Community participation

Opportunities for Community members to enjoy & learn about the lake


Discover Cayuga Lake is committed to creating opportunities for everyone to engage with the lake. We offer cruises and events that encourage recreation and education to emphasize all that is great about our lakes while also highlighting issues of concern. We are working with local partners, individuals and organizations alike, to create inspiring experiences that speak to all segments of our community. We welcome your participation and ideas!

In addition to volunteer opportunities and our Lake Lover Season Passes, we offer a number of Community Cruises every week. They are free, reduced price, or donation based, to ensure affordability for everyone in our community. Your donations will help us keep providing community lake access and high quality education programs. We welcome your support and feedback, and look forward to seeing you on board!


It was a beautiful and peaceful evening and the cruise was so interesting and informative. We were like tourists in our own town, choosing this experience to enjoy my 30th anniversary!

Mimi Welshonce Ramey

Great Experiences with Discover Cayuga Lake


These cruises are especially for our Finger Lakes friends but all are welcome! Discounted Prices apply. You should book your Community Cruise ahead of time, by selecting the date of interest in our Booking Calendar.

    Community Sunset Cruises WITH Guest speakers

    WEDNESDAYS – Times vary by sunset, 1.5 hours long

    Local presenters host discussions and activities related to their interests and our mission, and occasional Trivia Nights along with a beautiful Cayuga sunset. We welcome guest speakers from our community to lead these discussions with us on topics ranging from the role of the State Parks in the Finger Lakes, to micro-plastics, to lake history and nature illustration. We welcome suggestions for speakers and topics.


    • Community Cruises are free or pay-as-you-can donation based, to ensure affordability for everyone in our community. Your contribution, however, will help us keep providing community lake access and high quality education programs. We welcome your support and feedback, as well!

    • If you are interested to be a presenter on the boat, or know someone who would be interested, please be in touch. Presentations can range from a variety of topics that touch upon history, art, culture, social equity, environmental topics and more.

    • You should book your Community Cruise ahead of time, by selecting the date of interest in our Booking Calendar. Click Below.



    • June 7th – WATER TRIVIA
    • June 14th – Experience DCL’s Floating Classroom Activities
    • June 21st – Paint a Tile Project with DCL Director, Bill Foster
    • June 28th – Caring for Cayuga w Liz Kreitinger, Director of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network
    • July 5th – tbd, possibly WATER TRIVIA
    • July 12th – the Art of Knot Tying with DCL Captain Stephanie Gray
    • July 19th – Water Poetry/La Poesia del Agua with local poet Gladira Velazquez Simms (Latino  Conservation Week event)
    • July 26th – Haudenosaunee Culture & Food with Michelle Cronin (Onondoga Nation)
    • August 2nd – Water & Climate Change from Cayuga to the World with Adele Carrere from the National Geographic
    • August 9th – American Lake Monsters Part 2 with Ben Sandsberg, Director of The History Center
    • August 16th – Raptors of the Finger Lakes with Cornell Raptor Center
    • August 23rd – A History of the Homes around Cayuga Lake with DCL Crew member Felicia Ansty
    • August 30th – StoryHouse Ithaca presents Jay Leeming with Stories of Water
    • September 6th – Apple & Cider History and Tastings with local Cider Maker, Melissa Madden
    • September 13th – The History of Boats and Boat Building on Cayuga with Eve Snyder of The History Center
    • September 20th – Microplastics in our Lake with Ithaca College Prof. Susan Allen-Gil
    • September 27th – Community Carbon Offsetting Initiatives
    • October 5th – Fall Bird Migration with Dr. Steve Kress


    Features lively music on board with some of our favorite local DJs and musicians. Special two hour cruises!


    • Sundays through September, times vary by sunset. 2 hour long
    • Club Cayuga prices are $30/adult or 2 for $50
    • BOOK YOUR CLUB CAYUGA CRUISE AHEAD OF TIME, by selecting the date of interest in our Booking Calendar. Click Below.

    Reggae Sunset Cruise w DJ Mike Judah

    June 4th, July 9th, July 30th, August 27th, Sept. 17th, Oct. 1st

    Lively up yourself, with DJ Mike Judah, Ithaca’s longest running reggae DJ and MC! You’ll find Judah hosting the weekly Reggae Explosions show on our local radio station, WICB and MC-ing at the annual Ithaca Reggae Fest and numerous festivals and musical venues throughout the area. From reggae classics to the newest genres on the scene you’ll be sure to catch an easy-going vibe that just might get you up and dancing too!

      Grown & Sexy Cruise w DJ ha-MEEN

      June 18th, July 16th, Aug. 13th, Sept. 10th, Oct. 15th

      Something groovy for the hipsters in town! Join DJ ha-Meen on board for musical genres ranging from R&B to Soul and Hip-Hop and anything in between. Requests are encouraged and the mood is up to you! DJ ha-Meen, aka Ben Ortiz, is Cornell University’s Hip-Hop Collection curator and can be found regularly DJ-ing at many local music venues in town.

        Salsa at Sunset w DJ Michael Luis

        June 25th, July 23rd, Aug. 20th, Sept. 24th, Oct. 8th

        Come learn how to salsa with a quick lesson on board and then join the latin dance lovers in town with Ithaca’s most well-known salsa instructor, DJ MIchaal Luis. Salsa is the main fare, but you’ll likely hear a bachata, a merengue or even a kizomba tune as well. We welcome you to dance the evening away or simply enjoy the beautiful music on board!

          Djug Django Duo

          June 11th, July 2nd, Aug. 6th, Sept. 3rd

          Join Ithaca area’s premier ensemble for some live Gypsy Swing, Jazz Standards, suave Latin Rhythms and more. You might want to get up and dance or you might want to just enjoy the musical vibes and the beautiful views. It’s up to you but you’re bound to have a sweet time with this beloved band on board.

            Expriences for every age

            Family Eco-Cruises

            Parents, bring your kids on board for engaging and hands-on weekly activities that will be both fun and educational! Science based activities of ages 5 and up.



            Activities in our Lake Monitoring Cruises:

            Cayuga Water Lab
            A typical Cayuga Water Lab Cruise has four stations on the boat at a deep water site, including field/weather conditions, GPS sampling location, Secchi clarity, Water temperature and pH profile, plankton survey.

            Plankton Sampling
            We use a plankton net to gather teeming hordes of tiny but diverse living organisms from the lake.

            Plankton Microscopy
            With scopes, available on-board, participants learn to observe and identify the plankton they’ve collected.

            Water Clarity Analysis
            How far does sunlight travel down into the lake? This is an essential measurement when we’re monitoring the the environment under the water’s surface.

            Profiling the Lake at Different Depths
            What changes happen when you start moving from the surface of the water down into the depths of the lake? Depth profiles help us understand how the structure of the lake is changing from one day to the next.

            Sample and Investigate Aquatic Plants
            There are many different aquatic plants. Participants can dredge up samples from the bottom of the lake and record data on what plant species they find.

            Collect and Analyze Sediment Samples
            The lake’s ecosystem is more than just the water column. Keep going down below the sediment, and there is so much more to discover!

            Invasive Species Survey
            An Invasive Species Survey features shallow water stops at multiple locations and aquatic plant sampling and observation.

            We’d Love to hear from you!

            with Us

            For Cruises & Charters:

            For Educational Programs:

            HOME DOCK:

            1000 Allan H. Treman Marina Rd.
            Ithaca, NY 14850

            OUR OFFICE:

            110 N. Tioga St., Suite 303
            Center for History & Culture
            Ithaca, NY  14850

            Discover Cayuga Lake 2023