By Ian and Ngaire Carline

Published by Silberhorn

RRP $36.00

Mention cruising along canals and rivers to your friends, and chances are they’ll immediately assume you’re talking about Europe.

But there’s an equally fascinating area for canal/river cruising in northeastern America – a region of rivers and lakes interconnected by scores of man-made canals. It’s steeped in history and culture and filled with friendly locals.


The best way to grab a taste of what’s on offer is to watch this 70-minute DVD produced by Ian and Ngaire Carline. They cruised it in the 46-foot Nan, an immaculately maintained, 73-year-old launch powered by twin Detroit diesels – and between them they provide a colourful commentary on the passing show.

Nan, incidentally, carries quite a bit of history herself – she starred in the 1980s movie Absence of Malice, featuring Sally Field and Paul Newman.

The couple’s cruise begins in Maine and, criss-crossing and doubling back across the region, they venture north to Canada, and then back down to New York and beyond. It’s hard to believe that a boat can cruise through so much of the area – all in beautifully sheltered rivers and canals. You could cruise for months.

Majestic is the only word to describe the scenery – and even though many of the man-made canals are ancient, the infrastructure of locks (of which there are many) is in excellent condition. Some are fascinating historical gems in their own right!

Along the way we encounter many of the region’s legendary landmarks: Long Island Sound, Martha’s Vineyard, the Erie Canal (it features in many romantic ballads), the bustling traffic on the Hudson River, cruising under the State of Liberty – all in all, a refreshingly different perspective to the conventional ‘arm’s length’ view one receives via the TV news.

Above all, it looks like enormous fun – and certainly a voyage worth adding to your Bucket List.