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New all-electric boat sets sail on the Rideau Canal

Ottawa Boat Cruise is expanding its all-electric fleet along the Rideau Canal, and is committing to electrify its full fleet of boats and vessels over the next three years.

The company's first all-electric vessel, Queen Elizabeth Drive, has been operating along the Rideau Canal since 2016. The 95-passenger cruise ship, takes visitors from downtown Ottawa, at the National Arts Centre, for a 90-minute ride towards Dow’s Lake and back again.

And without the loud rumble of a typical boat’s diesel engine, the whisper quiet ride offers a relaxing and scenic views of historic landmarks, like the Pretoria Bridge, the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park and Dow's Lake.

On Thursday, Ottawa Boat Cruise, which offers tours along the Rideau Canal and Ottawa River, launched its second all-electric ship, Colonel By Drive. The vessel will operate in tandem with its sister vessel, which company director of operations Benoit Gatien says shows the increase of demand as the public turns to responsible tourism.

OBC has been running along the Ottawa and Gatineau waterways for more than 45 years. It also announced the creation of a new branch on Thursday called EKEAU, and will be fully greening its operations with the launch of three new locally designed and manufactured electric passenger vessels in the next three years.

"Our goal is to cut all emissions for our operations by 2026 and to make the national capital region a world leader in green tourism," Robert Taillefer, Ottawa Boat Cruise CEO said. "As one of the region’s most important tourism attractions, with hundreds of thousands of guests each year, we feel it is incumbent upon us to innovate and ensure our operations are not contributing to climate change."

Next summer, the company will unveil the world’s first fully electric ‘amphibus‘, an amphibious vehicle which takes tourists on land and water.  The classic ‘Paula D’ cruise ship, which operates along the Ottawa River, will be replaced with a fully electric, 500-passenger catamaran in 2025.

"This comes at a very opportune time for the nation’s capital," says Tobi Nussbaum, National Capital Commission CEO. "The NCC is reimagining ways to reconnect to the historic river culture that once defined the capital, to allow visitors and residents greater access to shoreline amenities. Today’s announcement will complement those efforts and provide yet another option to explore the spectacular views from our most scenic waterways and shorelines."

Ottawa Boat Cruise offers a variety of tours, seven days a week, which can be booked in person and online. Top Stories


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