Nautical ExcursionsJune 14th, 2019
This year, heavy, late spring floods delayed the launch of nautical activities on the St. Lawrence River and other nearby bodies of water. However, the affected companies are set to resume their regular schedules within the next few days. To help you plan summer outings, here is a roundup of local nautical excursions.
Kayak Sans Frontières (KSF)
Kayak Sans Frontières, a pioneer of local adventure tourism, launched in 1995 to promote water sports with low environmental impact. The company has managed Verdun’s Espace Navi for several years, and offers training and equipment rental for whitewater and still water kayaking, wave surfing, and stand up paddleboarding (SUP). KSF operates four launching points around the island, in LaSalle, Verdun (Espace Navi), Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park, and Parc Jean-Drapeau. Services vary at each location. KSF also organizes other activities including excursions and fitness and wellness activities like SUP yoga and fitness SUP.
Info: 7770 LaSalle Boulevard | 514 595-7873 | ksf.ca
Wet Set Mtl
Jetskis are a specialty of Wet Set Mtl. In this category alone, the company offers about a dozen packages departing from Jacques-Cartier Quay in the Old Port. Excursions last from 20 minutes to 6 hours long, and follow a guide on a tour of the river and its islands. To rent watercraft without a guide, you must go to Louiseville, an hour’s drive away from Montreal on the north shore in the direction of Trois-Rivières. From there, boaters set off to explore Lac Saint-Pierre, the Saint-Maurice River, the city of Trois-Rivières and the numerous canals of the Lac Saint-Pierre archipelago. Wet Set Mtl also offers several cruises on small boats, such as the two-hour Urban Safari: a wonderful family outing to discover the fauna and flora of the Îles-de-Boucherville National Park.
Info: Jacques-Cartier Quay | 514 701-9387 | wetsetmtl.com
The Rivière des Milles-Îles, with its calm waters and natural beauty, is ideal for stand up paddleboarding (SUP). This is the favourite playground of SUP Montréal, a company launched in 2016 by two kitesurfing professionals. They aim to help people in the area to enjoy local rivers by introducing them to the joys of SUP. Initiation excursions last 90 minutes and allow the curious to try SUP, risk-free. Package tours—at the Port of Montreal during fireworks shows; around Île de la Paix; on the Thousand Islands River, and on Rouge River—include everything you need: transportation, board, paddle, flotation jacket, and in some cases a picnic.
Info: 8400 Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Suite 201 | 438-888-9275 | montrealsup.com
Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville
Located minutes away from downtown Montreal, this SÉPAQ park is an excellent launching point for a variety of water sports in a natural setting. In calm channels surrounding the protected islands, you can practise canoeing, rabaska, paddle boating, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) and sea kayaking. The sea kayak is particularly well designed to allow boaters to enjoy the tranquility of the place without disturbing it. Novices can learn by renting these watercraft along with life jackets. A marked, 8-km nautical trail through the park is open all summer until October and can be followed for 3 hours of paddling.
Info: 55 Sainte-Marguerite Islands, Boucherville | 450 928-5088 | sepaq.com/pq/bou
New World Rafting
New World Rafting specializes in whitewater adventures. More than 35 years of experience and the participation of a hundred passionate specialists make NWR a leader in the field. Located about an hour’s drive from Montreal, toward Ottawa, the company offers rides on two sections of the Rouge River in inflatable boats for 6 to 10 people, accompanied by a guide. Their activities are designed for both experienced enthusiasts and novices alike. Packages are available for half-days, full days and weekends. Whitewater kayak and sportyak rides are also offered.
Info: 25 Chemin des Sept Chutes, Grenville-sur-la-Rouge | 800-361-5033 | newworld.ca
Saute-Moutons offers thrilling jet boat and spin boat excursions on the waters of the St. Lawrence River and on the Lachine Rapids. Five daily jet boat excursions depart every two hours between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., from the Clock Tower Quay at the Old Port. Participants must be at least 6 years old, and are sure to get soaking wet; a change of clothing is required. Group packages are available, which can include lunch or dinner.
Info: Clock Tower Quay at the Old Port | 514-284-9607 | jetboatingmontreal.com
Practitioners of Flyboard and Hoverboard, two new extreme water sports, are propelled over the water at altitudes of up to 45 feet—guaranteed excitement for the most jaded thrill seekers. These activities are open to age 7 and up, and novices can be introduced to the sport in a matter of minutes. Professionals at Flyboard Xtreme offer opportunities to practise the sport in a dozen bodies of water around the Montreal area.
Info: 1731 Burgundy Street, Chambly | 514 992-9771 | flyxtreme.ca
Good weather or bad, the Bateau-Mouche, with its iconic glass canopy, motors along the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River. Thanks to its shallow draft, the Bateau-Mouche can offer an original itinerary exploring areas that are inaccessible to larger boats. Bateau-Mouche offers 60- and 90-minute-long guided cruises, dinner cruises, and special outings during fireworks displays.
Info: Jacques-Cartier Quay | 514 849-9952 | bateaumouche.ca
Every day during summer, the Cavalier Maxim launches guided, 90-minute cruises from the Grand Quay. AML also hosts brunch cruises on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. Dinner cruises, a great option for a romantic night out, are offered from Thursday through Saturday. Special excursions are scheduled during fireworks displays.
Info: Grand Quay | 514 842-9300 | croisieresaml.com
With Navark at the helm, the pilot project for shuttle service between Pointe-aux-Tremble and the Old Port of Montreal resumes this summer. Although delayed by late spring floods, service should begin in the next few days. Additionally, Navark offers a range of river cruises departing from several marinas (Boucherville, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield): fireworks evenings, wine and cheese outings, and excursions on Lake Saint-Louis and Lake Saint-François. Chartering for groups is also available.
Info: 514 871-8356 | navark.ca