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Experience the majestic Thousand Islands Aboard a Boat Tour

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2021-05-29 21:49:00

There’s no better way to truly experience the Thousand Islands region than by boat. The gorgeous backdrop of the scenic St. Lawrence River and the islands that give the area its name are beautiful from any perspective, but experiencing the area by water is truly special. If you don’t have a boat of your own, don’t worry—there are plenty of boat tours available. Simply hope aboard and kick back for a relaxing experience taking in the sights along this gorgeous waterway while a guide regales you with stories of a bygone era amongst the islands.

Uncle Sam Boat Tours depart from Alexandria Bay, with a variety of cruising options available. Dinner and lunch cruises offer delicious dining options aboard the triple-decker paddlewheel-style Alexandria Belle, with a top deck that’s perfect for enjoying the summertime breeze. A variety of different tours trace different routes along the river, ranging from a look at historic Millionaire’s Row, where the rich and famous Gilded Age millionaires built their summer homes, to other sightseeing, dinner and specialty cruises as well.

Uncle Sam also offers trips to two of the regions iconic island castles. Boldt Castle, visible from Alexandria Bay, was originally built on Heart Island by George Boldt in honor of his love for his wife Louise. As the tragic story goes, Louise became ill and died before the castle could be completed, and George ordered all work on the property to stop. The castle was never lived in. Today, Boldt Castle has been completed according to George’s original grand vision, with beautiful furnishings and finishes contributing to its fairytale atmosphere, and it’s open to the public and accessible via Uncle Sam’s shuttles.

A few miles down the river lies Dark Island, home of Singer Castle, the former hunting lodge of the Bourne family and the only island castle open for touring that was actually inhabited during its golden age. Uncle Sam also provides shuttle service to Dark Island, and guided tours of the castle are available to visitors.

Clayton Island Tours, departing from Clayton, offers historic lunch cruises, sightseeing tours, sunset cruises, tours that stop at Boldt Castle, and other unique options. Clayton Island Tours also offers a tour in a glass-bottom boat that includes a stop at Rock Island, home of Rock Island Lighthouse. Originally commissioned in 1847, the lighthouse was opened to the public in 2013, and has become one of the most popular new attractions in the region. The grounds include picnic areas and a museum, and the lighthouse boasts the distinction of being both located on an island and having the tower open for visitors to climb, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the river and the iconic Thousand Islands Bridge, located nearby.

If you’d like to experience an on-water happy hour, hop aboard a Wine Cruise from Coyote Moon Vineyards. Offered on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer months, the tour departs from the winery’s waterfront location in downtown Clayton. Your ticket includes an hour-long guided tour of the islands, and each person gets a bottle of wine of their choice and a box of snacks to enjoy along the way. More food is available to purchase as well. These tours fill up fast and require advance reservations, but there is a waiting list available if you don’t get a spot on the day you want right away. However, only people over the age of 21 are allowed to board the cruise, so you’ll have to leave the kids with a sitter to enjoy this night out.

If you’re planning a boat tour, be sure you do check ahead, as reservations may be required for any of the tours and each company will be able to provide information on the current health and safety regulations, usually on their websites. Each of the tours is an excellent experience, so you can’t go wrong picking one- just make sure you don’t miss the chance to get out on the river this summer!
Alexandria Belle with bridge photo credit Uncle Sam Boat Tours
Freighter in the sunset photo credit Uncle Sam Boat Tours
Clayton Island Tour boat by Boldt Castle photo credit Clayton Island Tours
Rock Island lighthouse photo credit Clayton Island Tours
Coyote moon wineglass sunset photo credit Coyote Moon Vineyards

posted at: 2021-05-29 21:49:00, last updated: 2021-05-30 07:10:48

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