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Take a Cruise on the Erie Canal Aboard the Colonial Belle

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2022-06-10 05:48:00

This summer, visit the northern Finger Lakes/Western New York town of Fairport for a trip down the historic Erie Canal aboard the Colonial Belle, the largest tour boat operating on the canal. Run by a family-owned business that partners with several other local businesses to bring great food, beverages and entertainment to passengers throughout the summer season, a cruise aboard the Colonial Belle is a perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening in one of the most unique natural and historic areas of Upstate New York, especially Fairport.

Tours aboard the Colonial Belle are narrated by experienced captains who will fill you in on the unique history of the area while you take in the beautiful, relaxing sights and sounds of nature along the canal. These tours offer the opportunity not only to learn about the history of the canal itself, the towns that line it, and the historic buildings and structures that are unique to this tour route, but to experience some of the unique aspects of Erie Canal travel for yourself. Cruisers aboard the Colonial Belle’s various tours can enjoy passing through a lock, going under the famous Fairport Lift bridge, the only bridge of its kind in the world, and traveling through the “Great Embankment,” one of the great engineering marvels of all time, where the canal passes through an aqueduct that is raised seven stories above the surrounding land with Irondequoit Creek passing underneath.

The Colonial Belle offers plenty of options for the type and the timing of cruise you wish to take as well, with family cruises, sightseeing and lock tours; you can opt in ahead of time for lunch or dinner aboard most of the afternoon and evening tours as well, and enjoy delicious food catered by local restaurants as you cruise along the canal. There are also plenty of themed cruises planned this summer: Sunset lock tours with live music; murder mystery dinner cruises; music-themed cruises featuring the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, and an 80s night, among others; family-friendly pirate cruises; and adult-friendly margarita and “Blues, Booze and BBQ” and more. 

You can embark on the annual Fourth of July dinner cruise, a five-hour tour that includes a view of downtown Rochester’s Fourth of July firework display. In October, when the leaves begin to change, board the annual Fall Foliage cruise for a unique way to take in the brilliant and vibrant colors adoring the trees that line the canal, and charter the Colonial Belle for your own special events, from weddings to birthdays to anniversaries.

But before you head out, make sure to check the Colonial Belle’s website for a full tour schedule, admission information, departure times and more—for reservations (which you may need!) and specific questions. Call the office at 585-223-9470, as you can’t book online. It’s worth the call -- and you don’t want to miss the boat!
Colonial Belle in the lock photo credit Colonial Belle
View from bow photo credit Colonial Belle
Boat under bridge photo credit Colonial Belle
Flag and sunset photo credit Colonial Belle

posted at: 2022-06-10 05:48:00, last updated: 2022-06-15 08:37:34

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