Group Charters on Cayuga Lake

Floating Classroom cruises are available for classes, community groups and camps, May through October. While our primary vessel is based on Cayuga Lake, our instructors are also available to visit neighboring Finger Lakes.   We offer programs designed for audiences ranging from 5th grade to adult, and we are happy to customize our presentation to suit your needs. 
Contact us with questions at any point in your planning process!
  • A typical program can include a field trip and a class visit, or just the field trip. 
  • Cruises vary from one to three hours.  Two-hour cruises are popular and allow for a range of cruise activities.
  • Barring high winds or lightning, we are an all-weather program, so please dress accordingly.
  • See our Cruise Calendar for available dates. 

Group Sizes
  • The MV Haendel is US Coast Guard certified to accommodate up to 30 passengers, though we prefer to keep it closer to 24 for active programming. 
  • For groups over 25, combination lake cruise & stream programs are available at several locations, allowing us to provide a rotation of activities for your students.
Programming Objectives
  • Inquiry-based STEM enrichment for
    schools and educational groups.
  • Team-building and personal growth experiences.
  • Attention to local historical and cultural context.
  • Meeting your goals!   


  • We are based in Ithaca, NY, and cruise from points around the south end of Cayuga lake. 
  • Further north, we also can arrange cruise programs at Myers Point, Taughannock Falls State Park, Wells College in Aurora, Sheldrake Point and Cayuga, NY.  Location fees apply.
Ostracod viewed under on-board microscope.
Ostracod, viewed with an on-board microscope.
Costs    Our goal is to ensure that everyone can afford the Floating Classroom, so please talk to us about your budget.  
  • The charter rate for a fully-staffed Floating Classroom cruise is $330/hour, and includes a instructional crew of 4, who will lead every aspect of your program. (When fewer crew are required, rates vary accordingly.)
  • On-land and classroom instructional time is $50/hour.

Scholarships are available We do ask that you help us use these funds wisely and equitably

Watershed Education Fund: Schools and other organizations within the Cayuga Lake Watershed are elligible for this fund, supported by the Cayuga Watershed Intermunicipal Organization.

Community Access Fund: This fund is available to all other organizations and individuals.
Bill Foster,
Mar 7, 2012, 11:26 AM