Sight Seeing Cruise

  • Most Popular
Child (ages 4-10)
Infant (ages 3 & under)

Our most popular cruise departs daily!

Cruise the historic Erie Canal!

Take a journey through history on the calm waters of the Erie Canal while enjoying the spectacular scenery of New York’s beautiful Mohawk Valley. Join your United States Coast Guard licensed Captain aboard one of our Lil’ Diamond vessels and enjoy a few entertaining tales of the canal. The thrill of our voyage is being raised and lowered over 20 feet in a Erie Canal lock!

On this incredibly fun, narrated, 90-minute cruise, learn:

  • Why the Erie Canal was known as Clinton’s ditch.
  • Hear how it was constructed, how it opened our western lands and helped to create the America we know today
  • Also learn how and why it was expanded and why it’s still important to upstate New York culture today.

We’ll take you along the beautiful Mohawk River and into a man-made section known as a “land cut”.

The tour passes:

  • Through massive guard gates
  • The Historic Fort Herkimer Church, which is one of the oldest surviving churches in New York State
  • You’ll also catch a glimpse of some local birds such as green and blue herons and the occasional bald eagle along the Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area
  • The vessel then enters Lock 18 at Jacksonburg, one the last remaining locks operating with all of the original 100+ year old equipment.

As the vessel enters the lock, your Captain will fully describe how the lock operates. Then you’ll watch as the gates close behind you and suddenly (but smoothly) the lock house seems to rise in the air as the lock walls creep up along the vessel while it’s being lowered twenty feet. It is certainly an experience not soon forgotten.

In addition, your Captain has an “open pilot house” policy where passengers can come into the pilot house and visit (except when maneuvering around docks or locks). This provides you with great photo opportunities so you will remember this adventure for years to come.

This cruise is 90 minutes of history, entertainment, education, humor, calm cruising, and pure family fun!

Key points about this cruise:

  • Available 7 days a week
  • We accept cash and all credit cards for cruise ticket payment
  • Our boats are handicapped accessible, but no motorized wheelchairs are allowed. Manual wheelchairs are okay on Lil’ Diamond III only

Tour Departure Times

  • Please see daily schedule for cruise times or call 315-717-0350 for schedule information
  • Cruises depart 7 days a week during our operating season
  • 2017 operating season: May 20 – October 15

Arrival Times

  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to departure
  • All passengers must get a boarding pass from our ticket booth inside Gems Along the Mohawk prior to boarding the vessel.

Boarding: 15-30 minutes before departure at Gems Along the Mohawk.

We are located directly across the street from Exit 30 of the NYS Thruway – If using a GPS, do not turn right at the stoplight, but continue straight into the parking lot
* GPS Address: 800 Mohawk St, Herkimer, NY 13350

***Erie Canal Cruises, Inc. reserves the right to cancel any cruise, change schedules or routes and substitute vessels at any time without prior notice. All lock cruises are subject to lock availability.***

Cruise departs: See schedule for cruise departure times or call 315-717-0350

What is not included?

  • Gratuity for the crew is not included but is greatly appreciated.
  • We do not enter any buildings during the tour, but afterward your guide will gladly direct you back to any of the places seen on the tour, should you like to explore further.


  • Dress According the weather, we cruise rain or shine!
  • No Motorized wheel chairs will be allowed on board
  • More Information about our Handicap Accessible policies below

Handicap Accessibility

Our boats are handicapped accessible, and manual wheelchairs are allowed on board Little Diamond III. No motorized wheelchairs are allowed on board either of our boats due to the weight of these chairs. Handicapped access “Drop off” for our cruises is available by driving to the boat behind the Terminal Building. The vehicle then must return to our regular parking areas.

Lil’ Diamond ll
If a passenger needs a wheelchair or a walker, they may use these to access the boat. The person Must be able to transfer to a regular boat seat at which time, said wheelchair and/or walker will be removed from the boat and returned to boat at end of Cruise for departure.

Lil’ Diamond lll
Regular wheelchairs and walkers may be used to access LD lll. A passenger may remain in wheelchair during the cruise. A walker should be folded and put to the side of regular seating or given to a Crew member to return at end of the cruise.


Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?

Advance ticket purchase is recommended for all cruises as they may sell out. To be sure you are able to purchase tickets for the cruise date & time you prefer, we suggest you purchase tickets early.

Does the Lil’ Diamonds’ cruise in the rain?

Yes! The decision to go out is always at the discretion of your captain, but we cruise rain or shine in our weather-protected vessels. Guests can cruise in comfort while enjoying a breathtaking view of the Erie Canal.

Are your cruises good for children?

We welcome all ages aboard our boats! Your kids will enjoy the scenery just as mush as you do. Children between 4-10 years old can join us at a discounted rate. If your child is 3 years old or younger, they are free!

How many passengers can fit on your boats?

Our boats can accommodate ranges of passengers from 45 to 115 people comfortably.

Are food or drinks served during the cruises?

Outside food and/or drinks are not permitted on board!
On our larger vessel, Lil’ Diamond lll (LD3), we have a full Liquor Bar and Snack Bar that we accept cash and all credit cards for payment. The Snack Bar consists of Hot Dogs, Nachos and Chips. On our smaller vessel, Lil’ Diamond ll (LD2), we have Soda and Water available to purchase. There is also a Great restaurant at our location, the Waterfront Grille if you are looking for a full menu.

Is it customary to tip the crew?

Gratuities are completely at the guests’ discretion. They are greatly appreciated.

Is smoking allowed on board the boats?

Smoking is not permitted on the docks or aboard our vessels. We are a Smoke Free, Tobacco Free, Vapor and E-Cig Free Zone!

Is the cruise suitable for pregnant women?

Absolutely, our boats cruise in the smooth waters on the Erie Canal. The ride is smooth, stable, and gentle.

Will I get motion sickness?

Motion sickness is very rare on our cruises since we travel on the river and experience almost no rocking. Our vessels are very stable. Should you be particularly prone to motion sickness, feel free to take your own preventative measures beforehand.

Are restrooms available on board?

Yes, there are restrooms on board on both of our boats.

Is the boat handicapped accessible?

Yes, our boats are handicapped accessible, but no motorized wheelchairs are allowed. Manual wheelchairs are okay.

Can I bring my pet?

Unfortunately, all pets other than service dogs are not allowed on the cruise. If you need to bring a service dog, please let us know in a “Message to the Seller” box upon purchasing your tickets.

Are there life jackets on board?

Our vessels are U.S. Coast Guard certified and we have more than enough life jackets for all passengers.

Do you offer anything for groups?

We sure do! Sight Seeing Cruise groups of 30 or more passengers qualify for discounted rates, based on availability. For more information, please click on the “Contact ECCruises” link or contact our group sales office at 315-866-5989 for more information.

Do you offer private charters?

Of course we do! We can host your corporate, social, and wedding events. Nothing will make us happier than planning a private event for you and your loved ones. For more information, please contact our group sales office at 315-866-5989.