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! 

ALOHA SAILOR! Enjoying a Hawaiian Luau on the Toronto Harbour

Mariposa Cruises’ guest Michele Aristide recounts her experience aboard the Northern Spirit for the Hawaiian Luau Dinner Cruise on the Toronto Harbour..

Hawaiian Luau Dinner Cruise

After a long and difficult week, my husband and I went aboard the Northern Spirit in hopes of some R&R.

We were immediately greeted by a very cheerful Manager, Allison, who welcomed us aboard. Once on the ship, the soothing music of Hawaii and a lovely young female dancer attracted our eyes and slowed us down from our fast paced march of the work week. Her slow and ethereal movements immediately made us feel like we just entered an environment that would give us just that, a nice relaxing evening.


Retro fun on the Toronto Harbour

Mariposa Cruises’ guest Luisa Fracassi recounts her experience aboard the Northern Spirit for the 80’s & 90’s Retro Dinner Cruise on the Toronto Harbour.

80s & 90s Retro Dinner Cruise

The Northern Spirit departed Habourfront a few minutes after 7. It was a sunny 23 degrees and my friend and I wanted to enjoy the weather on the boat’s large open upper deck. The theme of the night’s cruise was 80s and 90s retro. A handful of guests dressed in costume, myself included, imagine a splash of neon and acid wash jeans amongst a crowd dressed in smart casual attire.


Best Salsa Party In Toronto

Mariposa Cruises’ guest Maiby Davison retells her experience aboard the Northern Spirit for the Salsa in Toronto Cruise Night on the Toronto Harbour.

Salsa in Toronto Cruise Night

If you like Latin music this is definitely your party!!! You get it all!!

I decided to celebrate summer my way!!! So I went to the Harbourfront (the most beautiful area in Toronto) and of course went on a Mariposa Cruise! I found the perfect cruise for me and all my people that love Latin music: the Salsa in Toronto Cruise Nights Cruise, part of the Salsa in Toronto Festival Week.


A New Years Eve celebration on Toronto’s Harbour

New Years Eve Cruises with Mariposa CruisesThere’s no better way to leave 2015 behind than aboard one of the largest ships in Toronto by ringing in the New Year with Mariposa Cruises on the Toronto Harbour.

For 28 years, Mariposa Cruises has been cruising Toronto’s harbour and capping off each season with a magical New Years Eve Cruise. The New Years Eve Cruise marks the end of the cruising season on the Toronto Harbour until April, when operations start up once again for another busy season of cruising.

This year Mariposa Cruises is offering two different New Years Eve cruises to choose from, the traditional New Years Eve Gala Dinner Cruise and the latest addition, the New Years Eve Cocktail Cruise aboard the Northern Spirit.


Celebrate National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on the Toronto Harbour

Mariposa Cruises Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail CruiseFor Torontonians who want to show off their ugly Christmas sweaters, there’s no greater day than National Ugly Christmas Sweater day on December 18th and no better place than aboard Mariposa Cruises’ Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise.

Started in 2011, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is traditionally celebrated on the third Friday of December and is an opportunity for people everywhere to wear their prized ugly Christmas sweaters throughout the entire day. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is the perfect occasion for Torontonians who are looking to partake in some light hearted fun during the silly season and to forget about the stresses that often accompany the lead up to the holidays.


Tis the season to plan your holiday season social calendar

DSCN3266The season of goodwill, generosity, indulgence and merriment is no sooner here before it is over.

With November now upon us, it’s that time of year again. The Halloween décor has magically transformed into festive Christmas and holiday décor, seemingly overnight and the familiar holiday music and carols will be playing everywhere you go. While the days may be getting shorter, the beautiful festive glow of holiday lights will soon be on display. The holiday shopping rush will soon be in full swing and your calendar will be quickly filling up with parties and family get-togethers.

While two-months may seem like a good deal of time, it’s amazing how quickly the months of November and December pass. It’s the time of year when everyone’s time gets divided very quickly between family activities, holiday shopping and work engagements and can prove to be a tricky time of year to coordinate a holiday season get-together with friends. (more…)

Toronto Date night cruising on the Northern Spirit

Mariposa Cruises’ guest Kaylin Fitzsimons recounts her Toronto date night aboard the Northern Spirit for a  Dinner Cruise on the Toronto Harbour with her boyfriend.

Northern Spirit Toronto date night

Wow, wow & wow! This was our first time on a cruise with Mariposa and it was amazing. We are often near the waterfront and see the beautiful lake sparkling in the sun. We have always talked about going on a dinner boat cruise and finally one day we planned it and boy are we glad we did!

Our fingers were crossed that it would be a mild, dry and warm summer evening. Luckily we got just that. We boarded the Northern Spirit Cruise ship from the Queens Quay port and we were in such awe with the size of the ship up close. We were greeted by the Captains and friendly staff when we arrived and entered the white doors to the main dining room and bar area.