A Scenic Journey: Half-Day Boat Tour of Thousand Islands in Canada

Thousand Islands | Introduction

The Thousand Islands is located in a bay of the Saint Lawrence River near the city of Kingston, south of the Canadian capital, Ottawa. The Thousand Islands are famous for the numerous small islands within the bay. Since there are too many reefs and islands here, there is a rule "land with at least two trees growing is considered an island."

The Thousand Lakes are close to Niagara Falls, so combining these two destinations would also make for a great weekend getaway departing from New York.

Niagara Fall + Lake Thousand Islands 3 days

The Cruise

We signed up for Gananoque boat line's thousand lakes cruise tourThe two and a half hour tour took the most famous Boldt castle on Heart Island as the turning point, with detailed English explanations along the way, and also included a lesson on the making of the famous Thousand Island Sauce, a specialty of Thousand Island Lake. This is a great half-day tour, and you will hear a lot of stories during the tour.

The trip begins with boarding in Gananoque. In the morning, we drove to the meeting point at Gananoque, which is right by the dock where we'll board the ship. During the waiting period, we can explore the nearby souvenir shops and grab a bite to eat.

Thousand Islands Cruise

Millionaire's Row

Many of the small islands on the Thousand Islands Lake have been bought by the rich because they are not suitable for public development due to their close proximity to the U.S. and Canadian coasts and their small size. So in this water route in New York and Ontario, there are many rich people in the top cover their own castle or vacation cottage, these islands organized beautifully, forming the so-called Millionaire's row.

One of the most intriguing spots along the route is the pair of islands owned by the General Motors executive. These two islands are connected by a bridge, with one in Canada and the other in the United States. The story goes that initially, he bought the smaller island in the United States, but it wasn't large enough to build a substantial house. So, he acquired the larger neighboring island and connected the two with a bridge. Upon close inspection, you can even spot both the American and Canadian flags on the bridge, symbolizing the unique dual-nationality of this property.

Thousand islands 9

Boldt Castle

The most famous castle in Millionaire's Row is Boldt castle, which has a romantic story. This castle was originally built by hotel tycoon George Boldt for his wife, originally he planned to build the castle as a dream vacation home for his wife, but the castle was never finished, and the lady of the house passed away in 1904 before it was finished. Saddened by the loss of his wife, George Boldt stopped work on the castle and never set foot in it. It was not until 1977, when the island was donated to the U.S. government, that restoration work was begun to restore it to its original spectacular design.

If you're participating in a four-hour-long tour, it typically includes a visit to the inside of Boldt Castle. On the other hand, the two-and-a-half-hour tour you mentioned primarily focuses on an exterior view of the castle, with the boat circling around the island before returning.

Further reading

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