Erie Cruise
Float along the Canal, riverboat-style

From the April 22, 2002 Issue of New York

Okay, it’s not the Loire Valley, but many of the joys of canal cruising—calm water, historic villages, colorful natives—can still be had right here in New York on the Erie Canal. Opened in 1825, the 360-mile engineering marvel links the Hudson River to the Great Lakes, and Mid-Lakes Navigation now offers two-, three-, and four-day canal voyages aboard the Emita II, a retrofitted 1953 Maine ferryboat that holds 40. Leave from Syracuse and wind your way west through the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and old canal towns like Fairport and Pittsford. Lodging is in hotels along the way, but all meals are served onboard; expect all-American prime rib, baked ham, grilled chicken, and plenty of fresh salads, relying on local produce procured along the way. It’s an unusual and—dare we say—European way of exploring upstate New York.

The Emita II (from $350, including meals and hotels, June through October; 800-545-4318 or Take Amtrak (800-872-7245) or JetBlue (800-jetblue) to Syracuse.


Photograph: Midlakes Navigation