History of MV Haendel and Ithaca Boat Tours



In 1965 the US Army Corps of Engineers honored one of their own by commissioning construction of a stout steel hulled tug equipped with two Detroit Diesel engines to carry out Corps duties in New York Harbor. This boat would go on to work for 20 years in NY before being sold to the state of Vermont where she enjoyed another 16 years of service on Lake Champlain ferrying nature enthusiasts, hikers and campers from the main shore out to Burton Island.

By 2002, the MV Haendel would find herself headed back south on the Hudson River, however, this time she would make a right-hand turn into Waterford Harbor just North of Albany. After passing through 37 locks of the New York State Canal System, the M/V Haendel would catch her first glimpse of Cayuga Lake. She quickly became comfortable in her new home under the care of the late Dennis Montgomery, Founder and visionary of Ithaca Boat Tours.

MV Haendel during the late 60s in NY Harbor

MV Haendel New York Harbor, late 60s

MV Haendel Lake Champlain

MV Haendel on Lake Champlain


Dennis had envisioned an educational platform on the lake, it has since sparked the interest and imaginations of thousands of school children and adults alike as well as providing locals and tourists the opportunity for sheer enjoyment of those natural wonders that can only be experienced while on the water.  

That gentleman who spent his life working on major civil engineering projects with the US Army Corps nearly 70 years ago was Stanley S. Haendel. He died in 1964 and one year later, birthed from a shipyard in Erie Pennsylvania, the M/V Haendel began a journey of service that continues to this day.  Welcome aboard our bit of living history!

MV Haendel of Ithaca Boat Tours

MV Haendel Present Day


Please note that that we operate from multiple locations, we have no physical ticket office. Staff is available onboard the boat 30 minutes prior to home dock scheduled departures. This may not apply if no reservations have been made for the departure. Home dock departures with no reservations 2 hours prior to departure are subject to cancellation. Be sure to book Home Dock Departures in advance, that helps us make sure your cruise will run!


By Phone


Mailing Address

Ithaca Boat Tours
381 Enfield Main Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850