Mariposa Cruises: Toronto’s Best Brunch with a View (+ Giveaway)

Summer in Toronto is an ideal time for a getaway in the middle of the city. So, when I was  invited to check out the new menu on the Mariposa Cruises brunch cruise, I booked the first weekend date available and asked my parents to join me for an afternoon cruise of  the Toronto harbour and Sunday brunch.

With its fantastic views of the skyline, the beautiful Toronto islands and sparkling Lake Ontario, taking a harbour boat cruise is one of the top things to do in Toronto.  Combine that with a Mariposa Cruises Brunch buffet and you get the best brunch with a view in Toronto.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about booking this popular Toronto buffet brunch cruise (and there’s a giveaway too!)

View from Mariposa Cruises Toronto Brunch CruiseSoak up the skyline views during a Toronto harbour boat cruise

Mariposa Cruises Fleet of Ships

The ship we cruised on for our Sunday brunch was the Captain Matthew Flinders, the flagship of the Mariposa Cruises fleet. We boarded the ship at the Toronto Harbourfront at 207 Queen’s Quay West, which was really convenient and offered fantastic views of outdoor patios, soaring seabirds, water taxis and Toronto islands from along the boardwalk’s waterfront promenade. We were glad we arrived a bit early so we could take photos. Boarding began exactly at 11:30 am.

Captain Matthew Flinders Mariposa Cruises

Captain Matthew Flinders Mariposa Cruises

It’s important to note that the specific Mariposa vessel is not confirmed until the brunch cruise date. All six of the Mariposa vessels are available and subject to change. While the Captain Matthew Flinders offers an expansive interior space, each ship has its own special charms. They are all air-conditioned with plenty of outdoor and indoor areas for shade.

Mariposa Cruises also offers smaller vessels such as Showboat, which features a Paddlewheel Steamer design and Oriole, a replica of a Great Lakes Steamship – both great  options for special events, Toronto harbour cruises, sightseeing cruises and brunch cruises.

Toronto HarbourMariposa Cruises also offers Showboat and Oriole, a Great Lakes Steamship replica

Other ships include the bright and spacious modern yachts, Klancy II and wrapping up a $500 million interior renovation, Northern Spirit, one of the two largest passenger ships in Toronto.

Background of Mariposa Cruises

Views from the top deck during Mariposa Cruises Toronto Brunch

Views from the top deck during Mariposa Cruises Toronto Brunch

Mariposa Cruises has been in operation since 1987 and is the largest hospitality cruise operator in Toronto. Their public cruises–which include a Sunset Dinner Cruise, Lunch Cruise, Weekend Brunch Cruise, Sip & Sail Cocktail Cruise and more–are opportunities for visitors ( and locals like us!)  to experience Toronto’s beautiful island archipelago, harbour and skyline. They also offer private charters for weddings, corporate events and other celebrations.

Mariposa Cruises Sunday Brunch Menu

Our Brunch Cruise set sail at 12 noon as planned, departing the dock so smoothly we barely noticed we were sailing, until we noticed the buildings disappearing from view. We had reserved a table by the window ( extra cost) so had panoramic views of the skyline as we sailed into Toronto’s inner harbour. The waiter took our orders for VQA Ontario wine from the fully-licensed cash bar.

I was interested in experiencing the new Weekend Brunch menu created by Mariposa Cruises’ new executive chef Andrew Capone (formerly of The Drake, Thuet, Harbord Room and others).  Chef Capone has unveiled a new, elevated dining experience across Mariposa Cruises, including the Weekend Brunch, in 2018.

Cannoli Mariposa Cruises Brunch

This new menu features appetizers (fresh fruit salads, a fresh daily salad, delicious smoked trout and salmon, bakery items such as croissants), main courses (a carvery table with AAA beef, self-serve scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, ham, pancakes, French yogurt, cereals) and a dessert buffet featuring a pastry station of  chocolate and vanilla cannoli.

It’s also possible to order pre-order Menu Enhancements such as feta bruschetta and antipasto platters. The passengers at the table next to us ordered a beautiful fruit and cheese platter for two and, at $17.95, it looked like very good value.

We really enjoyed the cuisine on this weekend brunch. While the selections are fewer than you might get at a weekend buffet brunch at a Toronto hotel, the quality of each of the dishes was very high. The quinoa salad dotted with bright red peppers featured a refreshing vinaigrette while the smoked trout salad was packed with flavour. A highlight of the breakfast pastries were the light, crisp and buttery golden croissants, the definition of a perfect croissant.

Sightseeing During the Mariposa Cruises Brunch

Toronto Islands

The Toronto Islands feel a world away from downtown Toronto

While dining, we cruised through the Toronto inner harbour and into the Toronto island archipelago, a collection of 15 small islands across from downtown Toronto. With glimpses of flocks of geese and cormorants soaring over the water of Lake Ontario, it felt as though we were cruising through cottage country.

Once  we finished enjoying our brunch, there was still time remaining in the 2-hour cruise to go up on deck to enjoy the spectacular 360 degree views of the Toronto skyline and famous islands as we returned to the Toronto harbour. It was a truly memorable day.

Mariposa Cruises Brunch Giveaway

Plane landing at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Watch the planes landing at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

We enjoyed our Mariposa Cruises Brunch so much, we’d love for you to have an opportunity to enjoy one too.  And Mariposa Cruises has generously offered to sponsor a giveaway for a pair of brunch cruise tickets to one lucky A Taste for Travel reader! The winner will receive a brunch cruise for 2 on Mariposa Cruises Toronto (approximate value of $155 CAD).

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment at the end of this post telling us why you’d like to take a Mariposa Cruises Brunch cruise and then enter your name and email in the Rafflecopter entry form. The winner will be chosen by random draw by Rafflecopter.

Your privacy is very important to us and your email will not be shared with anyone (unless you’re the lucky winner of course – in which case you’ll be contacted to claim your experience). Good luck and happy cruising! Read our complete Privacy Policy for details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In addition to the conditions listed within the Rafflecopter form, please note the following details and restrictions:
1) Certificate is valid for a brunch cruise for two guests
2) Valid for one year from date of issue (Brunch cruises operate between May – October )
3) One guest must be 19 years or older
4) Not redeemable for special events
5) Subject to availability
6) Not redeemable or exchangeable for cash/credit
7) Not replaceable if lost or stolen
8) Ontario residents only


Disclosure: The author was hosted by Mariposa Cruises. As always, our opinions are our own honest impressions and we only recommend properties and experiences we believe our readers will enjoy. We also participate in affiliate programs which means  A Taste for Travel may receive a commission if you make a purchase from links on this website such as Amazon, Hotels.com, Booking.com or others. Please read our Full Disclosure. 

Mariposa Cruises Travel Planner

Mariposa Cruises Toronto Brunch Cruise Prices:

Adults: $59.95 CAD plus HST and HSC
Children (age 4- 12 years): $32.95 CAD plus HST and HSC
Children 3 and under: FREE!

2018 Mariposa Cruises Brunch Schedule:

Every Saturday and Sunday May 19 – September 30
Every Sunday October 7 – October 28 

Toronto Sightseeing Cruise vs a Brunch Cruise: How does a Brunch Cruise compare to a sightseeing cruise? The cost of a Mariposa sightseeing cruise is $24.95 CAD plus HST and includes a 45 minute cruise. The brunch cruise is a 2-hour cruise so you get an extra 1.25 hours of sightseeing plus a full brunch for $35 CAD extra per person. It’s also worth noting that while it’s possible to find cheaper harbour cruises among other operators, some of those ships have no shade and are so crowded, you must remain seated for the entire duration of the cruise. In my opinion, the Mariposa Cruises brunch tour is a much more upscale experience.

Visit the Mariposa Cruises Website to book.

Here are some handy travel tips on visiting Toronto and taking a scenic harbour cruise in Toronto:

1. Wear comfortable shoes, take a sweater or jacket and be sure to pack sunscreen and a hat for sun protection.

2. Take the TTC (subway, bus and streetcar network) or Uber to get to the Toronto Harbour. During special events, the harbour area can get very busy.

3. If you do decide to drive, there is a Green P Parking lot across the street from Harbourfront on Queen’s Quay. Boarding takes place at 207 Queen’s Quay West at the intersection of York Street and Queen’s Quay West.

4. Pick up free maps, tourist booklets packed with information and get advice at the Tourism Toronto and Ontario Travel visitor information centres or online.

5. If you’re travelling with seniors, children in strollers or persons with disabilities, note that due to record-high lake levels in 2017, the boarding ramps have a very steep incline. Mariposa Cruises has advised they are currently unable to accommodate persons in wheelchairs on their boats until water levels allow. On the Captain Matthew Flinders ship, once inside, you also need to be able to descent steep stairs into the dining area.

6. Look into whether it makes sense to get a CityPASS during your visit to Toronto. The cost is $72 per adult which saves you money off the regular price of 5 major attractions but for me, the biggest advantage is that a CityPass allows you to bypass the lineups.

Save up to 50% off combined prices for admission to must-see attractions with CityPASS. Shop now!

7. Get the best deal on your hotel by using Hotelscombined.com, a search engine that compares top travel websites (such as Booking.com, Expedia and Hotels.com) to find the cheapest price. The closest hotels to Mariposa Cruises brunch and other harbour tours are the Westin Harbour Castle and the Radisson Admiral Harbourfront. 

8.  There’s a FREE seasonal shopping shuttle from Union Station ( June 1 – Sept 30) near Harbourfront to Vaughan Mills Premium Outlet Mall. If you have kids they’ll be entertained at Legoland (check out those kiddie strollers with touch screens) plus there’s a Banana Republic Factory Store, Kate Spade, BOSS, Calvin Klein, Cole Haan, DKNY, and Winners all under one architecturally impressive roof.

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Why Hockley Valley Resort Should Be Your Next Weekend Escape 

21 Reasons to Visit Kawartha Lakes This Summer 

Food lovers Guide to Muskoka 

Top Things to Do in Toronto 

Planning a visit to Toronto? Save this pin to Pinterest! 

With its fantastic views of the skyline, the beautiful Toronto islands and sparkling Lake Ontario, taking a harbour boat cruise is one of the top things to do in Toronto.  Combine that with a Mariposa Cruises Brunch buffet and you get the best brunch with a view in Toronto

Michele Peterson
Michele Peterson
Dividing her time between Toronto, Mexico and Guatemala (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is an award-winning writer, blogger, editor and publisher who specializes in travel, cuisine and luxury lifestyles.
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Showing 61 comments
  • Doreen Pendgracs
    Reply

    Thx for this post, Michele. We enjoyed one of these Sunset Cruises during a Toronto conference once and our group really enjoyed it. Thx for reminding me about the experience.

  • Donna Janke
    Reply

    Mariposa Cruises look a good idea for my next visit to Toronto. Great views of the city and Toronto Island as well as delicious-looking food.

  • SOJUNG YOO
    Reply

    Would loveee to bring my boyfriend <3 We just had our anniversary recently and this would be cherry on top 🙂

  • SOJUNG YOO
    Reply

    I would love to take Mariposa Cruises Brunch cruise because I’ve never been on and me and my boyfriend recently had a anniversary and this would be just perfect way to celebrate. I think it’s a wonderful way to check out toronto.

  • Eita
    Reply

    would love to bring my brunch crew!

  • Mario Capo
    Reply

    Amazing photos! I would love to bring a friend on a Mariposa brunch and try to get some great photos of Toronto from the water.

  • Pasquale Capo
    Reply

    Please enter me in the contest, I would love to find out which boat out of six I would end up on. The Capt Matthew Flinders looks impressive. Thanks for the tips re shade and being able to sit down. As a senior–or bringing seniors as guests–that’s need to know info!

  • Nicole Jubleew
    Reply

    I would love to take my best friend for a much needed girls days out.

  • Tracey
    Reply

    I have never been on Mariposa Cruises Brunch cruise. It sounds wonderful! I would love to take my sister.

  • jason kinnin
    Reply

    Would take my mom

  • Robert Pape
    Reply

    I would let my daughter take a french exchange student that is here over the summer.

  • Margaret Palmer
    Reply

    My husband would enjoy this.

  • Leanne
    Reply

    I would love to take my fiancé on a mariposa brunch cruise . Been a while since we’ve gone on a date .

  • SHARON TRAVIS
    Reply

    I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE MY HUSBAND ON A ROMANTIC CRUISE

  • cassandra
    Reply

    My fiance of course – to spend some quality time together with a view of the city we have never experienced before!

  • sara kirkham
    Reply

    my Daughter, because I hardly see her

  • Melonie Borhi
    Reply

    My son because hes never been to Toronto before.

  • Manuel Vizcaya
    Reply

    I would like to take my dad on a brunch cruise because he is so good to me.

  • Nina Pagniello
    Reply

    This would be perfect. I have family coming from Europe and I would love to show them the Toronto skyline and enjoy a lovely brunch!!

  • Cassandra Kazlovskis
    Reply

    I would take my husband – Date night!

  • Linda Svarovsky
    Reply

    I would take my spouse as he would love a break

  • John Mc
    Reply

    I would love this cruise for two reasons; one is I love food and the menu sounds tasty and two, I’ve never been on a cruise of the Lake and I’ve lived here my entire life.

  • Surinder gurm
    Reply

    My spouse he loves being out on the water

  • Ruth Dunlop
    Reply

    I would love to win this and take my husband and kids. They deserve this beautiful event !!!

  • Tiffany Rotulo
    Reply

    I would love to take my husband. We never do anything together anymore and it sounds like a lot of fun.

  • Eliz T
    Reply

    I would bring my fiance (we’re recently engaged!) with me, we work opposite schedules during the week, but Sundays are our golden days where we both don’t work!

  • 409cope
    Reply

    I would love to take my hubby as we do everything together.

  • Pamela Fontaine
    Reply

    I’d love to go on this cruise with my husband! Looks like a lot of fun!

  • Nancy W.
    Reply

    This looks amazing! I would love to take my best friend for her birthday 🙂

  • Laurence Price
    Reply

    I would love to take my mother. She has supported all of my choices and has been there for me from the beginning. It’s great to have someone encourage and support me through the good times and the bad. She’s a great person and a fantastic mother and does so much for everyone. I am proud to acknowledge that. 

  • Grace Chen
    Reply

    I have been visit Toronto few times, never heard about the offshore cruise, the information is very helpful, it’s worth to pay a visit.

  • Colette
    Reply

    This looks fantastic! I would love a date brunch with my boyfriend!

  • YIHsuan Lu
    Reply

    The brunch sounds delicious, plus I love cruise, who doesn’t

  • Vanessa Logan
    Reply

    I would love to go with my husband as a nice date!

  • M
    Reply

    I would love to take my mom to enjoy the Toronto harbour/view

  • Orna Soref
    Reply

    I did not decide because I love every one of my family proably we have a game & the game who will join with me. Is it possible that some of the guest will buy tickets?

  • Jolie
    Reply

    Would love to take my hubby 🙂

  • nicoleroannef
    Reply

    I would love to take my partner. It’s lovely to see the city from a new perspective, never done a brunch cruise before.

  • Sylvia
    Reply

    I would love to take my daughter along on the cruise. I went on a Mariposa cruise about 8 years ago when my mother came from Australia to visit us and it was so much fun that I feel it would be good to go on the cruise with my daughter this time around & enjoy.

  • Bethann Dekoker
    Reply

    Looks like a wonderful way to see Toronto from a different view- and a relaxing meal on the water!

  • Pam
    Reply

    I have actually looked at Mariposa cruises before for an outing but wasn’t quite sure. I didn’t know anyone who had been on one.
    I would love to go with hubby and have some romance!

  • Yeon
    Reply

    I would love to take my mother on a Mariposa Cruises

  • Joanne Careri
    Reply

    This sounds so much fun. I’d love to take my kids

  • Kira K
    Reply

    I would love to brunch with my fiance !

  • Tierra Gordon
    Reply

    Would love to go for brunch. I’m new to the city and this would be a great way to explore.

  • Christina
    Reply

    I would take my mom

  • Freddy
    Reply

    I’d like to take my wife, we just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary last week!

  • KellyPC
    Reply

    I’d take my husband cause hes’ a sweetie!

  • kathleen cripps
    Reply

    I’d take 3 good friends, and have a ball!

  • Rianna
    Reply

    This would be so much fun to do with my husband and son

  • Jen
    Reply

    I’m not sure who i would bring to be honest. but it would be someone who loves brunch and taking pics of the skyline! I have a few people in mind! Thanks for the chance 🙂

  • Athena
    Reply

    I’d love to take my Mom!

  • Nancy M
    Reply

    I’d love to take my girlfriend to thank her for being such a great pal. She recently moved to Kingston and this, no doubt, would convince her to come back for a visit. And I’ve always wanted to go.

  • gayle bellemare
    Reply

    I love Toronto & being raised there, not far from the lake, has left me with a love for boating of any type in Toronto Harbour. I’d love to take my long time best friend, who I used to frequently take the Island Ferry with and ride the paddle boats through the Ontario Place channels with, on a brunch cruise through the harbour. This sounds like a wonderful time to spend catching up, something we never seem to do, while seeing the beautiful city we both love,from the water.

  • Vicki Hill
    Reply

    I would love ro take my bf. He is amazing. Is always there for me.

  • Orna Soref
    Reply

    I am going to give it to my parents for 60 years wedding aneversery

  • Clare O'Brien
    Reply

    I would take my mom to celebrate her finishing chemo!

  • Erin McSweeney
    Reply

    i would love to take my bestie with me …we’re always up for trying new things and we would have so much fun together

  • M. L.
    Reply

    I’m coming up to Toronto in a few weeks for a vacation, and I can’t think of anything that sounds more lovely or relaxing than to take a Maraposa brunch cruise with my beloved. 🙂

  • Marlene J
    Reply

    I would take my friend on the Mariposa Cruises Toronto brunch cruise, she is always fun to be around.

  • Lori Sweet
    Reply

    Great article! I have been to Toronto many times but have never taken a cruise. This sounds perfect.

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