In the Summer of 2002 while pleasure cruising New York State, Kim and Jerry Gertz witnessed the stunning beauty and learned more of the historical significance in the Mohawk Valley. With a wealth of experience running a large tour boat operation in south Florida, they decided to come out of retirement and launch Erie Canal Cruises in Herkimer, New York. Their hope was to share with others the opportunity to appreciate the marvelous Mohawk Valley and the Historic Erie Canal, so rich in culture, history and natural beauty.
From humble beginnings with the 32 passenger Lil’ Diamond I, Erie Canal Cruises increased visitors each year as word spread about the entertaining and educational sight seeing cruises. After years of steady growth, in 2007 we retired Lil’ Diamond I and Lil’ Diamond II became our new and improved vessel with a capacity of 50 passengers. The popularity of our cruises increased over the years to include many tour bus groups visiting the region. In 2012, we designed, built and took delivery of the brand new Lil’ Diamond III. With a capacity of over 100 passengers, luxury appointments and two decks, this new vessel allows us to offer a wide variety of cruises to complement our popular sight seeing cruises.
Spanning New York State from Albany to Buffalo, the Erie Canal is a big part of the state’s history and future. There are a number of organizations that are dedicated to educating and preserving the history of the Erie Canal, and we are proud to support their efforts. We are members of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Canal Society of New York and Canal NY. Additionally, we support the many groups that promote tourism in New York state with memberships including The New York State Tour Boat Association, Oneida County Tourism, Albany County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce, the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, the Clinton Chamber of Commerce and the Utica Chamber of Commerce.
We work very hard to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone cruising with us, and we invite you to join us and share in the wonder of this magical and most storied canal in the world.