St. Lawrence Cruise Lines

About Us

How it all began...

The M/V Canadian Empress was the result of some fanciful thinking on the part of Bob Clark in 1979. Having lived on the St. Lawrence River for a number of years and being familiar with its many attractions and scenic beauty, Bob couldn't understand why there wasn't an overnight cruise ship providing a regular opportunity for visitors to see this very special part of the world.

Bob Clarke, Founder of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines

Having been actively involved in architecture, real estate and the housing industry, Bob's entrepreneurial spirit wouldn't allow him to let go of this idea and within a very short period of time the keel for the ship was being laid. The M/V Canadian Empress was launched on September 6th, 1981.

The year 1908 was chosen as a design and decor theme because Bob wanted a vessel that would integrate well with the history of the St. Lawrence river. The M/V Canadian Empress is not a replica of any specific vessel, but is a composite replica of many vessels that were common in the St. Lawrence region during the last century.

Over the years, the M/V Canadian Empress has been host to guests from virtually every province of Canada, every state in the United States and numerous countries throughout the world. In 1990, St. Lawrence Cruise Lines Inc. was named Business of the Year by the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce, and in 1997, Bob Clark was named Business Person of the Year.

Bob is a firm believer in a "hands-on" management style, always looking for improvements; and so, it's not uncommon to find Bob and his wife Mryna cruising on board with passengers... taking just a little time from work to enjoy the scenic beauty of these wonderful rivers.


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