Public Boat Trips on Lake Champlain Aboard the R/V Melosira

Each summer Lake Champlain Sea Grant, UVM Extension, and ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain host a series of Summer on the Lake educational boat trips. On various dates during July and August the public is invited aboard the UVM research and education vessel, the Melosira, to build geologic, cultural, and historical knowledge about Lake Champlain and its watershed. Each trip will focus on one of two themes, either Stories of Lake Champlain or Lake Champlain Live (see descriptions below).

Theme 1: Stories of Lake Champlain will provide a cultural and historical view of Lake Champlain. First, participants will learn about the culture and history of native tribes in the area and their relationship with water by watching a short film called Nebi: Abenaki Ways of Knowing Water. Then, participants will board the R/V Melosira and head out on the water to learn about geology and the formation of the Lake Champlain basin and lake. Later in the trip, participants will learn about the lake’s naval history following European settlement before returning to dock.

Stops and sights on the trip include:

  • Red Rocks
  • Lone Rock Point
  • Rock Dunder, a small rock island, which embodies the spirit of Oodzee-hozo, the creator of Lake Champlain in Abenaki legend
  • The Horse Ferry Shipwreck, located off of North Beach


Theme 2: Lake Champlain Live will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about and try their hands as limnologists (i.e., those who study inland waters). Following an interactive introduction to the geology and formation of the Lake Champlain basin and the lake, participants will learn about biological, chemical and physical measurements limnologists make to improve our understanding of the lake, its watershed, and our impacts on them.

Participants will engage in such activities as:

  • Towing for plankton & identifying plankton
  • Assessing for invasive species
  • Using and interpreting a conductivity-temperature-depth meter
  • Monitoring water clarity

Additional Information:

Cost: $30 per person. We are committed to educating as broad of an audience as possible through these on-lake trips, but still need to cover the cost of fuel and personnel time. Thus, a limited number of scholarships are available for those with financial constraints. Please contact Caroline Blake to inquire about this option if interested.

Trip Policies:

  • Please arrive at the dock 15 minutes prior to the time of your reservation
  • Passengers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult (minimum age is 8, sorry no exceptions)
  • Please reserve a spot in advance 
  • There is minimal handicap accessibility aboard.  Please be aware that our staff are unable to assist in lifting people or devices, and that the ramp to the vessel dock can have a 25% or more grade depending on the season. Please contact Caroline Blake at watershd [at] no later than three weeks before your chosen date so she can assist you.

Cancellation Policy: 

  • Cancellations must be made more than 1 week before your scheduled trip departure to be eligible for a refund.
  • No-shows are responsible for 100% of trip fees.
  • Trips will go on unless there is extreme weather (e.g., lightning storms, wind) in the area. The Lake Champlain Sea Grant Staff and boat Captain will do their best to make the call within 12 hours of the trip.

What to Bring: ​Participants should come prepared with rain gearsun hats, sunscreen, warm clothes (it can be significantly colder on the water than on the land), water, and closed-toe shoes. Note that wearing closed-toe shoes is a safety requirement, and therefore is not optional. Everyone participating (or parents/guardians) will need to sign a liability waiver before boarding the boat.

Disclaimer: It is with great sorrow that the Lake Champlain Sea Grant staff have decided to cancel ALL Summer 2020 Public Trips due to the COVID-19 epidemic. These trips will be postponed until Summer 2021. This decision aligns with those of UVM President Garimella's who announced earlier in April that UVM will only be offering online summer classes. We don't take this decision lightly, but as the situation continues to rapidly change, our top priority remains protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our students, staff, and participants. 


For more information regarding the Public Trip Programs please contact watershd [at]


Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. University of Vermont Extension, Burlington, Vermont. University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.