Many wonderful cruises can be enjoyed all around the United States of America, but you don't need to be at major port cities like Cape Canaveral or Long Beach to enjoy a world class American cruise. Lots of wonderful cruises can be found all around the country, even in inland locations along lakes, rivers, and canals. Of those locations, the Erie Canal stands out as one of the best. Be sure to call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.


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One of the longest and most historically significant canals in the United States, the Erie Canal runs for a grand total of 363 miles. When it was first constructed and opened up in 1825, it was the second longest canal on Earth and played a major role in the development and expansion of New York City. In recent decades, the canal has mostly stopped being used for the transportation of cargo, instead becoming a beloved recreational area for New Yorkers and tourists.

Nowadays many people like to hike and cycle along the route of the Erie Canal, marveling at the various landmarks along the way and imagining all the stories the canal could tell. An even better way to experience the Erie Canal is to take a cruise, and various boat tour companies offer a wide range of Erie Canal cruises, suitable for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

Best Erie Canal Cruises

If you really want to make the most of your journey along the Erie Canal, climbing aboard a cruise boat is a great idea. There are a variety of cruises available along the Erie Canal, each offering their own unique features and advantages. Read on to learn all about the best Erie Canal cruises and choose your next trip today.

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2.Great Lakes Cruise Company - Great American Waterways

Great Lakes Cruise Company - Great American Waterways
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The Great American Waterways cruise from the Great Lakes Cruise Company offers an unbeatable, magical experience you'll never forget. This is a 15-night cruise aboard either the Grande Caribe or the Grande Mariner. The journey begins at the Navy Pier in Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan. You'll spend some time visiting key Great Lake locations like Mackinac Island and a full shoreline tour of Lake Huron, before continuing on along the Detroit River for stops at the Henry Ford Museum and an eventual arrival at Cleveland, OH. Then, the New York leg of your adventure will begin as you pass through Rochester and Oswego to the Erie Canal. The cruise continues all along the Erie Canal, with optional stops at Sylvan Beach and Cooperstown.

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3.Erie Canal Cruises - Sight Seeing Cruise

Erie Canal Cruises - Sight Seeing Cruise
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The Sight Seeing Cruise from Erie Canal Cruises is available at very attractive rates, with children aged from 4-10 being able to climb on board for even less. This canal cruise lasts around 90 minutes in total and, as the name suggests, takes in some of the major sights along the Erie Canal like Fort Herkimer Church and the famous Lock 18. The captain will also provide full narration, sharing stories about the canal's history and offering an entertaining, educational experience for passengers of all ages.

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4.Erie Canal Cruise Lines

Erie Canal Cruise Lines
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If a guided cruise of the Erie Canal isn't quite what you're looking for, maybe you'd prefer to take a more active role on the journey? If so, the self-guided Erie Canal cruises from Erie Canal Cruise Lines could be the ideal option. This boat tour company actually allows you to rent your own private cruise boat from Seneca Falls, NY. You can choose a 3-day or 7-day cruise at very competitive rates and simply set off to make your own memories and forge your own path along this famous waterway, feeling like you've stepped back in time to the 1800s. The Erie Canal cruise boats offered by Erie Canal Cruise Lines feature single diesel engines and can sleep up to six guests. They're also fitted with kitchens and TVs, and your rental fee will also include fuel, propane, bike rentals, and more.

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5.Erie Canal Cruises - Living History Cruise

Erie Canal Cruises - Living History Cruise
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The Living History Cruise is one of the longest Erie Canal cruises you can hope to find. It lasts for around four and a half hours in total and runs on a regular basis throughout much of the year. This cruise brings the history and heritage of the Erie Canal to life as you glide along the waters through Lock 17 and beyond, stopping off for all kinds of fun activities like chocolate making at the Historic Herkimer Home and a tasty BBQ lunch.

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4 Best Erie Canal Cruises

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