As the sun sets and the city lights begin to twinkle, the catamaran of Croisière Le Montréalais beckons guests with its glowing neon blue or pink deck. With revelers aboard, the bright lights dance across the inky waters as Le Montréalais heads out into the night. And while the ship may creep silently through the waters, the decks are anything but quiet as up to 300 guests mingle on two indoor and three outdoor decks. The design of the boat is sleek and modern, with ice-blue lighting, pure white furniture, neon mood lighting, and synthetic grass on the outdoor deck and the ceiling of the up-side-down putting room. A dance floor and full sound system invite guests to dance the night away, and menus provide sustenance with bites of salmon tartar, pork ravioli, and lamb sliders.
Struck by wanderlust after reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels, Joe Kowalski decided to kindle his own passion for adventure by exploring the uncharted rapids of the Ottawa River with a group of fellow college students. There they discovered a multi-channel paradise—the six-mile-wide river churned through dozens of islands, jutting rocks, secluded beaches, and gorgeous waterfalls, as well as calmer paddling runs. Their stories and videos attracted guests, spurring the loosely organized group to band together in 1975 to become Wilderness Tours. To date, they have guided more than one million people safely down the river.
Today, the guides spend most of their time on white water rafting day trips, pausing in their runs to lead body-surfing and cliff-jumping adventures at some of the river's calmer spots. A riverside lunch is also provided to refuel paddlers for the second half of their run.The main resort also makes use of the stunning topography and forests that surround the river during rock-climbing, bungee jumping, and mountain biking excursions. The Wilderness Tours Adventure Resort offers luxury accommodations alongside a restaurant and bar.
Astride their trusty snowmobiles, the knowledgeable guides at Jay Snowmobile Adventures help visiting adventurers conquer the winter landscape during tours of picturesque Vermont snowscapes. One- and two-person tour packages begin at the outfitter’s home base, located 3 miles from the entrance of Jay Peak Resort. From there, groups wind through the wilderness of Jay, Vermont and parts of Westfield for up to two hours, exploring the snowy nooks and frost-covered crannies of Jay State Forest and the nearby countryside. They rarely make the trip alone, though; moose and white-tailed deer often dot the secluded paths, ready to pose for snapshots in their most photogenic outfits.
RiverRun Rafting & Wilderness Resort, a once humble 12-raft outfit, has grown into a 165-acre resort that accommodates all levels of outdoorsmen with a variety of lodgings. But whitewater rafting remains the focus of the resort, with guides leading trips ranging from high-adventure surges through foaming rapids to gentle floats down the Ottawa River's middle channel. And because the resort is located on a 4,000-foot stretch of shoreline, each trip ends on the resort's beaches, meaning that rafters get more time on the water since there isn't a second round of transport back to the resort.
River Run Rafting's staff of experts even pioneered a six-person sport raft dubbed the Ultimate Adventure Sports Raft, which is capable of turning back up river eddies, reentering rapids from the side, and suspending atop whitewater the way a surfer rides a wave. Upgrades are available for an additional cost.
Ranked by National Geographic as one of the world's top adventure outfitters, Esprit Rafting proves that the great outdoors is just a giant playground. In the summer months, the experienced guides lead rafts, canoes, and riverboards down the Ottawa, Petawawa, Kipawa, Magnetawan, and Gatineau Rivers, running the gamut from speedy whitewater gauntlets to relaxing sightseeing expeditions, where participants might spot local wildlife or trees posing for photo ops.
A fleet of shuttle vehicles carries equipment and rafters on trips, which might lead to churning 14-foot waves on the Main Channel or through the narrow funnel of Butcher's Knife and Coliseum. Esprit's team also maintains a base camp, where guests sometimes spend nights in the calm company of Canadian pines. When cold weather creeps into the air, Esprit packs up and migrates to sunnier climes, leading multi-day adventures along the rivers of Mexico and Costa Rica.
Ottawa Segway Tours outfits sightseers with versatile Segway personal transporters, or PTs, for earth-friendly jaunts powered by drivers merely shifting their weight. Operators can easily manoeuvre their vehicles wherever their body tells it to—including indoors—avoiding such urban headaches as expensive parking lots, rush-hour traffic, and on-ramps riddled with dangerous slip ‘n slides. While enjoying the sights and sounds of their chosen path, users can take comfort in their low carbon footprint, both because they’re standing off the ground and because electric Segways give off zero emissions during operation.