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“Mail boat tour”

Mid-Lakes Navigation
Ranked #1 of 4 Tours in Skaneateles
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Mid-Lakes Navigation is a family owned and operated tour boat company, cruising on the Erie Canal and Skaneateles Lake in New York's beautiful Finger Lakes Region.
Mold, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
98 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Mail boat tour”
Reviewed July 10, 2012

Fun, informative, great service. Book the lunch, we didn't but it looked good.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Tim L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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210 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Easton, PA
Level Contributor
78 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“OMG: The Self-Pilot "Lockmaster" Rental”
Reviewed July 9, 2012

This was actually the high-point of a recent trip - a 3-day rental of the Oneida "canalboat houseboat". We self-piloted this 10-ton, 34-foot steel - SENSATIONAL - vessel for three days cruising on the western Erie Canal, in our case heading west to start, docking in Fariport, NY and then Brockport, NY before working our way back to Macedon where we rented the boat. This was an amazing adventure. Go to their site and find the "Lockmaster" self-pilot option - you can do 3-days as we did or a full week. Another boat that took off when we did (we tracked with each other for about 18 hours and then took off to different destinations) was a longer version with A/C if you would find that appealing. I can't tell you how incredible this was. And the question everyone asks - "they just let you take off with this gorgeous boat?" Well, not exactly - the first 3.5 hours were "on the water" training with a trainer from Mid-Lakes Navigation that included going through locks two times so we really knew how to do the things we'd be doing every day. It was awesome. Neither of us had ever boated before (seriously - the only other time I'd been on a boat other than singing on cruiseships was when I was 20, strapped to the bow of a houseboat in Lake Tahoe drinking Bloody Marys) and it was just great. Highly, HIGHLY recommend this.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Easton_PAJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, NY
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Relaxing introduction to Skaneateles”
Reviewed July 1, 2012

This review is of a 50 minute sightseeing cruise - 2 PM on a Saturday:
We purchased our tickets ahead of time at the Mid-Lakes office on Jordan St - you can purchase tickets onboard but those with tickets get to board first
We sat on the upper deck under a roof but sides are open - think there are 10 tables that seat 4 in that section; good views from all tables but the best views will be from tables on the west (when its docked) side of the boat. There is also bench seating with no roof on the upper deck as well as many tables on the lower deck that has windows
The sightseeing tour covers both sides of the northern part of the lake. The captain provided an interesting narrative that wove historical facts with names and occupations of owners of some of the beautiful lakeside homes - very enjoyable and informative
The crew will deliver drinks and snacks to your table if you desire - we didn't have any so don't know the prices; wine from the local winery is one option
It was 90 degrees, sunny and a bit breezy the day we went - perfect for a boat ride...
We thoroughly enjoyed this experience. This was our first visit to Skaneateles and after browsing in some of the shops, eating lunch and more exploratory walking around town, it was a nice change to sit and relax while taking in the beautiful scenery and learning about this unique area of New York state.
Highly recommend!

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank getawaygal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The greatest time, and a great company!”
Reviewed June 26, 2012

I can't say enough great things!! We celebrated my other half's birthday on the Dinosaur BBQ Cruise. The food of course was fantastic, the crew is all WONDERFUL! We especially loved the Captain, he was a riot. Such a nice guy and a happy man, and he just knows EVERYTHING about the lake and the area. Very fun evening and everyone enjoyed themselves. Definitely take the boat out if you get the chance!!

Helpful?
1 Thank NickNNikki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
166 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“Amazing, scenic tour of an historic canal system”
Reviewed November 30, 2011

I cannot say enough good things about Mid-Lakes Navigation. [To be clear, this review is about the five-day houseboat rental, not the day tour (same company, but there's no listing available for the former).]

We rented our houseboat and were given some time to load our provisions for the week. Then a Mid-Lakes employee joined us for an orientation run (we're boating beginners). The controls were not difficult to master and before we knew it, we had a houseboat all to ourselves. Boaters can choose their direction and destination. We began heading west, but towns were few and far between, so we turned around and tried east toward Rochester. The stops were much more visitor-friendly in that direction.

The boat's appliances were all in excellent condition. We had a very powerful air conditioner, mini-fridge, stove top, oven, sink, shower, and commode. Really, everything you need. We cooked most of our meals on the boat and had very few issues with the provided utensils and cookware. There was plenty of cabinet and drawer space, and even a BBQ grill tucked under the bow benches. Not to mention the bikes on the roof that were provided free of charge. There was a double bed in a separate bedroom with doors, but I did find the bed hard and uncomfortable. The bunk in the kitchen was fine.

We absolutely loved the convertible-top seating area at the bow of the boat. Most days, we kept that area uncovered and sat there while we sailed and for our meals. One of the days, it rained and we simply snapped the tarps and stayed out there. They cushions were roomy enough that one of our group slept outside on multiple nights. It's a great functional space.

If you have a young child, bring your own personal flotation device. None of the doors will keep a determined child off of a deck. The only tough spot of the week was that our bow thrusters malfunctioned in the middle of our trip. The boat was still steerable, but it was a bit more difficult to maneuver into tight spots. We called Mid-Lakes and they sent out a technician to check it out, but it was unrepairable without taking the boat out of the water, so we simply continued without it.

This is a wonderful opportunity to unplug and take life slowly for a week or so.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
6 Thank taragl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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