Entertainment Cruises announced yesterday that it has acquired Toronto-based Mariposa Cruises. The purchase extends the company’s footprint into Canada for the first time, boosting its operation to 48 vessels serving approximately 2.3 million guests across 11 city locations in North America.

“As a highly regarded business with an established reputation for quality on-water experiences, Mariposa Cruises perfectly complements Entertainment Cruises' portfolio. This is a natural and exciting step in our expansion strategy beyond the U.S.,” Kenneth Svendsen, CEO of Entertainment Cruises, said in a statement. “Both companies share a commitment to excellence and are deeply rooted in the guest experience, and together they will be better able to achieve their combined vision in the Canadian market.”

Recognised as Toronto’s largest hospitality cruise operator, Mariposa Cruises has served Toronto’s waterfront and Lake Ontario with dining cruises, sightseeing and private charters since 1987. Given its longstanding reputation, the business will continue to operate under the Mariposa Cruises brand and will remain headquartered at its home base in the heart of the Toronto harbor front at the Queen’s Quay Terminal Building.

“Entertainment Cruises’ commitment to extraordinary experiences and relentless focus on quality is a great cultural and commercial fit for our business,” Jim Nicholson, president and CEO, Mariposa Cruises, said in a statement. "We will benefit from a level of scale and scope that supports our ambitions, and better equips us for the future – more so than if we had continued to pursue a standalone path. I feel excited for Mariposa under their leadership.”

With 128 full-time and seasonal employees joining Entertainment Cruises, the company intends to maximize benefits for both operations and leverage the significant expertise across the whole business.

Entertainment Cruises operates a portfolio of seven distinctive cruise brands in destinations such as Alexandria, Va., Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, National Harbor, Md., Norfolk, Va., Philadelphia, New York, Weehawken, N.J., and the wider Washington, D.C., area.

In 2016, the company acquired Virginia-based Potomac Riverboat Co., and has since added four new high speed, low wake, environmentally friendly water taxis to service the D.C. metro area. Next month, Odyssey Chicago River a modern glass-enclosed vessel built specifically for cruising the Chicago River ─ is expected to make its debut and will introduce upscale dining and entertainment alongside unparalleled 360-degree views of the city’s world-renowned architecture. Entertainment Cruises is part of the PPC Partners group of companies.

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.