Barges available for trips through the Erie Canal include houseboats and cruise barges. Travelers can rent barges through companies such as Mid-Lakes Navigation and Canal Princess Charters.
The Erie Canal was traditionally used as a shipping route to and from upstate New York. Although commercial shipping still makes up a portion of the canal's traffic, it has become more popular as a visitor attraction. Travelers can choose to rent boats or barges, or they can take cruises along the canal.
Houseboats are popular barge options for multi-day trips. Visitors can rent these out for several days and navigate them along the waterways. They can find a full list of licensed providers on the official website for the New York State Canal Corporation at NY.gov.
Pontoon boats and narrowboats are good options for travelers who do not require accommodation and transportation rolled into one. Companies that offer pontoon boat rentals for the Erie Canal include To-Ga-Soke Campgrounds, Mid Lakes Erie Macedon Landing, the Erie Canal Boat Company and Amherst Marine Center. Companies renting narrowboats include Erie Canal Cruise Lines and Erie-Champlain Canal Boating.
Cruises are good options for visitors who do not want to drive their own boats. Cruise lines on the Erie Canal include Erie Canal Cruises, Colonial Belle, Mid-Lakes Navigation and Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises.