Frequently Asked Questions
For your safety, we reserve the right to cancel any cruise or charter due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances and you will receive an automatic full refund on your credit card. For our Ride the Wave Cruises, if you choose to cancel providing 24 hours notice or more we will also provide a full refund. A refund will NOT be provided for any reason within 24 hours of departure or if you are not onboard at the schedule departure time. For our Charter group bookings, the cancellation time required for a refund is 7 days notice.
Where do you find our boats?
You can find our boats, the Wave and the Nor'Light in Little Tub Harbour, right in the middle of downtown Tobermory.
GPS CO-ORDINATES: 45°15'22.9"N 81°39'44.9"W ; 45.256375, -81.662479
Please call us at 226-974-1880 if you are lost, and we will do our best to help.
How far ahead should I arrive?
Please arrive in the harbour ready to go about 20 minutes ahead. Forty minutes in advance is a good time to find parking, which can be challenging in the busy season, as well as, to make a washroom visit and check in with us. Public washrooms can be found on the north side of the harbour.
Where do I park?
Tobermory has plenty of parking available, however, it can fill up quickly. Please see the map below for our parking suggestions. We also suggest considering carpooling, or, leaving your car at your accommodations if you're within walking distance. Please arrive at least 20 minutes before your departure time to ensure you have time to find adequate parking.
Where does your boating adventure go?
Rather than just a repeating loop, our tours explore many unique destinations in Fathom Five Marine Park and surrounding waters. Our experienced Captains will always plan our tours each day with wind and wave conditions in mind to ensure the safest and most comfortable ride possible. Our route will often include Cove Island, with its serene blue lagoon and its famous, beautiful lighthouse. Other islands may include: The Otters, Echo, Russel, Flowerpot and Bears Rump regularly along our routes. We also have the option to travel down the spectacular Georgian Bay shoreline, taking in sites such as: Dunks Bay, Driftwood Cove and the escarpment cliffs of Overhanging Point, Indian Head Cove and The Grotto.
If there is something you would really like to see, feel free to request it - we are friendly and flexible. The longer time frames of our Charter boat options may allow us to travel further when conditions allow. Along the way we will share shipwrecks stories from the water's depths and offer hands-on environmental education from a knowledgeable guide.
Are children allowed on your Cruises?
For the most part - Yes! We love kids and helping them to learn about Canada's Great Lakes environment. Every child is different and we know that you can best assess your own child's abilities. When making this decision, please keep in mind the fast, open nature of our boat the Wave, the extended duration of the tour and the varying weather conditions on the Great Lakes. The Nor'Light will permit folding strollers, however, The Wave cannot.
Please call our TWA Rep at (226) 974-1880 to discuss the suitability of your tour with children on board.
Do you go to Flowerpot Island?
We do NOT drop people on Flowerpot Island; there are two other companies that specialize in transporting people to this location. We do provide a lengthly, ever changing tour over the entirety of Fathom Five National Marine Park including, on many occasions, the shoreline of Flowerpot Island and neighbouring Bears Rump Island. Sometimes you may have an opportunity to view, photograph and learn about “Flowerpots” or Sea Stack rock formations. We also proudly adventure to many more beautiful destinations unexplored by others, often including Cove Island Lighthouse and blue lagoon.
Do we see shipwrecks?
Big Tub Harbour, where the The Sweepstakes wreck is found, is a very congested and overcrowded area. We prefer to take our Wave Adventurers to less busy and more remote areas far away from the crowds. Most people don’t realize that there are more than 20 shipwrecks and historic sites below the waters of Fathom Five. Many of these wrecks are too deep to be visible from the surface, but when the conditions allow, we will visit some that are and you will learn their fascinating stories.
Does your boat have a glass bottom?
There is a big difference between customer expectations of a "glass bottom" and what is realistic to place in the hull of a boat on the Great Lakes. It is not actually a glass bottom, but rather a glass window placed into the boat hull. On our vessels most visitors find that they can actually get a better view by looking over the side into our amazingly crystal clear waters.
What is "Ghost Ticketing"?
Ghost ticketing is our specialty. We offer our customers the advantage of time-saving convenience, especially in the high season. You can easily see availability, book, pay, and receive confirmation in only minutes from anywhere using any device with internet. There are no ticket booths, or line ups waiting for tickets to be printed, ever! No wasteful paper, either. Book safely online and we'll check you in right on our boat, all we need is your name, that's it!
Not so tech savy? Don’t worry, just call our TWA Rep at (226) 974-1880 and they will book you over the phone.
What is a Boat Charter?
If you are traveling in a large group and want to save money off the regular ticket price, desire a more private experience on a special occasion, or want a unique destination or theme then a boat charter may be right for you. Chartering the Nor'Light allows you to rent the entire boat and crew for a single price, an often cheaper option for large families/groups.
We can accommodate from 1 to 12 passengers on a Charter the Nor'Light experience. We offer 2, 4, 6 and 8 hour, as well as full day options.
A charter may also be a great option for families, corporate retreats, school outings (we can work within your curriculum), clubs, kayakers, wedding parties, photography, birders, environmental studies and film makers. We will always try to personalize our route and tour to your needs.
To discuss or book a chartered boat call our helpful TWA Rep at (226) 974-1880.
Why does your tour cost more?
We value quality over quantity. While the Wave II is built for 40 passengers, we limit tours to around 30 for more room to wiggle. The Nor'light is restricted to only 12 passengers providing an incredibly intimate experience. Our tours last longer and go farther, meaning additional fuel costs but an exclusive experience for you.
In fact, we travel all over Fathom Five and the surrounding area going to many places the others don’t during our full 2.5 to 3 hour tour. Our crew is highly trained and certified. The guide delivers a very personal, hands on and interactive tour that can change daily. This means that our Tobermory Wave Adventurers can come out with us again and again and see and learn new things each time.
We also include extras, such as: proper rain gear, blankets, group photos and even sometimes snacks and drinks. Our company goes the extra mile to be environmentally and socially responsible so that you can travel in good conscience.
How can I save money?
We offer many ways for our customers to save on Ride the Wave cruises!
- The best way to save money is to travel to Tobermory in the spring/fall seasons when we discount prices. Although the weather is a bit chillier, Tobermory is gorgeous this time of year and much less crowded.
- Take advantage of our discounted senior and child rates in high season.
- Book our Ride The Wave Cruises with a group of 6 or more to save 10% automatically at checkout!
- Large groups of 20 or more can save up to 20%, call our TWA Rep for more details.
- You may also save money by booking a Charter instead of a Cruise, call our TWA rep for details at 226-974-1880.
- Stay, eat or play with our partners - you will receive a coupon code to save 10% off of regular Ride The Wave Cruises. Discounts may not be combined. Already booked your cruise and now have a coupon? Simply call our TWA rep for details at 226-974-1880
- Like, share and follow us on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus where we thank you by offering exclusive events, promotions and discounts.
Do you offer options for kayakers?
Yes. Our unique and versatile vessel, the Nor'Light, has plenty of deck space allowing us to carry up to 12 kayaks. Interested groups can Charter the Nor'Light to carry them out to remote islands and drop them off in a sheltered area. Use the boat for your base when you have lunch or if you get tired. Relax and have a swim before your return trip to Tobermory. For details call our TWA Rep at (226) 974-1880.
Can I bring food and drinks?
Yes, no problem. Please try to bring your reusable containers as we are a pack on pack off experience. We include one hot or cold drink on every cruise - if you bring your own cup enjoy two!
Acceptable food suggestions would include: a sandwich, cookies, trail mix, fruit, etc.
Not acceptable: fish & chips, messy burgers, pizzas, etc. No styrofoam containers, please.
Floating garbage, especially plastics, end up in our lakes and oceans. Be part of the solution.
Can I bring my pet on board?
We are all dog lovers here at TWA, a boat for two hours is not an appropriate place for Fido so we ask that you leave your furry friend at home. However, service dogs are accepted.
Charter groups wishing to bring their pet may be allowed with prior approval. Please discuss this with our TWA rep at 226-974-1880 when booking.
*Please remember to be responsible and do not leave your dog behind in the car! Temperatures can rise rapidly inside when the sun comes out.
Is smoking and/or alcohol allowed?
For safety reasons, smoking is strictly prohibited at on our boats. As well, alcohol should not be consumed on board, with exception of alcohol provided as part of a tour package, and any person appearing to be intoxicated before departure will be refused entry to the boat. We strive for a fun, but safe, experience for everyone.
What if it's raining?
Our Great Lakes are famous for changing weather conditions. In fact, there is a well known local saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes”. For the most part we do not cancel a tour for light rain, misty, cool or overcast weather and do recommend that you dress accordingly. In the case of high winds, storm activity or heavy rain or fog, we may cancel or delay a tour. At that point we will issue a full refund or reschedule your trip to a later time or date.
Is there a toilet on the boat?
Yes, there is a toilet on board the Nor'Light.
However, the Wave does not have washroom facilities due to its purpose and small size.
As the Wild Wave tour is around 2 hours in length, we do recommend that you pay a visit to the washroom before departure. There are public facilities on the north side of Little Tub Harbour. Please allow yourself enough time before your boat leaves.
When does your season start and end?
The first day we run tours in the spring is May 19 and the last day in the fall is October 08 for our 2018 season. Please get outside and join us for an adventure earlier and later in the season when rates are low, crowds are vacated and celebrations are happening!
What if I have an accessibility or medical condition?
We do our best to accommodate people with most accessibility issues and recommend that you arrive a little early to allow us to assist you better. For wheelchair access, the Nor'Light is the best option. Due to the more personal interactive nature of our cruises, we are often able to tailor the experience to suit your needs. The tours are not recommended for persons with neck or back conditions/injuries. Consider asking your doctor if such an activity is right for you.
Please call our TWA rep at 226-974-1880 for accessibility options.