Ontario's many Tall Ships provide high seas adventure (sort of) for those who are lured by life before the mast.
Nowadays, these ships are not only beautiful to look at, they are often beautifully appointed inside but no matter how up-to-date the ships are, the thrill of sailing a big vessel is as primeval as ever.
Having said that, a sailing adventure is for those who are adventurous and have a good head for heights because it does involve climbing the rigging, even in these modern times.
Also, sailing ships lean over way more than power boats do, which can be scary the first few times it happens.
Based in Toronto,Toronto Brigantine Inc.'s training ships Playfair (left) and Pathfinder (lower right) provide high seas (the Great Lakes are a sort of sea) adventures to the young and not-so-young who dream of a sailor's life.
These ships are fitted with all the necessary modern sea-going safety requirements and a smidgeon of modern luxuries too -- but it is a smidgeon. This sailing is not for the faint of heart.
Cruises run throughout the summer months and range as far as Georgian Bay on Lake Huron to the west and the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River to the east.
For anyone interested in signing up for their Summer Sail Program: call 416-596-7117 or click here to download the application form: Toronto Brigantine
Another large sailing ship you can join as crew or guest is the St. Lawrence II, sailing out of Portsmouth harbour in Kingston. Like its Toronto counterparts, the St. Lawrence goes westward through the Welland Canal into Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and then on to Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. They also cruise much closer to home in the Thousand Islands.
You can get more details by calling or faxing: 613.544.5175 or from their website: St. Lawrence II
Bytown Brigantine Inc in Ottawa has two sailing ships, Fair Jeanne and Black Jack.
Black Jack sails the Ottawa River while Fair Jeanne goes down the river and out to the open sea.
They also sail smaller whaling boats locally. Contact them at: 613.596.6258 or their website: Bytown Brigantine
Another two Toronto sailing ships are the Empire Sandy and Wayward Princess, run by Nautical Adventure Cruises.
These ships can be chartered for events so call them at: 416.364.3244, fax them at: 416.593.4078.
You can also visit their websites:
And for a hotel in Ontario or anywhere else:
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