What better way to see the city of Ottawa for the first time than by seeing it by both land and water?!
Last week we had the opportunity to join Lady Dive Tours on an Amphi-bus tour, a tour that allows you to explore the city from two different perspectives.
What is an Amphi-bus tour?
If you aren’t familiar with Amphi-bus tours, let us give you a little bit of an overview. An Amphi-bus is a vehicle that can travel on both land and water. So not only is it a bus, it’s also a boat! In our opinion this is a great way to see Ottawa for the first time as there are so many waterways throughout the city that give visitors an entirely new perspective.
What other tours does Lady Dive offer?
In addition to the Amphi-bus tour, Lady Dive also offers a Hop-on Hop-off tour aboard a double-decker bus. This tour allows you to “hop off” at any stop along the way to explore and then “hop on” to continue your adventure. They visit common sites such as museums, parks, galleries and the Byward Market. Additionally, you can opt to get the combo tour which gives you access to the Amphi-bus and double decker! Lady Dive doesn’t stop there though, if both bus rides aren’t your thing, you can browse their list of packages that include bus tours and your choice of select museums all in one.
Our final thoughts
All in all, we had a great experience aboard Lady Dive’s Amphi-bus tour! We were able to tour our own city in the comfort of a bus/boat hybrid all while listening to a helpful guide explain the different sites and landmarks throughout the city. We were free to take as many pictures as we like and able to ask questions about what we were seeing. We had the pleasure of taking the tour on a bright, sunny day and it felt very refreshing being out on the water (even if the Ottawa River isn’t the cleanest water in the world..).
We would recommend taking a Lady Dive tour if you are first time visitor to the city and don’t really have an idea on where to start. The bonus of driving the streets and surrounding river gives you the opportunity to get a comprehensive overview of the city and better plan out what you’d like to see or do next!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does it last?
The Amphi-bus tour lasts about an hour, whereas the hop-on-hop-off tours can last up to an hour and fifteen minutes (if you were to just stay on the bus the entire time instead of hoping on and off).
How big are the groups?
This will depend on how many people decide to do the tour on any given day. On a Thursday evening in June we were about 20 people but we can imagine that you could expect a lot more if you visit during the month of July as this is Ottawa’s busiest month in terms of tourism.
How much does it cost?
The Amphi-bus tour costs $32 per person for adults, $29 for seniors/students, children 3 to 12 for $22 and children 2 and under for $11.
The hop-on-hop-off tours can vary depending on how many days you want to ride for and if you decide to add on one of their offered packages. For specific options and prices, check out their webpage.
Tip: You can save $2 on your tickets if you buy online!
Is it safe?
Totally! In fact, Lady Dive goes through 3 inspections annually on its Amphi-bus, from the provinces of Quebec and Ontario as well as from the Government of Canada.
What do I need to bring?
A bottle of water to stay hydrated, some sunscreen/sunglasses and your camera of course! You will get to see the city from a whole different angle so be sure to choose a window seat if possible for the best shots. Note that there are no food or drinks allowed on the bus so be sure to have your snack before you board.
This all sounds great! I would love to do this with my friends/family. How can I contact them and reserve my spot?
Visit Lady Dive’s website for contact info and online booking!
We’d like to thank Lady Dive Tours for generously sponsoring our experience in exchange for this review. As with all articles, you can be assured you are getting our honest opinions.
Have you ever been on an Amphi-bus tour?
If so, what was your favourite part?
Never miss an update – sign up to our newsletter!
Bonus: You’ll even get a free copy of our printable His & Hers Carry-On Essentials Packing List!