Take a Cruise on the Legendary Chief Commanda II

By Emily Baillie June 18, 2015

The warm weather has arrived and that means one BIG thing: it’s time to get out on the water! Exploring Lake Nipissing has never been more fun than climbing aboard the Chief Commanda II. This legendary ship cruises the French River, the Manitou Islands, Callander Bay, and the North Shore in style, showcasing some of the best dining, sight-seeing, and music cruises that Northeastern Ontario has to offer.

Built for Lake Nipissing

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Docked at the North Bay waterfront, the beloved Chief Commanda II was purpose-built to explore Lake Nipissing’s unspoiled natural scenery, mysterious islands, historical rivers, and unforgettable sunsets. It was the first all-aluminum, catamaran passenger vessel in Canada, and it has three scenic decks—two of them indoors, and an open rooftop that’s perfect for capturing panoramic scenery and any impromptu romance that may ensue.

The Chief sails from May through ‘til the end of September. With top-notch entertainment, delicious food, and a ton of day and night cruises available, you’re in for a rocking good time. So pack your camera and bring your appetite for some Lake Nipissing fun. It’s worth the drive to North Bay!

Here’s what you can expect:

Manitou Islands

This uninhabited circle of islands in Lake Nipissing has piqued the curiosity of people near and far with its incredible beauty and mysterious legends. The four protected islands are important to the survival of over 50 species of breeding birds, and are home to great blue heron colonies and osprey nesting sites. Sail around these ancient volcanic islands and take in their majestic scenery. You’ll get an amazing view of North Bay’s skyline from the water.

While you’re cruising around the Manitou Islands you can grab a drink and some delicious BBQ on board for the ultimate summer experience. The homemade burgers, sausage, and fish ‘n chips are to die for!

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The French River

Unlock the legends of the Upper French River and its secret islands on this cruise along the narrow waterways that mark the divide between Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario. This four-hour scenic cruise explores the French River’s picturesque cottages, beautiful resorts, spectacular granite bluffs, and pristine islands.

Named for the French explorers of the 17th century, the river is teeming with history and fascinating flora and fauna that you’ll learn about along the way. This cruise features local live entertainment and savoury food and drink served onboard.

Callander Bay Sunset Cruise

The spectacular northern vistas of Callander Bay form the perfect backdrop to a beautiful three-course meal with private table service. With sumptuous menu choices including Lake Nipissing pickerel, chicken carbonara, and Canadian rib eye steak, this dinner cruise is the perfect opportunity to indulge yourself with friends and loved ones. The three-course meal is served at a private table in the ship’s second deck dining room. Those looking for a less formal meal can enjoy the hot and tasty BBQ meals available onboard.

The cruise departs at 6:30 pm in the summer and lasts 2 ½ hours, capped off by an unforgettable sight. Amid the clear, smooth waters of Callander Bay, you’ll watch in awe as the glowing sun slips below the horizon, creating vibrant colours that change from moment to moment.

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North Shore Fall Colours Cruise

This delightful afternoon cruise highlights the breathtaking colours of Lake Nipissing’s gorgeous North Shore. Starting in September, bring your camera to capture a kaleidoscope of rich red, yellow, orange, and green hues. Autumn never looked better than from the decks of the Chief Commanda II! It’s recommended that you book this experience ahead of time.

Look out for the Chief Commanda’s fun specialty cruises that include a Canada Day Fireworks cruise, Snowbirds Cruise, Music on the Water and Blues Cruise featuring live performances by blues band Jake & the Fundamentals.

Plan your trip to North Bay to board the Chief Commanda II soon, because let’s face it—life’s more fun on the water!

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