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Photograph: Courtesy Manhattan By Sail
Photograph: Courtesy Manhattan By Sail

The best boat parties in NYC

Ahoy! It’s time to head for the harbor so you can get tipsy aboard some of the best boat parties that NYC has to offer

By Will Gleason, Annalise Mantz, Jennifer Picht and Time Out contributors
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Calling all party people: if you want to dive into some of New Yorks wet-and-wild boat parties then we know how. 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. Oh, and since New York has no shortage of places to drink outside, make sure to also check out our favorite outdoor dining spots, rooftop bars and boat bars for sipping cocktails in the open-air. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in NYC

Best boat parties in NYC

Rocks Off Concert Cruises
Photograph: Courtesy Rocks Off Concert Cruises / Deneka Peniston

1. 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 all kinds of acts from reggae bands to classic rock, and good luck attempting not to spill your draft. Various dates, times, locations and prices (rocksoff.com). 

Horblower Cruises
Photograph: Courtesy Hornblower / Tatiana Valerie

2. 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 (hornblowernewyork.com). Thu–Sun at 5:30pm; from $35.

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Bateaux New York Dinner Cruises
Photograph: Courtesy Bateaux Cruises

3. 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 (bateauxnewyork.com). Various dates and times; from $205.

Chef Morimoto Sushi Sail
Photograph: Courtesy Classic Harbor Line

4. 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 (sail-nyc.com). From $143.72.

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Spirit Cruises
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Wally Gobetz

5. 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. Various dates at midnight; from $24.90.

Bubbles, Beats & Brunch
Photograph: Courtesy Hornblower Cruises & Events

6. 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. Sat, Sun at 1:30pm; $80. 

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Photograph: Marielle Solan

7. 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; $35.

New York Harbor Evening Sail with Live Jazz
Photograph: Courtesy Viator

8. 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. Wednesdays at 7pm; $81.

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