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Tour Operators and Group Tours | Tall Ships Brockville

Tall Ships Brockville

Information about the Brockville Tall Ships Festival that happens every 3 years, and the Big River Festival which is on every summer

Tour Operators and Group Tours

Find Brockville along the 401 Highway: Only 1 hour from Ottawa, 1 hour from Kingston, 2 hours from Montreal, and 3 hours from Toronto.

Paradise is found in the heart of the 1000 Islands and St. Lawrence Seaway! Brockville is a beautiful and historic waterfront city that will appeal to everyone. It is centrally located in Eastern Ontario Canada between two international bridges to the US, and midway between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Brockville has two exits on Highway 401:

  • Exit 696 – County Road 29 (Stewart Street)
  • Exit 698 – North Augusta Road

The historic downtown, waterfront, and Tall Ships® Festival grounds are less than 5 minutes drive south of either exit on County Road 29 (Stewart) or North Augusta Road.

Free Tour Bus Parking

We suggest that tour bus drivers drop off and pick up their passengers at the designated bus shuttle drop off point in front of City Hall (on King Street beneath the clock tower) and then park the bus off-site at one of our designated festival parking lots for the day (at either the Brockville Shopping Centre or Brockville Memorial Centre). The driver can then take a free festival shuttle back to the festival grounds to spend the day on site.

If you would like to park on site, we have a designated area for tour buses, but these spaces are limited. This spaces will be available along Water Street East – to access drive south on Market Street East, and you will be able to exit on Park Street.

Tour bus drivers and tour leaders will receive one complimentary ticket each for whichever Brockville Tall Ships® Festival activity your group will be participating in. Please call Lesley White at 613-342-8772 as soon as possible to make arrangements for tickets and to ensure availability.

General Admission Wristbands are $5/person; Festival Passports are $15 (which allow your guests to get on board the tall ships + admission to the grounds). Specialty cruise tickets and dinner cruises range from $40-$85/person. Please refer to our Ticket Page for details on each ticket type.

Suggested Festival Group Itinerary

The following itinerary can be adapted to your group depending on interest and time. You could swap in a 1000 Islands Cruise or tall ship sail out on Saturday for example, or change the Captain’s Reception on Friday night to a tall ship Dinner Cruise aboard the Empire Sandy.

Friday, August 30th

  • 12:30 pm: Arrive in Brockville
  • 12:30-2 pm: Lunch at one of Brockville’s Restaurants (see suggested restaurants below who are able to accommodate tour groups)
  • 2-3:30 pm: Visit the Aquatarium (group tour rate is $12.99/person)
  • 4 pm: Parade of Sail on the festival grounds (this is a must see event and the best time to take pictures of all of the visiting ships in full sail. Best place to view the ships is from Centeen Park or along the eastern wall of Blockhouse Island. Tour members will need either a festival passport or general admissions wristband to access these sites. (if you end up purchasing sail out or dinner tickets general admission is included in the price, with an option to upgrade to a passport)
  • 5-6:30 pm: Free time to shop and explore Downtown Brockville. Dinner on your own
  • 7-9 pm: Captain’s Reception [$50/person plus applicable taxes and fees] (The Captain’s reception will be a fun event in Centeen Park exclusive to ticket holders. Tickets include one drink from the bar – cash bar after that-, finger foods, live musical entertainment, and a chance to tour the Bluenose II and at least one other tall ship in advance of the deck tours that open on Saturday and Sunday, and without the line ups anticipated at that time. It is an event we are recommending for tour groups as it guarantees a chance to get on board the Bluenose II which is a great selling feature).
  • 9 pm: Leave for hotel

Saturday, August 31st

  • 8-9:30 am: Breakfast at the hotel, or local restaurant
  • 10-11 am: Visit the Brockville Museum (admission by donation)
  • 11 am – 3 pm: Ship deck tours at the festival with time to explore the grounds and view the ships. Lunch on their own
  • 4-5 pm: Guided tour of the Brockville Railway Tunnel (Admission is free, there is a fee if you would like a guided tour. Groups of less than 25: $150; groups of 25 or more: $250)
  • 5-6:30 pm: Dinner at a local restaurant
  • 6:30 pm: Depart

The cost for the suggested itinerary above is $72.99/person + applicable taxes and fees for Captain’s Reception ticket, festival passport, and admission to the Aquatarium. Additional costs would be incurred for the cost of the guided tour of the railway tunnel, hotel, and meals.

Please review the information below on how to book items in your itinerary that are not part of the festival itself (Aquatarium, Tunnel, and restaurants).

Following you will find more extensive information on Downtown Brockville and our nearby tourism attractions. There is plenty of information so you can plan your tour depending on how much time you plan to spend in Brockville and the 1000 Islands Region. The tourism office is pleased to suggest an itinerary dependent on your interests and time. The Tourism Office will also help arrange tours for attractions that are not regularly set up for group tours. Please call 613-342-4357 for assistance.


Explore Downtown Brockville

Enjoy our FREE Downtown Wifi as you discover the city! 
On the shores of the St. Lawrence River, Downtown Brockville is Alive and Vibrant! Visit the heart of the city – Downtown Brockville! Just a five minute drive from the 401 and steps from the majestic St. Lawrence River and the famous 1000 Islands. You can find shops, restaurants, arts, culture, accommodations, services, and fun activities.  Grab a bite from one of our 30+ eateries, and shop at our 60+ unique retail options. Explore Canada’s premiere Heritage Theater, sightseeing cruises of the famous 1000 Islands, Canada’s first railway tunnel and world class freshwater diving, all while enjoying Downtown Brockville’s unique history and architectures.

Nearby Restaurants

Free time to wander and eat? Brockville’s 30+ restaurants or cafes would be happy to serve you.

All Brockville restaurants in the downtown area are listed on the Downtown Brockville website. 

If you are looking for group seating for an entire bus, the following eateries can accommodate you. Please provide notice to the restaurant so we can ensure you receive the best service within your timeframes:

Brimstone Wood Fired Pizza
17 Broad Street
(613) 345-4341
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-9pm; Sunday 11am – 9pm

Brimstone serves wood fired, thin crust pizza next to Buds on the Bay. With 13 pizzas to choose from and many desserts and appetizers, there is sure to be something for the entire family! Be sure to try the Almost Eggs Benny pizza – it proves that anytime can be breakfast time!

Brockberry Grill
64 King Street East
(613) 498 2829
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11am-6pm; Sunday 11am–2pm

Brockberry is located in historic downtown Brockville and its menu offers a variety of foods, such as salad, burgers, and food from around the world. Despite its many options, Brockberry is known for its meat smoker and its southern-style side dishes. Be sure to also check out the marketplace within the establishment to purchase some delicious treats or meals. Don’t leave without trying the smoked meats or the Thai Chicken Poppy seed Salad.

Buds on the Bay
17 Broad Street
(613) 345 4341
Hours: Monday to Sunday 7:30am–11pm

Bud’s is a very popular restaurant among Brockvillians due to their patio with a view of the river and their wide range of foods offered. If you’re headed to Bud’s for breakfast, don’t forget to try the Waffles Explosion to start your day off on a sweet path. If you’re around for lunch or dinner, try one of their famous burgers or one of their summery salads, such as the Starberry Feta Salad.

Island Delight
140 King Street West
(613) 342 3628
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11:30am–9pm; Friday 11:30am– 0pm; Saturday 12:30pm–10pm; Sunday 12:30pm–9pm

Island delight offers delicious Chinese & Thai cuisine, ensuring that even picky eaters are sure to find something they love. If you want Chinese food, you can’t go wrong with a combination plate or the shanghai noodle. If Thai is more your style, the Pad Thai or curry dishes are amazing choices! Make sure to try out the spring rolls & wonton soup while you’re there!

Keystorm Pub
2 Courthouse Avenue
(613) 345 0404
Hours: Sunday 9am – 11pm;  Monday 11am – 11pm;  Tuesday to Friday 11am–2am; Saturday 9am–2am

The Keystorm pub is a welcoming establishment in the heart of downtown Brockville. One of its most popular foods on the menu is the chicken wings. Choose from 15 different sauces and even get them for under a dollar each on Tuesdays! If you’re visiting on a Monday, opt in to the free trivia game which begins at 7:00 for some additional fun with your meal!

New York Restaurant
19 King Street West
(613) 345 0015
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11am–8:30pm;   Friday 11am–9:30pm;  Saturday 12pm–9:30pm;  Sunday 12pm–8:30

The New York Restaurant specializes in Cantonese and Szechuan Cuisine as well as Canadian Cuisine and Seafood. Try the Cantonese Chow Mein or the General Tao Chicken. For appetizers, try the Wonton soup or the egg rolls.

South Coast Waterfront Grille
15 St Andrew Street
(613) 865 8806
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11:30am–9pm;  Friday & Saturday 11:30am–10pm

South Coast Waterfront Grille’s goal is to build upon the flavours and culture of the world famous Thousand Islands. Located in the Tall Ships building (which is also home to the Aquatarium), it also boasts a patio with a spectacular view of the waterfront. Be sure to try the butternut squash ravioli and one of their many desserts.

Tandoori Mint
50 King Street East
(613) 865 7518
Hours: Monday to Saturday 11:30am–2:00pm & 5:00pm–8:30pm

Tandoori Mint is a family owned and operated fully licensed Indian restaurant. The restaurant offers bright, modern décor and beautiful Indian artworks on the walls. Try their biryani, butter chicken, naan bread, and mango lassi!

Golden Gate
172 King Street West
(613) 342 0408
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11:30am–9:30pm; Friday to Saturday 11:30am–10pm

The Golden Gate restaurant offers a Chinese food buffet as well as takeout and delivery. The menu takes inspiration from Szechuan, Chinese, and Canadian cuisine to create a wide variety of options. Be sure to try their general tao chicken and chicken balls!

Canada's First Railway Tunnel

South Entrance in Armagh Sifton Price Park (1 Water Street West – Close to Water Street and Market Street West)

North Entrance – 15 Brockville Railway Tunnel (Brock Street & Railway Avenue)


Completed in 1860, this 158 year old tunnel runs from the City’s central waterfront area right under the centre of Brockville. Train traffic operated through the 1/2 kilometer (1/3 mile) for 110 years. The Brockville Railway Tunnel was an engineering feat in its day and it still stands strong.


The tunnel was closed to the public until 2017 when it was refurbished. Masonry was repaired while not disturbing the decades of colourful mineral deposits on the walls. New drainage and a smooth, safe, concrete walkway was installed along the full length of the tunnel. A dramatic, programmable LED lighting system, manufactured by Philips Lighting has been installed along the walkway enabling a dazzling and colourful light show which highlights the tunnel’s interior. The tunnel is open to the public daily from 9 am to 9 pm and there is no admission charge.

The tunnel does offer guided group tours from railway experts for a fee that will provide in-depth information about the tunnel, the rail history and the refurbishment.

Contact for guided tours:

Lynn Murray
1 King Street West. Brockville, ON  K6V 7A5
Phone | (613) 342-8772 ext. 4431
Costs are $150 for 25 passengers (1 guide) and $250 for more than 25 (2 guides)

The Aquatarium

6 Broad Street

Contact:  Sarah at slaturnus@aquatarium.ca for group bookings

From its magnificent setting along the St. Lawrence River, The Aquatarium showcases the wonders of the 1000 Islands region in a captivating and enriching manner that is sure to inspire your curiosity. Imaginative exhibit designs and live animals are combined with innovative interactive technologies to entertain children and adults alike. The 30,000 square foot Aquarium & Discovery Centre is the ultimate waterfront attraction and a natural place to discover the 1000 Islands.

Enjoy a hands-on experience in the Aquatarium touch tanks and voyages though an array of under-tank tunnels and observation bubbles that bring new meaning to getting a fish-eye view of what happens underwater.

Muskie in the aquariums at the Aquatarium

HOURS OF OPERATION:  Monday to Sunday  10 am – 5 pm

(Open Mondays and Tuesdays in the off season for Tour Bus visitation only)

PRICING (per person) Special Tour Bus Rate:  $12.99 Canadian  –  Payment is by invoice or you can pay on-site.

Allow 60 – 90 minutes per visit

The Brockville Arts Centre

235 King Street West

The Brockville Arts Centre (BAC) is located in the heart of historic downtown Brockville within easy walking distance of the St. Lawrence River harbour and a number of fine restaurants. It is recognized as one of the finest medium-sized historic theatres in Canada. Year after year the BAC welcomes thousands of theatre-goers to an experience that makes one feel close and connected to the performers on stage.


The BAC hosts one of the region’s top art galleries, is fully accessible, has 700 high quality seats, and provides phonic in-ear devices for those with hearing disabilities. The theatre is air conditioned, has ample free parking and the lobby bar is licensed.

PRICING:  Varies by performance. Please call for pricing

SHOW LINE-UP: Review show schedules at www.brockvilleartscentre.com

1000 Islands & Seaway Cruises

Operates from May-October

Operating from historic downtown Brockville, 1000 Islands & Seaway Cruises operates a passenger vessel offering unique cruising experiences in the 1000 Islands.

30 Blockhouse Island Parkway


Pricing per person: 

  • Jewels of the St. Lawrence for groups of 20 or more: $17.50 Canadian
  • 1.5 – 2 hour Brockbuster Lunch Cruise for a minimum group of 30: $32.50 Canadian plus tax and service
  • 2-3 hour St. Lawrence Soiree Dinner Cruise for a minimum group of 30: $44.95 Canadian plus tax and service

The Brockville Museum

5 Henry Street    613-342-4397 Ext 6223

The Brockville Museum explores Brockville’s rich industrial and social history through a variety of thematic exhibits and programming options to accommodate the unique needs and interests of your group.  The museum is fully accessible with services available in English and limited French-language options.

Hours of Operation: 

  • Peak Season:  Victoria Day Weekend to Labour Day (Mid-May to September) Monday-Saturday from 10am – 5 pm (The Brockville Museum will also be open on Sunday during the Tall Ships Festival from 10am-5pm)
  • Off Season: September to May Monday to Friday 10 am – 5 pm


  • Step-On Guide, City Tour $75/bus
  • Museum Self-guided Tour $3 per person
  • Thematic Talk $5 per person
  • Tea Break $9 per person
  • Criminal Past Walking Tour $5 per person

Step-On Guide, City Tour

Let one of our costumed docents guide your bus through Brockville’s history. We will highlight some of Brockville’s most notable landmarks and share the stories of the people who called this place home. A great way to introduce your group to Brockville’s rich past from the comfort of your bus. Approximately 1 hour in length. $75/bus.

Museum Self-Guided Tour

Let your group explore Brockville’s history at their leisure. An experienced museum staff member will greet your group and provide an overview of Brockville’s history and the museum followed by free time to browse the galleries independently. Allow approximately 30-45 minutes. $3/person.

Thematic Talk (includes self-guided tour)

Our Interpretation and Public Program Coordinator can provide an informal lecture on a range of locally-relevant historical topics. We recommend allowing 30-45 minutes for this option in addition to time to visit the museum’s galleries and displays which is included in the fee for this option. $5/person.

Tea Break (includes self-guided tour)

Tea and treats are served on real china in a sit-down setting (no plastic dishes here!). Allow approximately 30 minutes for tea depending on the size of your group, in addition to time for visiting the museum’s galleries and displays. Total time commitment for this package is approximately 60-75 minutes. $9/person.

Criminal Past Walking Tour

Get off the bus, stretch your legs and explore downtown Brockville on foot with a museum walking tour! Hear the story of one of Canada’s largest bank heists, the twisted tale of the last man hanged in Brockville, what happened during the Queen’s visit, and many other true stories during this 60 minute tour! $5/person.

Fulford Place Museum

287 King Street East


Walk the same halls as royalty. Get a rare glimpse of the luxurious lifestyle of another era. Discover the story of Senator George T. Fulford, explore the grand Fulford mansion and marvel at the many original family furnishings. Senator George Taylor Fulford made millions of dollars from “Pink Pills for Pale People” – a patent medicine he manufactured in Brockville and sold around the world. Fulford recognized the commercial potential of the readership developed by mass-circulation newspapers and built his business on saturation print advertising. He constructed Fulford Place, a 20,000-square-foot Edwardian mansion between 1899 and 1901. Original tapestries, paintings, statuary and ceramics collected on the Fulfords’ world travels are on display throughout the period rooms and are featured in special exhibits. The original grounds were designed by Frederick Olmsted of the Olmsted landscaping firm, which also designed Central Park in New York City.

Accessibility: Fulford Place is equipped with an elevator (large enough for two people with one wheelchair). There is also a ramp to give visitors access to the veranda.

Group Tour Info:  Group tours for 15 or more people are available any time by appointment and onsite bus parking is available. The bus driver and one tour organizer per group will receive complimentary admission. The group rate is $5 plus HST per person.

Contact: Anne Shropshire  613-498-3003    fulford@heritagetrust.on.ca

Kings Lock Craft Distillery

5 Newport Drive #1, Johnstown ON

Contact:   laura@klcraftdistillery.ca

A visit to Kings Lock Craft Distillery will provide an educational tour of craft distilling and insight into how spirits are produced. We feature our 2000L copper pot column still and discuss our double distilling process from the base grain to the bottled product. After the tour we offer tasting samples of all our uniquely organic spirits that can be purchased in our store including Vodka, Gin, Rye and award-winning Moonshine (it’s like Rum)!  King’s Lock has won a total of 7 medals for 4 of their all natural, locally made products.   On site is also a craft brewery where tasting can occur.



May 1 – October 27
Tues to Thurs: 11:30-5:30pm   Wed to Thur 1-5:30 Fri to Sat: 11:30 – 6:30   12:00 – 6:00 Sunday: 12pm – 5 pm    1-4:30

Pricing per person

1 Hour Tour and tasting $8 (per person) &  includes a complimentary logo shot glass