We had wanted to do a canal trip for several years, but summer camps and jobs prevented us. At the last minute, the planets were aligned and we were able to make a 3 week vacation window. Our original plan was to join the canal cruise held by the NY Canal System every summer. I talked to a person running the canal cruise and later sent in my money. When I checked the web at http://www.canals.state.ny.us/ for some additional information I came across this link http://www.canals.state.ny.us/exvac/cruise/index.html which said that this years cruise was canceled. A couple of days later, my check and application came back.
Someone I spoke to suggested that there were private groups that wanted to do similar cruises and the NY State Canal Corporation wanted to give them an opportunity to get something going. Another suggested that it was because of weather related delays in opening the canal this year which I think is very believable. Someone told my wife that it was canceled because the state of NY cut it from their budget. Bummer! (considering the cruise promotions at the boat shows.)
We were initially disappointed. However, although we would miss out of the commarodary of the cruise and meeting others (hopefully families), this offered the opportunity to customize our trip more to our goals of visiting in Ithaca. I emailed John Callaghan, firstname.lastname@example.org (518-471-5016), a trip plan based on a modified copy of the canal cruise. The very next morning, I had a modified copy back which, after one more iteration to get the timing down, this was essentially what we did. Further, nearly all of his suggestions were right on the mark as to where to go and what to see. John knows the canals very well.
A "must have" for the trip is the Cruising Guide for the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego, or Champlain Canals. It's available from the New York State Canal Corporation Marketing Department at 800-4CANAL4 (800-422-6254).
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