New York State Trip – Group Travel | Atlas Obscura Trips

Afloat the Erie Canal: A Self-Led Houseboat Adventure

$2,340 USD per group for 4 days, 3 nights
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  • 4 People Maximum
  • Easy Activity Level
  • On the Water
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Trip Overview
Overview

This summer, float along the Erie Canal by private houseboat, tracing two centuries of history as you go. 

Stretching for 363 miles between America’s Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, the canal offered the first direct water route from New York City to the Midwest, ushering in new waves of immigration and commerce. Aboard your houseboat, you’ll have the chance to delve into this history up-close, moving at your own pace and stopping to dock wherever your curiosity leads you. After an orientation equipping you with all you’ll need to pilot along the canal, the adventure will be yours to steer. Cruising along in the privacy of your floating home, this is slow travel (and social distancing) at its best.

Note on Safety

You’ll have a private houseboat for the duration of this experience. These boats are owned and operated by Erie Canal Adventures, which has implemented additional health and hygiene protocol. They ensure third-party cleaning services, professional laundry service, and a CleanStay Boat Seal placed on the entrance door, which indicates that no one has accessed the boat after its last cleaning. Their full commitment to safety is available on their website. Visit our Trips FAQ for more information, and feel free to contact us directly with any questions.

Highlights
  • Travel and accommodations aboard a private houseboat
  • Private dinner at a local eatery
  • Musical performance from your houseboat deck
  • Welcome basket of local specialties

Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
New York State

Additional Info

Pricing

The total cost of this trip is $2,340, based on two participants. The Lockmaster 34 Foot houseboat can accommodate up to two adults and two kids (one full-size bed, one convertible bench, plus one pull-down bunk). Each additional participant will be $175, in order to cover their costs for the special programming. Note that there are two options for your houseboat. The current prices are for the Lockmaster 34 Foot. If you’re interested in reserving the Lockmaster 41 or 42 Foot, please inquire for adjusted rates and availability. (See both boat layouts here.)

If there’s something in the area of particular interest to you, let us know—we’d love to tailor the experience however possible. Please keep in mind that such arrangements will be subject to additional cost and availability. As local businesses will be responding to evolving health and safety protocol, plans can be subject to change.

Accommodations

Your houseboat will have one full-size bed, one convertible bench, and one pull-down bunk, accommodating up to four passengers. The boat is outfitted with a full kitchen (including a small fridge), a bathroom with showers and hot water, and a deck with cushioned seats, among other amenities. You can take a closer look at the boat layouts and interiors here. Boats can be docked overnight at landings along the canal. Most town docks have a small overnight fee, which range from $7 to $40 per night, though in some cases, depending on where you tie up, there won’t be a fee at all. 

The pricing for this trip is for the Lockmaster 34 Foot. Erie Canal Adventures also offers the Lockmaster 41 or 42 Foot, subject to availability.

Arrival & Departure

Your trip begins at 2 p.m. on Day 1 with a boat orientation at Erie Canal Adventures. We recommend you arrive in Macedon, New York by 1:30 p.m. in order to leave some time to check in. Your boat must be returned by 9 a.m. on the final morning. From there, return home or head to your next destination. If you’d like to extend your trip, we’re happy to provide suggestions for additional things to do and see in the area. You’ll notice that Macedon is less than a two-hour drive from Niagara Falls, three hours from Toronto, and 90 minutes from Mexico (the town, that is).

Activity Level

Since this is a boat trip, participants should be comfortable on and around water. Daily activity on land is entirely up to you, but we’d recommend that travelers feel comfortable walking two to three miles and spending time in nature in order to gain the most out of the experience.

Included
  • Accommodation and transport throughout the trip in a comfortable, fully outfitted houseboat.
  • Gas for the houseboat.
  • Lock toll pass.
  • Arrangement of proposed activities.
  • Meals described in the itinerary.
  • Reading suggestions and materials.
  • Global Rescue medical evacuation insurance.
  • Two bicycles, on the roof of your houseboat (one-speed bikes with pedal brakes).
  • Special access to unique places and extraordinary experiences.
Excluded
  • Transportation to and from Macedon, New York.
  • Docking fees (these vary from $7–$40 per night).
  • Liability coverage ($75).
  • Ground transportation during your trip (whether taxis, ride-sharing, or bike rentals).
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages.
  • Applying for a U.S. visa, if applicable.
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Trip FAQ

While helpful, it’s not necessary to have any boating experience to pilot one of these houseboats. (Note that they move very slowly!) Shortly after you arrive, the Erie Canal Adventures staff will train you on how to pilot the boat safely, travel through locks, and more. Part of this orientation takes place on the water, and will involve traveling through a nearby lock. Additionally, their team will be available for phone support during your journey.

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Upcoming Departures

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