Banff
Boat Tours & River Cruises

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Our most recommended Banff Cruises & Boat Tours

Banff: Sightseeing, Lake Minnewanka Cruise, & Banff Gondola

1. Banff: Sightseeing, Lake Minnewanka Cruise, & Banff Gondola

Join a 6.5-hour tour to learn about culture, geology, and wildlife while exploring the spectacular sights of the renowned mountain town of Banff. Experience some of the most incredible sights and sounds that western Canada has to offer. Visit and learn about Banff, Bow Falls, Tunnel Mountain Drive, Surprise Corner, Hoodoos, and Two Jack Viewpoint. Then, head up the Banff Gondola to the peak of Sulphur Mountain for a 360-degree view. Climb aboard your four-person gondola cabin with large windows, sit back, and relax. During the eight-minute ride to the summit of Sulpher Mountain, take in the views of the town of Banff, Bow Valley, and six different mountain ranges. Set off on an exciting hike across the Sulpher Mountain boardwalk to explore the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station, a National Historic Site of Canada. Complete the day with a historical tour of Lake Minnewanka on a lake cruise. Glide through the crystal clear water of this glacier lake and take in the views of the Canadian Rockies around you. Pick up interesting insights about the local wildlife and the underwater town below the lake. After a day of sightseeing and fun, return to Banff for depot drop-off.

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Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

2. Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

Enjoy the serenity of the Bow River on a family-friendly canoe tour. Get ready to be amazed by extraordinary views of Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies around you. This sightseeing tour is perfect for the whole family and doesn't require any previous experience. Meet at the Banff Canoe Club, just a 5-minute walk from downtown Banff. As you journey upstream, your expert guide will entertain you with stories of the past, history of canoeing, and interesting local facts. Admire the scenery around you, while learning how to paddle as a team. After 1 and a half hours of fun, enjoy a complimentary, refreshing lemonade on the shore.

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Banff: Morning Whitewater Rafting Tour in Horseshoe Canyon

3. Banff: Morning Whitewater Rafting Tour in Horseshoe Canyon

Embark on an exciting rafting trip through class 3-4 rapids and with big waves meaning you will get soaked and have lots of fun. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife sightings and enjoy the stunning outdoor beauty of the Horseshoe Canyon section of the Bow River. Start your rafting adventure with an optional pick-up in Banff or Canmore and enjoy the short scenic ride as it winds its way through the Canadian countryside. Once you're fitted with your wetsuits and other safety equipment, be transported in a comfortable bus a short distance to the starting point on the Bow River. Here, your guides will go through safety instructions and paddle techniques ready for your time on the river. Then it's time to jump aboard to start your journey. Admire the views during calm parts of the river and learn from your guide as they lead the group through different paddling techniques. Make sure to watch for the area’s local wildlife, including eagles soaring above and deer strolling along the river banks. Then, the river comes to life, kicking up a series of frothy rapids that will get your heart pumping. Hang tight and listen for your guide's instructions as he helps you navigate the whitewater through the shale cliffs. At the midway point, stop for an optional cliff jump into the glacier-fed waters of the Bow River. Depending on your adventure level you can choose from a medium or a big cliff jump, or simply enjoy watching the others take the plunge. After the thrill of cliff jumping, continue rafting until you reach the endpoint. Return to the river base for high fives, snacks, and optional return transport. This tour operates from mid May to early September, with transport available from late May onwards on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

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Kicking Horse River: Half-Day Intro to Whitewater Rafting

4. Kicking Horse River: Half-Day Intro to Whitewater Rafting

Get a perfect introduction to whitewater rafting on Class 1-3 rapids starting in Yoho National Park of Canada. Experience moderately-challenging rapids and the stunning scenery of the Canadian Rockies.  Check-in at the lodge conveniently located on TransCanada Highway #1. Be fitted with top-of-the-line gear and transported to the starting point of the rafting experience. Receive a thorough safety briefing before setting off on the river. Embark on a 90-minute downstream journey starting with the "Alarm Clock" rapid, which is sure to wake everyone up. In between the exciting rapids, take in the beautiful scenery surrounding you on all sides. Learn about the wildlife in the area, how the Kicking Horse River got its name, and how the river gets its beautiful blue color. Finish the rafting trip at "Hopi's Hole", which serves as an exciting grande finale. After the rafting, be taken back to the lodge to relax and warm up in the heated changing-rooms. Once back in warm, dry clothes, enjoy freshly baked goodies and seasonal fruit along with a selection of hot and cold beverages. Browse through the gift shop to pick up a souvenir t-shirt or photos from your experience.

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Kicking Horse River: Whitewater Rafting Half-Day Trip

5. Kicking Horse River: Whitewater Rafting Half-Day Trip

Your experience begins at the local partner's day lodge, conveniently located on the TransCanada Highway. After a warm welcome, your crew distributes top-of-the-line rafting gear (wetsuit, wetsuit booties and gloves, spray jackets, life jackets, and helmets). In the comfort of heated change rooms, change into the provided gear before taking a quick shuttle to the "put-in" (starting point), where you receive your extensive safety briefing before jumping in the river. This is the biggest whitewater river in the Rockies, with rapids such as Hopi's Hole, Cable Car, Table Saw and the famous Portage and Shotgun. Prepare to hold on and get wet. Enjoy the canyon environment and possibly get a glimpse of a mountain goat, wolf, or bear. Following your trip, another quick shuttle returns you back to the warmth of the base. Once changed back into dry and comfortable land clothes, enjoy snacks and a selection of hot and cold beverages. Stop by the gift shop for a souvenir or photo of the trip to take back home.

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Banff: Afternoon Kananaskis River Whitewater Rafting Tour

6. Banff: Afternoon Kananaskis River Whitewater Rafting Tour

Enjoy whitewater rafting down an idyllic stretch of the Kanaskasis River, the perfect excursion for families, groups, and newcomers to whitewater rafting. Explore the pristine waterways of the Kananaskis River. Scout for local wildlife and enjoy the unrivaled beauty of the Canadian wilderness. Meet at the Nakoda Lakeside Lodge on Highway 1A. Start your rafting adventure with a 45-minute drive from Banff or Calgary. Enjoy the short scenic ride as you wind through the Canadian countryside. Once you're fitted with your wetsuits and other safety equipment, ride in a comfortable bus a short distance to the starting point on the Kananaskis River. Here, your guides will provide safety instructions and teach your paddle techniques. Feel equipped and ready to go as you prepare for the river. Board your raft and begin your journey. Admire the views during calm parts of the river. Practice different paddling techniques with your guide. Spot local wildlife such as soaring eagles, and deer who stroll along the banks of the river. Then, get ready to be splashed as your raft through class 2-3 rapids as you travel along a lovely forested area of the river. At the end of the journey enjoy a scenic float to the finish where you can swim and splash in the water. Return to the river base for high fives and snacks to celebrate your rafting adventure. This tour operates from mid-May to mid-September and is ideal for anyone that has never rafted before or does not know how to swim.

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Banff: Wildlife on the Bow River Big Canoe Tour

7. Banff: Wildlife on the Bow River Big Canoe Tour

Discover life on the Bow River in a 12-seat Canoe. Start the tour in the evening and learn fun facts about animal habitats, behaviors, and conservation in the region. Escape the bustling Banff streets and get back to nature. Enjoy paddling up the scenic Bow while keeping your eyes peeled for some of the locals like bald eagles, elk, muskrats, and maybe even “Barry” the resident beaver. Let our informative guides share the best practices for wildlife encounters and discover the challenges they face with increasing human interaction.

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Kicking Horse River: 5-Hour Whitewater Rafting Trip with BBQ

8. Kicking Horse River: 5-Hour Whitewater Rafting Trip with BBQ

Set off on the famous Kicking Horse River for a genuine Rocky Mountain whitewater rafting experience. The 5-hour trip (2.5-hours on the river) combines all the best the river has to offer: bouncy and splashy waves, calm and scenic float sections, and big whitewater rapids.  Check in at the local partner's base, conveniently located on TransCanada Highway #1, and change into your top-of-the-line gear, which is provided. Transfer then to the rafting start point and, following a thorough safety briefing, it will be time to get on the river. Begin on the upper, more gentle, scenic section of the Yoho National Park. For approximately 1-hour, enjoy splashing through the waves as you warm up for the more intense sections downstream. The second half of the trip, taking approximately 1.5 hours, is made up of 14 sets of rapids ranging from Class 2 to Class 4+. Expect to get soaked during this section! After rafting, transfer back to the base to enjoy the warmth of the DayLodge and heated change rooms. Once back in warm, dry clothes, enjoy a delicious gourmet BBQ lunch.

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Kicking Horse River: Maximum Horsepower Double Shot Rafting

9. Kicking Horse River: Maximum Horsepower Double Shot Rafting

For those looking for the maximum whitewater experience, choose the trip with twice the whitewater, twice the fun, and twice the adrenalin rush! The Maximum Horsepower is not one, but TWO runs down THE best whitewater section of the Kicking Horse River. Rafters experience 24 rapids and cover an accumulated total of 24 kilometers river distance. In order to make this double whitewater trip even more exhilarating, rafters power downstream in two different styles of rafts. The first run is in the ever-popular 16-foot oar-rigged rafts, giving everyone a chance to warm up and get familiar with the river. The second run is rafted in smaller 14-foot boats. Those two feet make a world of difference. Smaller rafts accentuate everything: the bounces, the smashes, and the hits! It may be the second run on the same section of river, but it will be a completely different experience. In addition, all guests are provided a paddle for the second run. It is a thrilling and unforgettable whitewater adventure! First, check in at the RiverBase DayLodge (conveniently located on TransCanada Highway #1), change into top-of-the-line provided gear and be shuttled to the 'put-in' (or, rafting start point). After a thorough safety briefing, it is time to get on the river. After the first run, guests are shuttled back to the top of the trip to run the river again, but in different rafts. For the second run the smaller 14-foot 'all paddle' rafts are used, and every guest is required to assist in the paddling process. 100% participation is required. Afterwards, shuttle back to the warmth of the RiverBase to change back into warm, dry land clothes and enjoy tasty snacks and beverages.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Banff

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What people are saying about Banff

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 4 reviews

I went with my partner, 3 kids (youngest 15) and my dad and his wife. My dad is 74! We all had a great time! Our guide, Gabriel was amazing and so great with my dad and his wife. He made the ride so much more enjoyable! I could tell all the staff and guides were an amazing group. High energy and lots of fun! I would do this again in a heartbeat!

Great tour guides, with a great sense of humor. Everyone was very approachable, and very efficient with instructions/information. Great family activity. I will be returning.

It was awesome. The wild water crew throw on a great river tour, with lots of laughs and good stories. I would recommend it to anyone passing through Golden

Very good family activity. We really enjoyed it. Liam was a great tour guide.

Super friendly and fun staff and an excelent experience overall