Cruising on Lake George – Fantastic!

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 8.02.00 AMNo matter how you do it, cruising on Lake George is absolutely fantastic! One of my favorite ways to cruise is to let someone else drive – and have lunch along the way. My three cousins and I love to keep in touch, which seems to get harder to do over the years. Rather than meet at a restaurant to visit with each other, I invited all of them to come for a cruise on Lake George. The Mohican stops in Bolton Landing twice a week, on Tuesday and Saturday, on the Discovery Cruise – the only complete tour of the 32 mile length of Lake George – a really great ride. There is free parking in Bolton Landing across Lakeshore Drive from the pier in Rogers Memorial Park. The ship stops to pick up Bolton passengers at 9 a.m., and returns at 1 – plenty of time for the cousins to catch up with each other, check out the breakfast buffet, and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. Tickets for the Discovery Cruise are available at the pier in Lake George, or on line at lakegeorgesteamboat.com. (Visit the web site or call 1-800-553-BOAT/2628 for more information.) You can get tickets ahead of time, or buy a ticket when you board the ship in Bolton Landing.  The captain gives the passengers a commentary on the very interesting landmarks along the way, and some of the history of the Mohican, Lake George, and the Lake George Steamboat Company – all very interesting subjects! The Mohican (actually the Mohican II) has been serving passengers on Lake George since 1908 – she has had two major renovations: switching from coal to diesel engines in 1945-46, and from a wood and canvas superstructure to steel in 1966-67. The Lake George Steamboat Company has applied to make the Mohican the third active passenger vessel to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Steamboats have been on Lake George since 1817, when the New York State Legislature incorporated the Lake George Steam Boat Company to operate commercial shipping on Lake George, part of the great water transportation system extending from Montreal to New York City. The first steamboats were about as fast as a man could paddle – 6 miles per hour – they have gotten faster over the years! The Lake George Steamboat Company became part of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad system after the Civil War, serving as a link in the D&H’s New York to Canada route: passengers stepped off the train at Lake George Village, and onto the steamers to ride to Ticonderoga. In 1939, the Delaware and Hudson scrapped two of the fine side-wheel steamboats they had built, leaving only the Mohican in service, which was sold to a private individual who ran a summer schedule during WWII years. In 1945, the Lake George Steamboat Company and the Mohican were sold to Captain Wilbur Dow, who began the long process of returning fine passenger service to Lake George. The Dow family still owns and operates the Lake George Steamboat Company, which now has three vessels in operation: The Mohican, carrying passengers since 1908, the Minne-Ha-Ha, a sternwheel steamer designed in the mold of the Mississippi Riverboats, in operation since 1969; and the Lac du Saint Sacrement, large enough to service conventions, in operation since 1989, and named after the original European name for Lake George. All three of the ships were built at Baldwin, and the Mohican towed both her sister ships ships to their home at Lake George Village. There are many wonderful cruises to choose from: Moonlight, Fireworks, breakfast, lunch, dinner, Island Exploration, Paradise Bay, lake-front hourly; and specialty cruises are available on all three of the ships. You can also rent one of the ships for weddings, parties and other special events – what fun! Sincere thanks to the Dow family and the Lake George Steamboat Company for providing a wonderful service for all our residents and visitors! The ships all have antique touches: bells, steam whistles, steering wheels, even a whistle light from a New York City steam ferry. It is just wonderful to hear the ships blow their whistles as they pass by.  The captains are all well versed in the history of Lake George, there is handicap access, as well as an area to stow bicycles – many bikers take the ferry to Baldwin to bike in the northern area of Lake George. Have you ever taken a cruise on Lake George? Have you ever been on a steamboat, or a paddle-wheeler? Penelope Jewell]]>