All aboard for an historic anniversary in Ontario's 'cottage country'
Only two hours from the hustle and bustle of Ontario's capital Toronto, the Muskoka region of Ontario, has become a perfect place for visitors who wish to combine urban and outdoor experiences into one holiday.
Muskoka is bordered by Algonquin Provincial Park to the east and the 30,000 islands of Georgian Bay Islands National Park to the west.
It's a 2,500-square-mile natural playground including 8,699 miles of shoreline, 17 charming small towns and villages, more than 2,000 lakes and countless breathtaking waterfalls and rivers.
Last year it was voted as 'the best of summer 2011' destination in the world by National Geographic Traveler Magazine.
This year the region has something extra special to celebrate as North America's oldest operating steamship the RMS Segwun celebrates its 125th birthday.
Launched in 1887, the Royal Mail Ship, RMS Segwun, carries 99 passengers and gives visitors the chance to sail aboard a piece of history throughout the cruise season from June 16 to October 14 on a variety of dinner and sightseeing cruises from its base in Gravenhurst.
Along with its sister ship, the Wenonha II, there are also tours along Millionaire's Row, home to some of the world's most luxurious summer cottages.
So celebrated is the RMS Segwun that it has been recognised with an award of excellence by the Canadian Tourist Commission and it now forms part of their 'Signature Experiences Collection. A list of must do attractions across Canada.
The primary 125th anniversary celebrations are scheduled for the weekend of June 30/July 1st and will feature entertainment, waterski shows, street performers and guests of honour.
Elsewhere in Muskoka there is so much to see and do.
The area is a paradise for water enthusiasts with mile after mile of waterways and lakes to explore. There are plenty of opportunities to rent boats, canoes and camping equipment.
While for the real back-to-nature experience, canoe excursions are available in both Algonquin Provincial Park and Georgian Bay.
Muskoka boasts some of the best freshwater sport fishing anywhere, with packages available for avid anglers and novices alike. There are also relaxing spas and endless hiking trails with resorts ranging from a full 4 star service to self catering cabins.
For more information, visit ontariotravel.net/uk.