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“Tall Ship Kajama Toronto - The Kats Kajamas”
Review of Tallship Cruises

Tallship Cruises
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Toronto Obsession III Dinner Boat Cruise
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This 165-foot three masted schooner offers non-guided tours of the Toronto harbor on Lake Ontario from the start of May to the end of September. Day and Evening Cruises Available.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase
Reviewed March 20, 2013 via mobile

Lake Ontario is no Magellan Strait and "Kajama" (Ka ya mah) was a tame ride suitable for either your Granny or your toddler!
She is a 1930's 3-masted schooner that retired to Toronto harbor in 2000 after a lifetime of plying the waters of northern Europe hauling lumber and steel and doing her bit as one of around 30 "powered" tall ships during world war 2. In that time she has undergone many facelifts and surgeries depending upon her cargo but finally she has gone full circle restored to her original beauty by the Great Lakes Schooner Company which owns 3 masted vessels on Lake Ontario; the others being "Challenge" and "Obsession" which are used mainly for charter.

Kajama is spending her autumn years "grazing" on the mainly calm waters of Lake Ontario and suffering the indignities of cack-handed tourists at her helm and backstays. Yes this is a vessel where tourists can participate in sailing......... Or simply sit back, eat, drink and enjoy Toronto's increasingly spectacular skyline.

The ship exits the protective environs of Toronto Harbor through the channel at Billy Bishop Airport (Porter Airlines) and past Ontario Place, picking up the wind as it enters the Lake proper. Now the engines can be quieted and the sails unfurled to set her free to sail as history intended

She has only 4 deckhands, a Captain and second officer plus sundry catering/waiting crew, and they all work jolly hard especially when the ship is under sail; they make all the announcements and work their way around the passengers with a folder of archive material and pictures if the ship.
You can board the Kajama at the The boat is located at the foot of lower Simcoe Street behind the Power Plant Building between the Harbour Piers. I used a "Groupon" voucher discounted to $21.95 so see the website for correct pricing and schedules.
Tall Ship Cruises Toronto

Verdict - An incredibly pleasant and different way to see Toronto Harbor, but don't expect any high excitement from the sailing; that should be reserved for marveling at the fact that you are "sightseeing" on a piece if living history!
see britgirlintoronto@wordpress.com

7  Thank CAS52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 10, 2012

Went recently on a weekend in October 2012 to a lovely afternoon. It is an old schooner and it's interesting to see how it works with all the sails and masts. They even ask for volunteers to help hoist the sails which my husband delighted in participating...but unfortunately it was cloudy, windy and cold....so we had to duck down to the lower decks. The seats on the outer rim could use new upholstery as it is old and stained in somes areas. Not to mention the many tables in the way that you narrowly have to manuever around.

The washrooms: horrible. I had my roll of toilet paper sit on the sanitary box! Not good....as well it fell off my hands as I was getting paper it was a tad cumbersome, rolled halfway to the next stall to which the poor lady was getting paper for herself....her stall had no toilet paper. Advise: install new toilet paper holders to accomodate the new sized toilet paper....a little investment like that makes everyone a happy sailor. We had some food, moderately priced...my husband had french fries and a burger and I had poutine....a very salty gravy I might add.

Overall it was a nice afternoon spent. I think I would go again in the summer months when it's warmer and guaranteed some sunlight...and hope the bathroom is in ship shape...

3  Thank DonkeyWho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MrDWells, Manager at Tallship Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded November 9, 2012

Dear Guest

I am so very sorry to hear of your complaints on board the Kajama during our last weekend of sailing. I assure you, we will be correcting all the issues you mentioned. we spend a great deal of time and money over the winter making changes to improve guests experiences during the summer. I hope you are able to visit us again next season during the summer months to fully enjoy the experience with all the corrections you mentioned.
Thank You for taking the time to review and please accept our apologizes once again.
Regards Darren ( General Manager)

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Reviewed September 24, 2012

I had previously written a review based on my parent's bad experience per having shown up for their trip and being told they were infact sailing on a much smaller boat.

After having a very productive back and forth with the manager, we were invited as guests to the ship with my parents for a cruise. Here is my first hand experience.

When you book your trip, make sure at the top of your reservation form it says Kajama, or better yet, call before you book to make sure the Kajama is not booked for a private funtion that day.

When you arrive, you will need to check in and wait to be boarded. When you board, you will be photographed for a souvineer picture, yes, just like Wonderland, the CN tower, Niagara Falls and Medieval Times you will have to PAY for this picture, it's not an outrageous request people. $15, if you don't want it politely decline.

When you get on the boat, it's about 30 min till you will be leaving. So, go find a seat, either on the rail or the raised boxes in the middle of the ship. There are also plastic chairs available should it be a particulary busy day. Once you are moving and moving about the ship, don't expect to keep the same seat you had to begin with.

Get ready to set sail.. or motor actually !

As you motor out of the harbour, you get to get a stunning view of downtown Toronto, no really, it's stunning. Once you are in open water, it's time to hoist the sail. Quite the production really. We had a very windy day on the water, which made it more difficult to hoist the sails than on a calm day. If you want, you can help hoist the sails, no easy task, they are quite heavy, but many hands can make light work of the chore so get in there !

Now, the point of going for a sail, for those of you who have never done so is this. Enjoy it. That's all. Just enjoy the wind, the water and the sights, close your eyes and take it in. If you can't just sit back and relax, head to the bar and order some drink and food. It's just munchie food. If you want fancy, or don't want to pay for food aboard ship, bring a snack with you or eat after the ship docks somewhere else. Honestly, just plan ahead. If you are peckish the fries were quite good !

Roam about the ship, go to the bow, just to say you are king of lake ontario..if only for a minute or two. Go meet the captian and steer the wheel, it's not just there for looks, it actually steers, but ask first. Go below deck, where they have a small dining room. A good place to eat your snack, or get out of the wind for a few minutes. Go mingle with the others on ship and meet the crew member with the black binder, she is, if you are interested, giving a history of the ship and how it got to Toronto, and interesting story, with pictures.

The sail is for an hour and a half. If you have a wind, you will actually get to sail, if not you will be motoring, unless you want to be stuck and stranded till the wind picks up again. If you have ever have sailed you know how important it is to have that motor if the wind dies down.

Now, a tip for everyone, when you are near the water, it's about 5 degrees celcius cooler than everywhere else in the city, when you are on the water, it's closer to 10 degrees celcius cooler than everywhere else PLUS a wind. SO, even if on shore it's stunning, please bring a warm jacket, if you have children with you, a toque, and a blanket. Adults should also bring a hat, baseball or a toque to keep warm. I can't express how important that is.

Overall a great experience. And as with most things it is what you make of it. If you are not the type of person who can sit back and watch the world go by for an hour and a half without going stir crazy, this is not the outing for you.

Otherwise I would happily suggest this outing to others.

16  Thank Paul&Sherri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MrDWells, Manager at Tallship Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded November 9, 2012

Dear Sherri and Paul

Thank you so much for coming out again to enjoy the real Kajama experience. It was great meeting you and you beautiful twins. I really do appreciate you taking the time to right both the reviews. I took the points you mentioned very seriously and I'm glad we were able to fix the issues you mentioned.
All the best Darren

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Reviewed September 17, 2012

The weather and view of the Toronto skyline was very good, but that was the best of it. The ship is old(1930) and a little interesting to look at, but that goes away quickly. Unfortunately for us, there was no wind that day, so the crew basically wasted their time putting the sails up, but that was something to watch. However, at no time during the 60 min cruise did the crew talk about what we were seeing. i have been on cruises in several major cities in various countries, and they always have a commentator or similar. i found the lack of information to be the major downfall on this cruise and would not do it again. The food and drink prices were no deal either, but i guess that is nothing new at tourist attractions. Poor rating may be a bit harsh, but below expectations for sure.

Discount Dan

3  Thank Discountdan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MrDWells, Manager at Tallship Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2013

Dear Dan

Just wanted to touch base after discussing your cruise last year. I most certainly took your comments into consideration and have tried to make changes for the better. We do not offer a narrated tour on Kajama as we want to provide more of a sailing experience. Obviously if there is no wind available it is difficult to not use the motor. We do sail as much as we possibly can and we do our best to provide guests with a great sail. Sorry you didn't have a great experience we hope you will give us a chance this year to change that opinion.


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Reviewed September 15, 2012

We had a lot of fun sailing along the shore on the great sunny day! The crew did their best to please the passengers. Especially we enjoyed their song, when the guys were winding the ropes. Just one improvement may be done. At the beginning, when the passengers boarded the ship, the photographer took the pics of every group, holding the others. As a result we departed with a 25 min delay. The rest was OK. It is really worth trying.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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