I wanted to embark on a different sort of travel adventure, something unique yet local. When I heard about Lakeway Houseboat Vacations my first thought was that it was a vacation idea that you wouldn’t expect to be available in New Brunswick, but once you realize that it is you can’t help but be literally on board with the idea!
My Houseboat Getaway
I mentioned the idea of renting a rather large houseboat to one of my besties last summer, she was keen to set the planning in motion. After all gathering up a group of people to spend the weekend on a houseboat always takes some coordination with everyone’s busy schedules.
We ended up having a fantastic three day weekend exploring the waterways along the St John river. We experienced all kinds of weather on our home on the water. The first day it rained, the second day was sunny and beautiful, by the third day the sun was out but extreme wind had set in. I thought that being on board in the rain would be terrible, but it wasn’t bad at all – the BBQ was under a canopy, and it’s fun to be in a roof top hot tub included on a boat regardless of the weather, right?!
One of the biggest considerations I think everyone needs to make before booking this type of trip is who you will go with. Keep in mind you are in relatively tight living quarters for the duration of your trip… this is the ideal time to spend with your easy going friends who can quite literally go with the flow. Oh, and someone needs to be the Captain so make sure at least one person in your group has their boating license!
Camping on Water
I don’t usually like camping, but camping on water is an entirely different experience. Other than bringing your bedding, towels and food with you it is as close to a hotel experience as you could hope for without boarding a cruise ship of some kind. Everything you need is on the boat, in fact we were worried about what to bring, what not to bring and we shouldn’t have been worried at all!
What To Expect
When you decide to go on a houseboat vacation you really should have someone in your crew that is willing to do some planning, whether it be to map out how far you want to go, meal plan for the duration of the trip or to scout out activities you may want to take part in along the river system. We made a pretty basic meal plan and then agreed to meet at Costco followed by a visit to Atlantic Superstore before boarding. We also stocked up on cheese and crackers/candy/water etc. from the nearby Atlantic Superstore.
We had no idea what to expect while on board and since we are all pretty “on-the-go” type people my crew and i brought way more stuff to entertain ourselves than we really needed from board games to DVDs. and even some colouring books. We sailed out early Saturday morning just to stay out of the wind for a bit. If you are going on the houseboat for a week I would definitely bring these items to add some variety to your days in case of rain or high winds.
Before leaving we had looked up the map on the Lakeway Houseboats Vacations website where they list different area you can go to and recommended locations to tie up ashore like Nackawic since it has a grocery store, liquor store, the World’s Largest Axe and Big Axe Brewery. Nackawic also has a dock designed especially for the houseboats so “parking” is not an issue and all amenities (except for the brewery) are only a few minutes’ walk away from the dock.
When we arrived at the Mactaquac Marina, we were greeted by Steve and Larry who directed us to where we should park to unload our stuff onto the boat, which boat was ours and then where we should park our vehicles while out on the water. They went through a safety briefing with our entire crew and gave us instructions on how to tie up and made suggestions of where we should consider “parking” for the night,. Every suggestion they had was bang on!
Tips From Our Captain
Our Captain sailed the houseboat with ease! As the most important person on the boat (because really, we couldn’t go anywhere without him!) I thought I would give you his top 5 comments to help with your houseboat vacation planning:
- There is a fireplace but no air conditioner – if you don’t like the heat, going earlier in the spring or later in the summer would be ideal to take advantage of cooler evenings! We were pleasantly surprised to find fans in all of the bedrooms however!
- Having GPS on your phone is key – the maps were ok but since it was the first time we sailed that waterway it was sometimes tricky to determine where exactly we were.
- Sleeping/parking for the night in Jewett’s Cove is a fabulous choice. It is very secluded, easy to navigate and the trees were easy to tie up to.
- The signage on the trees are sometimes hard to see… basically look for white markings.
- You are camping, but it’s private, on water and you have a hot tub all to yourself!
An Unforgettable Journey
We absolutely loved our experience and are planning to set sail again soon! Book your houseboat getaway with Lakeway Houseboat Vacations.