The Reveal: Engagement Photo Session Winners Aboard The Yacht Rosemary

Mariposa Cruises is pleased to present some of the photography from our Engagement Photoshoot Contest  this past May. Contestants were asked to submit a little about their love story and the marriage proposal for a chance to win a two-hour engagement photo session aboard the yacht Rosemary, with professional photographers Photoworks, a package valued at $3200.00.

We were touched by all the incredible love stories we received, but the story of Eric & Niamh struck a chord with us! It all started with the marriage proposal on the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. You can read all about it in the blog post following the contest winner announcement at the end of May.

Eric & Niamh came aboard the Rosemary in August for their photo session, scheduled in the early morning. Perfect weather, calm harbour waters and the soft morning light made for optimal photographic conditions, and we think you’ll agree the photography is beautiful!



engagement photography

engagement photo

engagement photo

engagement photo

engagement photo

engagement photo

engagement photo

engagement photo

Engagement Photo Packages aboard the Rosemary can be booked between May and September.  Couples save when they book the photo package in conjunction with a Mariposa Wedding Cruise.

Congratulations again, Eric & Niamh. We wish you a lifetime of love and joy!

Special thanks to Photoworks for partnering with us on this contest!

Mariposa Cruises joins Entertainment Cruises

CHICAGO (Aug. 29, 2018)  – Entertainment Cruises, the nation’s leading dining and sightseeing cruise company, today announced it has acquired Toronto-based Mariposa Cruises. The completion of the transaction extends the company’s footprint into Canada for the first time, boosting its operation to 48 vessels serving upwards of 2.3 million guests across 11 city locations in North America.

“As a highly regarded business with an established reputation for quality on-water experiences, Mariposa Cruises perfectly complements Entertainment Cruises’ portfolio. This is a natural and exciting step in our expansion strategy beyond the US,” said Kenneth Svendsen, CEO of Entertainment Cruises. “Both companies share a commitment to excellence and are deeply rooted in the guest experience, and together they will be better able to achieve their combined vision in the Canadian market.”

Recognised as Toronto’s largest hospitality cruise operator, Mariposa Cruises has served the city’s waterfront and Lake Ontario with dining cruises, sightseeing and private charters since 1987. Given its longstanding reputation, the business will continue to operate under the Mariposa Cruises brand and will remain headquartered at its home base in the heart of the Toronto Harbourfront at the Queen’s Quay Terminal Building.

“Entertainment Cruises’ commitment to extraordinary experiences and relentless focus on quality is a great cultural and commercial fit for our business,” said Jim Nicholson, President and CEO, Mariposa Cruises. “We will benefit from a level of scale and scope that supports our ambitions, and better equips us for the future – more so than if we had continued to pursue a standalone path. I feel excited for Mariposa under their leadership.” 

Kenneth Svendsen will lead the newly merged company. With immediate effect, Mariposa Cruises President and CEO Jim Nicholson will step down and Cindi Vanden Heuvel – the current Vice President and a 27-year veteran of the company – will step into the Vice President / General Manager position. With 128 full time and seasonal employees joining Entertainment Cruises, the company intends to maximize benefits for both operations and leverage the significant expertise across the whole business.

“Under his leadership, Jim Nicholson has firmly established Mariposa Cruises as an impressive and successful hospitality business that is much admired by its contemporaries. I would like to thank Jim for his tremendous efforts and extend my very best wishes for his future endeavors,” added Svendsen.

Today’s announcement reaffirms Entertainment Cruises’ continued confidence in the sector where it already operates a portfolio of seven distinctive, award-winning cruise brands in coveted destinations such as Alexandria VA, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, National Harbor, Norfolk VA, Philadelphia, New York, Weehawken NJ and the wider Washington D.C.area. In 2016, the company acquired Virginia-based Potomac Riverboat Co., and has since added four new high speed, low wake, environmentally friendly water taxis to service the DC metro area. Next month, Odyssey Chicago River ─ a modern glass-enclosed vessel built specifically for cruising the Chicago River ─ is expected to make its much-anticipated debut and will introduce upscale dining and entertainment alongside unparalleled 360-degree views of  the city’s world-renowned architecture. Entertainment Cruises is part of the PPC Partners group of companies.

About Entertainment Cruises

Entertainment Cruises is the premier provider of water-based dining, sightseeing and transportation experiences in the US. Over the last 40 years, the company has defined and redefined the domestic marine hospitality industry, establishing a portfolio of eight distinctive, award-winning brands that are available in popular US city locations such as Alexandria VA, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Norfolk VA, Philadelphia, National Harbor, New York, Weehawken NJ, Washington D.C. area, and Toronto, Canada following the recent acquisition of Mariposa Cruises. Today, almost 2,500 full-time and part-time shipmates operate a fleet of 48 vessels, delivering over 18,000 cruises to 2.3 million guests each year. This September, Entertainment Cruises will launch Odyssey Chicago River, a luxurious glass-enclosed vessel that will cruise the waters of the Chicago River pairing upscale dining and entertainment with 360-degree views of the surrounding architecture. Entertainment Cruises is part of the PPC Partners group of companies. For more information, visit

Meet the Crew: Leisure Program Coordinator Janelle Hazelton

Where it all started, Janelle pictured in front of the Mariposa Cruises kiosk.

Meet Janelle Hazelton, Leisure Program Coordinator for Mariposa Cruises and Toronto Ambassador extraordinaire!

It all started in Harbour Tours

Now in her fourth season with Mariposa Cruises, Janelle started out in Harbour Tours, leading live narrations. An endless resource of Toronto trivia, Janelle can point out virtually every landmark along the waterfront and harbour and give its history. Her favorite site along the tour is the Gibraltor Point Lighthouse, whose legendary spooky story she enjoys telling.  Did you know that the Rogers Centre set the world record in 1992 for the greatest number of inflated hot air balloons in an enclosed area—46 in total to be precise? (Janelle knows that.) 

Janelle had the opportunity to hone the extraordinary talents required to work in Harbour Tours, where meeting people from all over the world goes hand in hand with the job. “I learn so much from the people I meet and at the same time share what I know about Toronto. Every day I had to have my travel tips ready and I struck instant friendships with a few of them in only 45-minutes. I know some people I can visit if I ever visit Thailand or San Francisco.” Every day Janelle came ready to answer a range of questions from our guests, like “Are there sharks in the water?”, “How tall is the CN Tower?”, “Where is the ferry terminal?”  Many of the questions come from Torontonians who come to visit the waterfront for the first time.  “It’s surprising how many times I met people from Toronto who forgot there is a lake at the foot of the city. They are delighted by the cruise experience and wonder why they’ve never visited before.” 

Janelle managed the Harbour Tour program during the transition from live narrations to the launch of Mariposa Cruises’ GPS guided Habour Tours, featuring audio narrations in six languages- English, French, Spanish, Mandarin, German and Japanese. “With live narrations there’s the personal aspect, and I could customize it, make it my own and interact with the guests during the narrations. The audio narrations free the tour guides to interact with the guests a lot more and answer their individual questions as they enjoy the tour.”

Janelle in front of the Oriole.

On to Public Cruises 

Janelle hard at work in the office.

This season Janelle took on the new and challenging role of Leisure Program Coordinator, overseeing the daily operations of our Public Cruises program, which also includes Harbour Tours and coordinating activities across our fleet of vessels—no small task! Based in our Reservations Department, Janelle handles the daily inquiries from our customers and their requests.  She makes sure the birthday cakes are ordered, the seating plans are completed, the centerpieces distributed and collected, and our customers are taken care of.  “There can be so many different experiences taking place on a single voyage, whether it’s a lunch, brunch or dinner cruise, from bachelorettes and birthdays to dinner dates, anniversaries and group reservations. No one cruise is the same as another.”

Asked what she enjoys most about her job “The people I work with really make it worth it and I like that every season I have worked for Mariposa Cruises, I had an opportunity to develop professionally, starting as a tour guide, then managing the Harbour Tours program and now taking on the more challenging role as Leisure Program Coordinator. I also really like speaking to our customers. It’s not always easy but a lot of the times I talk to some really amazing people and I don’t want to end the call.”

Come aboard a Mariposa Cruises Scenic Harbour Tour!

Summer Event Planning: Your One Stop Shop

With only a few weeks of summer left,  it’s not too late to throw that summer party. We require as little as 24 hours to turn around your request so if you’re in the party planning mood you’re in luck!  Whether you are celebrating an important milestone like a birthday or anniversary, tying the knotentertaining important clients, or rewarding your employees, our team of skilled professionals are with you every step of the way. Here are some great reasons why you should plan your summer event with us: 


Intimate and Cozy Toronto Yacht Cruises

Nothing can compare to chartering a yacht! It allows for a sense of privacy with the freedom and flexibility to host your event as you please. Summer is in full swing and that means enjoying the warm weather and all that this great city has to offer– which includes Toronto Yacht Cruises! During the summer months, planning a private event and finding the perfect outdoor venue can be a challenge. No worries, the Mariposa team is here to help!  Within our fleet of six uniquely styled vessels,  we offer two yachts with the best patio views in the city! The Rosemary and the Klancy are perfect for small and intimate private events, ranging from 45 guests (on the Rosemary) to 80 guests (on the Klancy), depending on the style of your event. These yachts are the perfect for cruising in and around Toronto’s islands and lagoons.


From the Bar: Four Cocktail Recipes to try this Summer

Celebrate the summer season with these tasty cocktail recipes! The summer is here, which means it’s time to relax outdoors and mix yourself up something cool and refreshing. We bring you a few of our favorite picks for entertaining your guests and you can enjoy some of them on a Mariposa Cruise. We make summer party planning easy with a varied selection of beverages available, from delicious pre-pours to welcome your guests aboard, to fun Caesar and Mix & Muddle beverage stations. Non-drinkers and designated drivers can still mix & mingle with a selection of mocktails too. Get the details on our bar offerings for private cruises here. 


Our Top Wedding Tips

Among every group of friends there is at least one person who has organized, prepared and said “I do” at the altar. Thankfully, they are there every step of the way for you, to shed light on the do’s, don’ts and the what I wish I did on the big day! While we understand you may have a few friends like this, it is a totally different ball game when your wedding is on a boat! This comes with different obstacles, opportunities and advice! Not to worry, our seasoned team has received plenty of feedback over the years, and we compiled a few of our best wedding tips for you! 


Engagement Photo Shoot Contest Winners: Eric and Niamh

Eric and Niamh

The beautiful love story of Eric and Niamh that won our hearts over, as told by Eric. Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry into our Engagement Photo Shoot Contest. We were so touched by all of your submissions and had a difficult time choosing from so many wonderful love stories. We wish you much love and happiness as you embark on your lives together 


8 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Toronto Harbourfront This Summer

Toronto houses one of the longest urban lakefronts in the world!  The Harbourfront area is now a bustling hub within the downtown core. There is so much to do and see we’ve compiled a list of the top eight reasons to visit the Toronto Harbourfront this summer.

1. Toronto Skyline

Toronto boasts one of the most iconic skylines in the world and the best way to experience it is from the water aboard one of our cruise ships!  Whether you cruise during the day or night, the Toronto skyline never looks the same way on any given day and won’t fail to impress!  Mariposa Cruises offers a variety of public cruise programs, including brunch, lunch and dinner cruises as well as a Sip and Sail and special event cruises. Our Scenic Toronto Harbour Tours offer guided narrations in six different languages–English, French, Spanish, German, Mandarin and Japanese– and showcase many sites including the island park lands and waterways, Queens Quay Terminal, Toronto Island Airport, Harbourfront Centre, CN Tower, Rogers Centre, HTO Park, Rogers Centre, Air Canada Centre and the fabled Gibraltar Point Lighthouse to name a few. (more…)

Engaged? Win Your Engagement Photo Shoot Aboard the Yacht Rosemary!

Throughout Toronto’s history,  the view from the water has been a favourite vantage point for photographers to capture images of one the world’s most iconic and ever-changing skylines. During our 31 years of operation, Mariposa Cruises has hosted over three million guests who come to experience the city from the harbour, not to mention countless photo shoots! This season we’re giving a photo session away aboard the yacht Rosemary. So if you recently popped the question and got a “Yes!”, you’re both in luck because you have a chance to win an engagement photo shoot featuring one of the most stunning backdrops in Toronto.  (more…)