Chronicles of a First Mate: A glimpse into the nautical world of Mariposa Cruises

My name is Kyle Larkin, and over the course over the summer I’m going to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the work the officers of Mariposa put in throughout they year as we gear up for another action-packed season!

About Me

After five years at the University of Toronto pursuing a bachelor’s degree in journalism, I naturally progressed to steering boats for a living. But in all seriousness, what began as a kid from rural Ontario searching for a summer job in Toronto six years ago, turned into a passion. Having had no experience with boats at all except for yearly fishing trips, I started as a deckhand and learned the world of seamanship and the hospitality cruise industry from scratch.

As time passed, I slowly realized the magic of being on the water and became much more partial to the nautical aspect of Mariposa. The learning curve felt steep at first, as operating a vessel (even one as little as Rosemary!) requires a breadth of knowledge that most people underestimate. But with generous help from our well-rounded roster of captains, who are made up of some of the smartest and most interesting people I have ever known, I acquired the menagerie of licenses, certifications, and experience needed to safely man Mariposa’s six vessels in the ever-busy Toronto harbour. And I don’t see myself looking back.

What a Crew!

On April 1st Mariposa Cruises held its 30th Annual Orientation. The entire Mariposa Crew (returning and new hires) united on the Captain Matthew Flinders for an official kick-off. Afterwards, Captains and navigational crew hold their own meeting on the new rules & regulations and ever-changing laws governing the water. The Captains want to pay attention to these laws first and foremost while also trying find new way to deliver the best guest experience possible. Every single cruise–and there are hundreds each year–I never fail to learn a dozen new things. I’m not exaggerating in the slightest when I say I’m surrounded by some of the smartest and hardest working people I’ve ever known. You’ll be meeting more of them throughout the season, but let’s start with our resident Newfie, Captain Dave Yetman, the Classic Captain you’d picture who spent decades on large vessels in the Arctic working some of the toughest jobs. Every shift with Dave is a blast, and I’ve learned as much from him as anybody else.

Boat Migration: Getting the Oriole and Showboat Ready for Season #30

Now for the fun part. After the meeting adjourned, we divided into two teams in order to return the Oriole and Showboat to their regular berths in order to prepare for the season. They’re kind of like polar bears, as they hibernate in the warmer, more sheltered slip for the winter, before waking up in the spring and moving south to the warmer, more active slips along the waterfront.We remove the extra ropes we use over the winter to keep the Oriole and Showboat extra secure throughout the winter weather. I remove the spring line and we back the Showboat out of the slip.The Oriole follows less than a minute later.

And finally, Showboat and Oriole are back home, looking majestic as ever and ready to be beautified for the season!

Keep in tune throughout the summer as I’ll endeavour to bring you more behind-the-scenes looks at our vessels and bring you a perspective you might not have been exposed to before. Happy sailing!

Romance on the Toronto Harbour

Mariposa Cruises’ guest Jessica Bassermann recaps her experience celebrating her 2 year anniversary aboard the Oriole on the Romance on the Harbour Cruise.

When a coworker mentioned a recent date night she and her fiancé had had out on the Toronto Harbour, it piqued my interest. A three hour tour, complete with dinner, drinks and dancing sounded like the perfect way for my boyfriend and me to celebrate our two year anniversary. (more…)

A Perfect Evening on the Toronto Harbour

Mariposa Cruises’ guest Jen Defreitas retells how she and her husband celebrated their 6 year wedding anniversary on the Toronto Harbour aboard the Oriole on one of our scenic dinner cruises.

OrioleAn evening we will cherish in our hearts for a while was our 6th anniversary on the Oriole. It began with a warm greeting at the dock, which by the way is an entertaining district all on its own. Having arrived a bit early, afforded us the luxury of wandering the area and taking in the full atmosphere of the waterfront – which is kind of a happening scene! The ship itself was a charming sight. It reminded me of a classic steam boat, with its rustic, nostalgic appearance. I adore anything historical, so my eyes darted all over the vessel imagining each corners story or past. (more…)

Toronto Harbour Tour App Review

We asked Graziella Fadel to come aboard our Scenic Harbour Tour to review our new and exclusive Harbour Tour app. Here’s what she had to say…


I was recently invited aboard Mariposa Cruises’ the Oriole to test out their new Toronto Harbour Tour app during a Scenic Harbour Tour. The free interactive app is the first of it’s kind in Toronto and provides an easy to follow narration as you tour all the wonderful sites the Toronto harbour has to offer.

I love this app for many reasons!



After work drinks on Toronto’s Harbour

Mariposa Cruises‘ guest Graziella Fadel recounts her experience aboard the Oriole for the very first Sip & Sail Cocktail Cruise of the season which cruises around the Toronto harbour and Islands.


After a long day at work, you can find me doing one of two things:

1. Snuggling up in my onesie watching The Bachelorette.
2. Catching up with girlfriends over a glass of wine.

With the official start of summer just around the corner, I figured it was time for a change and invited my best friend to Mariposa Cruises’ Sip and Sail Cocktail Cruise.