The MV Canadian Empress is a 66 passenger replica steamboat. She was built in 1981 and designed to reflect the classic style of North American turn-of-the-century riverboats. The Canadian Empress is 108' in length, 30' across the beam and shallow in draft. Her size allows her to navigate freely among the islands and through locks, some of which are inaccessible to larger vessels; thus providing close-up, "reach out and touch" scenic experiences. One of the most appealing features of the MV Canadian Empress is her intimacy and friendliness which, of course, is derived from her size.
While cruising aboard this vessel, passengers are able to experience the marriage of classic steamboat style to modern technology against a backdrop of fabulous ports of call, a congenial Canadian crew committed to excellence in comfort and service, modern conveniences and amenities. The interior of this vessel is designed in charming early heritage style. Whether it is elegant furnishing, or the brass handrails complemented by ornate metal ceilings, this vessel truly does recapture the grace of a turn-of-the-century lifestyle.
Your ship will carry you through the very heart of central Canada's most beautiful scenery on routes specifically selected for their stunningly rich gifts of history, natural beauty and modern vitality. Calm-water cruising on a replica steamship is your new adventure into an old tradition.
In its most limited bounds begins at the foot of Lake Ontario, opposite the city of Kingston and flows generally in a north-easterly direction about 775 miles, where its flood mingles with that of the gulf by the same name... beyond the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the vast Atlantic Ocean. The St. Lawrence River has its source in the largest body of fresh water on the globe, and among all the big rivers of the world, it is the only one whose volume is not greatly affected by the elements.
This river, which Sir J.M. Lemoine called "The noblest, the purest, most enchanting river on all God's beautiful earth...", for miles upon miles acts as a natural boundary between the good friends of the United States and Canada.
The Ottawa River was first explored by Samuel de Champlain in 1613 and is the largest tributary of the St. Lawrence River. The total length of the Ottawa River is approximately 790 statute miles with a total drop in level of no less than 1,100 feet. The river drains an area of 57,000 square miles and has an average flow of about 70,000 cubic feet of water per second. This flow is said to be greater than that of all the rivers of England and Wales put together. This is significant particularly when one considers that it is only a tributary of the mighty St. Lawrence.
The Ottawa River is navigable from Ottawa to the St. Lawrence with locks and a dam having been constructed to overcome the Ste. Anne and Carillon rapids. For our vessel, navigation beyond Ottawa is impossible because of the Chaudiere Falls.