With the dog days of summer upon us, this is a great time to take a fun and relaxing cruise on Lake Erie or along the Erie Canal. The ‘Spirit of Buffalo’ is the right way to see Buffalo from the water and there is an awful lot to see. Operating from the very well appointed Central Wharf on the Canalside boardwalk, The Spirit of Buffalo offers a classic 73 foot topsail schooner, the Sea Dragon, for sailing out on Lake Erie.
We enjoyed this quite serendipitously as we strolled the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park along the Buffalo Waterfront and the Canalside boardwalk while enjoying a long weekend in Buffalo from our California home. We saw many paddle boats, paddle boards and other vessels on the canal and then saw the Sea Dragon gracefully approaching from off the lake with her sails fully hoisted and the crew in pirate garb. We were intrigued and inquired with the boardwalk ticket office about this unique Buffalo experience. We were very pleased to learn that there was another sailing about to depart and that the ticket price for our tickets would only be $32 each for a 2 hour sail (prices vary depending upon theme and sail time but the Pirate Cruise is only $25 for adults and $20 for children – 12 years old or under). Owners Ric and Kathy Hilliman were so welcoming and encouraging that we could not resist.
We were even more pleasantly surprised that beer, wine and soft drinks were offered during our sail and that the crew was so engaged with the passengers. Our female Captain was a member of this family owned operation with all the appropriate U.S. Coast Guard license and certifications. Passengers were encouraged to assist with the hoisting of sails after we had motored out of the outer harbor area adding to the sense of adventure. In addition to the sailing expertise, the Captain and crew were a font of knowledge about many of Buffalo’s historic sites, all of which were visible while we were underway.
This beautiful schooner with its magnificent red sails is available for day and evening sails, sunset sails, craft brew cruises, ‘Wine in the Wind sails, ‘Dinner and a Sail’ combinations, ‘Pirate Adventures’ (kids loved it) and educational excursions. The Sea Dragon is well appointed with comfortable seating above and below deck as well as a functioning galley and restroom (head) that would make her perfect for a chartered family or corporate event. Of course safety is paramount and the Spirit of Buffalo makes sure all on board understand the need for caution while having a wonderful time.
The bottom-line, if you are around the Buffalo area between now and the first week or so in October, do not miss this very special and reasonably priced adventure which offer s such wonderful views of the Buffalo skyline and waterfront. Go online at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (716) 796-7210 for more information. The Spirit of Buffalo is located at: 44 Prime Street, Buffalo, NY Sail away!