No need to plan an overseas adventure to catch those summer vacation vibes this season. (Especially when you already live on a pretty cool island, if we say so ourselves!) Take advantage of New York City’s best cruises, all of which offer their own unique experiences and unparalleled views—without ever leaving the harbor.
A Barbecue & Booze Cruise
Try to stay focused on Circle Line’s Brew Cruise. Some of the best views of the city skyline might surround you, but they’ll be hard to notice when you have one eye on the barbecue plates and the other on beer samples brought on board by eight different NYC breweries. Once your buzz hits its peak, a DJ will have some tunes ready. Sunday, June 9; ride length: 2–4:30 p.m.; standard: $69, VIP: $99
Not for the Faint of Heart
Hold onto your hats (and sunglasses and phones), because speed is the name of the game for this on-the-water experience. Not so much a cruise but maybe more of a sightseeing roller coaster, the Beast reaches 40 knots (thanks to twin jet engines) as it sends you from Pier 83 to Lady Liberty in only 30 minutes. Warning: You’ll get wet! Adult: $30, child: $25
Skylines and Skyscrapers
Not only will you be guided along the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers, you’ll also get a stimulating two-hour-and-45-minute lesson on the city’s most impressive landmarks, infrastructure, and engineering feats by a professional from the American Institute of Architects. Adult: $86, student: $68
Fine Dining on the Water
Who wants dinner and a view when you can have dinner and multiple views on a three-hour Bateaux cruise (on an elegant glass-walled boat prime for sightseeing)? And live music by an acoustic trio? And your choice of award-winning wines? And an upscale three-course meal? Yes. Sunday–Thursday: starts at $149.90, Friday: starts at $154.90, Saturday: starts at $159.90
Sights, Sake, and Sushi!
Hop aboard the America 2.0, a modernized schooner influenced by the winning boat of the 1851 America’s Cup, for a sail worthy of all lovers of the sea—and the food that comes from it. Enjoy two plates of sushi (from Iron Chef Morimoto!) along with paired sake on this indulgent two-hour tip around Manhattan. $132
A Magic Cruise Ride
Jasmine trusted Aladdin, and it worked out for them. If you trust us, you’ll discover a whole new world while breezing through New York Harbor and listening to Aladdin-inspired tunes sung by R&B singers (and original artists who performed the Disney movie’s Billboard Charts hit) Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle. Choose between a sunset or moonlight cruise, and enjoy cocktails and a full buffet. Wednesday, July 31; 6:30–8:30 p.m., $45–$125 or 9:30–11:30 p.m., $35–$95
Thar She Blows!
Cruise with the humpbacks and spot a few dolphin friends on this four-hour adventure cruise, departing from the Rockaways. Bring the whole family and a camera, as you never know how many magnificent sea mammals will be swimming toward the Ambrose Channel. A word from your captain: While whale and/or dolphin sightings are not strictly guaranteed, there’s a 90 percent sighting rate! $35–$52