Here are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions for parties interested in houseboat vacations. If you still have questions or would like more information, please contact us, we are happy to assist you with your plans.
Do we have to start our houseboat vacation on a certain day?
No, you may start your houseboat vacation any day as long as the boat is available. A week is seven nights and there is a three-night minimum.
How much fuel will we use during our houseboat trip?
5 to 15 gallons per day average. Usage will vary widely based on the size of the houseboat and hours spent cruising. Typically a houseboat will not need refueling in a week's time. For those needing gas, the hospitality service may be called in to refuel the houseboat and/or the small boats. Fuel is also available at a few various points throughout the Park. Remember fuel is not included in the cost of your houseboat rental.
What are the standard features on all houseboats?
All houseboats are equipped with hot/cold running water, full bathrooms with showers, radio/CD player, gas BBQ grill, refrigerator/stove, furnace, all cooking/eating utensils, blankets/pillows, maps, screened windows, a cooler, deck chairs, life jackets, anchor/tie up ropes, and a 12-volt outlet.
What is the hospitality service?
We offer "room service with a wake" only at Voyagaire. To have the daily delivery boat stop at your houseboat, call the lodge on your marine radio by 10 a.m the morning you need the delivery. Give us a list of the items to be delivered, such as gas, bait, ice, pop, or food. The delivery boat will then stop by your houseboat that afternoon or early evening. You can go about your day and our friendly drivers will catch up to you. There is a small one-time fee for this service.
Do we need to purchase a Park permit?
Yes.Voyageurs National Park requires all houseboats to have and display an overnight permit. The permits are not site specific, just an overnight fee for being in Voyageurs National Park. For more information on these permits and photos of some houseboat sites, visit the Voyageurs National Park website. Please visit http://recreation.gov to make a reservation and print your permit. You will not have access to print your permit once you arrive. Use Google Chrome as your web browser when printing the permit as the site isn't compatible with some other browsers such as Internet Explorer.
Are pets allowed?
Yes. We accept pets in the lodge and on all houseboats except the Voyagaire 550 for a non-refundable charge of $10 per night in the lodge or $50 per trip on the houseboats. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dog and must keep their dog on a leash while at base. Please notify us if you will bringing your pet along with you on vacation.
When is the water warm enough to swim?
Normally from mid-June to Labor Day.
Do we need any special navigational skills or licenses to operate a Voyagaire Houseboat?
No. We provide a complete set of fully marked charts and an informational booklet aboard each houseboat. There is a chain of color-coded and numbered buoys running from one end of Voyageurs National Park to the other. Each of these is reflected on your map in it's corresponding location. Even first-time houseboaters find this system very easy to follow.
Do we need a Canadian fishing license?
To fish in Ontario you must have an Ontario fishing license. Most of the lakes you will be cruising and all of the Voyageurs National Park waters are within the Minnesota boundary. Some avid fishermen purchase both a Minnesota and an Ontario license.
Do we need a fishing boat?
A fishing boat and motor are required with each houseboat charter, by Coast Guard rules. You may either bring your own or rent one. Multiple boats, larger boats, runabouts, bass boats and pontoon boats are easily towed behind the houseboat with the tow bar supplied.
Are there generators?
The Deluxe and Hot Tub Sportcruisers and all Sunseekers, Suncruisers and the Voyagaire are equipped with a primary marine generator. These are installed below the deck with sound shields and rubber isolation mounts. The noise produced within the houseboat is comparable to a refrigerator. The generator charges the house batteries and operates your air conditioning, TV/DVD, most appliances and any other items you may bring from home that must be plugged in. Small generators may be rented at base for houseboats without generators to be used to power accessories that are not standard houseboat equipment.
How many people can we have on a houseboat?
12 - That is a Coast Guard regulation.
How are emergencies handled?
Medical Emergencies: For emergencies on your houseboat, call us on your radio. All houseboats are equipped with a marine band radio. We will respond either on our service boat, or through 911 out of Crane Lake, Ash River or Kabetogama (whichever is closest to your location). The Voyageurs National Park Rangers also help in medical emergencies and monitor an emergency-only channel on the radio.
Mechanical Emergencies: Should your houseboat need service while on the water, a service boat will be sent to correct the problem immediately. Our maintenance personnel are highly trained professionals, and we'll have you on your way with a minimum of inconvenience.