I have lived in NYC long enough to enjoy daytime cruises, viewing the amazing architecture of the buildings; sunset cruises where I saw the shimmer of the late afternoon sun reflecting on the NYC landmarks and nighttime cruises, full of dazzling lights. But I haven’t been on a cruise that allowed me to do all three, until now. The Hornblower ship is a yacht that has New York City Lights cruises held from 7pm-10pm and brings you Manhattan at its best. In addition to unforgettable views and photo opps, you get a delicious dinner, great dancing music and a fun, yet elegant atmosphere for a truly memorable evening.
I recently went on a City Lights Cruise with my husband and it was everything I expected and then some. Here’s our experience:
The yacht: We had dinner on the lower part of the deck. There were a few tables on the upper deck, along with a bar, a DJ booth and a dancing area.
Upon arrival we were treated to hors d’ouvres: a variety of cheeses, fruit and crudites, along with a to-die-for dip which unfortunately I was unable to get the recipe for (it’s the chef’s secret). Each table had a bread basket, along with complimentary glasses of Champagne.
The food was very good. We selected an appetizer (salad for my husband, scallops for me) along with a main course (Eggplant Rollatini for my husband, salmon for me) and dessert (cheesecake and chocolate mousse). There’s also herbal tea and coffee available. For a fee, you can order other drinks, such as cocktails from the bar. The DJ played soft music while we ate. (Those are not us in the picture; not everyone gets a window table, but the views are abundant outside on the deck)
We spent almost the entire time on the deck. What I really loved about the cruise is that our waiter was very attentive and whenever our food was ready he came out looking for us to let us know. It was nice to go back inside to eat great food but as soon as we were done we went back outside to enjoy the breeze and the stunning views.
The daylight views were gorgeous. I loved looking at the different buildings. We sailed up to midtown and then back down again towards the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, circling around the harbor afterwards.
Of course the sunset views take the cake:
Downtown, with the Staten Island ferry getting ready to depart:
The Brooklyn Bridge is stunning from every angle:
We also saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island but the pictures did not come out so well. We did get lot of great views of the Freedom Tower:
At 9pm the DJ started playing more upbeat songs and some people danced. We preferred to sit outside see see more of this:
The New York City Lights cruises depart from Pier 40 in the West Village and are held on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from April-December, and on Saturdays only, January-March. Price is $125 per person. Visit the website to learn more.
I was not compensated for this post. I received a complimentary cruise. New York City Lights Cruise with Hornblower Cruises
Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman is the owner of Mama’s Bites and has also written for The Huffington Post. She has been living in New York City for fourteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree, but blogging is her true passion. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids (ages 9, 7 and 3) and loves finding great products that make her family’s life easier.