About Lake Minnewanka, Banff
For more than 100 years, visitors to Banff have been enjoying boat tours on Lake Minnewanka. The same stunning scenery that enticed passengers off the train to visit the lake in 1889 still attracts people to the Lake of the Water Spirits, We are proud and fortunate to be the stewards of the lake and its boating tradition today.
Since operations began on Lake Minnewanka, we have established a close and respectful relationship with the nature and history of this most remarkable part of Banff National Park. We have especially come to appreciate the long human presence that haunts this beautiful valley. Human history in the Banff area began with native occupation on the shores of the lake more than 10,000 years ago. Native people were still frequenting this valley when the first Europeans arrived in the mountain west. Through it dramatically altered its size, the later damming of the lake for its hydroelectric potential did not ultimately diminish the natural character of the valley. The valley largely remains what it has always been: wild
It is our generations responsibility to preserve the unique character of the lake and to share its spectacular national-park setting with visitors who come from all over the globe to enjoy this World Heritage Site. To this end , we have committed ourselves to constantly upgrading the quality of the information and interpretation that we offer to visitors who take our boat cruises.
Banff Lake Cruisers
The Alberta Explorer, a 50 foot (15m) lake cruiser was added to the fleet and a complete over-haul to the other two 42 foot vessels, was done in 2008. All boats are glass-enclosed, government-inspected and may be heated for inclement weather.
Alberta Explorer - Capacity 60 pax
Minnewanka II - Capacity 40 pax
Sandra Lynne - Capacity 38 pax
Banff Lake Cruise Accessibility
The Lake Minnewanka boathouse is fully wheelchair accessible with access ramps leading down to the dock. We have the Minnewanka II that is available to take wheelchairs onboard. If you have any questions or concerns about wheelchair accessibility or when the Minnewanka II is scheduled to sail, kindly contact us ahead of time and one of our friendly staff at Banff Lake Cruise will be happy to assist you.
What you will experience
Towering peaks rise vertically from the emerald water's edge and on the shore amongst the forested pine and spruce, big horn sheep, American bald eagles, ospreys, deer and even the occasional bear may be discovered. Along the way, our experienced captains who are most familiar with the history, geology, animals, park policy and native involvement in our area, will provide informative and entertaining commentary throughout the journey.
Banff National Park Dragon Boat Festival
Making history in 2008, Lake Minnewanka was the battle ground for Banff's inaugural Dragon Boat Festival. The fifth annual Dragon Boat Festival returns to Banff National Park on August 11-12, 2012. The centuries-old dragon boat race requires teams up to 20 paddlers to bring their unified competitive spirits to successfully cross the finish line.