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Person Group discount only for 25 or more passengers!


This is the most interesting school field trip in all of central New York. Teachers tell us this is the one field trip they do annually that their students actually study for.
Imagine yourself in the early 1800’s traveling the Erie Canal, being raised and lowered through the locks and listening to tales spun by your Captain. This experience can be yours aboard a Lil’ Diamond vessel. Hear the history of the Canal from its origins in Rome, NY to its current role today. Experience the thrill of being raised and lowered 20 feet in an Erie Canal lock. All this and more on our 90 minute Social Studies Cruise Program, which is BOCES approved and compliments the 4th grade curriculum.

Please call (315) 941-7585 to find out more about school field trips.

  • 1.5 hours cruise
  • Cruising daily May 18 – October 16


Please call (315) 941-7585 for schedule information.
Cruises depart 7 days a week during our operating season
* 2024 operating season:  May 18 –  October 16

Arrival Times
* Please arrive 30 minutes prior to departure at 800 Mohawk Street, Herkimer, NY 13350 – Gems Along the Mohawk.

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 –  continue straight into the parking lot
Address: 800 Mohawk St, Herkimer, NY 13350


  • We cruise rain or shine in our weather-protected vessel.


What’s better than a trip through history on the calm waters of the Erie Canal while enjoying the spectacular scenery of New York’s beautiful Mohawk Valley? The answer is absolutely nothing. That is why you should join your United States Coast Guard licensed captain aboard Lil’ Diamond II and enjoy a few entertaining tales of the canal.

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

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


  • 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 of the last remaining locks operating with all of the original 100+-year-old equipment. The vessel is raised and then lowered in a “liquid elevator.”

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.

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


Our crew members are trained to help guests navigate our docks and vessel and are prepared to assist. Our vessel does have mobility limitations. We strongly recommend calling ahead to (315) 941-7585 for specific concerns.