As we get closer to the houseboat season, we wanted to keep you informed as to how things are evolving with regard to the current coronavirus situation. We are continuing to monitor the situation daily and are being guided by provincial guidelines and regulations.
Here in BC the signs are very encouraging! New confirmed cases are gradually dropping despite broadened testing criteria, death counts bounce back and forth between 1 and 5 daily but at least are not rising and, perhaps the most important stat is also the most encouraging: hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are steadily decreasing.
Restrictions have not yet been relaxed, though we’re expecting some relaxation soon. It should be noted that there are no restrictions that would prevent a houseboat vacation. However, we do want to be cautious and vigilant.
Like the other houseboat rental companies, we are preparing for and anticipating a relatively normal houseboat season. While it may be unlikely that we can provide houseboat vacations for the early Low Season (up to June 11) we’re hoping to be back to normal around then (still more than 7 weeks away), and surely before High Season starts (July 3).
We are currently doing the de-winterizing, mechanical upgrading and cleaning of the boat to prepare it for the summer season.
We are also taking special precautions this year that will be in place throughout the summer season. The houseboat will receive a deep cleaning and disinfecting between every rental group to the highest standards currently being applied to commercial operations, by professionals specializing in this service. We will also be extra vigilant in ensuring that all left-behind items are removed, so that there can be no transmission from one group to the next. Also, we will not be renting out bedding packages this summer; you will need to bring your own—as most people do anyways–and we encourage sleeping bags rather than sheets and blankets.
Should the situation not improve or even deteriorate, we will adjust policies as necessary. In the meantime, our normal policies, as outlined on our website, continue to apply.
House-boating is among the most self-isolating vacations from others that you can experience–other than your group on the boat, of course. So, as long as you are comfortable having that group in your “bubble,” we encourage you to consider this vacation option. We still have plenty of dates available in July, and a few later in the season.
Ron Geddert, Owner,
Remote Escape Vacations
House-boating and COVID-19
Like me, you’re being inundated by “How we are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis” emails these days.
But it is important to let those of you who have booked a houseboat vacation this summer, or are considering doing so, to understand what is involved and what steps we are taking to deal with the current crisis. Your health and safety is our concern.
First, let me clarify that it is hoped the current crisis will be largely over by the time the season gets seriously underway. It is still two months before the Victoria Day kick-off and more than three months before High Season starts. It is really too early to finalize adjustments, for us or our clients, but we are already preparing for that, should this drag on longer than is likely.
Second, house-boating isolates you from others, except for your family and friends on the same boat with you. So, outside of this small group, it is one of the safest summer vacation activities available. Besides, you are outside, most of the time.
Third, the marina (as of this date) has not informed us of any plans to alter their operations. We have not made any plans to alter ours, either. We will, however, take whatever precautions are necessary should any remnant of the crisis still be in effect at the time of your vacation.
Fourth, we are planning for extra measures beyond the normal thorough cleaning, to be taken before each new group boards the Remote Escape houseboat, to avoid transmission from one group to another. This will include such measures as wiping down all handrails, door-knobs, steering wheels, controls, switches, towel bars, etc.; using appropriate detergents in the deep cleaning that is done on the boat; and removing any left-over items (such as soaps, foods, etc.) from the previous group.
Fifth, we are, and will continue to be, guided by official policies. For example, as of now there is no prohibition in BC for gatherings under 50 people, so this does not affect house-boating. If they drop that number to 10, and the policy is still in effect at the time of your booking, it will. If you are forced to cancel your booking due to provincial regulations, your deposit and any final payments will be fully refunded. However, if you choose to cancel your booking at your own initiative but not due to prohibition by authorities, then normal refund policies will apply, as outlined on our website.
Sixth, as this is a domestic activity for most, it may be a great alternative to any international trips that you have planned but need to now cancel. Although we are nearing full capacity in High Season (but not Mid and Low), there are still a few openings and, with the many uncertainties, may be more last minute openings available.
We will keep you informed, should there be any further actions that need to be planned before the season starts.
Thank you for your patience.
Ron Geddert, Owner,
Remote Escape houseboat Vacations
The houseboat season is fast approaching, and we are preparing to make it the best houseboat season ever! Already, we have more nights booked for 2020 than we had for any of the past four entire seasons!
The Remote Escape was left in the water this winter, with a temporary roof constructed to shed the snow. But the heavy snow this winter meant some shovelling was still needed. It has been well looked after by the locals. Additionally, I took a trip up to Sicamous in January, to inspect the boat and do some shovelling myself, and was pleased with how well it had withstood this harsh winter.
De-winterization is scheduled for mid-April, after which the boat will be serviced and maintenance done to ready it for the season starting on Mothers’ Day weekend, May 9, 10. Some upgrades are being done over winter and will be reflected in an improved version of the boat this season.
The Last Few Days of Summer
As mentioned houseboat rentals have been brisk and we are quickly filling up. In fact, there are only a few days left in the mid-summer (high) season. Those dates are July 15,16 and July 20–24. Otherwise the boat is fully booked from June 26 through August 25. There is still a lot of availability outside those dates, though, and the prices are lower in mid and low seasons. Mid-season is from June12 – July 2 and Aug 17 – Sept 7; outside of that, is Low Season.
Here are some available packages (at time of writing);
Note: all packages start at 1pm on the first day and end at 10am on the last day.
The best beaches on Shuswap Lake
With the many superb beaches on Shuswap Lake, we’re often asked: Where’s the best beach to go to?
The answer is: “It depends.” Because it really does depend on the situation. Turtle Bay on Mara Lake is a great place to spend your first night. It is close by, is extremely sheltered from any storms, and doesn’t require you to navigate the Sicamous Channel and the bridges to get into Shuswap Lake. It’s safest to practice driving the boat before you take on these challenges, and Mara Lake and its Turtle Bay beaches provide this opportunity. Additionally, the old rail bed along shore offers an excellent walking trail for your morning exercise.
Up Shuswap Lake, on the Salmon Arm, it may depend on whether you want to watch the sunset or the sunrise. The east side of the arm has great beaches at Hungry Cove and Marble Point. The latter, one of the best sandy beaches on the entire lake is great for swimming, paddle-boarding, or just relaxing away from it all, and has a nice lake-shore trail, but also tends to be a little more exposed to dangerous storms. On the west side of the Salmon Arm, Tillis Beach is one of the best.
Towards the City of Salmon Arm, there are some beautiful beaches along the north shore, including Paradise Point, where you can hike up to Margaret Falls. But you need to stay away from the Provincial Park. Additionally, you need to be aware that you will hear trains along the south shore throughout the night.
If you want to venture further, up the Anstey Arm, Four Mile Creek offers stunning views of the lake, isolation from the crowds, and a sparkling creek amid dense forest. Be aware though, that the end of Anstey Arm has shallows that may ground your boat and also is exposed to storms.
Up the Seymour Arm, Steamboat Bay offers a great beach and place to moor your boat for the hike you won’t want to miss, the stunning series of cascades known as Albas Falls. Across the Arm, Horseshoe Bay offers a nice beaching area, along with services you might want. Nielsen Beach, along the Seymour Arm but close to the Narrows is a popular party beach but off limits to houseboat renters, a restriction enforced by all houseboat rental companies. On the opposite shore, Woods Landing offers a great beach to stay at.
The Shuswap Lake Arm is mostly off limits to houseboat mooring. However, houseboats can moor at Horseshoe Bay, a beautiful sheltered bay on the north shore of the Arm.
The Legend of the Shuswaggi
Like many reputable lakes, the Shuswap has its own legend of a sea monster, the Shuswaggi, or “water bear” in the Indigenous language. The monster, though rarely sighted, is described as an eel-like creature the moves along in vertical undulations. It has been speculated that the creature is a remnant Basilosaurus (meaning “king lizard”), an ancient creature that swam the earth 34 to 40 million years ago. Although that creature could grow up to 60 ft. long, purported sightings in the Shuswap have consistently been of 20-25 ft long creature, still almost twice the length of an orca.
Ancient tales report of the monster over-turning boats to get at the people inside. So, indigenous boaters would carry live chickens to feed the monster while they made a hurried escape.
Remote Escape’s insurance policy does not cover attacks by Shuswaggi’s, so guests are advised to bring live chickens with them (lol).
FAQ’s about house-boating on the Shuswap and about the Remote Escape
Click here to view and download a helpful guide to everything you need to know about house-boating on the Shuswap, and specifically n Remote Escape Vacations.
DON’T PROCRASTINATE! BOOK YOUR HOUSEBOAT VACATIONS BEFORE ALL DATES ARE GONE!
It’s that very special time of year, and I hope this year it, indeed, is special for you.
» If you have events to prepare for and perform, may they go flawlessly!
» If you have extended family coming over, may you have the most wonderful visit with them!
» If you have small children, may their eyes sparkle like the lights on the tree!
» If your Christmas celebration is a religious experience, may your faith be enriched!
» If you’re preparing a Christmas feast, may the turkey and fixins turn out perfectly!
» If your Christmas shopping is completed, may your credit card not be depleted!
Whatever your circumstances, may you experience the true spirit of giving and receiving at this special time, and may this season fill your life with love, happiness, and a personal experience of peace on earth! Warm Wishes this holiday season!
Fraser Valley Rent 2 Own
Remote Escape Vacations
Summer has come and (mostly) gone. It was a wonderful season on the Shuswap: a lot of great weather, no forest fires and the smoke that accompanies them, few storms on the lake and even the campfire ban was very limited.
Not surprisingly, it was also our most successful season to date, with a lot of happy clients who took home many wonderful memories. It’s hard to beat a houseboat vacation on the Shuswap!! Especially when the weather is so favourable.
September is still a great month for house-boating. Although we have had many inquiries for September, the month’s schedule remains mostly free. You can likely still book a last-minute September vacation, if you can squeeze it into your schedule.
We already have some bookings and many inquiries for 2020. For now, we are holding the 2020 prices to 2019 levels. After the season ends (about mid-October), we will re-evaluate the whole pricing structure; some prices are expected to increase.
For 2020, High season will run from July 3 – Aug 17; mid-season will run from June 5 to July 2 and August 18 to Labour Day (Sept 7); and low season will run before June 4 and after Labour Day.
If you considered a houseboat trip in 2019 but just couldn’t quite make it happen, or if you got your booked trip with another company cancelled, maybe it’s time to start planning your 2020 vacation on the Remote Escape.
Do you need a boating license to sail a houseboat?
That was the question I was asked several times this summer. “Of course,” I said. You need your Pleasure Craft Operator Card. They said they hadn’t needed it on a previous rental with one of the large companies. So I checked into it.
It turns out that a couple of the very large companies had made a deal with Transport Canada that, due to their extensive orientation and training program, which included all the same materials that Transport Canada tests you on, they were given an exemption to temporarily license their clients who took their orientation. So, that exemption was unique to those operators.
We do a quite extensive orientation, as well, but it is mostly about the boat, its operation and the Lake, itself. We do not teach marine regulations and navigation, so you need to have your Pleasure Craft Operators Card. Even so, the orientation usually takes 60-90 minutes before you are free to depart.
For those who have already house-boated, do you have great photos from your trip? We’re always looking to build our photo bank so that we don’t have to repeat the same photos on social media and in our marketing materials. So, we invite you to submit any great photos you have from your time house-boating. The top three photos will be awarded discounts on future houseboat bookings and acknowledged on social media. Email your photos to info@nullRemoteEscapeVacations.com. Please note that, by submitting a photo for the contest, you are giving Remote Escape Vacations permission to use the photo in their marketing, whether or not it is a winner.
Remote Escape specs and features
Dimensions: 60 ft x 16 ft
Sleeps: max. 18
Spacious living area
3 state rooms with queen beds
The summer is well under way on the Shuswap and people are enjoying their house-boating experience more than ever at “the house-boating capital of Canada”. A number of significant events have changed the house-boating environment this year.
Lowest freshet in 25 years
This year’s spring run-off produced the lowest peak flow in the 25 years since they’ve been keeping records. Waters crested in the Sicamous Channel at 347.591 m. on June 6. The previous low was in 2005 at 347.671 m. (about 3.5 inches higher). This means a safer Sicamous Channel to navigate, and an earlier bridge clearance date. This is a welcome change, as the last two years have seen near record high levels that produced a lot of flooding in the community, and treacherous navigational conditions.
So far this year (touch wood) we have not had serious wildfires throughout BC, the result of well-timed precipitation that came through June and into July and dampened the fire threat. This means the air is clear on the Shuswap, making for spectacular scenery and clean air to breathe. It also means that fire bans have not yet been put into effect (as of this writing), allowing campers to enjoy their evening campfires.
Waterways ceases operation
Waterways, the second largest houseboat company in the area, with 70 – 80 boats under contract, ceased operating June 11 after their bank forced them into receivership. This left clients who’d booked with them scrambling for alternatives or, in some cases, forfeiting their paid vacations. It also left many boat owners–only 7 boats, I’m told, were actually owned by Waterways, the rest being privately owned under a rental contract—scrambling to retrieve their boats and find new marinas in which to moor them.
Waterways was into its 51st season of operation on the Shuswap. It will be remembered for the free concerts it hosted in the middle of the lake on Victoria Day long weekend, last year featuring Trooper and this year The Stampeders.
Remote Escape Vacations is offering a 10% discount to any Waterways customers whose vacations got cancelled due to their foreclosure.
How many houseboats are available to rent on the Shuswap that sleep eighteen people? (answer below)
2019 dates still available on Remote Escape
July 11 – 17 (special deal: $2700)
July 22 – 26
Aug. 5 – 23
Aug 26 – Oct 14
(first date is date of departure after 1 pm, second date is date of arrival back at marina by 10 am.)
Prices until Aug 18: 3-night weekend or 4-night midweek $3540; full week: $5295.
August 19 – Sept 2: 3-night weekend or 4-night midweek $2440; full week: $3895.
After Sept 2: 3-night weekend or 4-night midweek $1895; full week: $2740.
Please visit our website: www.RemoteEscapeVacations.com for all the details.
2020 Bookings now being taken
We’re already getting inquiries for the 2020 season. For now, we are holding our prices for 2020 to the same as 2019. After the season is over, the prices may rise, but 2019 prices will be held until October 14. Please contact us as soon as possible to reserve your preferred dates for 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please click here for questions you might have about house-boating on the Shuswap.
One. Only the Remote Escape has a capacity of 18. Twin Anchors has several much larger, and expensive, boats (as did Waterways), but the majority of houseboats on the Shuswap have maximum capacities of 15 or 16. At least two parties, so far this year, needed the extra two spaces to accommodate their groups.
For a great house-boating vacation on the Shuswap, please visit:
Well, it seems we are almost at the middle of April 2019 and that means houseboat season is just around the corner!
We are in the process of getting the boat ready for our 2019 season and are happy to say we have many weeks, and weekends booked with vacationers!
Captain Ron needs to remove the roof he built over the boat to help protect it from the snow the BC interior gets, and then get the boat water ready.
We all have our fingers, toes, legs crossed that this year there are no terrible storms to knock our boat out of commission like last year. Let’s look forward to an exciting summer on the water!!
The Shuswap was as gorgeous as ever this summer. But Remote Escapes’ summer season didn’t turn out exactly as planned.
June 25 a freak overnight storm not only terrified the 15-person group on Remote Escape at the time but severely damaged the boat when the surging waves flooded the engine compartment. Hours later, the boat was towed to the marina where it sat, out of the water, for much of the summer while repairs were done. Kudos to the group on the boat at the time for remaining level-headed and handling the crisis so well. Many other houseboats were also damaged in the same storm.
Unfortunately, as the repairs took dragged on, future bookings had to be cancelled. Thank you to all for the graciousness with which you accepted these necessary changes-of-plans, sometimes on short notice.
The good news is that Remote Escape is repaired, in better shape than ever, and back in the water. We look forward to a great season next year!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Shuswap Lake dangerous?
It can be. Storms most often develop in the late afternoon but they can come at any time. You need to keep both an ear and an eye on the weather and, at the first sign of a storm build-up, find a safe place to beach, or a sheltered cove where you can wait it out. A safe place means where there is not a long “fetch” behind you for the waves to build up. Mara Lake is much safer.
2. Which are the best beaches?
It depends what you are looking for. There are so many beaches for so many different tastes. Among the favorites are Hungry Cove, Marble Point, Tillis Beach and Horseshoe Bay. Neilsen Beach is very rowdy, and off limits for rental groups. Beaches along the Salmon Arm between Sicamous and the City of Salmon Arm are nice but you have to deal with the constant train noise along that stretch. One of them is a reputed nude beach, so that may either attract or repel you.
3. Where is the best place on the Lake to spot wildlife?
There probably is no “best place.” Wildlife are everywhere. But that doesn’t mean you’ll always encounter them. It’s always hit-and-miss. This August a mother bear and two cubs came down to the water almost right beside our houseboat while parked at Marble Point. But, beware of the wildlife at Hungry Cove. It’s the mice that are hungry there, and they may clamour up your ropes to get onto the boat.
4. Is there really a sea monster in the Lake?
Legend has it that there is a Shuswaggi, a 25-ft long serpentine creature living in the Lake. It is believed to be of unfriendly disposition and sometimes responsible for freak storms. Its furry can, apparently, be quelled by feeding it live chickens.
EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNTS
We’re decided to hold all 2019 prices to the 2018 levels, even though costs keep escalating. And here’s the good news: For all bookings received before Nov. 11, 2018, we’ll give you 10% off those prices. From Nov. 12, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2018, you’ll get 5% off those prices.
The prices are always the same for a 3-day weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun nights) or a 4-day midweek (Mon – Thurs nights).
Before June 6; June 7 – July 4; July 5- Aug 18
After Sept 2 Aug 19 – Sept 2
3 Day Weekend $1895 $2440 $3540
4 Day Mid Week $1895 $2440 $3540
Full Week $2740 $3895 $5295
Custom dates: email for a quote.
Note: rarely is a regular mid-week available, so those trips must usually be customized.
Have you house-boated before? And got some great photos? We’d love to have you submit them for our use in future newsletters and social media. We’ll reward you by giving you a discount on your next booking with us. Simply reply to this newsletter and attach your photos.
Its never too early to plan for next summer! Our Summer 2019 rates are now up on the website!
Contact us today to book your vacation aboard the private Remote Escape Houseboat, based out of Sicamous BC!