 AM to 11 PM, for a minimum 2 hours to a maximum 4 hour duration.


SPECIAL OCCASION PRIVATE CHARTERS (Bachelor(ette) • BDay • Engagement • Office)
 
offer the same as PRIVATE CHARTERS, and  let you choose from our custom-designed Standard or Lux packages to enhance the experience.

3. How many yachts are there in the fleet?

Ottawa Yacht Tours has two yachts.

Each yacht is commercially registered and insured, licensed to sell alcohol, comes with a trained and Transport Canada certified 2-person crew (Captain, and First Mate for service), and all the comforts of a world-class yacht, including a phenomenal sound system.

Medium Yacht
38'L by 12'W, and can comfortably accommodate 12 passengers.

Recommended for groups of 6-10, and/or for those who want a more intimate, and chic ambiance.

Large Yacht
42'L by 14'W, and can easily accommodate 12 passengers.

Recommended or groups of 10-12, and for those who need more space, and/or want to dance and party.

4. Can I book both yachts at the same time?

Yes, absolutely!  We offer Private Charters just for that. Click BOOK NOW, or call or text 343-550-0175, and discover the absolute joy of your guests sharing an experience like no other.

5. Where do tours start / end?

For Daily and Special Date tours, board our yachts at the Marina Le Pirate, situated at 1067 Jacques Cartier Street, Gatineau, Quebec, which is about 7km or a 10-minute drive from the ByWard Market in downtown Ottawa.

If, however, you reserved one (or both) yacht(s) for a Private Charter, you may request to board at the Port de Plaisance Wharf (by advance request only), situated between the Alexandra Bridge and the Hull Marina in Gatineau, Quebec. Approval is subject to our operational feasibility.

6. Where do tours take place?

All tours take place on the Ottawa River (also called la rivière des Outaouais, pour les francophone).

7. How long is a tour?

Daily tours last 1.5 hours.

Special Date tours last 2.5 to 3 hours

Private Charters and Private Charter for Special Occasions last 2, or 3, or 4 hours.

8. How many passengers per tour?

Each yacht can have a maximum 12 passengers.

If you chartered one (or both) yacht(s) for a private tour, only you and your guests will be onboard the yacht(s).

If you did not charter a yacht for a private tour, we reserve the right to sell space on the same yacht you will tour to other passengers up to the maximum number of passengers allowed on that yacht.

9. What is and is not included?

Refer to each Tour web-page for a detailed list about what is and is not included on the tour, and where you will find a chart comparing our tours. 

10. What about food?

We've partnered with the Le Pirate Rest-O-Bord restaurant, which is situated adjacent to our marina. Have a look at the menu.

The chef has designed 5 mouth-water sandwiches that you may pre-order for any tour at the time of booking. They are perfect for one person but hearty enough to be shared. Each comes with home-made chips.

The chef has also designed charcuterie boxes for two that you may pre-order for any public tour at the time of booking, and charcuterie platters for 6 that you may pre-order for any private charter at the time of booking.

We'll have the food ready to serve on board for you when the tour starts.

We reserve the right to charge a service fee.

A gratuity to crew is appreciated when the service is to your liking.

11. What about drinks?

We have our alcohol permit. 

  1. We sell a wide selection of drinks:
    • Alcohol
    • Premium non-alcohol
    • Regular non-alcohol
    • Bottled water
    • Bottle service is available
  2. We champion responsible drinking.
  3. Our crew is Ontario Smart Serve certified.
  4. Our Quebec liquor license permits us to sell alcohol that we purchased from the Quebec government (SAQ).
  5. You may not bring or consume your own alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.
  6. We do not sell red wine (impossible to clean if spilled). 
12. Can dietary needs be met for food?

Yes, of course.

Please advise when ordering food of any dietary need, of any food intolerance, or of any food allergy.

13. Is there a kitchen on board?

Yes, each yacht is equipped with a full kitchen that includes everything that might be needed for a meal: dishware, glassware, utensils, bowls, knives, cutting boards, serving bowls, napkins, foil. 

14. Is there a washroom on board?

Yes, our yachts are called cabin cruisers, meaning they have a complete inside cabin, and also meaning they have a clean, private and fully functional washroom. You're all good to go!

It's considered proper yachting etiquette to find and use a washroom on land before boarding, rather than using the washroom shortly after boarding. Our yachts are not equipped with large waste water holding tanks.

15. Are there life jackets on board?

Yes, each yacht has 15 life jackets of varying sizes.

You will be shown where they are and how to put one on during the safety briefing before your tour starts.

Crew will hand you one immediately if an emergency arises.

16. Is smoking or vaping allowed on board?

No. Our yachts are commercially regulated by Transport Canada. Smoking and vaping are prohibited at all times while onboard.

17. Where can I park?

Parking nearby is available. 

Le Pirate Marina — if boarding here (all Daily and all of our 12 Special Date tours), there is a huge free parking lot nearby. Click here to see  the map. This parking lot may be full during the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival (Festivale des Montgolfières de Gatineau).

Port de Plaisance Wharf — if boarding here (Private Charters only), there is large paid parking lot nearby. Click here to see the map. You need to use the Blinkay, Smart Parking App, to pay. This parking lot may be full on busy summer days.

18. What about bad weather?

Each day we have tours, all day long, especially before each tour, we regularly monitor 3 different weather apps on the lookout for rain, plus a 4th app on the lookout for strong wind. If it looks like weather won't cooperate, we'll notify you immediately and try to reschedule or offer you a credit for another date or provide you with a full refund.

19. Will there be a safety briefing?

Yes, the First Mate will provide a thorough safety briefing that  covers such things as the boat's safety features, detection systems for smoke or fire or heat, alarm systems, what to do in case of emergency, where fire extinguishers are located, life vests, person overboard emergency, first aid kit, etc.

20. Are there any restrictions?

Yes, for safety reasons, any of the following may prevent a person from being a passenger: expectant mothers, or intoxication.

Passengers must have full use of arms, legs and hands and be able to climb out onto and down from the deck without fatigue or assistance.

The right to restrict access to any person is at the discretion of the crew.

21. Are babies or toddlers allowed?

Ottawa Yacht Tours has a limited number of toddler life vests, but none for babies. Please call before booking.

TICKETING & RESERVATIONS

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22. How do I book a tour?
  • On our website — click the BOOK NOW button.
  • By calling or texting 343-550-0175.
  • By calling us via WhatsApp.
  • By email to info@otttawayacht.ca.
  • By sending a message on Facebook or Instagram.
  • Directly in person at the Le Pirate Marina.
  • On one of these reseller websites :
  • At the concierge desks of one of these hotels :
    • Chateau Laurier
    • Westin
    • Les Suites
    • Lord Elgin
  • At these restaurants :
    • Apothecary Lounge (ByWard market)
    • Starlings (ByWard market)
    • The Grande (ByWard market)
    • Zak's Dinner (ByWard market)
    • Metropolitain Brasserie (ByWard market)
    • The Rooftop (ByWard market)
    • La Dérive (Gatineau)
    • Le Pirate (Gatineau)
  • At these attractions :
    • Rogers Interzip 
    • Lady Dive Amphibus et Gray Line Bus Tours
23. What methods of payment are accepted?

Online: major credit card, eTransfer, Visa or MasterCard Debit.

Yacht: major credit card, debit, cash.

We prefer eTransfers by email to payment@ottawayacht.ca.

24. How do I pay the deposit & balance?

50% deposit is required to reserve your tour.

50% balance is due prior to departure.

If paying deposit or payment by eTransfer: payment@ottawayacht.ca.

If you booked directly through TripAdvisor, Expedia, GetYourGuide,  Manawa, or Experience Outaouais, your payment should already be made on their platform — they pay us after your tour is completed.

25. Are gratuities expected?

Gratuities are customary on yacht tours — a hospitality industry, and should be regarded as a thank you for a job well done, based on the satisfaction level of the entire experience. 

26. How do I pay a gratuity?

In person: with cash at the end of the tour.

Online when booking: when you pay using our system.

Online after the tour: by sending an eTransfer to gratuity@ottawayacht.ca.

Look for and click this icon in the message we send after a tour — one click helps you give a gratuity using Apple Pay or a credit card.

27. Can some days be fully booked?

Yes, there is a maximum number of passengers our yachts can take (12 each), and a maximum number of tours per day (5). 

If a day is full, you can try your luck with our waiting list. If there's availability, we will contact you. 

We also send out text messages to our SMS subscribers about last-minute deals and seat sales. Text us at +1-343-550-0175 if you'd like to subscribe. You can opt out any time.

28. Are reservations in advance required?

In most cases yes, especially for weekend tours, Canada Day or Casino Fireworks tours. These tours are very popular and sell out early.

We welcome last-minute walk-ons, when space is still available. 

We post last-minute seat availability on our Instagram profile, @OttawaYacht — follow us to receive notifications.

We also send texts to subscribers about last-minute seat sales and availability. If you'd like to be added as a subscriber, send a text to 1-343-550-0175.

29. How far in advance are reservations required?

As early as possible.

The perfect-weather season is only about 2 months (July and August), factoring in the cooler May and September. 

Exclusive VIP tours, like fireworks nights or long weekend parties, fill up early.

30. Can I just show up for the tour?

Yes, but call or text first to confirm the tour is happening and that there is still space on the yacht.  Call or text 1-343-550-0175.

31. How early should I arrive?

15-20 minutes. If we don't greet you right away, it's only because our crew might be running tight if a tour just finished and clean up and prep are required before you board.

32. What happens if I'm late?

Many tours are booked by a combination of different guests. To respect those guests who arrive on time, and because other time-related factors often apply (e.g. the time of sunset, start of fireworks, or a subsequent tour), the yacht will depart on time according to schedule, unless the tour is booked exclusively by your group and the group is late.

33. What if I cancel or don't show up?

It depends when you tell us?  

  • If you cancel more than 3 days before your tour: a full refund will be provided.
  • If you cancel within 48 to 72 hours before your tour: we will issue a 100 percent credit towards another tour.
  • If you cancel in less than 48 hours before your tour: a refund or credit will not be provided.
  • If you are late or don't show up and the boat had to leave without you: no refund or credit will be provided.


If we cancel due to weather or some other matter beyond our control, a full refund will be provided.

OUR YACHTS

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34. Who built the yachts?

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., Sea Ray is the world’s leading creator of superior quality pleasure boats. For more than 60 years, Sea Ray has pushed the limits of performance and craftsmanship to elevate the boating experience. Each Sea Ray is designed to make every moment exceptional, supporting boaters’ unique lifestyles with a customized balance of unparalleled comfort and performance and world-class technology throughout. Learn more about the Sea Ray Experience at SeaRay.com.

35. What kind of yachts are used?

The yachts fall in the class of cabin cruiser, a type of power boat that is equipped with a head (toilet), a galley (kitchen), and at least one berth (sleeping area), all inside the structure of the vessel.  Our cruisers are equipped with heating, air conditioning, water heaters, and shore power electric systems. The 390 Sundancer is also equipped with a gasoline-run power generator.

Cabin cruisers are able to handle the water well because of their size and they give a stable ride. They are generally spacious in the cockpit (open seating area towards aft or centre).

36. What models are the yachts?

Dolce Far Niente is a SeaRay Sundancer 310 Cabin Cruiser; it is 38' long x 12' wide, and has a dry weight of 10,000 lbs..

The Everly is a SeaRay Sundancer 390 Cabin Cruiser; 42' long x 14' wide, and has a dry weight of 18,400 lbs.

37. In what year was each yacht built?

Dolce far niente was built in 1990.

The Everly was built in 1988.

38. How fast can each yacht go?

Our yachts are cabin cruisers, which means we cruise. In the boating world, this means we go slow, like 5km / hr slow.

Dolce far niente, with a dry weight of 10,000 lbs., and only when crew is on board, has enough power to can get out of the water (plane — see below) and reach a speed of about 70 km/hr.

The Everly, with a dry weight of 18,600 lbs., and only when crew is on board, is too big and heavy to get out of the water (plane — see below) so speed at about about 45 km/hr.

Planing is the mode of operation for a boat in which the boat is lifted out of the water as it speeds along; its weight is predominantly supported by hydrodynamic lift, created by the speed, so it skims along the top of water, rather than hydrostatic lift (buoyancy), where at standstill or low speed it floats deeper in the water rather than on the surface.

39. How much fuel does each yacht hold?

Dolce far niente has a fuel capacity of 681 litres.

The Everly has a fuel capacity of 1,514 litres.

40. Do the yachts have clean water?

Yes, each yacht has a clean water holding tank.

Dolce far niente has a water capacity of 151.4 litres.

The Everly has a water capacity of 378.5 litres.

Water is city water, but not ideally drinkable.

TOO EMBARASSED TO ASK?

41. to 48.

41. Can I fall off the yacht?

That's quite unlikely. However, should that happen, rest assured that we have Transport Canada required safety equipment (a life ring buoy that we can throw you, attached to a rope we hold to you back to the back of the boat, where there's a ladder to climb back on board). We also have a rigorous and tested person-overboard procedure that crew are fully trained in.

42. Will I get wet?

Usually only if it rains. Otherwise, there's very little chance of that happening.  Or if you spill a drink, haha!

43. What if I don't know how to swim.

Each yacht has a massive cockpit with comfort seating for passengers. You are welcome to enjoy the tour from there rather than up on the bow, should you decide. You can also wear a safety vest if you wish, but the yachts are really wide, very buoyant, and we navigate slowly so you should feel safe.

44. What should I wear?

We offer yacht tours, not paddleboard or canoe rentals. If you and your guests want to glam up like the real housewives of ## and their husbands, then go right ahead. If you want to tan in a bikini and bathing trunk, on a 39C day (102.2F), then by all means be our guest. It's your tour. 

45. What if I need to use the washroom?

Each yacht has a fully equipped washroom. We'll show you where and how to use it — which adds to the experience ... it's not the same thing as at home. 

46. What if I get seasick?

We have non-drowsy ginger Gravol on board, and if that doesn't work fast enough, or enough, we can up the game and give you the real stuff, and you'll enjoy feeling like you had two drinks way faster than everyone else.

47. Can we do karaoke?

In another lifetime, in another location. We love listening to  our amazing playlists — and you will too.

48. What is the official #hashtag?

#OttawaYachtFun.