Experience a Mariposa Cruise Out of Toronto


Let’s face it, locals love going to the Toronto Islands every summer, and we all know the routine. We hit the lines, hope we get there early enough so the waiting isn’t too long, pay for the ticket, wait for the ferry in what feels like a big enclosed cement cage (although that’s looking to change for the better), and finally when the ferry is ready, feel the pushing of hundreds of people as you board.

Here’s a tip: Buy your tickets in advance and avoid the first big line. Despite all the trouble, many of us make the summer pilgrimage because in the end it’s actually worth it. The Islands are an oasis, an escape from the norm. They’re beautiful and offer space to cycle, blade, lay down a blanket, have a picnic or even get naked on the beach.

But if you’re like me and looking for a different way to see the amazing Toronto skyline from the water, the solution is a specialized cruise line. Of course, there are several cruise companies to choose from including Jubilee Queen, Great Lakes SchoonerEmpress and Nautical Adventure featuring the Empire Sandy.

But after years of walking by the ticket booth, I finally decided to do a Mariposa Cruise.This company offers different types of cruise experiences, from brunch and cocktail cruises to wedding and student cruises. Day and night, these guys are always on the move and helping you celebrate your occasion. Their menu lists alone give you a clue about attention to detail and the understanding that a really great time starts and ends with the food.

I wasn’t celebrating anything special, except warmer, summer weather, because you have to soak it all in while you can.  This summer, I wanted a friendlier, more personable experience on the water. No rushing, no pushing. To enjoy the Islands and see the city without the big lines, big time commitment and hassle. And I wanted to do this without getting off the boat.

Cue the 45-minute Mariposa boat cruise. Smooth, quick, easy, narrated. With similar amazing views of both the city and the beautiful private boats that line the Island shores.

The Oriole is one of 6 in the Mariposa Fleet

If you have a limited amount of time, want to get out on the water to see the city and the surrounding islands or just experience the bay in a different way, then this is an ideal idea. It’s convenient, smooth sailing and takes only 45 minutes.

Jim Bamboulis
Jim Bamboulis has held several posts over the past 12 years, including National Sportscaster, Food Host and Writer, Talk Show Host, Olympic Researcher and Travel Film-maker.

Born and raised in Toronto, Jim learned early on that the combination of travel and food meant ultimate living. Combining his insatiable creative spirit and desire to document his travels, Jim took his unshakable travel bug and set off to explore. Add the fact that Jim also grew up in a Greek household and he learned that not only does Mom always make the best meals, but as importantly learned the importance of understanding and appreciating the countless beautiful cultures and the integral role food plays in every corner of the World.

In August 2009, Jim founded Travel Mammal, a site that brings together his travels and experiences (both good and terrifying) with the hope that others are inspired to share their own. We are all storytellers, especially when it comes to travel and food. He urges everyone to be inspired, explore and love the world and the people that share it with us. Or in other words, Live to Travel and travel to live!
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