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Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy the water, whether you’re in it or on it! Don’t feel like taking a dip with the kids? Consider taking the whole family on a relaxed, thrilling, or educational boat ride.
Peacefully sail the harbor at sunset, enjoying light music and a view of the sun slipping behind the skyline, rip through it on a roaring monster of a speedboat, or board an educational cruise in order to explore estuaries, wetlands, and the very depths of the ocean and river with your young ones. The New York metro area offers a wide variety of cruises and sails sure to delight all ages, and we’ve collected the very best ones for you right here.
*Note that dates and departure times are projected; call ahead or check company websites to confirm all details.
Circle Line DowntownPier 16, South Street Seaport212-742-1969; circlelinedowntown.com
Rides: The Statue of Liberty Express cruises by downtown landmarks and pauses at the feet of Lady Liberty. Climb aboard the Zephyr for a 1 hour cruise with tour guides and amenities including a sun-deck and indoor climate-control. For a more thrilling experience, choose the SHARK Speedboat Thrill Ride. This 30 minute speedboat adventure features music and a guided tour. Passengers must be 40” to ride and children must be able to sit in their own seat.Hours: The Statue of Liberty Express departs at 10am, 11:15am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, and 5pm daily from May to September. The SHARK Speedboat Thrill Ride departs every hour on the hour from 12pm to 5pm from May to September.Cost: The Statue of Liberty Express: $30 adult, $19 child (ages 3-12); Children younger than 3 ride free. SHARK Speedboat Thrill Ride: $28 adult; $19 child.
Circle Line SightseeingPier 83 at West 42nd Streetcircleline42.com
Rides: Options include the BEAST speedboat (30 minutes), Landmark Cruise (1.5 hours), Best of NYC Cruise (2.5 hours), Liberty Cruise (1 hour), and Hello Brooklyn Cruise (2 hours). The BEAST Speedboat is a 70-foot speedboat that flies towards the Statue of Liberty at around 45mph. Children must be 40” tall to ride and must be able to sit in their own seat without assistance. All other cruises feature tour guide narration, food and drink, outdoor deck space, heated/air conditioned indoor seating, restrooms and large windows made for sightseeing.Hours: The BEAST Speedboat departs every hour on the hour from 10am-6pm daily from April 30 to September 25. All other cruises run daily from May 2 to September 5. The Landmark Cruise departs at 11am, 12:30pm, 3pm, and 4:30pm. The Best of NYC Cruise departs at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. The Liberty Cruise departs at 10:30am, 1:30pm, and 3:30pm. The Hello Brooklyn Cruise departs at 2:30pm.Cost: The BEAST Speedboat: $29 adult; $23 child. Landmark Cruise: $37 adult; $30 child. Best of NYC Cruise: $42 child; $34 child. Liberty Cruise: $29 adult; $23 child. Hello Brooklyn Cruise: $38 adult, $30 child. Children/infants under the age of 3 ride free of charge on all cruises.
Clipper City SailNorth Cove Marina at Brookfield Place (Shearwater)The Battery, Slip 2 (Clipper City)212-619-6900; manhattanbysail.com/sails
Rides: Explore the harbor by sail aboard either the 82 foot schooner Shearwater or the 158 foot topsail schooner Clipper City on various sightseeing trips throughout the day. Sunset Sail (2 hours) and City Lights Sail (1.5 hours) depart from North Cove Marina. Twilight Sail (2 hours) and Harbor Lights Sail (1.5 hours) depart from The Battery, Slip 2. The Daytime Statue Sail (1.5 hours) departs from both locations with differing prices and times.Hours: Daytime Statue Sail departs from North Cove Marina Monday through Saturday at 12:30pm and 2:45 pm and Sunday at 2 pm. Sunset Sail departs at 7pm for most of the season. Check the website for specific dates. City Lights Sail departs Thursday through Saturday at 9:30pm from June to September only. Daytime Statue Sail departs from The Battery daily at 2:15pm and 4:30pm. Twilight Sail departs daily at 7pm from April and August and 6:30pm from September to October. Harbor Lights Sail departs Thursday through Saturday at 9:30 from June to September only.Cost: Sunset Sail: $50 adult; $25 child (ages 3-12); $15 infant. City Lights Sail and Daytime Statue Sail departing from North Cove Marina: $45 adult; $25 child; $15 infant. Twilight Sail: $45 adult; $20 child, $5 infant. Harbor Lights Sail and Daytime Statue Sail departing from The Battery: $39 adult; $17 child; $5 infant.
Audubon Summer EcoCruisePier 16, South Street Seaport212-742-1969; nywatertaxi.com
Rides: New York Water Taxi hosts three eco-tours with the Audubon Society naturalists on select Sundays. The Jamaica Bay EcoCruise heads to the New York Harbor to see the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, nesting osprey, and all wading bird species. Birds you may see on this tour include osprey, peregrine falcons, willets and other shorebirds. The Hoffman and Swinburne EcoCruise includes views of the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island, and the Verrazano Bridge. Birds you may see on this tour include great egrets, snowy egrets, little blue herons, black-crowned night herons, and yellow-crowned night-herons. The Brothers Island EcoCruise offers views of egret colonies, building ruins of North Brother Island, and the Manhattan skyline at sunset. Birds you may see on this tour include great egrets, American oystercatchers, and others.Hours: Jamaica Bay EcoCruise: June 8, July 6, and August 10 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Hoffman and Swinburne EcoCruise: June 15, June 29, July 13, and July 27 from 7pm to 9m. Brothers Island EcoCruise: June 22, July 20, August 3, and August 17 from 7pm to 9pm.Cost: Jamaica Bay EcoCruise: $65 adult; $35 child (ages 3-12). Hoffman and Swinburne EcoCruise and Brothers Island EcoCruise: $35 adult, $25 child.
Marilyn Jean IVSheepshead Bay, Pier 6917-650-3212; 917-560-8224; mj2fishing.com
Rides: The Marilyn Jean IV is a 70 foot Lydia party fishing boat equipped with everything you need to have an enjoyable fishing trip with the family. Crew members help passengers catch, clean, and pack fish which may include Fluke, Flounder, Striped Bass, Weakfish, Bluefish, Sea Bass, Porgies, Blackfish, Ling, and Cod depending on the season and time of day, making this fishing boat perfect for beginners. Check the website for fishing reports from Captain Ryan. Passengers also have access to food and beverages while having various sightseeing opportunities. The ship sails twice a day during peak season.Hours: The Porgy’s and Ling Bottom Fishing trip departs at 7am and returns at 3pm daily. The Evening Stripers and Blues trip departs at 7pm and returns 12am daily.Cost: The Pergy’s and Ling Bottom Fishing trip and the Evening Stripers and Blues trip cost $60 and $50 respectively with no discount for children. You must make a reservation online.
Sea Queen VIISheepshead Bay347-894-5016; 917-642-0265; seaqueenvii.com
Rides: Captain Steve and the crew of the Sea Queen VII welcome would-be fishermen and women on the vessel for half day and nightly excursions. The vessel is 85 feet with a family atmosphere and offers a heated cabin with a full service galley and bathrooms. The crew is extremely knowledgeable and eager to help even the most basic of novices. Rods can be rented for $5 and tackle is priced accordingly. Bait is given for free. Passengers are alternatively permitted to bring their own equipment. Fish cleaning is done at the end of the trip by the crew.Hours: The half day fishing excursion departs at 7am and returns at 12pm. The nightly excursion departs at 7pm and returns at midnight. Both run most every day, but check the website to make sure.Cost: Half day fishing: $35 adult; $25 non angler (ages 4 and up); $20 child (ages 4-10). Nightly excursion: $45 adult, $25 non angler; $25 child.
Freedom CruisesSheepshead Bay917-650-3212; 646-413-1643; freedomofny.com
Rides: Cruise past the famous Coney Island and Brighton Beach Boardwalk and Amusement Parks aboard the Pink Lady. The boat will then cruise past the historic Norton’s Point light house on your way toward NY Harbor. After gliding under the Verrazano Bridge, the Captain will bring the Pink Lady within 50 yards of the Statue of Liberty where he will stop the boat for a few moments before heading back to Sheepshead Bay. Professional guides provide commentary while also answering questions throughout the tour. A refreshment bar is open throughout the trips and serves beverages and light snacks.Hours: 1:30pm to 4:30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day.Cost: $32 adult, $20 child (ages 3-12); Wee One (ages 2 and under) rides free (one per adult); additional Wee One $20. Advance purchase of tickets is strongly recommended.
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Whale and Dolphin Watching Adventure CruisesRiis Landing, Rockaway718-474-0555; americanprincesscruises.com
Rides: The American Princess Fleet is the original whale and dolphin watching operator in the NYC area. Cruises head out into the Atlantic Ocean and seek out these beautiful mammals. Cameras, video cameras, and binoculars are recommended. Children are encouraged to participate in helping the crew take the official whale & dolphin count. There is snack concession and a full beverage bar on board. Passengers are permitted to bring sandwiches on board, but beverages and coolers are prohibited.Hours: May 28 through June 26: Saturdays, Sundays, and Memorial Day from 1pm to 5pm. June 17 through September 2: Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 12pm to 4pm. September 9 through October 2: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12pm to 4pm. October 8 through October 30: Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 4pm.Cost: $45 adult, $30 children (ages 5-12); Free for children under 5.
Trinity Cruise CompanyRiverfront Greek Park, 30 Hudson Ave. Peekskill914-589-7773; trinitycrusies.com
Rides: Experience the Hudson Highlands on a public Sightseeing Cruise, summer One Hour Boat Ride, or public Sunset Cruise. The Sightseeing Cruise is a 2.5-3 hour ride with Captain’s commentary that heads north from Peekskill to the West Point area and then returns. The One Hour Boat Ride is a short sightseeing cruise from Peekskill to the Bear Mountain Bridge that is perfect for families and small children. Highlights include Iona Island, the Bear Mountain Bridge, and the peak of Anthony’s Nose with short commentary by the Captain or crew. The Sunset Cruise travels north beyond the Bear Mountain Bridge to Mystery Point and then returns as the sun goes down. Soft music is played on this 1.5 hour cruise. Hours: The Sightseeing Cruise departs at 11am on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The One Hour Boat Ride departs at 3:00pm most Fridays and Saturdays during the summer. The Sunset Cruise departs most Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Times vary with the time of the sunset.Cost: Sightseeing Cruise: $26 adult; $22 senior; $18 child. One Hour Boat Ride: $10 adult; $5 child; Sunset Cruise: $20 adult; $18 senior; $12 child.
The River RoseBlu Pointe Landing in Newburgh845-363-4550; 888-442-5211; prideofthehudson.com
Rides: This two hour cruise aboard the River Rose, an authentic stern driven Mississippi paddle wheeler, heads south from Newburgh and includes a narrated tour of historically significant sites such as Bannerman’s Island, the Catskill Water Aqueduct, the Village of Cold Spring, World’s End and the military academy at West Point. Passengers will also learn the history of the many cities and towns on both banks of the Hudson. The River Rose also hosts a Sunday Brunch Cruise and a Dinner Cruise, both of which are buffet style.Hours: Narrated Sightseeing Cruise: Usually 2pm-4pm every Saturday and Sunday plus some Wednesdays and Thursdays until October 24. Sunday Brunch Cruise: 11am-1pm on June 19, August 21, September 18, and October 9. Dinner Cruise: 7pm-9pm on June 24 and August 19. Check zerve.com/riverrose for exact dates and times.Cost: Sightseeing Cruise: $22 adult; $16 child (ages 4-12). Brunch Cruise: $42 adult; $26 child. Dinner Cruise: $48 adult; $26 child. Children under the age of 4 ride free on all cruises. Advanced ticket purchase is highly recommended.
The Maritime Aquarium10 North Water Street, Norwalk203-852-0700; maritimeaquarium.org
Rides: All cruises are on the R/V Spirit of the Sound, the only research vessel in North America with hybrid-electric propulsion. Aquarium educators are aboard every cruise. The Marine Life Study Cruise includes sampling techniques such as a plankton tow, trawl net and biodredge that brings up a variety of fish, crabs, and mollusks. A video microscope and large touch tank on board enhance observations. No food is available for purchase, but passengers can bring their own on the lighthouse cruises and Sunset Cruise. Passengers must be over 42” tall to ride and children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.Hours: Central Long Island Sound Lighthouse Cruise: 10am-2:30pm every first Saturday from June 4 to October 1. Western Long Island Sound Lighthouse Cruise: 9am-3pm every fourth Saturday from May 28 to September 24. All-Ages Sunset Cruise: 6:30pm-9pm on selected Fridays. Marine Life Study Cruises: 1pm-3:30pm most Saturdays and Sundays from May 14 to June 19; 1pm-3:30pm daily from June 20 to Labor Day excluding some days in June and July. Some cruises will depart at 10am, 2pm, or 4pm. Check website for exact dates and times.Cost: Central Long Island Cruise: $70. Western Long Island Sound Lighthouse cruise: $75. All-Ages Sunset Cruise: $29.95. Marine Life Study Cruise: $29.95. Aquarium members receive a $10 discount on lighthouse cruises and a $5 discount on the Marine Life Study Cruise. Reservations are strongly recommended and in some cases required.
Sound WatersBoccuzzi Park at Southfield, 166 Southfield Ave, Stamford203-406-3335; soundwaters.org
Rides: Explore the Long Island Sound aboard an 80 foot Schooner on an afternoon sail designed for families. Work together to raise sails, discover what inhabits the water of the Sound, sample and test water quality, learn about hypoxia, and analyze groundwater. Alternatively board the Schooner at sunset for dinner and beverages. All passengers must be 5 years for both.Hours: Afternoon Sail: Saturdays and Sundays 3pm-5pm from June 25 to August 7 and 2pm-4pm from August 28 to September 25. Sunset Sail: dates vary; usually Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays for two hours departing at either 6:30pm, 6pm, 5:30pm, or 5pm. Check website for exact dates and times.Cost: Afternoon Sail: $35 adult; $20 child. Sunset Sail: $35.
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The WaterFront Center1 West End Avenue Oyster Bay516-922-7245; thewaterfrontcenter.org
Rides: The WaterFront Center offers Harbor Tours, Sunset Sails, and Marine Discovery Sails aboard the Christeen Oyster Sloop. The Sunset Sail is a two hour long evening cruise around Oyster Bay. The Harbor Tour is a sail around West Harbor, Oyster Bay, and Cold Spring Harbor. The Discover Sail is best for children as it offers fun and educational activities for the whole family. Children ages 3 and older with an accompanying adult are permitted on all three sails.Hours: Sunset Sails: 6pm-7:45pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays from June 21 to August 31. Harbor Tour: 10am-12pm Saturdays and Sundays from June 18 to August 7. Discovery Sails: 10am-12pm Saturdays and Sundays from June 11 to September; 2pm-4pm in October.Cost: $25 per person on each cruise
Freeport Water Taxi and Tours11520 Woodcleft Avenue Nautical Mile, Freeport516-521-774; freeportwatertaxi.com
Rides: The One Hour Day Cruise is perfect for families that want to enjoy the bays of South Shore of Long Island. A variety of other cruises more geared towards adults, special event cruises, fishing excursions, and seal watching cruises (only run from October through April) are also offered.Hours: 12pm, 1:30pm and 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays from June through October.Cost: $15 adult; $10 child; free for children ages 5 and under.
Captain Lou Fleet28A Woodcleft Avenue, Freeport516-623-5823; captloufleet.com
Rides: Climb aboard the110 foot Starstream VIII, a Modern Super cruiser for half day fishing trips. Bait and tackle are provided while there is a rod rental fee. A full snack bar is provided in the climate controlled cabin, though passengers are welcome to bring aboard their own food and beverages. The experienced Captain and crew offer assistance and clean your catches for free.Hours: 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm daily during summer and fall season.Cost: Half Day Fluke Trips: $44 adult; $32 child (ages 12 and under); $25 child on Tuesdays from June to September.
American Beauty IISag Harbor631-375-5211; americanbeautycruises.com
Rides: Guests can choose either a 90 minute Nature Cruise or 2 hour Sunset Cruise. The Nature Cruise explores the Peconic Estuary System. Learn about the history of Sag Harbor, view the historic whaling village, and see Barcelona Point, Cedar Point Lighthouse and Mashomack Nature Preserve with full osprey nests on Shelter Island.Hours: The Nature Cruise departs daily at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm (only available on weekends in June). The Sunset Cruise departs Thursday through Monday from June 25 through September 5 at varying afternoon times. Schedule may vary due to charters and weather. Call for updates.Cost: Nature Cruise: $31 adult; $19 (ages 5-12); Children under the age of 5 ride Sunset Cruise: $40 adult; $27 child.
Long Island Aquarium431 East Main Street, Riverhead631-208-9200; longislandaqurium.com
Rides: Add extra aquatic adventure to your visit with an interactive cruise aboard the Atlantis Explorer Tour Boat. Enjoy hands-on exploration including trap pulls, horseshoe crab encounters, and a stroll along a remote beach.Hours: Departs weekends at 12pm and 2pm during May; Weekdays at 11am, 2pm, and weekends at 12pm and 2pm in June; Daily at 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm from July through Labor Day; Weekends at 12pm and 2pm in September.Cost: Tour boat only: $20 adult and child; $5 for children ages 2 and under. Combo Aquarium Admission: $40.50 adult; $34 child (ages 3-12); Discounts for aquarium members and Suffolk County green key cardholders.
Discovery CruiseStony Brook Marine Services631-751-2244; wmho.org/discoverycruise
Rides: The 27-passenger pontoon boat “Discovery” cruises through The Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s 88-acre wetlands preserve for a 1.5 hour tour. A naturalist is onboard to describe the wildlife and flora.Hours: Scheduled by tide table May 12-October 20. Check site for full schedule.Cost: Advance registration: $28 adult; $25 seniors and students; $18 child (ages 6 and under). Walk-ons (cash only): $35 adult, $30 seniors and students; $20 child.
The Moon ChaserCaptree State Park, Babylon631-265-1848; themoonchaser.com
Rides: Great South Bay Excursions feature a live 1.5 hour narrated tour of the wildlife, history, scenery of the Great South Bay and Fire Island coastline. Boxed lunches are allowed. The Moon Chaser is a 65 foot vessel with an enclosed main deck, comfortable seating, fully equipped nautical bar, and upper canopied sun deck. Special packages for groups of 30 or more or private excursions for day camps and schools are also offered from June through September.Hours: 1pm-2:30pm every Wednesday and Thursday from July 7 to August 27.Cost: $15 adult; $11 child (ages 12 and under); Children ride free every Wednesday (1 child per adult)
Sailing Montauk/Mon Tiki59 Star Island Rd, Montauk631-668-2826; sailingmontauk.com
Rides: Mon Tiki is a US Coast Guard Certified 40-foot eco-conscious catamaran inspired by traditional Polynesian double-canoe designs. Come aboard for scheduled sailing trips such as the Sunset Cruise, Discover Montauk Sail, and Three Hour Sail and Swim. Children under the age of 5 may not board the Sunset Cruise. All ages are welcome on daytime cruises. The Three Hour Sail and Swim only runs during the summer. Dates and ticketing have yet to be announced.Hours: Sunset Cruise: 6:30-8:30 Saturday, Sunday and some Thursdays and Fridays until June 12. Discover Montauk Sail: 12pm-2pm on varying days. Check for official times and dates at zerve.com/MonTikiCost: Sunset Cruise: $60. Discover Montauk Sail: $60 adult; $40 child (ages 11 and under).
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Lauren Diaz, a 2016 summer editorial intern for NYMetroParents, is a creative writing major at Columbia University. She is also an avid reader, aspiring writer, music enthusiast, and lover of animals. See More.
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