Canadian Empress

Canadian Empress last position

Canadian Empress last location was at Great Lakes (coordinates 44.23000 N / -76.47666 W) cruising en route to KINGSTON. The AIS position was reported 1 month ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Canadian Empress

Year of build1981  /  Age: 42
Flag state Canada
BuilderCity Cruises Gananoque Shipbuilding (Gananoque, Ontario Canada)
Speed12 kn / 22 km/h / 14 mph
Length (LOA)33 m / 108 ft
Beam (width)9 m / 30 ft
Gross Tonnage463 gt
Decks with cabins2
OwnerSt Lawrence Cruise Lines Inc
OperatorSt Lawrence Cruise Lines (Canada)

Canadian Empress Review

Review of Canadian Empress

The 1981-built MV Canadian Empress cruise ship is a family-owned riverboat that operates itineraries on Ottawa River and St Lawrence Seaway - all the way to the Great Lakes. The vessel (launched on September 6, 1981) is Canada-flagged (MMSI 316002588, registered in Kingston ON) and all Canadian-crewed, including the officers and service staff and technical crew. Between 1985-2011, the riverboat's Master was Captain Terry Thomas.

The family-owned St Lawrence Cruise Lines Inc/shipowner was established in 1979 (by Bob Clark and his wife Myrna) and is currently run by their son Jason Clark (President). The majority of the brand's customers are well-traveled Canadians and Americans, including many elderly tourists.

MV Canadian Empress ship (St Lawrence Cruise Lines)

The ship's traditional (classic Victorian-era steamboat) design, heritage-style interior, professional and friendly crew, prompt and efficient staff and quality services contribute to the brand's popularity in the region. The interior is intimate and cozy, marked by brass railings, ornate metal/tin ceilings, hand-made premium wooden furniture, leather seating.

The vessel's shallow draft and relatively small size allow quick and safe passage through the locks and canals on the Great Lakes Waterway and St. Lawrence Seaway.

Shipboard facilities include Grand Saloon (serving as Show Lounge, Dining Room, Bar Lounge/Pub, Reading Room/Library, Game Room), Corner Store/Purser's Office (gift shop selling souvenirs, travel essentials, toiletries, St Lawrence Cruise Line-logoed clothing), Galley (kitchen and storage rooms).

On Sundeck are the Wheelhouse (Navigation Bridge with adjacent officers' quarters), deck games area (Shuffleboard Court, Giant Chess Board) and a wraparound Sun Deck Lounge (promenade with outdoor seating/deckchairs and padded sun loungers). On Sun Deck are organized also group activities like fun competitions, shuffleboard tournaments, morning exercises, scavenger hunts.

The Grand Saloon (capacity 78 seats) serves the daily enrichment program (port talks, current itinerary-related lectures, trivia games, jigsaw puzzles, classes) as well as the nightly live entertainment programming (classic music and folk band performances, dancing, sing-a-longs, stand-up comedy acts).

Grand Salon's Dining Room meals are all open-seating and waiter-served (breakfasts, lunches and dinners). Breakfast (7-9 am) includes a hot dish (including eggs, pancaces, bouillon), cereals, muffins. Lunch (at 12:30 noon) includes a hot entree, salad, dessert and fruits. Dinner (at 6:30 pm) includes a starter, a meat or fish dish, dessert. When the ship is booked at full capacity, the restaurant operates with two dinner sittings - at 5:30 pm and at 7:15 pm. The food is always fresh-made, using locally-sourced ingredients and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

From the indoor Grand Saloon are accessed two outdoor relaxation areas/observation decks with seating (wicker chairs) - Forward and Aft.

St Lawrence Deck (lower deck) houses the Lobby, with both ship entrances (starboard and portside). The riverboat has no wellness facilities (spa, gym, hairdresser), gambling lounge (casino), elevator or room service.


Canadian Empress staterooms (32 total, max passenger capacity 66) include 2x Premier (bow-facing), 2x Sterling (stern-facing) and the rest 28x are Standard (categories Ottawa and St Lawrence). All passenger cabins are above the waterline and with opening windows. Standard cabin amenities include two lower twin beds (or one Queen-size double bed), underbed storage (drawers), bedside cabinets with reading lamps, radio, en-suite bathroom (WC-toilet, shower, washbasin, mirror, hairdryer), individual air-conditioning (thermostat-controlled).

The boat has 3 passenger decks, of which 2 are with cabins.

The minimum age for cruises on Canadian Empress is 12 years. Pets are not allowed, excluding only certified service dogs. The onboard preferred currency is CAD, but USD is also accepted, as well as VISA and MasterCard. Smoking is permitted only on Sundeck.


Canadian Empress/St Lawrence Cruise Line's itineraries and shore excursions

Canadian Empress itinerary program is based on voyages on Ottawa and St Lawrence River, as well as Great Lakes cruises. Departures are from homeports Kingston ON, Ottawa ON, and Quebec City QC. Itineraries range between 2- and 6-night/7-day and are operated during summer (May through October).

The 5-day voyage with St Lawrence Cruise Lines (roundtrip from Kingston) features approx 220 mi / 350 km of inland waterway cruising, passing the Thousand Islands (Canada) and under two international bridges on Saint Lawrence River connecting Ontario Canada with New York USA - Thousand Islands International Bridge (between Ivy Lea on Hill Island ON and Wellesley Island NY) and Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge (aka Seaway Skyway Bridge/between Prescott ON to Ogdensburg NY).

Canadian Empress cruise ticket prices are inclusive of onboard accommodation, dining (all meals and snacks), beverages (coffee/tea, water, sodas, alcoholic drinks/domestic beer and house wines by the glass with all lunches and dinners), nightly live entertainment, daily maid/housekeeping service, all shore excursions and land tours (led by local guides, including roundtrip transportation), as well as tour gratuities. Not included are shipboard gratuities, shopping and bar expenditures, port fees and Gov taxes. Onboard staff tipping is optional (envelopes provided in the cabins), with suggested US$10-15 pp per day.

St Lawrence Cruise Line's shore excursions include Morrisburg ON (Upper Canada Village - historic site/heritage park accessed via mini-train), Parc Omega (safari park in Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours QC), Cumberland ON (Cumberland Heritage Village Museum), Ogdensburg NY USA (Frederick Remington Art Museum), Montreal (guided city tour, visit to the Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site), Quebec City (guided tour), Kingston ON (guided tour, Fort Henry National Historic Site), Gananoque ON (Arthur Child Heritage Museum), Lansdowne (1000 Islands Tower), Brockville ON (Fulford Place/historic mansion), Prescott ON (Fort Wellington National Historic Site/military fortification), Trois-Rivieres QC (Basilica of Notre-Dame-du-Cap), Ottawa (Canada Aviation and Space Museum), Iroquois ON (Smyth's Apple Orchard), Montmorency Falls (Montmorency River), Carillon Canal National Historic Site (Carillon Lock and Carillon Carillon Hydroelectric Power Station), Moses-Saunders Power Dam (between Cornwall ON and Massena NY).

St Lawrence Cruise Lines also offers "cruise + hotel" packages including Quebec City (Hotel Manoir Victoria, Chateau Frontenac), Ottawa (Lord Elgin Hotel) and Kingston ON (Holiday Inn Waterfront, Ambassador Hotel).

In 2021, the company celebrated its 40th Anniversary. The 4-night/5-day "Anniversary Cruise" was in Ontario (between Kingston and Morrisburg), visiting Brockville (for afternoon tea service at Tea Room & Cafe), Upper Canada Village (for a celebratory dinner at the Harvest Barn) and Gananoque (for a visit to the 1000 Islands Boat Museum).

Canadian Empress - user reviews and comments