Locals' Appreciation Day at Lake Minnewanka Cruise
Pursuit Collection had a Locals' Appreciation Day on May 27, 2018. On this day, locals had a chance to enjoy free admission with donation instead of paying discounted or full rate to selected attractions. Most of my colleagues and friends went to Banff Gondola but I decided to go for Lake Minnewanka Cruise as I have never been to Lake Minnewanka before. Honestly, I wanted to go to both Banff Gondola and Lake Minnewanka Cruise but there's only so much time in a day that I had to sacrifice one of them.
Took the 9am-ish bus from the nearest stop to my staff accommodation so that I can catch the first cruise. It took me almost half an hour by bus to reach Lake Minnewanka. It was great to see the vast Lake Minnewanka especially after getting stuck with my routine in Banff Avenue. lol! Anyways, I saw few bighorn sheep while we were on the way to the Lake Minnewanka. So, that was a nice surprise :)
There was quite a long line when I arrived at the dock that morning. I guess most people had the same idea as me. Or, maybe they were there early so that they can go to Banff Gondola next. In any cases, the waiting time was quite long. Had to queue to get the ticket and then had to queue again to board the cruise.
Tip: Do book online or with your hotel's front desk agents or any tour operators so that you can cut the waiting time. It'll be no fun to show up without the ticket as you may waste a lot of time waiting.
The cruise lasted for an hour and half. A lil bit too short in my opinion. I felt that I needed more time to soak and enjoy the view but then to each of their own, eh. And, as I mentioned in this post, the ride was fun and informative. Passengers were supplied with the information of Lake Minnewanka and the nearby area. Our guide was particularly entertaining that almost all the kids loved hearing her explanation. And it was nice hearing explanation from someone who studied Geology :)
Tip: They do have 2-hour cruises but they are offered at selected times. So, do check the timetable on their website.
As what happened on my ride and explained by the guide, the cruise will stop for about 10-15 minutes in the middle of lake so that everyone can soak and enjoy the view. You'll feel so small as you're taking in the view. Subhanallah. I know I did. This is also the perfect time for photo ops provided the weather is great and the lighting is on your side.
Tip: Do go for a cruise that departs around 12 pm or after that so that you'll not get backlight for most of your ride.
I then spent about half an hour at the deck after the cruise to just soak in the view again. In my opinion, the deck is one of the best photo spots in Lake Minnewanka. There are few red muskoka chairs as well on the deck so visitors can take their own sweet time sitting and enjoying the view. I personally wanted to stay for longer, maybe walking along the trails there on top of sitting on the muskoka chair but I had to rush home as I needed to go to bed. Maybe I'll be back to Lake Minnewanka again once the weather is good? After all, I still have few more free tickets for the cruise :)