Waterway Houseboats celebrates 50 years on Shuswap Lake

Waterway Houseboats is giving away a summer vacation for their anniversary

A lot can happen in 50 years, and for Waterway Houseboats it’s mostly been waves of fun.

The houseboat company, started in 1968, will be celebrating their 50-year anniversary this summer.

Owned by the Vinje Family from the Shuswap, since the 1970s, Waterway Houseboats only began with a few small boats. A stark contrast to the fleet the company has now.

Neil Millar, chief operating officer, says boats from the past were unsophisticated and small in contrast to the 30-person boats that sit on Shuswap Lake today.

“We have bookings now from all over the world, but our primary bookings are in Western Canada and the northwest states,” said Millar. “We get people from everywhere, Great Britain, Russia, Australia, the Netherlands, a sprinkling from all over.”

Millar says the company has evolved greatly over the years both operationally and in the houseboats themselves.

“We put a lot of effort into making sure our guests have their best vacations ever,” he says. “Our operations department implements a quality assurance program for all of our houseboats and we truly believe in quality over quantity.”

Improvements include experiences such as the Cruise Director, which allows guest access to a free trip planner to help organize their vacation. As well, the company launched a new Waterway app with features such as a map locator, booking options and a list of area activities.

While Waterway has improved their boats and the experience, many who book are often happily surprised to find that house boating has become so advanced and even a bit posh.

“They figure it will be like those first houseboats if they have never been, they are surprised how nice it is,” Millar explains. “They often say, ‘this is nicer than my house,’ and while luxurious they are very functional.”

Although some guests might be shy to get in the captain’s chair of these new houseboats, Millar says it’s not a worry.

“The beauty of this lake is it gets very fast offshore, so if you run the houseboat up on the beach you don’t have to worry about the prop hitting anything,” he says. “They don’t go fast, the lake is big, so it’s easy to manoeuvre and we give people a course.”

Last year, Waterway Houseboats was also named Sicamous Business of the Year for 2017 as the local company supports several area charities and events.

Enter to win: Houseboat summer vacation valued at $11,000

To celebrate the golden anniversary, Waterway Houseboats is giving away 50 items to represent 50 years, including ski vacations at Silver Star Mountain, a refund for a group who went house boating in 2017 and a free trip for this year. One of the trips this summer will include a luxury houseboat vacation where the group will also get to attend Roots and Blues, where it was just announced that Michael Franti will perform.

RELATED: Michael Franti and Spearhead return to Roots and Blues

Waterway House Boats is also throwing a May long weekend party where the Canadian band Trooper will play for a good time, not a long time.


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Book examines Trout Creek

Mary Trainer’s third book delves into history and culture of Summerland neighbourhood

LETTER: Dock problem should have been prevented

Residents had noticed height of replacement docks at Rotary Beach

LETTER: Defending a sweet, seasonal song

The column in last week’s Review is an attempt to make “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” into something ugly

COLUMN: Taking a closer look at a seasonal song

The world has changed since 1944, when Baby, It’s Cold Outside was written

Program provides food for Summerland children and families

Penny Lane Pack Program supplies children with food for the weekend

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

Being vegan during the holidays just got a little bit better

Cook up these delicious options during the holidays

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Sicamous behind as Sled Town Showdown enters its final day

Tumbler ridge enjoys a three-digit lead as the online contest nears its conclusion

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

Shuswap girl raises funds in memory of two-year-old who died

Wolter family announces formation of Alice’s Angels bursary in honour of their daughter

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

Most Read