Discover the rugged beauty of Georgian Bay's 30,000 Islands, the largest concentration of freshwater islands in the world, aboard the 550-passenger Island Queen. Two and three-hour sightseeing cruises depart daily from the town dock in Parry Sound from June 1 to the Canadian Thanksgiving Monday in October. Our two-hour morning cruise takes a meandering route around beautiful Huckleberry Island, past charming summer cottages and through narrow channels and shallow waterways that many locals consider the most picturesque on the Bay. Our three-hour afternoon cruise follows in the wake of early explorers through the remote outer islands of the Bay. These islands, shoals and waterways support an ecosystem so unique that the area has earned World Biosphere Reserve status from the United Nations. Tickets for both cruises can be purchased online or at the ticket office. Purchasing tickets early is strongly encouraged. Free Parking at dockside.
The Original: Two-Hour Morning Cruise
Our two-hour morning cruise is the cruise that started it all. Back in the late 1960’s our old wooden taxi boats would leave Parry Sound Harbour and, following the same meandering route that we follow today, take passengers on tours around beautiful Huckleberry Island. Back then the taxi boats would frequently slow down so the crew could throw loaves of bread and other grocery supplies into the water for waiting cottagers. These days we skip the grocery deliveries but we still slow down as we pass the charming summer retreats that draw so many generations of families back to this part of Georgian Bay. The windswept inner islands that give shape to the narrow channels and shallow waterways that the Island Queen meanders through on this tour are what many locals consider to be some of the most picturesque on the Bay. Get your camera ready for the Hole in the Wall!
The Flagship: Three-Hour Afternoon Cruise
This is the tour that put the Island Queen Cruise on the map around the world. On this tour we follow in the wake of early explorers as the captain’s bring the ship surprisingly up-close to the rugged shoreline of Parry Island and the Bay’s remote outer islands. Passengers enjoy a captain’s eye view of these outer islands as the ship meanders past granite shoals into narrow channels within an eco-system so unique that it has earned World Biosphere Reserve status from the United Nations. Get your camera ready as we cruise through the Hole in the Wall, Killbear Provincial Park and Massassauga Provincial Park, through the channels of the outer islands and the Rose Point Swing Bridge. This is definitely a cruise to remember.
Our Boat, the Island Queen
The Island Queen is a modern 132’ cruise ship, specially designed with easy maneuverability and a shallow draft, allowing our captain’s to meander into remote waterways and up-close to the natural beauty of the islands. The ship’s twin CAT diesel engines, twin five-bladed bronze propellers and special hull shape are designed to provide an extremely quiet, smooth and stable cruising experience.
The 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay represent the world’s largest freshwater archipelago. Part of the Canadian Shield, the islands are thought to be the eroded roots of an ancient mountain range called the Grenville Mountains. Although our cruises only explore a portion of the roots of these mountains, passengers will see enough to challenge their imaginations.
The granite-sculpted shorelines of the islands, exposed by the glaciers at the end of the last ice age, and the windswept white pine forests that adorn the islands, create numerous distinct habitats that support a variety of both well-known and rare species including plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. The uniqueness of the island ecosystem earned the area World Biosphere Reserve status from the United Nations in 2004. One of the highlights of both our two and three-hour cruise, the “Hole in the Wall,” is one of the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve’s “Amazing Places.” To learn more about the other Amazing Places visit www.visitamazingplaces.ca.