NORTH BAY -- This season, the Chief Commanda II in North Bay is navigating uncharted waters because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With passenger cruises cancelled, the ship that has docked at the North Bay waterfront for the past 70 years is now sitting on land in Callander.

“You know, I think we would have had good ridership this year so it’s definitely disappointing to not be able to get out and, you know, do what we love and expose people to the beautiful area that we have,” said captain Rich Stivrins.

"But we will live to fight another day."

Stivrins has been with the Chief Commanda II since he moved to the gateway city with his family in 2002.

To keep tourists coming to northeastern Ontario once the pandemic is over, Destination Northern Ontario is launching the ‘Dream on’ campaign, encouraging tour operators and travellers to share pictures and videos of northern communities.

“A lot of people are consuming more content than they probably ever have right now being at home,” said Destination Northern Ontario spokesperson Stephanie Hopkin.

"This is allowing us to share stories that are inspirational, while not necessarily pushing people to travel and just keeping northern Ontario top of mind for when they do."

While that campaign is reaching communities regionally, Tourism North Bay is using a Facebook campaign called ‘Distance socially, eat locally’ to encourage more people to support local restaurants.

“We’re trying to promote as much as we can to support the local restaurants so at least that local support can take place to support those operations,” said Steve Dreany with Tourism North Bay.

Those wishing to submit images, videos and stories can do so online using the #DreamON.