Looking for a different kind of Manhattan Cruise? Why not combine jazz, views of the Manhattan skyline, sunset and a bit of wine?
The first time I went on a cruise around New York City was with my parents when I was about nine years old. I remember the boat was really big. We sat outside with the wind blowing in our hair, and after about 20 minutes I was tired of looking at Manhattan. Granted, I was only nine and this was before social media and the age of unlimited photo taking. Since then, I’ve been on dinner cruises and even company parties on boats that cruised around the Big Apple. Recently we took our first Classic Harbor Line Jazz Cruise, and I think it’s my favorite to date!
When we arrived at Pier 62 (just behind Chelsea Piers on the Hudson River), we received our tickets at a little booth. We were also told to be careful because another cruise, the “Sunset Cruise” would be leaving just before us, so if we didn’t want to get on the wrong ship, we had to pay attention. The boat itself was smaller than the other ships I’d been on, and it was decorated in a 1920’s style. The details were all in a honey colored wood that shined beautifully in the late afternoon sun.
We stepped aboard and chose a seat around any one of the eight or so tables that lined both sides of the ship. The tables had U shaped benches that faced the center of the ship and windows all the way around. The big windows also made for perfect views and a gorgeous backdrop for photos, even if it was too chilly out on the ship’s deck. In the far corner, a small jazz band was warming up and the sun was just beginning to set. We settled into our booth and ordered a bottle of white wine and a cheese plate. (This was definitely a step up from other cruises where we had to wait in line at a snack bar for popcorn and hot chocolate!)
The cruise itself was about two hours long and during that time we enjoyed both jazz standards and some more contemporary music. I had worried that it might be more like “elevator jazz,” but that was not the case at all. This was a band you wouldn’t mind hearing on land or on the water. There was also an opportunity to go out on the deck when the band took a short break. It was a perfect excuse to stretch our legs and see Lady Liberty up close and personal. When we went outside the wind whipped around us, and even though it was a warm spring day, we had to wear our jackets to keep warm. Even so, the views were spectacular and well worth putting on our coats.
Of course, the sunset with Manhattan in the backdrop never fails to impress. I could watch it every day from a different angle, and that’s just what happens on the Classic Harbor Line Jazz Cruise. The boat let us enjoy the sunset from the Statue of Liberty and then took us all the way up the West Side to enjoy the most iconic skyline I know.
As we pulled back into the dock at Pier 62, I didn’t want the evening to end. By this point the sun had slipped away completely and the lights of Manhattan twinkled from every building. The band played one last song, and our cruise had ended. It was a perfect romantic evening, although I do want to mention that there were families celebrating birthdays and groups of friends who had decided to treat themselves to a beautiful night on the water.
The Classic Harbor Line Jazz Cruise is the perfect way to combine an evening out at a jazz bar with a cruise around Manhattan. Whether you’re just crunched for time, or if you’re like me and have been on Manhattan cruises before, this is a great option. The smaller boat was much more intimate and the fact that waiters came to serve you at the table made it feel like a special night, rather than just a ferry ride with great views.
If you are interested in this cruise, send us an email and we can assist you with the booking