Take a sultry summer evening, a bunch of people looking for some fun, and an hour-and-a-half cruise around southern Manhattan and what do you get? The successful maiden voyage of the Beacon, a 1920s-style yacht now leaving each day out of Pier 13 in Hoboken.
The 40-passenger boat, part of the Classic Harbor Line, offers weekend cruises of all types and is available for private rental.
On the boat’s inaugural voyage on Saturday, July 13, the skies were gray from an earlier rain and the threat persisted for most of the evening. But that did not stop Capt. Chris Biggins, First Mate Zoe Greenberg, and other staff from welcoming the guests, many of whom were celebrating the birthday the next day of Nikki Conroy, 31, of Jersey City.
Conroy, newlywed on May 18, had decided to buy tickets with her husband, George, a Jersey City firefighter, after taking a Classic Harbor architectural cruise from Chelsea Piers with him last summer and enjoying it greatly.
“We liked the other one so much,” Conroy said. “The last cruise we went on was awesome.”
Unlike most cruises around Manhattan, the Beacon’s is a smaller, intimate journey, in which attendees seem to be able to reach out and touch the sites they are viewing. In addition, the close proximity of people to one and other on the vessel invites camaraderie and friendship, and is a sure ice breaker once attendees have boarded.
The Conroys agreed that they would definitely cruise here again.
“Between that one and this one, everyone’s been really nice,” Nikki Conroy said.
“It’s a nicer, smaller, kind of like an ‘old-school’ boat.” – Will Haggerty
“I think it’s great. It’s a really beautiful boat,” said Will Haggerty, 28, of the East Village in Manhattan. “It’s a nicer, smaller, kind of like an ‘old-school’ boat.”
Haggerty said he also liked the company’s choice of beer, as he enjoyed a Porkslap Pale Ale.
Beverages, including water, soda, beer, and wine are available on board for purchase at reasonable prices. The cruise does not currently offer dinner or any other food items, but the managers are looking into the prospect, according to Meghan May Hart of Classic Harbor. Food from outside is welcome on all trips. However, no smoking or outside alcoholic beverages are allowed on board.
The cruise leaves from Pier 13 in Shipyard Marina in Hoboken, 1301 Sinatra Dr., Hoboken, NJ 07030.
The Classic Harbor Line offerings and their particulars are:
• Skyline Cruises: $32 adult; $20 child; Saturday and Sunday, May-Nov. 3, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.
• Sunset Cruises: $40 guest; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; May-Aug. 18, 7 p.m.; Aug. 19 to Nov. 3, 6:30 p.m.
• City Lights Cruises: $40 guest; Friday and Saturday; May-Aug. 18, 9 p.m.; Aug. 19 to Oct. 1, 8:30 p.m.
• Fall Foliage Cruises: $88 guest; Saturday and Sunday; Oct. 12 to Nov. 3, 10:30 a.m.
Skyline, Sunset, and City Lights Cruises are 1 1/2 –hour cruises. Fall foliage cruises are 3 1/2-hour cruises and include lunch. The schedule is subject to availability. Check the online calendar. Advance purchase is recommended.
For more information about the Hoboken cruises, visit http://www.cruise-hoboken.com
or call (888) 215-1739 to buy tickets in advance through Classic’s ticket agent, Zerve. For private cruises, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a Hoboken resident use online promo code: 07030 and receive $5 off each ticket. You will have to show a valid ID stating you are a Hoboken resident upon picking up your boarding passes.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.