Our day started with short walk to the waterfront to confirm our tickets and stand in the social distancing line to board the cruise. Even just from the dock there was a beautiful view of the dazzling St Lawrence River. After being greeted by the staff with friendly smiles we headed to the top deck. We were briefed on all safety precautions and then with a blow of the horn we were off!
We took the lost ships cruise provided by City Cruises Gananoque, a touring experience in both English and French that illustrates the history of the islands, the culture of the area, and highlights the ships that have been lost to the St. Lawrence. We passed over the wreckage of Catherine a steam powered yacht that collided with the Steamer St. Lawrence in 1890.
We travelled through the Gananoque narrows with the Navy and Lake Fleet group of islands by our sides, these groups are made up of 45 islands such as Stave, Rich, and Princess Charlotte Island. We learned that even just a small land mass that stays above land all year around with at least one tree is considered an island. We grabbed some food from the snack bar located on the first floor then headed up stairs to watch a group of birds fly over head and land on a nearby rock.
Soon after we reached one of the most famous places in the Thousand Islands: Boldt castle. Boldt castle began its construction in 1900 when millionaire George C. Boldt hired 300 workers to build a testament of his love for his wife on the appropriately named Heart Island. The 6 story 120 room castle halted construction in 1904 as Boldt’s wife Louise suddenly died. Boldt, grief stricken never returned but the castle remains as a beautiful reminder of their love.
After seeing the castle, we headed back to Gananoque, passing under the international bridge. We cruised through Millionaire’s Row, a stretch of river that is inhabited with some of the most expensive and stunning houses in the area. With Gananoque on the horizon we knew our trip had come to an end. We had an amazing time exploring the river, learning about shipwrecks, and discovering the 1000 Islands.