My 10 Favorite Ways to Enjoy Summer on the Water

Sunday, June 23, 2019
This weekend is the official start of summer according to the meteorologists and calendars.  In my younger days the start of summer meant that my family would move from our flat in Cohoes to our trailer on Saratoga Lake until the dreaded Labor Day weekend.  At 13 my parents bought a year-round home on the lake, so the magic of summer on the water didn't end on Labor Day.  Growing up on the lake was not only fun, it gave me an appreciation and affection for water and for boating.  If I were the sort that follows astrological signs, I'd blame my attraction to the water on being born under the sign of Cancer, whose element is water, but when all is said and done, it doesn't really matter how or why.....I just love water.  I also love being 'on the water' so I'm beginning a summer blog series of  favorite summer destinations with my favorite ways to enjoy time on the water - locally and beyond.  I suggest you make a list and set a goal to enjoy as many of these as you can!   In no particular order, but starting locally......

Adirondack Cruise & Charter - General Schuyler  
It's no secret here on the blog that this is one of my hometown favorites, which probably explains why I list it first. Hal Raven has brought back the days of the Steamboat Alice on Saratoga Lake with his beautiful vessel, the General Schuyler, a 1900's replica Fantail Launch.  Whether you're enjoying a sunset cruise, coffee cruise, or a floating classroom cruise, Captain Hal and his fellow crewmen make sure passengers enjoy some local history, famous landmarks, lake preservation education and breathtaking views on one of the prettiest lakes in New York State.  You can even rent this beauty for private functions like gourmet dinners, proposals, bachelorette parties, corporate events, or just a fun family gathering.  Plan your cruise today and when you disembark, catch a delicious meal, a  drink or some live music at Dock Brown's or Carson's Woodside Tavern. For more information:, and or you can read about our many cruises here on the blog. You can find those stories in my blog Directory under Destinations-New York 
Dutch Apple Cruise
 It may have taken me my whole life to finally check this one out, but better late than never!  Isn't it funny how so many folks come to the Capital District as tourists and we locals are clueless about all the great tourist attractions right in our backyards?  Built in 1986, the Dutch Apple vessel is derived from the dayliners that carried passengers to and from ports on the Hudson between Albany and New York City.  With three decks, passengers can enjoy time inside or outside on the upper deck.  The 90 minute sight-seeing cruises are the mainstay of the Dutch Apple, but there are a number of special cruises along with special events too!  For more information: and to read my blog post about our cruise: Cruising Down the Hudson Aboard the Dutch Apple

Mohawk Maiden Cruises - Caldwell Belle
For another relaxing river cruise, how about a ride on the Caldwell Belle, the Champlain Canal's only authentic sternwheel paddleboat.  Docked at Lock C5 of the Champlain Canal in Schuylerville, the Caldwelle Belle provides the perfect venue for a leisurely afternoon observing nature, learning local history or just enjoying the view, there's something for everyone on a variety of cruise options at affordable prices.  This family-owned business is a well-kept secret, but once you're in on the secret, you'll want to partake over and over again.   To read more about it and see many more photos, you can read my blog post:   You can also check them out at: and

If you venture a little further from the Capital District area, you might consider the Erie Canal Cruise aboard the Lil' Diamond.  Your cruise carries you east on the Erie Canal from Herkimer NY, through Lock 18, one of the oldest remaining 100 yr old locks with all of its original equipment.  With a variety of cruises to choose from, the 90 minute narrated cruise, the Living History Cruise, the Friday Night Party Cruise, all offer a fun and educational trip through history on one of the most beautiful waterways in the state.  Great for all ages, this is a wonderful way to enjoy an Upstate summer day.  If you happen to take a late day weekend cruise, consider dinner at Beardslee Castle just down the road on State Highway 5 in Little Falls. For more information, you can read about our trips aboard the Lil' Diamond here:
or check out there Facebook page:
or their website:

If you're looking for more of an all day adventure, you might want to consider a trip to Cooperstown.  Most people think of the Baseball Hall of Fame when they think of Cooperstown (and that's definitely a fun place to visit), but there's so much more.  From the Farmer's Museum, to the Fenimore Art Museum, to the Otesaga Hotel (a great place for lunch on the terrace of the Hawkeye Grill), you might be looking for a way to unwind and there's no better way to do that than aboard the Glimmerglass Queen where you'll enjoy the view on Otsego Lake.  One special note:  this is a cash only venue.  ATM is available.  Don't miss my blog post about our day in Cooperstown, loaded with photos of our cruise, the Fenimore and much more: Cooperstown NY - Where History, Literature and Tourism Meet   For more information, cruise times and prices:
Lake George Steamboat Company
I almost forgot to include this group, maybe because I assume everyone already knows about them. excellent option for discovering (or re-discovering) Lake George, the vessels of the Lake George Steamboat Company - the Mohican, the Minne-ha-ha and the Lac du Saint Sacrement offer something for everyone.  For more information: and

In case you are looking for some ways to enjoy bigger bodies of water, I have a few ocean cruises that I want to share.  Again, if you're new to the blog or missed my posts previously, you can find these and more fun adventures in my blog Directory (   I'm not much of a traveler but when I do venture out of state, the destination is usually no further than Rockport, MA, Newport, RI and Connecticut.  I have cruises to share in each destination!

Classic Cruises of Newport 
The Madeleine

In Newport there are a number of cruise options, beginning with the Classic Cruises of Newport.  My favorite of those is the Madeiline a 72' schooner.  We've done sails on this beauty twice and there's something about those giant sails when they're raised that is so exhilerating!  Also with the Classic Cruise Company is the Rum Runner II.   The Rum Runner II is a 1929 classic motor yacht.  It evokes the intrigue and luxury of her smuggling days.  Both of these vessels provide unforgettable times cruising the coast of Narragansett Bay where you'll see a number of beautiful homes and historical landmarks.
The Rum Runner II
For more information on the Classic Cruises of Newport, you can check out my Newport Sailing blog post at: and for information about cruises:

The Schooner Ardelle
Sail Ardelle

This is possibly my favorite of all the ocean cruises..the 72' pinky Schooner, Ardelle in Gloucester, MA.   This schooner, was built by Harold Burnham....a process so complex and fascinating, Harold wrote a book about it.  Harold is the 28th Burnham to operate a shipyard in Essex since 1819. You can imagine with that lineage, Harold is a master storyteller when it comes to Gloucester fishing history.  This is one blog post you don't want to miss: An Afternoon of Sailing and Storytelling Aboard the Schooner Ardelle    For more information and to follow the Ardelle on Facebook:  and on the web:

The Thomas E. Lannon 
Another Gloucester beauty, the Thomas E. Lannon schooner....another spectacular way to spend time on the seas.  Meticulously maintained, massive sails, wonderful Captain, the Thomas E. Lannon was such a wonderful experience.  I actually snapped this photo while aboard the Ardelle.  Gloucester is the oldest fishing port in America and that is evident by the number of vessels, for both fishing and pleasure cruising is massive in the fishing town.  The Lannon offers a variety of cruises throughout the season and is definitely a must-do if you are in the area.  To read about our sail and see some pretty gorgeous shots of this beauty from under the sails....   To arrange your own experience on the Lannon: and on the web:

And one more I almost left out....
The Becky Thatcher Riverboat

The Becky Thatcher Riverboat can be found cruising along the Connecticut River in Essex, CT. Aside from lots of wildlife, passengers can enjoy such sights as the Gillette Castle, and the Goodspeed Opera House. You can even combine your cruise with a ride on the Essex Steamtrain. The perfect family excursion!   For more information on the Becky Thatcher and Essex, CT:
So there you have it!  Twelve (I tricked you) beautiful ways to get out on the water and soak up summer!  I hope this post and all the ones attached to it inspire you to venture outside your comfort zone....or indulge in your passion and take a little cruise (or a big one).  Thanks for reading.   Stick around for more Life As I See It and more posts with great ideas for fun things to do near and far this summer!  Don't forget to check out my Directory for more posts like this one!

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