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Kayaking the Thousand Islands

Program Number: 21077RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/16/2013 - 6/22/2013; 8/17/2014 - 8/22/2014; 7/12/2015 - 7/17/2015; 8/16/2015 - 8/21/2015;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: 1,000 Islands Region, Ontario
Price starting at: $2,175.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Water Sports Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 17; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The 1000 Islands are a natural place of wonder, with breathtaking vistas and captivating wildlife seemingly close enough to touch. On this kayaking adventure, paddle with local experts who will enrich your experience with fascinating stories, historical facts and knowledge of the intricate biodiversity. Learn about the formation of the Islands, the unique flora and fauna of the UNESCO designated Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve, and the significance of the historic Rideau Canal. Step back in time into the Golden Age of Castles and summer homes and get lost in the dreamy past of a very special time in the islands.




Highlights

• Explore St. Lawrence National Park island and discover the ancient mountain range that forms the Islands.
• Paddle the Rideau Canal to the historic Jones Falls Locks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Enjoy daily island lunches, as well as a lunch cruise through the Islands and down “Millionaires Row.”



Activity Particulars

Kayaking 3-12 miles daily; no prior experience necessary.




1,000 Islands Region

Ontario’s Thousand Islands formed when the St. Lawrence River flooded the area on its path to the Atlantic Ocean. Now recognized as a World Biosphere Reserve, the more than 1,000 islands in this international region just east of Kingston attract visitors to explore the area’s human history, archipelago ecology, and local flora and fauna.



Accommodations
Gananoque: Charming inn.
Meals and Lodgings
   Novotel Hotel
  Ottawa, Ontario 2 nights
   Hotel Kenney
  Jones Falls, Ontario 2 nights
   Gananoque Inn
  Gananoque, ON 2 nights
 Novotel Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Novotel Hotel is located in the heart of the nation’s capital – close to Parliament, the National Arts Centre, and the National Gallery and minutes away from restaurants and the Byward Market.
  Contact info: 33 Nicholas Street
Ottawa, ON K1N 9M7 Canada
phone: 613-230-3033
web: www.novotelottawa.ca
  Room amenities: The hotel offers a number of amenities, including in-room coffee and tea, hair dryers, iron, and ironing board, high speed internet access.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a fitness center and an indoor pool. A laundromat is located two to three blocks away from the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Check for availability. Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Hotel Kenney
Type: Lodge
  Description: Hotel Kenney is located in the heart of the Rideau Lakes in Jones Falls, Ontario, Canada. This fine, old country Inn first opened in 1877. The immediate area lends itself perfectly to nature lovers, hikers, back-packers, bird-watchers and rock hounds. Excellent lake or pool swimming is available. Golf, tennis, riding stables and Rideau tours, all nearby.
  Contact info: 59 Kenney Road
Jones Falls, ON K0G 1E0 Canada
phone: 613-359-5500
web: www.hotelkenney.com
  Room amenities: All rooms have private bath and most are equipped with air-conditioning, bar fridge, TV and ceiling fan. Some located in the main lodge are on the 2nd and 3rd floor but most rooms are at the ground floor level.
  Facility amenities: A well-stocked convenience store, newsstand and laundromat are available at Kenney's as well as a beautiful gift shop off the main lobby and a full-service coffee shop; open all day for those times when the main dining room may be closed. We also offer an excellent wine cellar and a fine selection of lagers and ales from around the world.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Gananoque Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: The historic Gananoque Inn and Spa is nestled on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in the small, picturesque town of Gananoque, Ontario deep in the heart of the world famous Thousand Islands. Discerning travelers have found an idyllic setting and warm hospitality at the Gananoque Inn since 1896. Surrounded by flowers all summer, the main building of the Inn dates back to the 1860s when it housed the Gananoque Carriage Works.
  Contact info: 550 Stone Street South
Gananoque, ON K7G 2A8 Canada
phone: 888-565-3101
web: www.gananoqueinn.com/index.cfm?
  Room amenities: Down-like, allergy-free pillows, hair dryer, DVD player, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, CD clock radio. Wireless Internet access and data ports on in-room phone; complimentary Internet access in lobby.
  Facility amenities: The Inn features two waterfront restaurants; view the busy town dock from the riverfront patios or linger on the deck to watch the last rays of sunset over the picturesque islands. The on-site spa offers a variety of treatments with our certified aestheticians.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights after: Contact Inn. Contact the inn directly for rates and availability.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Independent arrivals to Ottawa. Check-in after 3:00 p.m. You will be staying at Novotel Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Transfer to Ottawa for departures. Drop-off at Ottawa airport and downtown. Estimated arrival in Ottawa is 12:00 noon. You will be staying at Gananoque Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Passport requirements are subject to change. Visit www.travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html for up-to-date information.
  Parking availability:
Parking at hotel in Ottawa $$. Contact hotel for current rates.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Ottawa, Ontario
  Nearest city or town:  Ottawa, Ontario
  Nearest highway: Highway 417 - Nicholas Street Exit
  Nearest airport:  Ottawa - Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)
  From End of Program
  Location:  Gananoque, ON
  Nearest city or town:  Kingston, ON
  Nearest highway: Highway 401
  Nearest airport:  Kingston: Norman Rogers Airport (YGK); Ottawa: Macdonald-Cartier International (YOW)
Travel Details
 

Ottawa

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
OC Transpo
phone: 613-741-4390

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$3 - $4 CDN
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 - 40 minutes 

   

Bus service is available from the Ottawa airport to the hotel with OC Transpo. Route 97 departs from pillar 14 outside the level 1 Arrivals area – bus stop - Rideau 3A (Rideau Street) walk east to Nicholas St then turn right(south) hotel will be on your left (3 minute walk). Please visit www.octranspo1.com for more information

 

Ottawa

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$15- $20 CAD
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

   

Taxis are available from the train station to the hotel.

 

Ottawa

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$25 - $35 CDN
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

   

Taxis are available at Ottawa airport.

 

Ottawa

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Bus

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Included in program cost
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately 2 - 2.5 hours 

   

On the final day the group will be transferred to Ottawa for departures. Drop-off at Ottawa airport and downtown. Estimated arrival in Ottawa is 12:00 noon.

 
Driving Directions
  Montreal (East) From Montreal take AutoRoute 40 West until you reach Highway 417 West (signs to Ottawa/Hull). Follow signs to Ottawa (about 2 hours). Take Nicholas St. exit. Stay in left-hand lane until you reach Daly St., which is the third traffic light. Turn left on Daly, then immediately right into the hotel parking lot. Or go to the next traffic light, Nicholas St., and turn right, then right again into the hotel’s front-door driveway.
  Ottawa Airport (Macdonald-Cartier Int'l Airport) From the airport, follow the Airport Parkway; it turns into Bronson Ave. Follow to Highway 417 East. Take Nicholas St. exit. Stay in left-hand lane until you reach Daly St., which is the third traffic light. Turn left on Daly, then immediately right into the hotel parking lot. Or go to the next traffic light, Nicholas St., and turn right, then right again into the hotel’s front-door driveway.
  Toronto From Toronto take Highway 401 East to Highway 416 North (about 4.5 hours). Follow to Highway 417 East. Take Nicholas St. exit. Stay in left-hand lane until you reach Daly St., which is the third traffic light. Turn left on Daly, then immediately right into the hotel parking lot. Or go to the next traffic light, Nicholas St., and turn right, then right again into the hotel’s front-door driveway.
  Upstate New York From Upstate New York – Take Interstate 90 to Interstate 81 and go north to the border of Canada. Go west on Thousand Islands Bridge to Highway 401 East to Highway 416 North. Follow to Highway 417 East. Take Nicholas St. exit. Stay in left-hand lane until you reach Daly St., which is the third traffic light. Turn left on Daly, then immediately right into the hotel parking lot. Or go to the next traffic light, Nicholas St., and turn right, then right again into the hotel’s front-door driveway.
Equipment Requirements: All kayaking equipment is provided. See Clothing and Packing Suggestions for information on what to bring.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals/Colonel By - Founder of Ottawa and Builder of the Rideau Canal
(Sunday, June 16)
   
 Arrive To: ARRIVAL & CHECK-IN: Independent arrivals to the hotel; check-in after 3 p.m.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel followed by orientation. After dinner we will have introductions and review the week's schedule.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: Colonel By, the Founder of Ottawa and Builder of the Rideau Canal. A presentation will acquaint participants with the history of this important waterway. The canal celebrated its 175th anniversary and was designated as a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2007. Following the War of 1812 surveys were carried out to identify a second, safe, route from Montréal to the Great Lakes. Learn about Lieutenant-Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers who was tasked to oversee the making of the route into a navigable waterway, known as the Rideau Canal.
   
Accommodations: Novotel Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Ottawa: Kayaking on the Ottawa River/Museum of Civilization
(Monday, June 17)

Note: Kayaking: Introduction to whitewater kayaking. The course is appropriate for beginners and the water is Class I - II. For the more adventurous there is an option to descend the rapids and paddle through the tunnel. All necessary gear (including wetsuits) is provided.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: KAYAKING: Whitewater kayak instruction starts right in downtown Ottawa at the "Pump House". The Pump House is a tributary of the Ottawa River, an introductory session will covering strokes and maneuvres, wet exit and bow-roll, and instruction on Whitewater Class I- II rapids. Then embark on a trip that takes us past the Parliament Buildings, the Rideau locks, National Arts Centre, the MacDonald Bridge and Rideau Falls.
 Lunch: Box lunch.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Canadian Museum of Civilization. Explore Canada's cultural and architectural treasures with a guided visit to the Canadian Museum of Civilization with the museum's curatorial staff. Explore the history of Canada's Aboriginal peoples, learn about their fight for cultural survival and admire the wealth of their contributions to Canadian society. Experience a remarkable journey through 1,000 years of Canadian social history.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Free evening to explore Canada's capital on your own.
   
Accommodations: Novotel Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Rideau Canal: Kayaking Chaffey's Lock to Jones Falls/Lockstation and Blacksmith Shop/Geology of the Rideau
(Tuesday, June 18)

Note: Kayaking: Approximately 20 kms/12 miles. Depart from Chaffey's Lock through Sand Lake and Opinicon Lake. Paddling back to Hotel Kenney, we pass through a rich diversity of ecosystems and historical points of interest.



   
 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: TRANSFER TO RIDEAU CANAL: This morning we pack up and leave the city behind on our way to our first paddling adventure on the historic Rideau Canal. Arrive mid-morning for an introductory flatwater kayaking session and paddling.
 Lunch: Box lunch.
 Afternoon: KAYAKING: Depart from Chaffey’s Locks to Jones Falls. The lockstation has a single lock and a swing bridge. In 1820, brothers Samuel and Benjamin Chaffey erected a sawmill here and started building other mills, by 1826 they had a sawmill, grist mill, carding mill and distillery in operation. Paddling back to Jones Falls we pass through a rich diversity of ecosystems and historical points of interest. A very scenic section of the Rideau with dozens of back bays and many miles of shoreline to explore. These lakes have many islands and winding shoreline and so can be paddled even when the wind is up. We continue on to Jones Falls and the hotel.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Jones Falls Lockstation. Take a walk to the Jones Falls Lockstation and visit with the blacksmith in the original shop and visit the lockmaster's house restored to 1840s period with diary of lockmaster. Jones Falls is comprised of four large locks (the largest on the Rideau), and was the third largest dam in the world at the time that it was built.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: Geology of the Rideau Region. A lecture will focus on the geology of the Rideau corridor. The Precambrian rocks in the Rideau region form part of what is known as the "Frontenac Axis", a narrow section of the Canadian Shield that links the Laurentian Plateau with the Adirondack Mountains of New York.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Kenney
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Rideau Canal: Kayaking - Upper Brewer's Mills to Jones Falls
(Wednesday, June 19)

Note: Kayaking: approximately 18 kms/12 miles. Venture onto the Rideau Canal and kayak from Upper Brewers Mills to Jones Falls. A hike up Rock Dunder offers a stunning panoramic view of the forests and back lakes of the Rideau Valley.



   
 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: KAYAKING: Upper Brewer's Mills to Jones Falls. Depart by kayak from Upper Brewer's Mills en route to Jones Falls. At Brewer's Mills there is a set of two locks, constructed to bypass the mills at this location and leave them intact. The defensible lockmaster's house on the top of the knoll was built in 1842 (today leased to a private owner). The hydro generating station below the dam was erected in 1939. Paddle through Cranberry Lake, Seeley’s Bay, Whitefish Lake and Rock Dunder (the highest point of land in the area); and stop at Morton Bay, a protected, pristine bay with high cliffs of granite. This is some of the most captivating scenery along the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 Lunch: Box lunch.
 Afternoon: KAYAKING continues: The Rideau River is generally a slow moving river; the only appreciable currents will be from the outflow of the canal weirs during times of high water. The main hazard are these same weirs. These are well marked on the upstream side and paddlers should avoid getting too close. Zebra mussels are present. Aquatic vegetation growth is present in most sheltered areas and wildlife is abundant.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Hotel Kenney.
 Evening: Free evening to relax, hike the nearby trails, go fishing or just enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Kenney
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: 1000 Islands: Kayaking - Gananoque and the 1000 Islands/The Gilded Age
(Thursday, June 20)

Note: Kayaking: Approximately 10 - 15 kms/6- 9 miles. Today we launch into the Admiralty cluster of islands, an ancient mountain range that now provides a stepping stone corridor for many migratory species travelling between Canada and the United States, wandering among the islands according to wind conditions and group interests. A beautiful island lunch is served on a National Park Island leaving you plenty of time to relax and explore.



   
 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: KAYAKING: Gananoque and the 1000 Islands. We head out from Gananoque to explore the 1000 Islands. The thousand Islands actually number 1865 in a 50 mile span between Kingston and Brockville. Some are not much more than rocky shoals, while others are very large. The islands were formed almost 12,000 years at the end of the last ice age. Three previous ice ages also contributed to the formation - a connecting bridge between the Canadian Shield to the north and the Adirondack.
 Lunch: Shore lunch on one of the islands.
 Afternoon: KAYAKING continues: Gananoque and the 1000 Islands. We continue kayaking through the 1000 Islands. Two thirds of the Islands are in Canadian territory but the total acreage of the Canadian and American Islands is roughly equal. European settlement of the islands began around 1783 with the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists, who moved from the United States after the American War of Independence in order to remain loyal to the British Crown.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: The Gilded Age. The beauty of the 1000 Islands area and the Islands' accessibility to prosperous urban areas such as New York, Boston, Montreal and Toronto led to the development of the Islands as a prime summer vacation area. Many of the area's first visitors were American governors, senators, presidents and legislators. Learn about this period, known as the gilded age, when many opulent homes and mansions were built in the area. The most famous was Boldt Castle, built by Mr. George C. Boldt, the owner of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
   
Accommodations: Gananoque Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: 1000 Islands: Kayaking - Rockport Islands/1000 Islands Cruise/Farewell Dinner/Kingston, the 1000 Islands and the Rideau Canal
(Friday, June 21)

Note: Kayaking: Approximately 8 kms/5 miles in the morning. Explore the scenic 1000 Islands waterway from Gananoque. The 1000 islands are a natural place of wonder to explore on the water, with breathtaking vistas and captivating wildlife close enough to touch. The Gan waterfront is the jumping off point for many 1000 Islands activities/tours.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: KAYAKING: Rockport Islands. Today we set out from Rockport by kayak to further explore the picturesque 1000 Islands. The influx of visitors wanting to see the Islands grew as word spread about its beauty and many opulent homes and mansions were built in the area. Names such as Pullman, the inventor of the railway Pullman car, John Jacob Astor a financier of New York City, and Helena Rubenstein, of cosmetic product fame, were all known in the area at that time having built luxurious summer homes in the 1000 Islands.
 Lunch: Box lunch on the cruise.
 Afternoon: NOTE - A passport is required for this cruise. You will be leaving Canadian waters and landing on US soil. EXCURSION: 1000 Islands Cruise. Enjoy an enchanting and scenic cruise through the Thousand Islands including Zavikon Island, Millionaire's Row, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the 1000 Islands Bridge. Participants will disembark at Heart Island, home of the famous Boldt Castle for a two hour historic tour. Here, our local historian will share the story George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the world famous Waldorf Astoria, who set out to build a full size Rhineland castle in Alexandria Bay, on picturesque Heart Island. The grandiose structure was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise.
 Dinner: FAREWELL DINNER: Special farewell dinner at the Inn.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: Kingston, 1000 Islands and the Rideau Canal. Learn about Canada’s first capital, Kingston, located at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, the terminus of the Rideau Canal and where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River and the Thousand Islands. Discover the history of this region - the first native people who came around 7000 years ago and the early explorers who made use of the St. Lawrence River as a highway to the interior and the Loyalists and Europeans that followed.
   
Accommodations: Gananoque Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Transfer to Ottawa/Independent Departures
(Saturday, June 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: TRANSFER: Transfer to Ottawa for independent departures after breakfast. Approximate arrival in Ottawa is 12:00 noon. Drop off at the Ottawa airport and downtown.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Ottawa, Ontario National Gallery of Canada
Whether you're a novice or expert, historical or contemporary art-lover, the Gallery is constantly putting on engaging events to encourage learning in a stimulating, informal environment. Your guide will give you a fascinating new perspective on the works of art found throughout our collections. For additional information, visit www.gallery.ca/en/
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Ottawa: the Unknown City


Author: Rob McLennan


Description: A quirky and practical guide to the history and attractions of the Canadian capital. Ottawa may be our capital city but it's also a place of contradictions—the official version offers numerous, beneficent historic sites, institutions, museums, and galleries, but there are other stories to be told. In this latest edition of Arsenal's Unknown City series of alternative city guides for both locals and tourists, Ottawa comes alive as a diverse, quirky town that may look like a government city on the surface but boasts a small-town charm. The book charts a course through the city's hidden landmarks, shopping, dining, and nightlife hot spots, as well as secret histories that will come as a surprise even to life-long locals.



Hub of the Rideau: History of South Crosby Township


Author: Susan Warren


Description: South Crosby, now a ward in the Township of Rideau Lakes, is known for the locks at Jones Falls, the lock at Chaffey’s Locks, and Davis Lock. It also contains the communities of Elgin, Morton, and Crosby. The book covers the period from first human occupation of the region to the present day, but reserves the most detail for the period from the early 1800s to the early 1900s. It is an interesting read, providing a good blend of facts with interesting stories from the period, including insights into early pioneer life based on diaries and letters written by individuals in the nineteenth century. The book is hardcover in 8 x 11 inch format, with many sepia toned pictures illustrating the text. It is $39.95 plus $6.00 for shipping and handling in Canada and $9.00 for U.S. destinations. Please order from: Rideau Lakes Township P.O. Box 500 Delta, Ontario K0E1G0 Phone - 613- 928-2251 Fax - 613-928-3097



Discovering the Thousand Islands


Author: Don Ross


Description: The first American vacation destination developed after the Civil War. It was promoted by President Ulysses S. Grant, and remains a grand travel destination shared by Americans and Canadians. The Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence River are rich in natural and native history, and feature the baronial summer homes of George Pullman and George Boldt, whose island castle attracts tens of thousands of tourists annually. Featuring 100 color and archival photographs of the region's natural splendor and historical riches, and complete with tall tales and folklore, this is the perfect book for the itinerant or armchair traveler. Don Ross is a former Chief Naturalist of the St. Lawrence Islands National Park and a resident of Hill Island, one of the Thousand





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