Mike and Sharon Murphy’s “Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises” continues to grow as a third boat is added to their fleet. This family business began offering Erie Canal tours in 1988 in the City of Lockport, NY using two pontoon boats. It was a time when not too many people had faith in local tourism and its potential. Over these past 25 years their operation has grown into a substantial business. In addition to regularly schedule canal cruises and charters they offer a renovated factory with indoor/outdoor facilities that hosts weddings, banquets, meetings. There is a circa 1845 “free stone” (taken from the rubble produce by local canal lock construction) building that is used for 4th & 5th Grade Erie Canal history education as part of their cruise experience. Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises even has been featured as part of the History Channel’s “Modern Marvels – The Erie Canal” presentation.
Earlier this week, Capt. Mike and his crew began their trip from the Thousands Islands to Lockport via Lake Ontario, the Oswego Canal and the Erie Canal (NYS Barge Canal) with their newest acquisition the 76 foot diesel-powered dual paddle-wheel boat Bonnie Belle. Conversion of the vessel to meet the needs of Canal service began en-route and continued once moored at the Lockport Locks Canalside Landing. Conversion will continue over the next couple of months. When completed, The boat will be christened “Lockview VI” and become part of the wedding/charter business along with its partners the 68 foot “Lockview V” and 46 foot “Lockview IV.”