See Ottawa From The River

Ottawa From The River.jpg

Find A Boat Trip And See Ottawa From the River

We were in Ottawa for a 4 days over the Canada Day weekend. Canada Day itself was spent enjoying the festivities but we were looking for other things to do in Ottawa. On our recent trip to SE Asia we found that a river cruise was a great way to get a different perspective of a city. Seeing a city at night also provided a different view. In Ottawa you can choose a cruise up the Rideau Canal or others that go along the Ottawa River. We finally decided to do a sunset cruise for our view of Ottawa from the river. Our son Kris who we were visiting in Ottawa decided to join us. Not only did we get some great views, we had a lot of fun with Capital Cruises!

Getting To the Departure Dock

If you take the day time cruises, you can board the boat on the Ottawa side of the river. For the sunset cruise, we needed to get over to the dock on the Hull, Quebec side. We had lots of options. Several Ottawa buses would drop us off near the Canadian Museum of History, close to the docks. We could always call a taxi or an Uber. But we decided it was a nice night for a walk across the Alexandra Bridge.

Wandering from our hotel, we walked past the the beautiful Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica and the National Gallery to the Alexandra Bridge.

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica Church - Ottawa From The River.jpg

National Gallery of Canada and a wedding - Ottawa From The River.jpg

National Gallery of Canada - Ottawa From The River.jpg

The bridge is an old steel truss bridge with a wide area dedicated for pedestrians. There were several viewing spots along the bridge where you could catch a view of the Parliament Buildings, the Ottawa River and the Canadian Museum of History on the Quebec side. This would be our first glimpse of Ottawa from the river!

Alexandra Bridge - Ottawa From The River.jpg

Parliament from Alexandra Bridge - Ottawa From The River.jpg

National Museum of History from Alexandra Bridge - Ottawa From The River.jpg

Getting off the bridge we were amused by the modern art display – birds and a Campbell’s soup can. Once the kids stopped playing on the statue, we took our pics.

Odyssey Birds - National Museum of History - Ottawa From The River.jpg

We wandered around the outside of the Canadian Museum of History before heading to the dock.

National Museum of History - Ottawa From The River.jpg

Floating Fun

The boat provided lots of outdoor deck space and a spacious interior as we enjoyed Ottawa from the river. You could get snacks or drinks throughout the 3 hours onboard.

Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

The DJ (Danny Richard) was set up on the main deck inside. I thought we would be hearing “canned” music most of the night but we were very quickly surprised when Danny picked up his guitar and wireless mic and started to sing. He was quickly joined by his singing partner and the music rocked the night away.

Danny Richard DJ - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

Danny Richard Playing Live - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

At one point the music moved to the upper deck. Guests lined up in congo lines and snaked around the upper deck. Kris and I joined in for the fun while David snapped his pics.

Danny Richard Playing Live - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

Danny Richard Playing Live - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

Ottawa River Views

We had a brief glimpse of Ottawa from the river before heading away from the downtown core. You could catch a view of both the buildings and houses as the boat moved along the waterfront.

Views from the Ottawa River - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica Church and the National Gallery - Ottawa From The River.jpg

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica Church and buildings on the Ottawa River - Ottawa From The River.jpg

We hovered in the water in front of 24 Sussex, the residence of the Prime Minister of Canada. Nobody appeared to be at home.

24 Sussex - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

There was a great view of the Rideau Falls from the water side.

Rideau Falls - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

Rideau Falls - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

The boat continued downriver to a little marina that we had visited before. They have the best seafood and it is worth a trip a little out of town to eat.

Marina on Ottawa River - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

The boat moved over to the Quebec side for a great view of the small waterfront area of Gatineau.

Gatineau Church - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

Gatineau Church and Port of Montreal - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

As we turned to head back towards Ottawa, the sun set. Everyone rushed on deck to catch the sunset and the red reflections.

Sunset on the Ottawa River - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

We headed back to see Ottawa from the river. We arrived under the Parliament Buildings as the buildings started to light up. The Parliament Buildings, Rideau Canal Lock and Chateau Fairmont twinkled with lights.

Parliament Sunset Sunset - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

Finishing Up Our Night River Cruise

We cruised slowly back to the dock. It had been a great night to see Ottawa from the River with great views and a crew that ensured we all had a good time. Walking slowly across the Alexandra Bridge we made our way back to our hotel. We got one last glimpse of Ottawa by night!

Parliament at Night - Capital Cruises - Ottawa From The River.jpg

Have you taken a boat to see Ottawa from the river? Do you have a recommendation for a tour company? What was your “don’t miss” sight?

About TravelAtWill 292 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!

2 Comments

  1. I LOVED this – showed me so much about our beautiful capital from a perspective I’d never seen before, as well as ideas for new things to do there.

    • I am so glad that you enjoyed this. We have been to Ottawa several times and always try something new when we visit. It is a great weekend trip – in the summer 🙂 Although Winterlude is fun too! Linda

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