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The Belle is Coming Back!

Jun 29th, 2020

The Colonial Belle Tour Boat returns to the “home” dock in Fairport, NY on Tuesday, June 30, traveling from the NY State dry dock in Lyons, NY where the vessel has been stored since the end of the canal season last fall.

The Erie Canal was scheduled to open, and the Colonial Belle’s season was scheduled to begin, on May 15, 2020. Due to a shutdown of pre-season canal maintenance and preparations during the PAUSE caused by the pandemic, all work to ready the canal for the season ended on March 16, 2020 and didn’t restart again until early May causing delays to the start to the 2020 canal season. The Colonial Belle was finally floated in the dry dock on Monday morning June 29, 2020 along with NY State tugboats, barges, and equipment.

The Colonial Belle is scheduled to arrive in the Village of Fairport at approximately 3:00pm on Tuesday, June 30th with Captains, Crew, family members and others aboard. This will be a very welcome familiar sight to the waterway.

This season the Colonial Belle will be operating at a reduced capacity to allow more space for social distancing onboard and new safety procedures and additional cleaning/sanitizing practices have been put into place. The boat is US Coastguard Certified to carry a maximum of 149 passengers; however, the maximum capacity will be reduced to a 70 passenger maximum for now.

The first public cruises aboard the Colonial Belle this season are scheduled to begin on the 4th of July, the anniversary of the day that the first dirt was shoveled on July 4, 1817 at Rome, NY to begin the digging of the historic man-made Erie Canal.

About Colonial Belle: The Colonial Belle is the largest tour boat operating on the Erie Canal typically carrying 12,000 – 15,000 passengers per season. The company was started in 1989 by the late Captain Lee Poinan with several different tour boats throughout time. The company has operated out of the Village of Fairport since 1991 and the current Colonial Belle vessel (built in 1961) was purchased by Captain Lee in 1995 and has operated on the Erie Canal since then. The Poinan Family continues the legacy that Captain Lee started with his wife, Mona Poinan as current owner/office manager, his daughter Captain Tammee Poinan-Grimes as a Captain/Manager, his Granddaughter Madalynn as a Jr Crew Member along with many other family members, friends and loyal employees keeping the cruising transition going. The Colonial Belle offers sightseeing cruises, lock tours, lunches, dinners, private charters, themed cruises and more.

Those who wish to be in the Village of Fairport on Tuesday, June 30th at 3:00pm to welcome the Colonial Belle back to the Village of Fairport, are asked to socially distance six feet from others and wear facial coverings or masks.

For more information:, social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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