Photo: Classic Harbor Line
Summer in New York City gets a bad rap. While many city dwellers flee to the Hamptons, the Jersey Shore, and the Catskills, most hunker down -- joined by migrating flocks from afar -- to enjoy the (often free!) concerts, movies, and cultural events that pop up all over the five boroughs, not to mention al fresco dining options, parks in full bloom, and navigating less congested tides of sometimes sun-kissed urbanites.
In our June “Seafaring” State of Mind, we suggest summer delights to be found on the waters around NYC, whether you’re a foodie, an oenophile or a music geek. Take the plunge!
Set sail for a variety of pairing classes on a Manhattan yacht. Wine and cheese gurus at Wine Spectator, Gastronomista, and Edible Manhattan have praised the Classic Harbor Line’s series of classes for their ability to bring the sometimes heady world of wine and cheese down to earth. Guests explore grapes, styles, soils, and viticultural techniques from around the world and learn how to pair each with selections of farmstead cheese in a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. Cruises last two hours and start at $92.
Photo: Bateaux New York
If a trip to another continent isn’t in the works this summer, try Bateaux on for size. The all-glass, Euro-inspired Bateaux New York brings sweeping views of the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and Lady Liberty, accompanied by a fantastic gourmet meal prepared on-board by an executive chef and live music. Choose from a la carte dinner cruises or our personal favorite, bottomless mimosa brunches. Dates and times vary; prices start at $92.90.
Every Monday night, Iron Chef Morimoto sets sail on America 2.0, a floating tribute to the first boat that won America’s Cup in 1851. You can join him and enjoy two platings of his famous sushi, along with four sake flights, while sailing past One World Trade Center, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. If sake doesn’t float your boat, fret not; the $132 tickets also include complimentary beer, wine, Champagne, and bottled water. Ships set sail at Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers.
Railroad Earth Concert 2018. Photo: Rocks Off
New York City + summer = amazing rock shows. From Central Park, to random street corners and rooftops in Bushwick, every block is humming with music. Rocks Off Concert Cruises take the tunes to the water with bands like Start Making Sense: Talking Heads Tribute Band (July 12), Murphy’s Law (August 12) and Stella Blues Band (September 7) on a stacked fleet of ships. Various shows, times, and prices.
Clock-punchers don’t last long in Manhattan, but even the most eagerly upwardly mobile tend to put their ambition on ice during the summer. A perfect way to unwind from work stress is with Alive After Five’s two-hour happy hour cruise with a DJ, plus Instagrammable moments with the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge, and more. The show kicks off at Pier 15 on Chelsea Piers at 5:30 with package prices starting at $35.
Photo: Manhattan by Sail
Grab your sweetie for this one. The jagged urban jungle fades into a soft, pink, hazy backdrop as the cool rhythms of bebop and smoky blues float through the air and you leave Battery City in the rearview. Jazz guitarist Joe Cohn and saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith lead a swinging band that sets sail every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Unlimited cocktails and wine are available on the roughly 105 minute tour. Tickets start at $25 for children, and go up to $79 for adults, which includes unlimited wine.
If dancing on water is your groove, then hit up Circle Line’s Summer DJ series. The parties set sail at 8 p.m. with avant garde electronic DJs like Steve Lawler and Artbat bringing all of the best vibes to the Hudson River. Dance as the world’s coolest skyline blurs past the deck. Snacks and a full bar are available. Tickets start at $35. The ships take off from Pier 83 in Midtown.
If your rave days feel like they are as firmly and comfortably in the past as your inexplicable penchant for wearing crop tops, perhaps a three-hour dinner cruise is more your speed. In addition to a three-course a la carte menu, there will be artisanal cocktails, herbal tea, a climate controlled sun deck, and an opportunity to cut a rug in the post-20s time zone of 7 pm-10 pm. Kids tickets are $90, adults pay $150.
As it turns out, you haven’t seen it all! Leave your inhibitions on dry land and add another crazy story to your rotation with Clipper City’s burlesque sail. The adults-only New York City night cruise combines a classic Manhattan boat tour with Dance of Vice. Will you watch the twinkling harbor lights or the sequins on stage? Shows set sail at 9:30 p.m. on July 5, August 2, and September 6. Tickets are $79.