I did the Ottawa river boat cruise in July 2013. I liked how the boat picked up on both the Gatineau and Ottawa sides. It made it very easy to go from one side of the river to the next, since I was at the Museum of Civlization in the morning, and came back to the Ottawa side via the boat.
The cruise cost $23 and lasted about 1.5 hours. It was an open air boat on the top level and the bottom level was closed, with a snack bar, washrooms etc. There were stairs to get to the top level, so anyone with mobility issue could have a problem there.
You go up the Ottawa side of the river, and the tour guide explains about all the sites (museums, the Mint, amabassadors' houses, the Prime Minister's residence, a small waterfall, and then goes to the Gatineau side, then back again to the Rideau Canal). They do stop to allow you to get pictures of the waterfall, which was nice.
The guide was OK. It was a bit strange how we got to the end of the river and then she announced that that was the end of the guided portion of the tour and said goodbye, even though the tour went for another 20 minutes. I thought she could have perhaps taken some questions. It seemed like she was just doing her job really, and wasn't as enthusastic as I have seen other guides on tours. However, you did get some information and sitting on a boat in the summer on the river was very nice.
Overall, it was a good tour and an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.