Following their retirement from full-time farming in 1978, Lloyd and Helen Ackert continued to live on the family farm providing meals and accommodation to farm vacationers. And then came the dream! From an idea on a rented houseboat in 1981, Lloyd and Helen and their family created Ontario Waterway Cruises Inc.
As founder of Ontario Waterway Cruises Inc., Lloyd spearheaded the development of the business through the 80s and although he and Helen fully retired in 1993, he continued to observe and offer his advice as the years went by. Dad passed on in 2011 but he will always be remembered for his personal interest, enthusiasm and attention to detail… a remedy for success that he instilled in us and everyone he worked with.
Since 1993, sons Marc and John have alternated as captain aboard ship. Marc & Robin and John & Joy share the various responsibilities of managing the business. Robin manages the hospitality functions and Joy manages reservations.
A crew of 11 and the Captain are your hosts. Don't be surprised if a crew member joins you for lunch…there are three extra seats in our dining room.
The majority of our crew are in their 20s save for the Captain and the Engineer who have been known to sport a "touch of gray".
There are 2 Cooks, 4 Servers, 2 Deckhands, a Hostess, a Mate, an Engineer and a Captain…and occasionally we get a visit from one of the Admirals! (that would be Robin or Joy)
Since our operation is seasonal, many of our crew move on and so every winter Robin seeks out some new recruits. Each season, the crew are provided ten days of intensive training prior to our first cruise. This training includes marine emergency duties as specified by Transport Canada Ship Safety.
While certain members of the crew are trained to provide first aid, emergency medical assistance will not be immediately available or accessible in some areas.