The Island Princess - Orillia

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NOTICE: Big changes to the Island Princes. Currently (2023) there are no cruises. Now, she's a "Tiki Barge". I'm not cool with that, but you can read about the change on our blog: Island Prices is no more.

Orillia Cruises - The Island Princess at the town dock.

The Island Princess berthed at the town dock in Orillia, Ontario
One of the great things about Orillia's main waterfront and harbour is the Island Princess tour boat. In summer months she loads up with visitors and local residents on an almost daily basis and leaves the town dock to head out over the waters of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe for a relaxing scenic cruise. The general cruises are about an hour, and will give visitors a tour of the area with views along the shoreline of cottages and homes. There are benches and seats aboard, but most often when you see her moving through the waters people are at the railings watching the world go by under the sunny skies.

The Captain (and owner) of the Island Princess is Tom Gostick, a friendly a personable man who has been carting visitors around the waters of Orillia for more than 25 years now. The Island Princess and her master have weathered many storms through the years, and whether they have been from lake-blown storms or rising gas prices, the Princess has always waited quietly at her berth for the next round of passengers. Her presence at the town dock is something most locals have grown to expect, and I'm not sure what any of us would do if one day, she was retired, and the town dock forever empty.

a life-ring hanging from rail of the Island Princess, Orillia
At one time, she was just a cruise and tour ship, but today she can be rented out for private parties, weddings, corporate affairs and other similar events. From July 1 to Sept 1,  her regular schedule runs seven days a week, with pre-scheduled tours leaving at 10:30am every morning (except Sunday) for a one-hour cruise ; Lunch Cruises from 12:00pm (Tuesday to Thursday - 1 hour cruise); 2:15pm (Monday to Sunday - this his a 2 hr and 15 min. cruise) and is the last open cruise of the day. From 5:00pm onwards she is available for private cruises and events with the odd block of space booked for other events - to get a copy of her schedule visit their website, Orillia Boat Cruises, or visit the Orillia Chamber of Commerce in the old train station at the corner of Front and Gill Streets.

Costs for scheduled cruises run from $20 and up, with a special family rate (two adults, two or more children 12 and under) of $50 for the 1 hour morning cruises;  lunch cruises (1.5 hrs) with lunch are abour $40, and without lunch $22.50. Longer cruises (afternoon, 2.25 hrs) are $27.50. Throughout the season there are a few special cruises: a steak BBQ evening cruise with live music (2.5 hr, $50) at 7:00pm on Thursdays, an upcoming fall cruise to Sparrow Lake (all day with meals) for $65 (we're planning to do this one this year); Mondays are Senior's Day, and Friday's are Kid's Day.

The Island Princes on the waters of Lake Simcoe with a passenger load, black and white pencil-style

In general, you should please visit their website for details - some cruises are subject to availability, and some require reservations in advance; visitors can also usually find a special package price for hotel and attractions when you visit the Orillia Boat Cruises  website as they often partner with other local businesses.

The Island Princess docked in the Port of Orillia, autumn view
Island Princess - situated at the foot of Mississaga Street, Orillia at the town dock.
A winter view of the Island Princess at the Port of Orillia, her canopy covers all tucked away for winter months
Winter months and the Princess is tucked up in her berth til the next summer rolls around.