Since Hudson’s at Pier 81 stopped sailing – you can check out the content here, but they are only doing cruises on very specific and limited dates – many of you ask me about similar options that offer a cruise with a meal, a more complete experience. That’s when Sarah Funk told me about the Classic Harbor Line cruises, and I was super excited to check it out and tell you guys.
Around Manhattan Brunch Cruise is a 2h45 cruise, that departs every Saturday/Sunday, 10am, from Chelsea Piers – 22th Street. The boat is a motorized yacht, very beautiful, by the way, and very stable. Being a relatively small yacht, it is a more intimate and less crowded tour than the other cruises. All tables are positioned at the windows so, no matter where you sit, you will have a privileged view. The tables are numbered and you receive your number before boarding. Depending on the size of your group, you might get a table just for you – otherwise – split with some more people. In addition to the enclosed area, with glass windows, there is also the open deck. You can move freely between the two areas and there is also a bathroom, of course.
Lasting almost three hours, you can imagine that it’s quite a ride, right? The yacht leaves Pier 62, at 22nd Street, heading south, past the west side of Manhattan, through the One World Trade Center and following the Statue of Liberty, where it stops for a few minutes for everyone to appreciate the view and make that special photo, of course. From there, it now returns to the eastern side of Manhattan, up and around the island, past points such as Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, and Queensboro Bridge. You will see places such as Midtown (Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, UN Building), Long Island City and its iconic Pepsi sign, Roosevelt Island, Upper East Side, Randalls Island, Harlem, and its various bridges, as well as areas of Upper Manhattan and The Bronx. The yacht goes all around the island and continues down the west side, past points like the George Washington Bridge and the Upper West Side. What I find most cool about this itinerary is that bypassing the island, you end up getting to know and checking the not so obvious spots of the city. Also, there is plenty of time to eat, enjoy the view and enjoy the ride.
It is a brunch served in buffet, and the food is gradually becoming available. Options include:
- Belgian Waffle Station (features fresh fruits, whipped cream, and NY State maple syrup),
- Local Freshly Baked NY Bagels, (includes our chefs own flavored cream cheeses including: raisin/honey/walnut, garden vegetable & market fresh herb)
- Fresh Muffins & Pastries,
- Smoked Salmon Platter (includes capers, red onion, tomatoes),
- Smoked Spiral Brown Sugar Glazed Virginia Ham (served with kale salad, farm-fresh veggies and goat cheese),
- House-made Quiche or Frittata (changes weekly to incorporate fresh locally sourced ingredients served with herb spice pork smoked breakfast sausages),
- Roasted Ham
- Roasted potatoes
- Selection of gourmet freshly brewed coffee, tea & juice.
Besides the food, you also get coffee or tea + a drink (mimosa, sangria, wine, sparkling or beer). If you want more drinks, you can buy them on board – but remember they only accept cards.
Price: $86 per person. Considering what is included in the package and the duration of the cruise, I find a very reasonable price! We love the experience, first, because I love not so touristy cruises, which are more like an experience. Secondly, because the groups are smaller and the boat is less crowded. And third, because it is a long cruise, with a different itinerary, and you can enjoy and relax a lot!
Children brunch tickets are available for kids ages 3-14 years – the cost is $64 + tax. Children 2 and under are free.
Remember to arrive at Chelsea Piers in advance, as you can take time to find the Classic Harbor Line Pier, get lost and lose the boarding time.