2020 Guest Safety Precautions & Instructions

A Rainy Lake Houseboat vacation is one of the safest ways to explore Voyageur National Park and Rainy Lake. Visitors experience a getaway that makes social distancing easy. Guests will only be with those they choose to vacation with on the houseboat. All mooring sites in Voyageurs National Park are first come first serve. When guests are moored no one else can come to their site unless they are invited. Interactions with RLHB staff will be limited and accomplished through changes in the way we interact with our customers and staff.

Our family has been in the resort business on Rainy Lake for over 100 years. We deeply value our staff and our guests, and are undertaking measures to ensure their safety.

Below is an outline of how RLHB will ensure our guests can experience a safe and healthy vacation:

Trip Planning

Guests will be encouraged to limit their parties’ size to CDC recommended guidelines. Guests will receive instructions from Rainy Lake Houseboats regarding all items recommended to bring for their trip.


Prior to arrival, guests should download the Boating Apps navigational tool on their cell phones or tablets through the Apple Store or Google Apps.


Directions to Rainy Lake Houseboats if not driving into International Falls. Turn right on Hwy 332 travel approximately 3 miles to Hwy 11 East. Turn right on Hwy 11 East. Travel nine miles to County Road 138 (Gold Shore Drive) turn left, travel ½ mile and turn right on County Road 102, (RLHB sign).


Pre-Ordering through RLHB

  • • Pre-order bait, block ice, cube ice, and extra fuel if needed at Rainy Lake Houseboats.
  • • To pre-order, we ask that guests email info@rainylakehouseboats.com 3-5 days prior to their trip (pricing will be listed as soon as the fishing begins on May 9th).
  • • Pre-ordering will speed up the process of getting our guests out on beautiful Rainy Lake and help minimize contact with RLHB staff.


  • • Due to current CDC guidelines, guests are required to provide their own pillows and blankets. RLHB offers linen packs available for $11.00 per bed. Linens are washed and sanitized by a commercial laundry company.

Food + Groceries:

  • • It will be best to purchase groceries before coming to International Falls or Rainy Lake.
  • • Curbside food is available in International Falls at the following locations:
    • • Border Bar: 218-283-2222 | 415 3rd Ave. (Hwy 53)
    • • Hardees: 218-283-9945 | 1600 Hwy 71
    • • Sammy’s Pizza: 218-373-0190 | 301 3rd Ave.
    • • McDonald’s: 218-283-9500 | 1700 2nd Ave. W
    • • Coffee Landing: 218-283-444 | 3rd St.
  • • Orders should be made ½ hour in advance at all curbside except Hardees and McDonalds, which are drive-up. This may change and we will try and keep the information updated as needed.
  • • Rainy Lake Spirits is located in the same building as Rainy Lake One Stop. Beer, wine, and spirits can be ordered ahead of time or purchased there. At this time restaurants and bars are still closed.

Life Jackets:

  • • Due to current CDC guidelines, guests are required to provide their own lifejackets. Rainy Lake Houseboats will provide them for sale if needed.

Fishing Licenses + Bait:

*At this time, guests should not plan on mooring in Canada, as the border is closed.

  • • Rainy Lake One Stop will be accepting pre-orders for bait. Their phone number 218-286-5700 and their address is 3202 Highway 11 E, International Falls, MN 56649. One half-hour lead time is needed.

Arrival at Rainy Lake Houseboats

Boat Preparation + Cleaning:

Our houseboats are always thoroughly cleaned, but we have taken additional measures to ensure safety and have purchased a Victory Innovations sanitizing machine. This machine is similar to what airlines are using to disinfect planes, and what hospitals use to disinfect rooms.

Social distancing will be observed at all times.
Rainy Lake Houseboats is also following all Minnesota Department of Health and CDC guidelines regarding lodging sanitation.

Arrival + Departing the Bay:

Upon arrival, one guest will be allowed to enter the office to check-in for their houseboat vacation. That person will have their temperature taken with an infrared thermometer to ensure no fever is present.

Guests will be responsible for unloading their vehicles and getting settled on their houseboat.

Once the group is ready for departure, a staff member will provide a briefing on how to operate the houseboat. Once this has concluded, the houseboat will depart. A staff member will pilot the houseboat going out of our bay, providing socially distanced instruction to the guest until they are ready to pilot the houseboat on their own.


Once a houseboat has departed RLHB base, guests’ interactions are limited to the group on their houseboat.

If during the trip a guest has questions, needs assistance, or wants something dropped off, contact Rainy Lake Houseboats via marine band radio. Necessary items will be dropped off on a swim platform by a staff member

In case of emergency, once again call RLHB on marine band radio or cell phone (if there is service,) RLHB personnel, Koochiching County Sheriff, or Voyageur National Park Ranger would respond in case of an emergency.


When returning to base it would be very helpful if the houseboat could be as close to clean as when it was boarded. By doing so it will give staff plenty of time to clean and sanitize the houseboat for the incoming guests.

Before docking, guests should have all belongings packed and on the front deck. Guests will be responsible for unloading their houseboat in a timely manner. All gear will be moved from dock to vehicles before the designated customer can go to Rainy Lake Houseboat office.

Checking Out:

Like with check-in, one person will be allowed in the office to check-out. The designated RLHB check-out person would use an infrared thermometer to take guests temperatures prior to departure (1-2 seconds). This information would be used to put RLHB on notice if additional measures need to be taken to ensure the safety of RLHB staff and future renters of our houseboat.

We want to provide our guests with the safest, most enjoyable vacation we can. By following these guidelines, we think we can accomplish that. We also have to realize depending on the possibility of changes we may have to alter things.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The health and safety of our guests, employees, and communities is our top priority.
Read about our guest safety precautions in response to COVID-19.