By Sponsored Stories17 May 2017Nothing beats tucking into hot pancakes drowned in maple syrup and sipping freshly brewed coffee as you sit at your breakfast table admiring the views onboard your very own boat. But such things need to be experienced to be truly appreciated… Thankfully, starting in 2018, Le Boat is launching a new product into its sailing inventory – Canada cruising along the UNESCO World Heritage Site Rideau Canal in Eastern Ontario – giving the average traveller the chance to don a captain’s hat and cruise their own way through some of the most gorgeous natural landscapes this side of the Milky Way. Bookings for this new destination officially open on Monday the 15th of May – so you better get to it! But before you get booking, here are five reasons as to why you need to captain your own cruise with Le Boat in 2018 1. You get to be the captain You don’t need a special license to don the captain’s hat and take control of your own vessel on the Rideau Canal. Even complete newbies to boating can sail with the wind through their hair after undergoing a short briefing and demonstration on how to sail like a pro. Along the way, there’ll always be between three to four staff members on hand to help you navigate the locks. Cruising with Le Boat is basically like driving a car, but way easier and totally more relaxing. 2. You can sail a UNESCO World Heritage Site Most of us have visited at least one UNESCO World Heritage Site, but who of us can honestly claim to have sailed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, such as the Rideau Canal? Not many, if any. Not only is the 202km (125miles) canal dotted with lakes and rivers, as well as quaint towns and vibrant cities (it connects Ottawa to Kingston), but it’s also North America’s oldest continuously-operated canal, dating back to 1832. So stand out from the crowd and impress your mates by adding this travel accolade to your long list of respectable achievements by sailing with Le Boat in 2018. 3. Nature enthusiasts will fall in love with the Rideau Not only is the Rideau Canal absolutely stunning in the visual department, with landscapes reminiscent of Europe, but the waterway is also a mecca for fisherman, hikers, bikers and bird-watchers too. In fact, the Rideau Canal is one of the best places in North America to get outside and out amongst nature. More active travellers will be happy to know that a range of water sports can be enjoyed along the way too, such as paddle boating, canoeing, swimming and even jet-skiing. 4. Canada is like sooooo hot right now Ever since the reverent folks at Lonely Planet declared Canada the number one destination to visit in 2017, the Land of Maple Syrup has been steadily climbing its way up many a bucket-list – and boy are those Canucks mighty proud! By choosing to cruise the Rideau Canal with Le Boat next year you’ll be riding on Canada’s growing popularity and able to experience the country in all its glory at the peak of its game. 5. You decide: a few days or a whole week Spend as little or as much time as you want on the beautiful Rideau Canal and create your own itinerary – you ARE the captain after all (see above). A few days is enough time to sample a city, a town and a couple of cute villages thrown in. But a whole week will allow you to feast yourself silly on incredible sights and experiences, giving you enough time to cruise approximately 74km up to Long Island going north and 91km to Jones Falls if heading south. Being in charge of the sailing also means you have complete flexibility in choosing when and where you stop and dock (there are 24 lock stations and 47 locks on the Rideau). Explore Ottawa and Kingston as well as many of the smaller towns and villages between these two end points, such as Merrickville, Manotic, Smiths Falls, Westport, Kemptville and Seeley’s Bay. Click here for more information about cruising Canada and to book online. Alternatively, call the Australian and New Zealand sales team direct on AU: 1800 118 940 / NZ: 0800 449 891 This article was brought to you by: Other stories you may like Rockin’ rail: take a train journey through the Canadian Rockies These five untamed experiences will make you go wild over Canada Were you spotted skiing in Canada? Or maybe you were a Travel Agent seen helping families in need?