We offer a variety of maritime services on the waters around Manitoulin. From the Killarney region to the western reaches of the North Channel – our events program is comprised of regularly scheduled adventures offered to the public. Our public events calendar is then carefully woven in with a busy private charter and motor coach agenda.
Where to park:
There are three full day municipal parking lots in Little Current within a 300-meter walk.
-The first is at the far east end of the waterfront under the bluff near the large metal staircase.
-A second can be found behind the LCBO store at corner of Meredith Street and Manitowaning Road at the back corner gravel lot.
-Another lot is found by continuing down Water street heading west and turning into Boyle Marina at the Lighthouse, then turn left into the parking field.
After you have parked head to the address 1 Water St West where the boarding process will begin anytime after 9:00am.
1 Water St West:
At the east end of the building is an asphalt driveway where you will find our check in booth. Please physical distance 6-feet per group while waiting to go through the boarding process. Please adhere to these safety measures.
When you arrive at the booth to receive your wristband you will be asked to provide your names. Please do not bring a paper copy of the confirmation that was emailed to you.
Before receiving a wristband confirming you may board please be ready to answer the following questions for:
1. Do you have a fever and a cough?
2. Do you have a fever and difficulty breathing?
3. Have you been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19?
4. Are you the subject of a provincial/territorial or local public health order?
5. Are you in possession of a face covering that covers your mouth and nose, and do you agree to wear this covering while inside the cabin or unable to properly physically distance?
6. Passengers will also be required to declare any out-of-country travel made in the
preceding 14 days.
Once you have received your wristband you will also be given options as to where you will be seated for the day. Passengers begin boarding the Grand Heron at 9:30am by assigned table number. As you are boarding you will be required to use the hand sanitizer station before entering or touching the ramp.
The Grand Heron:
Passengers will be assigned their seats based on party size and first come first serve choice.
We ask passengers to remain seated for as much of the passage as possible. Out of respect for the safety of others on board, it is requested that face coverings be worn at all times when you are on your feet to move through the cabin, while using the heads (restrooms) or when physical distancing is an issue (ie: moving past other guests on the outside decks to enter the cabin space). Masks should only be removed while a passenger is seated. Tables will be placed no closer than 6 ft from one another.
A safety briefing will commence shortly before departure.
Food Service: Prepackaged food will be served to passengers at their assigned seats. We recommend that meals and beverages be consumed on the outside decks.
Morning snack: Prepackaged muffins
Lunch: Prepackaged box lunch (on Benjamin Islands and Baie Fine Tours)
Afternoon snack: Pizza
Bar Service: Designate one person from your group to go to the bar for beverages. Contactless payment options such as Visa or Mastercard are encouraged. (sorry no debit)
Arrival at Destination:
Disembarking the boat will happen in an organized manner. When your table number is called you will be able to leave to explore.
You will be given a window of time that you will need to be back to board the boat. It will be staggered so we do not get passengers congregating in one area. Passengers can return to their assigned seating area
Arrival back in Little Current:
Passengers will disembark by table section.
Please do not park all day on the downtown main street (Water St. East) or the main downtown parking lot. The main street and parking lot have time limits that may be exceeded by the duration of our cruises. It is important to the main street businesses that these parking areas turn over throughout the day.
There are three full day municipal parking lots in Little Current within a 300 meter walk. The first is at the far east end of the waterfront under the bluff near a large metal staircase. A second can be found behind the LCBO store at the corner of Meredith Street and Manitowaning Road at the back corner gravel lot. Another lot is found by continuing down Water Street heading west and turning into Boyle Marina at the Lighthouse, then turn left into the parking field. Please communicate to us if your party as any special accessibility needs, and we will provide alternate arrangements.
The Grand Heron is an impressive 107 gross tonnes an measures 75’ long by 30’ wide and is floated on three large hulls, making it remarkably stable in any sea condition. Beginning her service life in 2007, this state of the art vessel is equipped with a full pantry, liquor license and a spacious layout with capacity for up to 100 passengers.
With the comfort of our guests and taking into account the possibility of rain during some tours, we typically limit the passenger number well below 100 as this will afford everyone a seat in the enclosed part of the boat comfortably.
Once a booking is made, there will not be any refunds issued for cancellations by the purchaser within 5 days from the start of the tour. Tickets sales are final and non transferable. Cancellation due to weather or unforeseen circumstance will be made if departure from port is not possible within two hours of the scheduled tour and are at the discretion of management. If a tour is cancelled by management, refund will be issued.
Due to the remarkable stability, gross tonnage, large panoramic windows and comfortable inside seating available on our vessel it would be extremely rare that we would need to cancel a voyage based on weather. However, If North Channel Tour Company management determine that the voyage could be unsafe due to threatening weather, we will cancel and fully refund fares paid in advance.
Booking in advance will avoid disappointment. Due to the popularity of our cruises, there will be departures that sell out in advance, while others may only have a handful of passengers aboard. It can be very difficult to predict the volume on any tour up until the moment it departs. We welcome walk aboard passengers up to the moment of departure if we are not sold out.
Our boat is quite suitable for wheelchairs as our decks are 5′ wide and everything is on one level. Our ramp accommodates the loading of passengers in wheelchairs under 28″ in overall width. Being a boat, our washrooms aren’t massive but they are reasonably spacious. If you identify accessibility requirements in advance we would be pleased to work on this with you.
We welcome all passengers aboard our tour, however we strongly suggest guardians consider if the tour is suitable for their wee ones. The duration of our adventures are often full day duration and can make for a long day.
Parents/Guardians are responsible for the entertainment and behavior of their little ones. Due to the length of many of our adventures it is recommended that parents come prepared with a plan to entertain their children along the passage.
For the comfort and safety of our passengers we do not allow pets aboard. Service dogs are permitted.
We sure do. Please be sure to specify if you will be booking on any passengers under 40kg as we have a limited number of childrens life jackets.
New for the 2021 Season, Le Petit OisEau is a high speed 27' aluminum landing craft that has been specifically customized to offer groups of up to 12 a means of rapidly exploring the North Channel! This fast and stable craft features triple padded forward facing bench seating for up to 12 passengers on the outside deck and additional inside bench seating. This vessel is capable of reaching any destination within minutes making it a highly versatile way to take in the sites. Inside the cabin, 360 degree views are available through the large panoramic glass windows. Powered by twin 2021 Yamaha 250hp engines (500hp total), get ready to feel the excitement as this boat reaches up to 45 knots per hour and will cruise at an average speed of 25. This vessel also features a marine toilet aboard inside a private head. This boat will operate a limited water taxi schedule and is available for private charter bookings.
COVID PUBLIC SAFETY PRECAUTIONS:
At North Channel Cruise Line we are determined to help reduce the spread of respiratory infections including COVID-19.
At the beginning of each shift, employees will go through a ‘pre-work’ screening“health check” to confirm that they are not suffering from any possible COVID-19 symptoms.
The following are healthy hygiene practices that our employees have been trained in and are taking seriously:
-washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water are unavailable an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains 60-95% alcohol will be used.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Physical Distancing:
-PPE will be worn by employees based on their role and responsibilities and in adherence to current regulations.
-Employees have been trained on how to effectively use, clean, and dispose of PPE.
-Disposable gloves will be used when changing waste/recycling receptacles and will wash hands when task is completed.
-When staff cannot safely physical distance 2 meters from passengers outside the service area, non-medical masks or face coverings will be utilized.
-The bar and galley area has been enclosed behind plexiglass.
-Restrooms have been equipped with new fresh air exchange equipment.
A pre-board self-assessment will be required before boarding the Grand Heron. No one with potential COVID-19 symptoms will be permitted to board. Please reduce the personal items you bring on-board to necessity only.
-We have significantly limited our sailing capacity to 50%. This provides plenty of room for the 50 or less passengers that can board.
-Signage and a safety announcement at the beginning of our sail will give direction on safe passenger flow while aboard. Tables and chairs have been spaced apart at a distance that will allow appropriate distancing from others.
-Size of parties cannot exceed that of current public health authority restrictions. Passengers should stay within their group for the duration of the cruise and not circulate.
-Family Groups/bubbles can stay together in a 6ft(2M) space as long as the group is at least 6 feet away from any other individuals or groups.
-Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face. Avoid touching surfaces. Use hand sanitizer frequently.
It is suggested that passengers bring their own face coverings for their comfort. A nonsurgical mask will be provided to those who arrive without one. At this time, masks are mandatory as per governmental regulations. Masks must be worn at all times while inside the cabin areas including the washrooms or while passengers are on their feet away from their table. Masks can be removed only while a passenger is seated.
Cleaning and Sanitation:
-Enhanced cleaning procedures have been introduced with special attention to high touch surfaces and objects. The frequency and approach have become necessarily more meticulous.
-An after hours deep cleaning and sanitation will take place when a ferry service will be departing within 48 hours of the previous sailing.
-Hand sanitizer is available for staff and guests at the entrance, exit and service counters.
-In an effort to reduce person-to-person interaction we encourage contactless payment options such as use of touch Mastercard or Visa as opposed to cash payment when purchasing an item at the bar.
-We recommend tipping digitally rather than using cash.
-Designate one person from your group to go to the bar for beverages
-Prep-packed meal options will be served to passengers when they are seated. Meals and beverages should be consumed on the outside decks.
While many of these procedures seem foreign, they are necessary to allow us to resume operations and share the exquisite beauty of the North Channel. Once we arrive at our destination whether it be the Benjamins, Baie Fine or Killarney, you will have the chance to freely explore these secluded beauties without a face covering and feel the sun on your face or take a refreshing dip in Lake Huron. We all want to return to normal life and we thank you for supporting our business through these most unusual times.