What’s Cooking? The scoop on revamped menu offerings this season!

Andrew Vilhena, Director of Hospitality at Mariposa Cruises, talks about new onboard menu offerings this season. Our culinary team have developed a fresh take on our traditional buffet offerings.

Menu-wise, what can our guests anticipate in 2017?

We pay close attention to our customers’ requests, their preferences in menu selections, and the important feedback from post-cruise reviews and customer surveys. Buffets continue to be the most popular choice, however our Food Stations and cocktail style menus are becoming increasingly in demand.

Our 2017 menus consistently offer a vegetarian main, in addition to our traditional beef or chicken. We feature a variety of choices, different salads and sides for more vegetarian and vegan friendly options. Our delicious gluten-free tomato and edamame salad, or the cranberry and baby spinach stuffed tortilla (Gluten- Free & Vegetarian) with wild rice and butternut squash, are some examples.

Tell us about how Mariposa Cruises is revamping its cocktail-style menus:

We host a lot of cocktail style events for both our charter and scenic dining programs.  Our Sip & Sail Cruise program is a great alternative to a patio and a relaxed way to experience Toronto. We offer a variety of hors d’oeuvres, appetizers and platters on the menu. Guests can decompress from their work day, mingle, & take in the views and enjoy some food and cocktails.

On the private event cruises, we’ve identified the growing popularity of food stations and passed appetizers. This menu style encourages more movement on board for guests to mingle and enjoy the scenery and not be tied to timelines around meal service.

We have created a variety of fun, creative food stations, from fresh PEI Mussels, to pasta prepared to order with choices of sauces and ingredients, along with Asian & Thai stir fries. We’re serving up the classic Canadian favourite—poutine— in new ways, using a variety of ingredients (pulled pork, turkey,) and tasty toppings like guanciale, the Italian cured, dry-aged bacon made from pork cheeks.

Sliders continue to be popular, with the classic Mariposa favourite, AAA Canadian Roast Beef, aged for 28 days, hand-carved, and served au jus with grainy mustards and horseradish.

Tell us about satisfying the sweet-tooth!

Most of us enjoy a sweet ending to our dinner, but are aware of the healthy benefits of eating less sugar.  In 2017, we launch our new dessert stations, which will feature miniature items, bite-sized and on the go, perfect to enjoy on deck taking in that skyline. Moving from the heavier cakes and tortes, we are excited to showcase our new mini mousse cups featuring Nutella, Reese’s Peanut Butter and tasty miniature cheesecakes like the classic New York, or Raspberry Delight. Our guests can savour a little of everything. Plus, we have our usual freshly baked cookies, pastries and cannoli.

We’re also introducing delicious, fresh hot fruit crumbles which definitely falls in the comfort-food category!  We’re using fresh seasonal fruit—berries, apples, rhubarb, pears, etc., local wherever possible–topped with a crumble and baked to bubbling perfection. 

What about dietary requests and trends? 

Not only have we added vegetarian mains to our buffet menus, we have also identified several vegan options. We do our best to accommodate dietary requests of all kinds, from kosher menus, to halal, to guest allergies. Some things we can’t guarantee, for instance, our kitchens aren’t nut-free facilities. We encourage our guests to alert us of they dietary needs and we can customize dishes and menus for them.

What can you tell us about the products Mariposa Cruises uses in its menus?

We buy local and seasonal produce whenever possible; fruits for our dessert crumbles and pies, local ciders, Ontario winter root vegetables for the fall and winter menus. Our chicken is grain fed, and antibiotic, hormone-free. Our beef is Canadian AAA, and aged 28 days.  We support Canadian farmers, and more and more we’re adding organic products to our menus, like the organic pork sausage featured on our brunch cruises.

What menu options are available for private cruises?

Wow, that’s a long list! Mariposa Cruises can cater almost any style of event, from brunches and luncheons to dinners, cocktail receptions and activity stations. We have wedding menus, BBQ menus, menus for student groups, autumn, winter and holiday menus which can be viewed on our website.

And on your scenic dining cruises?

We have identified that many of our guests cruise with us frequently in a season and would like to experience different offerings. As such, we have developed different menus throughout our season. If you cruise in June, your menu will be different than if you cruise in September. It is all part of our overarching initiative to keep things fresh in the culinary department.

Any final thoughts?

Mariposa Cruises is celebrating their 30th Anniversary this year. Our food offerings will reflect 30 years of experience in the food service industry. As Toronto’s boat cruise operator of choice, we look forward to welcoming you aboard!  Bon Appetit! 

Ein Prosit! To a memorable Oktoberfest feast on Toronto’s Harbour

Mariposa Cruises’ guest Adam Jackson retells his experience aboard the Showboat for the Oktoberfest Dinner Cruise on the Toronto Harbour.

Oktoberfest cruise aboard the ShowboatWhen you think Oktoberfest your mind could either imagine a classy evening with a German-themed menu, or a beer hall full of drunk people swilling beer. Thankfully Mariposa’s Oktoberfest cruise was the former, although secretly I would have been happy with either.

Upon boarding the “Showboat” with my brother, we were shown to our seats and a waiter took our drink orders. This wasn’t going to be a beer-hall type evening, but I couldn’t let the opportunity pass to get into the Oktoberfest spirit and swig from a stein so I ordered 1L of beer. It was a good deal because I even got to keep the stein which now sits above my television.


How to plan a Luau Party the Mariposa way

Hot summer weather is often a short-and-sweet memory for Canadians. That’s why it is so important to make the most out of our summer months. One of the best ways to celebrate great summer weather is by throwing a luau party.

We’ve hosted a number of luau themed parties and cruises over the years. It’s a favourite theme among many of our charters, not to mention we throw a pretty good Luau themed dinner cruise every August.


Here are some helpful tips on how to create your own Luau themed party this summer. (more…)

Lobster lovers go East Coast on the Toronto Harbour

Alexander Keith's Lobster Galley Party CruiseToronto lobster lovers can rejoice this week. On Thursday, July 23rd, Toronto’s love for lobster will be celebrated down on the Toronto Harbor.

Alexander Keith’s & Mariposa Cruises are partnering up to bring a little East Coast flavor to the Toronto Harbour with the maiden voyage of the Alexander Keith’s Lobster Galley Party Cruise aboard Mariposa Cruises’ flagship the Captain Matthew Flinders. (more…)

Celebrate Mardi Gras in May on the Toronto Harbour

Mardi Gras Cruise party on the Showboat#LetTheGoodTimesRoll at the party of the summer: Mariposa’s Mardi Gras Cruise!

Who doesn’t love a night of eating, dancing and dressing up N’awlins style? Best of all you don’t need to spend a small fortune to fly to New Orleans to experience the flavours & party atmosphere of a Mardi Gras celebration. Ditch the mainland patio on Friday May 29 and come aboard Mariposa Cruise’s Mardi Gras Cruise with your friends for a night of good times.


Behind the Bar – Making a Merry Mariposa Holiday Cocktail

Merry-Mariposa Holiday CoctailTis the season for celebrating with friends and family and getting into the holiday spirit. Winter is here yet we’re still cruising at Mariposa Cruises and giving the gift of delicious holiday inspired cocktails behind our bars. Our feature drink this month is certain to become a holiday classic when you serve it up to your guests.

Our Featured drink is the Merry Mariposa Holiday Cocktail.


In the Galley: Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Quinoa Stuffing

If you are looking to serve up something a little different this Thanksgiving, Chef Gus has the perfect recipe for you in our second edition of In the Galley with Mariposa Cruises.

This Thanksgiving recipe is gluten free and can be used to stuff your turkey or acorn squash, or you can simply serve it as a side dish.

Without further ado, here is Chef Gus’ Thanksgiving quinoa with sweet potato and dried cranberry stuffing.

4-5 Servings


A no-stress-no-mess solution to hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving-thumbnailBail out of the hassle of prepping Thanksgiving dinner thanks to Mariposa Cruises

Planning and hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for the family is no easy task. For many it involves days of planning, scouring recipe books and websites for the perfect thanksgiving recipe, battling epic lines at the grocery store, carrying heavy bags of food home, challenging one’s spatial intelligence in an attempt to fit everything into the fridge, a mad dash back to the grocery store to buy the missing ingredient forgotten on the first trip and some serious time management skills to prep and cook each dish to perfection.

That’s not even taking into consideration the time needed to keep your guests entertained while you’re feverishly preparing the meal in the kitchen or the mess and clean-up that awaits you when the meal is said and done. It’s a herculean, almost thankless task that doesn’t always garner the full appreciation of the guests who come to consume it.

It’s no wonder why even the mere prospect of hosting thanksgiving dinner can make many people feel overwhelmed and a little on edge. If it’s your turn to host this year but you’d rather cut and run from the hassle there’s a safe haven just over the horizon. (more…)