Make a splash this summer at these wet-and-wild boat parties in NYC. The city boasts plenty of booze cruises equipped with full bars, great food and live music to keep you entertained on the water. So grab your tickets, hit the pier and prepare to get tipsy. As you know, New York has no shortage of places to drink outside, so make sure to check out our favorite outdoor dining spots, rooftop bars and boat bars for sipping cocktails in the open-air. Ahoy, party people!
1 Sunset Sail Happy Hour
Not to toot our own horn(blower), but if you want to feel like the king (or queen) of the world, hit up Time Out New York’s Sunset Sail Happy Hour. Hop aboard Hornblower’s Sensation and cruise along the Hudson while taking in unbeatable views of the Manhattan skyline. Each ticket includes one beer—and access to a nearby cash bar—to loosen you up to hit the dance floor with live DJs on all three of the Sensation’s decks. The party also includes light bites, games, giveaways and more. And, yes, we’ll forgive you if you say, “I’m on a boat!” all night long. (We’ll be saying it too.)
2 Summer Nights Burlesque Sail
You think coyly removing your clothes to a brassy backing track is hard to do on land? Try it aboard a slowly rocking, 1920s-era sailing vessel. Now that’s talent! These risqué evening cruises by burlesque troupe Dances of Vice boast a different theme each edition, like a throwback ’70s disco on July 6 and a celebration of all things fetish on August 3. Fasten your seatbelt for a crazy night because, as everyone knows, when you’re out on the water, anything goes.
3 Rocks Off Concert Cruises
One great thing about summer in NYC is that you can find a concert pretty much anywhere. On a midtown street corner? You got it. In a park on the outskirts of Queens? Just pick a park. On your friend’s rooftop in Bushwick? At least until someone calls the cops! Rocks Off Concert Cruises takes the party to the water with expertly curated shows on a stacked fleet of ships. Catch acts like Parquet Courts (June 10), part of this year’s Northside Festival, and garage-rockers Black Lips (July 27), as well as fun cover bands such as Uncle Ebenezer: A Tribute to Phish (July 29). Good luck attempting not to spill your draft. Various dates, times, locations and prices.
4 Alive After Five Happy Hour Cruise
After a long day at the office, a healthy way to wind down with your coworkers is to get wasted aboard a nautical vessel that none of you can leave! Just kidding—unless you have that kind of office. Gather your happy-hour group and hop aboard Hornblower Cruises’ Sensation for a ride on the Hudson River, with a DJ and some killer views of the Manhattan skyline. Pro tip: If you want to go home with some sailor cred in tow, there’s a temporary-tattoo station on deck. Meets at Pier 15, Chelsea Piers.
5 Bateaux New York Dining Cruises
If you want to impress someone (like really, really impress them), take them out for a jaunt on the European-inspired Bateaux New York. Setting sail year-round from Chelsea Piers, these ritzy boats offer panoramic views through its all-glass roof, an upscale menu with gorgeously plated dishes like seafood towers, filet mignon and lobster tails, and a live band playing jazz music to set that special mood all night long. Meets at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers.
6 Chef Morimoto Sushi and Sake Sunset Sail
During this culinary voyage (an excellent date-night idea—nudge, nudge), enjoy four sake tastings paired with two plates of expertly crafted sushi from Iron Chef icon Masaharu Morimoto. (And before you ask, no, none of the fish you’re eating is from the East River.) As you dine, you’ll sail on the schooner America 2.0 past the Manhattan skyline, Battery Park, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Meets at Pier 62, Chelsea Piers.
7 Circle Line Summer DJ Series
Craving some serious dancing out on the water this summer? This is your best bet, hands down. Berlin good-vibes house outfit This Ain’t Bristol (June 30) and big-name DJs like Jeremy Olander (June 22) spin tunes at these floating ragers as you cruise within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty. Which means that, on top of the copious opportunities to bust a move on the dance floor, you can capture some highly Instagrammable moments, as well. Meets at Pier 83, Chelsea Piers.
8 Broadway Cruises
The Great White Way may be five long avenues east of the Hudson River, but it will feel a lot closer when you sail on this Hornblower yacht during one of the organization’s special Broadway-themed cruises. Over a five-course meal, you can sit back and enjoy a medley of show tunes in the cabaret-like atmosphere as you take in the twinkling, distant lights of Manhattan. The fusion of dinner theater and dinner cruise is just over-the-top enough to make for a fun, not-too-kitschy experience. Meets at Pier 40, Chelsea Piers. Various dates at 6:30pm
9 Hot Latin Moonlight Cruise
The only thing more fun than dancing in da a club is strutting your stuff on a boat. So get your best Shakira impression ready and step aboard the four-bar, bi-level Spirit of New York to shake your rump in the moonlight. Spirit Cruises has teamed up with Latin dance company Piel Canela to offer free dance lessons to a sizzling mix of bachata, salsa and merengue hits. The ship’s tempting buffets is piled high with tasty bites like roasted pork shoulder, while cocktails from the on-board bar will give you the liquid courage you need to hit the dancefloor. Meets at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers.
10 Bubbles, Beats and Brunch Boat Cruise
If you can never stay up late enough to close down the bar, get turnt during the day on a boozy brunch cruise. This Hornblower excursion includes the requisite bottomless mimosas, plus a Bloody Mary bar and shared plates of donuts, waffles, fried chicken, vegetable frittata and other breakfast treats. Best of all, you’ll make it back to the dock at 3:30pm—that leaves plenty of time to nap off your buzz before nightfall. Meets at Pier 15.
11 Rock the Yacht! Cruise
Party for two-and-a-half hours straight with Hornblower Cruises every Thursday through Saturday night this summer. Grab a drink from the full bar, then hit the dance floor for an evening of dancing to a DJ-curated mix of pop hits and throwbacks. Meets at Pier 15. Thursdays at 8:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 and 11:30pm
12 New York Harbor Evening Sail with Live Jazz
If you’d rather sip cocktails than toss back shots at some packed nightclub, you’ll want to check out this sophisticated cruise. Board the Clipper City schooner to spend two hours jiving to the sounds of live jazz quartet and taking in spectacular views of New York Harbor. You can even bring your own picnic to enjoy with drinks from the top-shelf bar. Meets at Battery Park, Slip 2.