We had the opportunity to end a recent weekend stay in Manhattan, NY with an incredible treat. Guests at The Kimberly Hotel have the opportunity to take a sail around the NY harbor in their private yacht (offered through their affiliation with New York Health and Racquet Club). For $25/person, you can choose between two sails – sunset cruise (18+) or the cruise that we enjoyed – a Sunday brunch cruise (ages 3 and up). Both options provide a complimentary buffet meal and a cash bar.
Having been on our share of ferries, cruise ships and other tour boats, this was something different. It wasn’t so much a tour boat ride, but instead a relax-and-enjoy-the-sites leisure sail.
Our daughter was so excited to board the yacht – she loves anything that has to do with boats. We were greeted on the dock by the crew and joined the other 50 or so passengers on board. The yacht itself gives you several options for seating. You can sit outside in the front, back or on either side outside the main cabin. There are a few tables with chairs inside the main cabin as well – a great option if you prefer to stay out of the sun. Bathrooms and the food buffet are also located in the main cabin.
The weather on our sail date was a BEAUTIFUL summer day – warm and sunny. We opted to spend the entire cruise up on the top deck. The top deck offers panoramic views of the entire cruise – it was wonderful.
Sun alert: If you choose to enjoy the cruise from the top deck BE SURE to slather on the sunscreen, bring hats, etc. I would even suggest reapplying the sunscreen midway through the cruise. We were covered in sunscreen and still got a tad crispy.
Parking: Street parking is available at the marina for $30. Unfortunately it was only after paying this parking fee that we noticed the streets nearby that offered tons of metered parking ($3/hour). Parking on the street would have saved us about 2/3 of what we paid.
Cruise length: Our Sunday brunch cruise was 2 hours long. We left the dock at precisely 12 pm and arrived back at just about 2 pm.
Staff: The staff was great. They were friendly, helpful and really appeared as if they were enjoying themselves. The captain was nice enough to come on the loudspeaker when the waves were about to get a little rough – caused by sailing through the wake from a larger boat.
Food/Drink: Our Sunday buffet offered some tasty options: granola/fruit/yogurt, quiche, muffins, bagels, sandwiches, wraps and probably a couple of other things I am forgetting. The cash bar offered water, soda and alcohol – beer, wine and mixed drinks.
Route: While the route can change slightly depending on the captain’s preference, the cruise always involves a sail by the Statue of Liberty. We enjoyed watching mid-town Manhattan as we began our cruise, and got to see lower Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty on the way back. The captain slowed the boat as we got right in front of the statue, giving us ample opportunity to snap some amazing pictures. I have been to the statue several times before – always by ferry from either NJ or NY… and this was by far the best way that I have ever experienced it. It was a peaceful, non-crowded sail and we were really able to take it all in and enjoy.
We thought that this cruise was FANTASTIC. It was family friendly and there were a bunch of kids (toddler through teen) on our boat. Like any other moving vessel, you will obviously need to watch kids (especially the youngest ones) at all times. The boat does rock quite a bit and you need to hold onto a railing while standing to make sure you don’t topple over.
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, consider this cruise. It was different, didn’t ooze “TOURIST” and was such a pleasant way to spend some family time!
Disclosure: The Kimberly Hotel provided our family with complimentary travel on the Sunday brunch cruise in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% our own.