As the sun’s rays reach across British Columbia, breakfast is being served, coffee and all, in the middle of Shuswap Lake. Though it's been cooked aboard one of Waterway Houseboat Vacations’ watercrafts, the diners devouring their morning meal still have the overwhelming sense that this is what it feels like to spend quality time in the wild. That combination of coming together as a group while communing with nature is Waterway Houseboat Vacations’ raison d'être and has been since its founding in 1968.
Dedicated to outfitting aquatic sojourners with the most lavish, well-equipped vessels possible, the company's proprietors had their own fleet of houseboats built up in their Sicamous-based boat yard. Each masterpiece of engineering is embellished with luxurious amenities such as hot tubs, fireplaces, and gold-plated shoulder parrots, each of which fight for boater attention with lake-adjacent activities such as swimming, hiking, water-skiing, and fishing. While eager to introduce visitors to the scenic beauty of the Shuswaps, the company simultaneously aims to uphold a dedication to environmental stewardship, preserving their beloved home with initiatives that include stocking boats with biodegradable soap and spearheading a comprehensive recycling program.
Atlantis Waterslides sits facing a sparkling lake and mountainous horizon on a hilltop hugged by 10 water slides. These heated waterways, which are tested regularly for safety, water quality, and misplaced rubber duckies, accommodate sliders of all ages and adrenalin levels. Slides include the popular River Riot tube slide, log flumes, and shorter kiddie slides. Lifeguards certified by the National Lifeguard Service preside over all slides and are ready to hop into action should someone need help. After aquatic fun, guests can play on a nine-hole mini-golf course, step inside the arcade, or visit the trampoline-bungee-jumping area to dry their hair without a blow-dryer.
At Inner Light Yoga and Wellness, each class is a physical journey toward enhanced self-awareness. Sessions begin with breath work, helping to synch the lungs with the rest of the body as the instructor directs one’s focus inward. Mid sessions are devoted to the practice of Asanas, or poses, used with varying breathing techniques to help both stretch and strengthen the body, relieving stress and creating balance in both the body and mind. Sessions conclude with focused relaxation, allowing the cessation of thought that frees up the consciousness. The dynamic wellness center also offers sessions in guided meditation, Reiki, Pilates, and belly dancing.
A team of experienced and certified diving instructors roams the mask- and air-tank-lined halls of Innerspace Watersports, inviting initiates to dive in with introductory and certification-level scuba lessons. After confirming class times on the phone, first-timers in the Intro to Scuba lesson cover the basics in abstract in 30 terrestrial minutes, and get their fin-coated toes wet during 30 minutes of real-water experience in the pool, located in Coldstream. The open-water certification course lets beginning scuba savants expand their diving adventures beyond occasional dunks in the fish tank, culminating in certification that allows for dives up to 40 feet deep. Under the supervision of Innerspace owner Chad Edwards, two aquanauts delve through a progression of online or in-person academics, pool training, and four open water sessions. Though there is no limit on the number of students in a classroom session, only eight are allowed in the pool at a time, and additional sessions may be available as need requires.
At Urban Links, golfers up their games with hands-on training sessions with certified instructors and access to an indoor facility with the latest in golf training technology. Golfers can cure their slice-, shank-, or narcolepsy-prone swings inside hitting bays that feature TrackMan swing-analysis software, which uses motion sensors and video playback to break down swinging motions. Urban Links’ resident aces also enlist TrackMan technology to help players find out the club specifications that best fit their swing and body type. Along with lessons and club-fitting sessions, golfers can take advantage of the equipment and develop secret handshakes with cyborg Greg Normans during independent practice sessions in the hitting bays.
Even as it soars across the deep, clear blue waters of Lake Okanagan, the Lake Lounge keeps its passengers, crew, and cooperative stowaways connected to a bevy of land-based pleasures. A comprehensive sound system blasts pleasurable beats throughout its two decks, and three flat-screen TVs reaching widths up to 50 inches broadcast the passengers' choice of entertainment. On the lower deck, vaulted ceilings soar over dinner tables and an electric fireplace keeps the room warm in colder weather, and on the open top deck passengers bask in lake breezes and take in panoramic views of the water and evergreen-coated shoreline. When not focused on the scenery, they step across an elevated dance floor lit by multicoloured lights or discuss their favourite childhood pet fish over tipples from a fully stocked bar.
Dinner-cruise passengers sup on a daily-changing menu that cycles through regular entrees such as cedar-plank salmon and peach barbecue chicken. As the Lake Lounge sails past opulent lakeside homes and the city skyline, the sun colours the sky as it sets and the stars sleepily stumble into place to form their constellations. The ship's crews also host wedding receptions, family reunions, and birthday parties on the dual decks.