Mariposa Cruises is a Canadian owned and operated company based in Toronto, Ontario. They began in 1987 after acquiring the Mariposa Belle steamship which, at that time had the largest passenger capacity in the city. Today, they are known as one of the longest standing tour operators on the waterfront and operate 6 different boats – two of which are the largest in Toronto’s Harbour.
They are one of Canada’s largest hospitality cruise operators – in addition to sightseeing harbour tours, they offer everything from private charters – for conferences, conventions, socials, weddings, corporate; special events – such as for Pride or partnerships with the city or province; public dinning – dinners, lunch, weekend brunch and cocktail cruises, and much more!
It’s About the Guest Experience
Guests’ experience the scenic Toronto skyline and lagoons aboard beautiful boats. These boats include a replica of the Great Lakes steamship as well as luxurious yachts. Mariposa Cruises pride themselves in being ‘the most dynamic experience on the water.’
Mariposa Cruises boasts it’s their dynamic guest experience which sets them apart in the competitive Toronto market. They take great pride in having a team focused on guest experience and in their fleet, capable of hosting from 20 to 575 guests, which offers amenities onboard that allow for free roaming on their outer decks as well as a range of indoor seating, dining, restrooms, and even a dancefloor!
“Our people make the difference and our sightseeing amenities onboard are unlike other harbour tour offerings. We are coach/group business friendly because of our capacity. People do like that they can move about the boat – because views change, giving our guests the opportunity to take beautiful photos at the vantage points they prefer,” explains Cindi Vanden Heuvel, the Vice President of Mariposa Cruises
Originally Mariposa operated as a collection of boats used primarily as event venues. Mariposa Cruises saw the opportunity to become more involved in the community and Toronto’s event scene and launched a strategy to offer superior tourism and sightseeing experiences.
“What we’re very passionate about here is staying current, on trend, identifying what is driving the industry. Events and tourism have different touch points, to a certain degree, with crossover of course. But each requires a dedicated focus, on guest experience and innovation. We’re constantly listening to our guest’s feedback so we’re always on top of trends and delivering on what our customers want from our services.”
In early 2016, Mariposa collaborated closely with AudioConexus about their vision for the future. As a result, plans were made to install their own TriggerPoint GPS Commentary System with wireless receivers to support premium sightseeing content for their Oriole steamship.
“Part of the challenge of creating this AudioConexus narrative was – because Toronto and the waterfront is changing everyday – providing our guests an engaging, unique Toronto experience without becoming outdated. [AudioConexus] did a really good job of providing a robust, interesting narrative that had all of these thematic threads of stories tied together, giving our listeners a great snapshot of life in Toronto. From historical to current day storytelling, the content does not become outdated in a matter of minutes. Its been really well received.”
Sightseeing commentary is currently offered in four languages simultaneously: English, French Canadian, Spanish, and Mandarin. Because of demand from the group market, Cindi and her team are currently working towards adding German and Japanese to their list of languages to expand their foreign language guest services.
Operating a Multilingual Business in a Multicultural City
Toronto, Ontario is known to be one of the most multicultural cities in the world with over 140 languages and dialects spoken there. Toronto is also the leading tourist destination in Canada with over 40 million visitors seen in 2015.
Seeing the continued growth and need for foreign language experiences, Cindi and her team continue to make foreign language commentary a priority. In addition to their new commentary, Mariposa invested in training staff who are available on board to answer any questions about the commentary that their guests may have.
“The AudioConexus product we brought last year was identified as an opportunity for us to be alone in that offering. We took a leadership position by having an exclusive offer in the Toronto market, which in the tour operator market can be a slow climb. We’re already seeing a great response and enthusiasm from the market. We didn’t anticipate that there would be the initial response there was – we’ve already seen a significant increase in ridership! New tour operators that had not previously cruised with us are now identifying that their guests would be interested in doing this.”
Mariposa Cruises has reported lots of growth this past year after their investment was made in new markets. They are also receiving positive feedback on their new commentary, which was co-developed by Mariposa Cruises and our Creative Services team.
“It was wonderful to witness that a lot of the investments that we’ve put in are helping us achieve our goals – which is a more robust, guest focused experience. We see opportunity in this market place to welcome more visitors from the group market. We certainly have the capacity in offering the amenities on board that make our tour experiences far more enjoyable.”
Mariposa Cruises has been awarded the Best Recreational Cruise by Consumer Choice Awards, Ontario’s Best Touring Experience from Attractions Ontario in 2016, and Toronto’s Choice Awards 2017 from Event Source. In addition, they are constantly being voted as one of the top attractions in Toronto by Trip Advisor.
Mariposa Cruises is also celebrating 30 years of business this year. From all of us at AudioConexus, we want to wish Mariposa Cruises a happy 30th anniversary! We wish you many more years of health, happiness, growth and success! Thanks for being such a great team!