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Prairie Lily sailing the South Saskatchewan River to begin summer boating season

Click to play video: 'Prairie Lily set to sail for the summer season' Prairie Lily set to sail for the summer season
WATCH: One of the city's favourite seasonal attractions officially opens for the season this weekend. The Prairie Lily is setting sail on Saturday. As Brady Ratzlaff reports, they are excited to be back after two challenging years – May 7, 2022

One of the most iconic tourist attractions in Saskatoon, the Prairie Lily River Boat, began its sailing season on the South Saskatchewan River on Saturday.

This is a stark contrast to season start times in the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We started on June 24 and July 1 the last two years,” said riverboat co-owner and purser Joan Steckhan.

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“We were only running a three-month season, not starting until July, we got a lot of yard work (on the boat) done. It’s nice to be running a full season.”

Tourism Saskatoon‘s Sarah Berger says the Prairie Lily signifies the start of the summer for the bridge city and is truly one of the more unique experiences for all residents or people visiting from out of town.

“When we hear the Prairie Lily is launching for the first sail of the year, we know summer is really here. We can dust off those sandals and put away the winter coats and enjoy what Saskatoon has to offer in the summer months,” Berger said.

“If you haven’t had a ride on the Prairie Lily I suggest you do it sooner than later, (it is a) great way to see the city from the river, enjoy the entertainment,” Berger added.

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Steckhan hopes the 2022 season will be smooth sailing after the hit business took over the last two years due to health restrictions for the pandemic.

The boat can hold 119 at full capacity but chooses to operate around 100 people on board at a time in the upstairs and downstairs areas of the boat.

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“Last summer we sold all of our summer cruises through September by July 15,” Steckhan adds.

All things considered, the staff and crew of the riverboat are grateful they were able to pull through the pandemic, still in operation.

“We’ve lost about a third of passenger’s vessels that would be sailing throughout Canada due to COVID-19. We are incredibly thankful we were able to get through the storm.”

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Steckhan says Mother’s Day brunch is fully booked, however, there were open spots for sails later on Sunday.

The season usually runs from May through Labour Day weekend in September.

Steckhan adds they will have some special guests throughout the sailing season as well.

For more information or to book a reservation visit the Prairie Lily website.

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