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Discover Lake George
Lake George has long been the glistening crown jewel of the Lake George Area. Generations of visitors have traversed Lake George for centuries, admiring the secluded islands that dot her waters and the grand mountains that form her shores. This mass exploration of Lake George would not be possible without the boat cruises that sail from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga every summer. These floating sherpas reveal the majesty of Lake George in an elegant and timeless fashion. They explore without disruption and leave no trace of their presence. These modern ships are a relic and a pillar of the Original Vacation.
Lake George Steamboat Company
The first cruise ship company to grace the waters of Lake George is the Lake George Steamboat Company. In their 200th year of service, the Lake George Steamboat Company has mastered the craft of revealing the splendor of Lake George to Lake George Area visitors. The Lake George Steamboat Company received their charter from New York State in 1817 and have been touring Lake George ever since.
While the Lake George Steamboat Company is best known for their guided tours of Lake George, their first operation was the transportation of people and goods. Route 9N from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga did not exist, so the Steamboat Company’s first ships played a huge role in the growth of the Lake George Area.
The Lake George Steamboat Company’s first ship was the James Caldwell, and it was vastly different from their current ships. It putted from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga in one day’s time, an absolute crawl by today’s standards. As the years drifted by the ships were upgraded. In 1850, the ship dubbed the John Jay was speeding along at 12mph. After two hundred years and 12 vessels, there are three ships currently sailing on Lake George.
The Lake George Steamboat Company’s three current vessels are unique and beautiful. The oldest of the three is the Mohican, which first sailed Lake George in 1908. Though the Mohican has been modernized and upgraded for safety and convenience several times, she has been in constant service for 109 years. The second longest boat in service for the Lake George Steamboat Company is the Minne-Ha-Ha, which first sailed Lake George in July of 1969. Meaning “laughing waters,” this authentic steamboat has a paddle wheel and an engine room that is encased in glass. The company’s newest ship is the Lac du Saint Sacrement, which began sailing Lake George in 1989. Named after the original name of Lake George, Lac du Saint Sacrement translates as “The Lake of the Blessed Sacrament.” This nearly 190-foot vessel is the Lake George Steamboat Company’s largest current ship.
The Lake George Steamboat Company provides a full array of different cruises in the modern day. Many of the cruises revolve around sightseeing on Lake George. There is no right way to see the grandiose mountains and scattered islands, but a good start is boarding the Narrows and Paradise Bay cruises on the Mohican or Lac du Saint Sacrement. The Narrows cruise sails from Lake George Village into the first chain of gathered islands. The Paradise Bay cruise is an early morning trip through the quiet Narrows and into idyllic Paradise Bay, which seems to be its own universe accessed through a narrow strait. For a shorter, family-friendly sightseeing cruise, board the Minne-Ha-Ha and sail the southern basin. Guests have been discovering Lake George on this approximately hour-long cruise for over 100 years.
If sightseeing with a meal and entertainment are more to your liking, the Lake George Steamboat Company offers several meal cruises. There are brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises, each with a different menu that will satisfy any hungry visitor. Some delectable highlights are prime rib, St. Louis ribs, taco cruises, and pizza cruises. Every cruise includes expert narration by the ship captain. Sprawling bays are named and historic mansions identified. Guests depart the ship with an understanding of the history and elegance of Lake George.
Perhaps the most special cruise hosted by the Lake George Steamboat Company is their fireworks cruises. There are few locations in the Lake George Area that boast a better view of a fireworks display than aboard a cruise ship. Guests can stand on the deck of the Mohican or the Lac du Saint Sacrement every Thursday in July and August and take in one of the best fireworks displays around. On the Fourth of July, even the Minne-Ha-Ha gets in on the fireworks action. Whether you’re sailing on Lake George for a fireworks bonanza or a quick tour, no company offers the history and majesty of the Lake George Steamboat Company.
Lake George Shoreline
Lake George Shoreline is another company sailing the crystalline waters of Lake George. While they don’t boast the prolific history of the Lake George Steamboat Company, they do offer several exceptional cruises on two magnificent vessels.
Lake George Shoreline’s first ship is the Horicon. This 85-foot ship began sailing on Lake George in 1988. Built mostly of mahogany, the Horicon features two partially glass-enclosed decks and an open bow. Their newer ship, the Adirondac, began sailing on Lake George in 2004. This 115-foot vessel is a state-of-the-art beauty. Built with the comfort of her passengers at heart, the Adirondac features a quiet engine with minimal vibrations, heating, air conditioning, and room for up to 400 passengers.
One-Hour Sightseeing Tours
Lake George Shoreline offers its own array of cruises on the waters of Lake George. Their most commonly offered cruise is their one-hour sightseeing cruise. These cruises explore the bays, islands, and historic mansions around the southern basin of Lake George multiple times per day, depending on season and weather. Lake George Shoreline also has bay cruises which explore the many distinct bays of Lake George while discussing the history around Lake George’s southern basin.
Sunset Dinner Cruises
Their dinner cruises leave the dock at 6:30 pm and sail north, past Dome Island and the Sagamore to the southern edge of the Narrows. Guests enjoy a delicious meal as the sun drops below the southern Adirondacks to the west. These two-hour cruises feature a buffet menu of carving meats, additional hot entrees, potatoes, salads, desserts, and other selections. And if you’re not hungry, these early evening cruises can be taken without the buffet as well.
Dinner & Fireworks
Lake George Shoreline also invites guests to sail their fireworks cruises on every Thursday in July and August. They hold two separate types of fireworks cruises. Their simple fireworks cruise is an amazing way to see the show and enjoy amenities such as coffee, tea, snacks, and a full bar. There is also a fireworks dinner cruise every Thursday in July and August with a menu of hot entrees, a carving station, salad, vegetables, and desserts with a full cash bar available. If you’re going to watch the display, you might as well take it in with dinner.
Lake George Shoreline’s big annual specialty cruise is the Frostbite Cruise. If you’re in the Lake George Area on New Year’s Day you won’t want to miss this cruise. Lake George Shoreline offers two Frostbite Cruises on New Year’s Day, featuring live entertainment, appetizers, beer, wine and champagne, all while cruising the frigid winter waters of Lake George. They also do a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve cruise that includes a cash bar for adults. This is an annual tradition that began in 1985, and due to huge demand has morphed into an annual extravaganza.
While the Sagamore is better known as a luxury resort on a private island, they also have a large ship sailing on Lake George. The Morgan, a brown and green two level ship that stretches to 72 feet, was designed to be a reproduction of a 19th century touring ship. The Morgan departs from the Sagamore Resort’s docks and gives guests and the public alike a unique view of the southern Adirondacks and the Narrows. Cruises on the Morgan are about one and a half hours long and reservations are required, so be sure to contact the Sagamore if you’d like to hop aboard.