Grand River Dinner Cruises sails three boats all season. The Grand River Belle, Grand River Queen and Grand River Princess all have the same general layout. Each can comfortably hold 50 passengers with each table arranged along a window to give all passengers a great view. The promenade deck, that surrounds the dining area, allows everyone to stroll the deck or sit and enjoy the river scenery. All boats are wheelchair accessible, as our docking facilities, and have accessible washrooms. Each boat is completely enclosed enabling us to sail rain or shine.
All boats are inspected annually by Transport Canada and are fully equipped with life saving equipment, life jackets, fire fighting equipment and radio communications. All crew members are specially trained in emergency procedures and CPR. Safety of our passengers is our top priority.
Each boat is also licensed under AGCO to serve wine, beer and mixed drinks.
In 1972, John Albin and wife Luella built a home along the banks of the Grand outside Caledonia. The property ran along a creek and had a century-old barn that had been a prosperous cattle farm in its better years but had been vacant for many years. John and Luella both grew up in farming families and had planned in turning this property back into a prosperous farm. However, in 1976, John built a houseboat for the family and there sparked the idea of introducing riverboat cruises on the Grand River.
From the knowledge John gained from constructing his own houseboat, he designed a larger boat that would seat a bus group. The boats would dock on Big Creek and would include a petting farm, and John & Luella came up with the name Big Creek Boat Farm. In 1978, the “Boat Farm” opened with the Grand River Belle being the first boat. By 1987, John had built two more boats the Grand River Queen and the Grand River Princess and started to offer evening dinner cruises also. The name “Grand River Dinner Cruises” was introduced in the mid-90’s as this was the direction the business took.
In 2000, the current building named “The Landing” was constructed housing the auditorium, office, and craft shop. Today Grand River Dinner Cruises has a staff of 40 people from the community and offers a variety of cruises from Lunch to Sunset Dinner Cruises to Private Charters. The name “Boat Farm” is still used by longstanding customers and staff.
John and Luella’s son, Blain, and daughter, Dana Johnson, have been managing the business since 1998 with Dana's husband Beau joining in 2013. The century old barn is still standing and is now a farm specializing in goat meat, operated by Blain. Luella is retired and John passed away in 2006 leaving a thriving, entrepreneurial enterprise for future generations.
The Blazing Fiddles
The Blazing Fiddles are know for their high energy and versatility when in comes to a variety of musical styles. From classical and fiddles, to show tunes and jazz, this show is truly an entertaining start to your experience at Grand River Dinner Cruises.