Questions & Answers
Q: How soon should I book my groups houseboat vacation and how would I start this process?
A: The houseboat season is very short, mid May through September. Houseboating is very popular and the sooner you book your houseboat vacation the better chance you have to get both the vessel and dates your wanting. All it take to start is calling our toll free booking number 1-800-201-2100 and speak with one of our representatives. Provide the dates and boat you are interested in, then confirm with credit card [ mastercard, visa, amex ] or follow up with a deposit check in the mail.
Q: Who can operate the houseboat and do I need to have a licence?
A: Anyone over the age of 21 with a drivers licence can operate our boats. The boats are very easy to operate. Your group should get together and pick a captain and a co-captain to act as the boat drivers. At the lodge one of our staff members will provide a houseboat operating orientation with the captain and co-captain. While at the present time your not require any special licence to operate houseboats, however after August 31st; 2009 you will be required to have a boat operators licence to operate any watercraft in Canada. There is a short easy test a person only needs to take to receive this card. If your from the United States your U.S. safe boaters card will work in Canada. The test is very simple, quick and easy to take . We have links on this site to where you may take either the Canadian or U.S. course right on line. Again everyone will be required to have this licence to operate all watercraft next late summer.
Q: Are houseboats easy to operate and is navigation on the lake hard?
A: All our houseboats are very easy to operate. One of our staff members will take time in going over all the boat functions with the captain and co-captain. Including the actual driving of the boat. Once the orientation has been completed, with your group and all thing your bring on your houseboating adventure loaded up we'll help take you out from the marina. One of our staffers will guide the boat out and take you down the lake then allowing you to take the controls and navigate on your own. We supply the best lake charts available for your use and go over the maps with both the captain and co-captain.
Q: Where and how will I dock my houseboat at night on the lake?
A: Part of the houseboat orientation includes instructions on how to park your houseboat. Also you will be given a chart with dozens of safe mooring locations clearly marked and numbered. You do not have to park at these locations and you may certainly find your own safe bay to moor in.
Q: Are the houseboats safe for children and Grand parents?
A: Yes they have safety rails around the roof tops and walk ways. there are carbon / fire detectors and fire extinguishers and ship to shore radio on board each houseboat. Each pontoon has several individual compartments welded together making it very stable and safe. Because they are much larger than a small boats they are very stable, older people feel very safe on board while enjoying the outdoors and the water.
Q: What about in the event of some emergency, how would we get help?
A: The boats have ship to shore radios and in most areas you can receive cell phone coverage. Nestor Falls has an ambulance service staffed with a EMT 24 hours. There is a small hospital only 30 miles and two larger modern hospitals within 65 miles from our main base.
Q: Are pets allowed?
A: No, due to allergies, health issues etc we do not permit pets on board.
Q: What if we require a few items that we may run out of or forgot just simply forget to bring something we needed along?
A: We make one free mid week trip out to you to pick up trash and drop off items including fresh bait, ice you may require. Make a short list and call into the base the afternoon before we are making our lake run and we'll pick the items up bring them out for you.
Q: How much fuel does the houseboat use?
A: Amount of fuel houseboats use depend on the boat size, number of small boats in tow, time spent traveling around and speed. On average our boats only use 20 - 70 gal per trip.
Q: Do we have to travel far to catch fish? Do we get any help with map marking for the 'hot spots' so we can catch fish?
A: Yes, we will go over the fishing areas with you marking the ' hot spots' prior to your leaving the marina. We will also check in with you during your trip to insure your doing well. You do not have to travel great distances to find the fish.
Q: If we decide that we may want to hire a guide while there, can we do that?
A: Yes we have guides on staff and can help arrange one to come out to your boat.
Q: Can we move the boat in the evenings?
A: All boats must be beached securely one full hour prior to sunset no exceptions!
Q: What is a great time to take the family when we can combo our trip for both fishing and good water temps for swimming?
A: usually by the 3rd week in June through to end of August the water temps are good for swimming and the fishing is always great!
Q: Is there good fresh drinking water on board?
A: Yes we provide quality fresh drinking water for your houseboat holiday free of charge.
Q: What about customs, what papers do we need, do we require passports to get into Canada?
A: In 2009 everyone will require a passport to enter Canada. If you are from the U.S. we have a link to your U.S. gov web site that provides all info you'll need to get your passport.
Q: What if we decide to fly up where is the closest airport and how would we make our way to you? If we did fly what about food and other supplies how would we get these?
A: IF your flying private aircraft Nestor falls has its own 3,800' hard surface run way. If flying commercial from the U.S. you can fly into International Falls, MN. which is just over the border from Canada and only 70 miles from Canada Houseboat Vacations marina. We can help arrange airport pick ups for your entire group and we can also pre stock your houseboat for you a head of time! If your arriving in from Europe or anywhere in Canada the closest major airport is in Winnipeg Mb. about 200 miles west of us, you can use one of many major car rental companies for cars or vans to make the 3 hour trip to our marina.