A splash of island life on Okanagan Lake - InfoNews

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A splash of island life on Okanagan Lake

Sail away with Tiki Tours.
Image Credit: Tiki Tours
July 11, 2020 - 12:00 PM

It wasn’t their intention to start a tourism business during a pandemic, but at least COVID-19's limitations gave Carolina and Jason Lloyd a good marketing pitch.

“If you can’t go to Hawaii, let us bring Hawaii to you,” Carolina with Tiki Time Tours said.

Planning for the business started long before COVID-19. Legions of tourists to the Okanagan Valley made the business seem like a solid idea, but between delays in getting equipment due to the pandemic and then travel restrictions provided some pretty choppy waters.

But with things starting to get busy again, Carolina is pretty sure staycationers will find some joy in what they have to offer.

She and her husband Jason have started Kelowna’s first and only floating Tiki boat. It’s 28 feet by 10 feet and equipped with a tiki bar that can accommodate up to 11 guests.

There are fully functioning washroom facilities, Bluetooth speaker, bar stools, bench seating, cooler, karaoke system, and all safety equipment on board. Passengers are invited to bring their own alcohol as the boat is alcohol permitted. Their captains are all certified and licensed by Transport Canada.

It’s something a little different for Okanagan Lake, but feels like home to Carolina.

“I’m from the Dominican Republic and I've lived here for 11 years and wanted to bring the flavour of the island life here,” Carolina said.

“There’s nothing like it right now.”

Their tours will last three hours, and there will be daily sunset tours, with longer private charters also available.

It launches from Manteo Resort marina, and Carolina said captains offer a local’s perspective of Kelowna and the fun of cruising Okanagan Lake.

They also have a tiki bus that’s equipped with karaoke and live music and can be chartered anywhere between Vernon and Penticton.

All employees have been trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.

To learn more, visit their website.

This story was originally published July 8.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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