Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Anthony Quintano

The best Fourth of July fireworks cruises in NYC

For the best view of the pyrotechnics, take to the water on a Fourth of July fireworks cruise around the harbor

Annalise Mantz

Since you can’t light sparklers of your own in NYC, boarding a Fourth of July fireworks cruise is the best way to celebrate the nation’s birthday. No need to stake out a spot at a rooftop bar or scour NYC parks for a hill with a good view: You’ll have a prime viewpoint from the prow of a ship. And what better reason to bust out the red, white and blue attire than for a boat party? So blast a few patriotic songs, fill up on ribs from the best BBQ restaurants and let freedom ring this Fourth of July.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Fourth of July in NYC

Best Fourth of July fireworks cruises in NYC

1. Circle Line Fourth of July Evening Cruise

Since the Macy’s Fireworks Show shoots off its pyrotechnics from barges in the East River, you’ll get the best view from the water. This five-hour Circle Line cruise takes you down the Hudson toward the Statue of Liberty, where you’ll watch the fireworks light up the night sky. A live DJ adds to the festive atmosphere. Tickets include a buffet dinner and all-you-can-drink beer and wine, but if you shell out an extra $80 for the VIP tickets, you'll also get passed hors d'oeuvres and premium liquor. $179

2. Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise with Lobster Dinner

Youd be forgiven for thinking you were summering in some small New England town while dining on all-you-can-eat lobster on this dinner cruise down the East River. All guests receive access to the premium open bar and seafood-centric buffet, and since the dress code is casual, you won’t have to worry about dripping melted butter on your nice clothes. $349


3. Macy’s July 4th Fireworks Yacht Dinner Cruise

If several thousand pounds of pyrotechnics exploding above the skyline aren’t enough for you, book this entertainment-packed cruise. Watch a live cabaret tribute to Frank Sinatra, listen to nostalgic girl group the Honey Taps and dance to tunes spun by a live DJ as you cruise down the river. Did we mention that your ticket includes passed hors d’oeuvres, a three-course meal and access to the premium open bar? $499

4. Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise

Since this cruise departs from Midtown at 6pm, you’ll have plenty of time to snap some panoramic photos of the skyline before the fireworks begin. Though there is no open bar service, you can buy cocktails and all-American fare like hamburgers and hot dogs. $195


5. July 4th Star-Spangled Celebration

Put on your dancing shoes for this five-hour fireworks cruise with a live DJ on the Atlantica. Hit up the buffet, order signature cocktails from the bar and then check out the view of Manhattan from the upper deck. $520

6. New York Fourth of July Dinner Cruise

If you’re looking for something a little fancier than the standard Independence Day barbecue, opt for this five-course dinner cruise by World Yacht. You’ll be served a Mediterranean-influenced meal at a private table, which you can supplement with premium drinks from the open bar. Head upstairs to the roof deck for 360-degree views of the city and the pyrotechnics. $499


7. Fourth of July Fireworks Luxury Boat Tour

Don’t want to fight the other revelers for the best views of the fireworks? Charter your own powerboat for a private cruise. Your captain will first take you to the Statue of Liberty for a sunset photo opp, then get in position near the Brooklyn Bridge before the show begins. This package also includes a complimentary bottle of champagne and a professionally edited video of the tour, so it’s sure to be a night to remember. $600

8. Ultimate NYC Fourth of July Experience

If planning your ideal Independence Day just seems like too much work, outsource the prep to the pros behind this all-day display of patriotism. The afternoon starts with a BBQ lunch on the outdoor terrace at the Novotel Hotel in Times Square. After you’ve stuffed yourself with ribs, burgers and hot dogs, your guide will whisk you away on a bus tour of Lower Manhattan. Then it’s time to board the World Yacht Duchess for an evening cruise complete with an open bar, buffet dinner and prime views of the fireworks. $549

Rather spend Fourth of July at the beach?

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