Recently my Mom and two sisters went on a river cruise aboard the Canadian Empress. A small ship that has only 34 state rooms and maxium capacity is 66 passengers. She is a replica steamboat built in 1981. The 14 crew members that where on board did very well in meeting the needs and desires of the passengers. The six nights that we are where board going from Kingston, Onterio to Quebec City, Quebec where very relaxing and I got a lot of reading done. (But being the youngest on board help in that, at times I felt like I was the young child that creapt out of bed to see the dinner party that the parents where having.) The sailing was done during the daytime hours, this I think is done because of the St. Lawernce River and the amount of traffic that can be on the waterway. We spent the over night hours decked at various marineas along the way. The waters remained calm except on one night that there was a cold front that moved through the area, causing higher winds.

I enjoyed the onshore tours and attractions (they are included in the price of the cruise but are not “required”). Although the pace of them where set by the older folks on the ship. (My sisters and I spent many night after dinner doing walks along the shore to “get the blood flowing”.) There are places I would like to spend more time exploring and others that I felt that I could have stayed home in Rochester, New York and saw something very similar. Many of the tours where very “tourist” and would have appealled to the masses but I found them lacking.

I would do a calm-water cruise again but I would pay close attention to the size of the ship and the average age of the cruisers aboard. There was not enough room to streach out and on the one rainy day that we had, all 48 of us where “hanging out” in the Grand Saloon (the only covered public room). It is a relaxing way to see the country side and learn about the history and people of the area. (I really think that I would have enjoyed a cruise in Europe better!)