Choose Between Two Options
- $23 for two tickets to an Erie Canal sightseeing cruise ($38 value)
- $45 for four tickets to an Erie Canal sightseeing cruise ($76 value)
Erie Canal Cruises
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1–2 hours
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Q&A with Captain Jerry Gertz, Head Captain, President, and Majority Stockholder
Apart from your business's main attraction, do you offer any "hidden" services or activities that visitors are always delighted to learn about?
We won a Rand-McNally Award as a "Must See Destination" in 2010 and we're rated one of the best historical narrations in the country. We travel past the second oldest surviving church in NY State, but the major highlight of the cruise is entering the 100 year old Erie Canal Lock with all it's original equipment. The vessel and passengers are then lowered 20 feet (and raised on the way back) while listening to the Captain explain how the lock works without any pumps to move 2.5 million gallons of water in only 7 minutes. Folks experience beautiful rural scenery with sightings of wildlife from Blue and Green Herons and the occasional Bald Eagle.
Narration is happening for the full 90 minutes with emphasis on how the Erie Canal helped settle our western lands, which could not have been easily settled without the canal. We also talk about how the Erie Canal made New York the Empire State and New York City the preeminent city in our country.
What is the experience customers can expect, and how do you make it special?
We talk about the canal's use today, mostly for recreational vessels that make the iconic Great Circle Cruise—a voyage that is on most yachtsman's bucket lists. The Great Circle Cruise circumnavigates the eastern half of the United States and cannot be done without the Erie Canal. It's almost 5,600 miles long and takes anywhere from 6-8 months to complete, and Captain Jerry has completed it twice and relates the experience on the return trip to the dock.
Most people don't realize that the Erie Canal is still fully operational today after almost 190 years of operation and runs from Hudson River at Albany to Lake Erie at Buffalo. It is the last remaining fully operational canal in the nation and in 2000 was designated as the 23rd National Heritage Corridor in the United States.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The passengers and their amazement on how this canal still operates and how it helped in settling the Louisiana Purchase. Plus we have an "open pilot house" policy and we get to speak one-on-one to many passengers during the cruises.