The MS Chi-Cheemaun is holding an open house today (Tuesday Apr 30th).
From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. the public can take a free tour of the ship while it's docked in the Owen Sound harbour.
Also of note, tonight, Discovery Canada's episode of Disasters at Sea, filmed on the Chi-Cheemaun is scheduled to air at 10 p.m. (Apr 30th)
The Order of Good Cheer's Spring Cruise (sold out) is set to take place on Thursday May 2nd from Owen Sound to Tobermory.
The first regular sailing from Tobermory to Manitoulin Island is scheduled for Friday, May 3rd.
Owen Sound Transportation Company Manager of Customer and Media Relations Kaleena Johnson says people can take a look around and see what's new, "We want to get people excited for the upcoming season and invite them to come spend some time with us, talk to the crew and tour around."
Over the past few years, several improvements and decorating updates have been made to the ship's cafeteria, forward lounge and aft lounge.
A colourful Anishinaabe artwork inspired wrap has been added to the ship's exterior and bright coloured Muskoka chairs have been added to the outside observation deck.
This year some stairways have been redone and colour coded for easier passenger navigation.
Crew quarters and other hallways are set to be updated next year.
Johnson notes, there is currently an accessibility issue with the interior elevator, meaning anyone who would need it will not be able to get into the ship from the car deck during the open house.
The elevator will be closed for up to five weeks. Johnson says the part needed to repair it has been manufactured but needs to be installed and tested.
She says there is an exterior ramp which can be used during regular sailings, "It doesn't impact our regular operation, it only impacts our open house while we have our berth here in Owen Sound."
This sailing season is packed with concerts, cruises and events including a new Chi-Cheemaun Festival Firework Cruise (June 8th). Johnson says the cruise is being put on in partnership with the Chi-Cheemaun Festival Committee from Northern Bruce Peninsula.
Orchestra North (June 21st)
Reuben and The Dark (June 29th)
Birds of Bellwoods (July 24th)
Carmanah (August 15th) who will also be at the Summerfolk Festival
The Trevor Mackenzie Band (Sept 13th)
Johnson says every Sunday in July, there are musical collaborations with Canadian authors.
Every Wednesday, there is a cultural interpretation session with Wikwemikong Tourism which also offers tours on Manitoulin Island.
Parks Canada will give talks on the ship on Fridays in the spring and fall about the diverse ecology of the Bruce Peninsula. In the summer, there will be Parks Canada talks on Mondays as well.
There will be an annual Craft Beer Cruise, now in its fourth year. (June 22nd)
Johnson says ridership last year was down 2 per cent. She attributes that to the Northern Ontario forest fires and the late fall flooding of the Agawa Canyon Tour Train tracks caused the cancellation of numerous bookings and tours.
Fares are Adult (12 years or older) $52.50- Round trip $43.85- one way
Children (5-11 years) $39.75 - Round trip $35.40 - one way Kids under 5 are free.
Events and concerts can be found online at http://www.ontarioferries.com/en/ms-chi-cheemaun-en/
You can follow the Chi-Cheemaun on Twitter at Chi-Cheemaun @ontarioferries
Tickets can also be booked by phone at 1-800-265-3163
Check out the video below, where the crew from Disasters At Sea shows you how they create specific weather conditions while filming on our very own Chi-Cheemaun! The next episode is airing this Tuesday April 30th at 10pm EST on Discovery Canada. https://t.co/vbAg27WoyQ— Chi-Cheemaun (@ontarioferries) April 25, 2019