Canal cruises

The 48-passenger Seneca Lake Reel Tours tour boat is seen docked in Lyons. The boat will be part of the third annual Fun on the Erie Canal cruise offerings that take place in early August.

LYONS — The popular Erie Canal cruises are returning to Lyons next month.

On Aug. 9, 10, and 11, the Lyons Rotary Club and the Lyons Erie Canalway Greeters are hosting the third annual Fun on the Erie weekend with six narrated cruises on the historic 100-year-old waterway.

There will be four two-hour local cruises and two long cruises of approximately five hours, said Bob Stopper, a member of the Canalway Greeters, who also happens to be a local authority on canal history.

“People really do love the Erie Canal,” Stopper said. “During the past two years, all cruises were sold out.”

Passengers will travel aboard the 48-passenger Seneca Lake Reel Tours boat. All cruises will depart from the Lyons dock on the Erie Canal behind the fire department building.

On Friday at 4 p.m., there will be one two-hour “veterans and senior citizens only” cruise with a special rate of $10 a person. On Saturday there will be three two-hour cruises: 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The two-hour cruise price is $25 per person.

The two-hour cruises depart Lyons and travel west through Lock 27 toward the Lyons Dry Dock. Tourists will see 10 historic canalway sites on the trip, Stopper said.

The cruise returns through Lock 27 and heads east, passing historic sites that include the sinking of a sailboat. The tour arrives at Creager’s Bridge — where the Clyde River and the canal go separate ways — and then returns to the Lyons dock.

Stopper said all cruises include “surprises” at the dock and on board, as well as munchies and a cash bar. The price is $25 per person.

The early morning long cruise on Friday will depart Stivers Marina at 9 a.m. and disembark at the Lyons dock on the Erie Canal behind the fire department building.

Conversely, on Sunday, the long cruise departs the Lyons dock at 10 a.m. and arrives at Stivers Marina adjacent to the Seneca Lake State Park. The cruise, depending on canal traffic, will last approximately five-and-a-half hours.

On this cruise, passengers will travel through the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, have an up-close view of the Richmond/Montezuma Aqueduct (1857) and experience three canals — Erie, Seneca and the Seneca-Cayuga. Passengers will pass through six locks, including the double Lock CS 2/3 in Seneca Falls and go under Bailey’s Bridge. Seneca Falls is believed to be the inspiration of the holiday classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

The Friday and Sunday long-cruise package includes doughnuts and coffee at the dock, munchies, box lunch, cash bar, bathrooms on board, surprises on the boat, a historical brochure and return transportation via van or bus. The ticket price is $75 per person.

For tickets or information about the Lyons Fun on the Erie cruises, call or text Lyons Rotarian Keith Bridger at (315) 945-3162, Stopper at (315) 573-1068 or Stivers Marina at (315) 789-5520).

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