This cruise is very picturesque and informative — a nice lazy summer afternoon on the Grand River, Ontario. When you visit the website for Grand River Dinner Cruises, they say they’re not GPS friendly. Believe it! However, if you phone them, they can tell you how to get there and there is a map on their site. Booking ahead is essential, especially if you want to take a large group. They have a variety of packages, including the Sunset Cruise and a brunch.
The adventure begins with an entertainment in a large cafeteria setting in their main building. The host is quite the stand-up comedian and welcomes groups and introduces the schedule. A brief movie with the history of Grand River kicks it off, followed by about an hour of high caliber entertainment with the Blazing Fiddles. A quartet consisting of 2 fiddles, a bass, and a pianist who doubles on the spoons, plays everything from the fiddlers’ anthem, The Orange Blossom Special, to an improvised jazz medley of Gershwin, to a medley of tunes , appropriately enough, from Fiddler on the Roof. You can pick up one of their CDs for sale before getting on the boat.
They don’t really prepare the food on a boat this size, so expect to wait for coffee and for clearing between courses. The meal (generally roast beef but vegetarians can be accomodated) is very good and the apple pie delicious. Passengers can stroll the decks at any time during the cruise and deck chairs are provided.
Our group had a great time — the adults enjoying the scenery and commentary (when we could hear it above the chatter) and the kids tearing around the decks and making up secret handshakes and funny dances.
The website has lots of information and links to events in the area for the whole summer, so if you’re looking for a nice road trip, think of the Hamilton-Caledonia area, check it out and do your planning ahead of time. This time, you eat on the river instead of on the road!