You will probably never tire of seeing the Manhattan Skyline: its skyscrapers, its dynamism, its lights.... It all looks magical, and even more so when seen from the water. Fortunately, dozens of cruises ply the Hudson every day, but which are the dinner cruises that will make you live a movie scene?
There are plenty to choose from, but I've selected the best so you won't have any doubts about which one suits your tastes best. Here we go:
Luxury cruise with buffet dinner
On board this incredible boat you will enjoy the best views of Manhattan while enjoying a buffet style menu and the best live music to liven up the evening.
At 18:30 the adventure begins on this spectacular boat that will take you along the waters of the Hudson and show you the skyline of the best skyscrapers in New York while you enjoy an exquisite buffet dinner and the best live music.
This is undoubtedly the most premium experience you could choose to say goodbye to your trip to New York: the type of boat completely glazed will allow you to observe the most spectacular panoramic view of Manhattan at all times.
This buffet dinner cruise on New York's Hudson River will give you unforgettable views from the Hudson of the Empire State Building, the Financial District, the Brooklyn Bridge and even the Statue of Liberty for almost three hours.
Why I recommend this option: if you're looking for a premium and exclusive experience to enjoy an evening with your partner, this is the option for you.
How much does it cost to take a dinner cruise in New York?
Prices for a dinner cruise around the Hudson are around 225 euros at Hellotickets, depending on the type of menu you want to be served on board. The most premium option has an exceptional three-course menu served at the table to all guests.
Compared to the prices of the more standard New York cruises that do not include dinner and are limited to an itinerary around the Hudson, it is clear that the ones that include dinner are more expensive, but also much more exclusive. The number of seats is limited, they do not depart every day, and the quality and attention are in line with a totally luxury service.
The comfort and size of the boat are also totally different: dinner cruises are held on luxury vessels, on yachts or glass barges designed for the maximum pleasure of all the senses.
Duration of New York Dinner Cruises
New York dinner cruises all last between two and three hours. Keep in mind that this is a relaxed experience designed for the passenger to enjoy the experience: the views of the city, the exquisite dining, the luxury vessel...
The good thing about the considerable length is that they cover a great route around the island of Manhattan and even go as close as the Statue of Liberty so you can see it up close. The speed at which they go is fairly leisurely, so you'll have time to enjoy dinner and the view at the same time.
If you're worried about potential seasickness, there's no danger: they're all very large, stable boats and the river is usually free of swell problems. Be prepared to enjoy a quiet evening while savouring the best views of Manhattan. Here is a ranking of the length of New York cruises.
What to see on an evening dinner cruise
During the nearly three-hour cruise, you'll have the opportunity to comb the entire southern tip of Manhattan Island and cruise up the river to Midtown. The piers are usually on the south side of Manhattan Island, so you'll have a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the major skyscrapers of the Financial District, including One World Trade Center.
Some itineraries go as far as Liberty Island for a close-up view of the illuminated Statue of Liberty and return to Manhattan to start the climb up to Midtown, where you can see, among others, the legendary Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center.
In general, the view of the Manhattan skyline from the water is something that leaves no one indifferent and you'll enjoy every minute aboard this cruise. Here is a list of the main attractions you will see during a cruise on the Hudson
Why it's worth choosing a dinner cruise
It's true that compared to other daytime cruises that don't include dinner you might find it a little more expensive, but the difference is worth it because the experience is completely different. The boat is totally luxurious, it is much more comfortable, touring the city at night is unforgettable and the itinerary is also longer.
These cruises do not have the appearance of being so touristy, but quite the opposite: it is common to see Americans and specifically New Yorkers celebrating an evening with their work colleagues or a date with their partners here. The feeling of being on board these ships is almost the same as staying in a real five-star hotel in Manhattan.
If you are also looking for an unforgettable experience to celebrate a special event (birthday, anniversary, surprise your partner, etc.), this evening will not only meet your expectations but will probably be the best memory you will take away from this trip to New York.
When is the best time to take a dinner cruise on the Hudson?
Obviously, all dinner cruises take place in the late afternoon/evening, when the sun is setting and the first lights on bridges and skyscrapers are beginning to awaken. Honestly, this is the best time to take a dinner cruise and cruise the Hudson.
If you're wondering when is the best time of the week to book, these cruises usually depart on weekends or towards the end of the week (Thursday to Saturday) but my advice is to check dates and book early - places are limited and in high demand.
On the other hand, if you're worried about it being too hot or too cold, don't worry. The dinner takes place in the ship's indoor lounges, which are perfectly acclimatised so that the heat or cold outside is not a problem. However, if you're taking the cruise in winter, bring a warm jacket so you can go out on deck for a while and enjoy the views without glass getting in the way of your city views.
Take a dinner cruise in New York with kids
Before booking, make sure that children are allowed to board the cruise. For example, in the most VIP option offered by Hellotickets, children up to 6 years old are not allowed on board. This is a VIP experience where silence reigns, there will be live jazz or classical music and they have wanted to maintain an "adults-only" atmosphere.
For older children, be aware that there are no price reductions or special rates offered, so it may not be economically worthwhile to take them or do these cruises with them (as they are also late in the evening, they may end up falling asleep). Whatever the case, consider all this before booking a cruise with your little ones. I've outlined everything you need to consider in this article about cruising in New York with kids.
Other dinner cruise options
If you're interested in enjoying the views of the Hudson River at sunset but want to save a little on dinner, there are other cruise options that might interest you more. For around 100 euros you can enjoy dinner on board a boat with live music.
Lasting two to three hours, this boat trip offers a three-course dinner, coffee, tea and live entertainment. All without losing sight of the spectacle of the New York skyline.
Tips for making the most of a dinner cruise in Manhattan
The truth is that enjoying yourself on board these luxury vessels is not difficult at all. As soon as you set foot on the ship, you'll feel like you're in a period movie and you'll lose track of time. Still, let me give you a few tips on how to get the most out of a cruise on the Hudson.
- Book early to make sure you can take the cruise on the day that suits you best during your trip.
- Be on time: remember that the boat waits for no one and you'll want to be there on time to avoid any surprises or arriving in a hurry.
- Keep an eye on the dress code: although you don't need to dress up, you'll want to avoid the "touristy looks" you'll have worn to tour New York during the day. If possible, avoid trainers, flip-flops or shorts and don't hesitate to dress up a little more than usual - after all, this is a special evening that you don't get to enjoy every day, right?
- Forget the camera: although you will be tempted to take pictures all the time, my advice is to take some pictures along the way, but don't get obsessed with it. No picture can describe the feeling of sailing around Manhattan under the starlight.
- Turn off your phone. The same goes for mobile phones. You'll have time to tell your friends and family about the unique experience you've just had, but at that moment you'll want to be enjoying everything around you with all your senses (and if you don't want to turn it off, remember to put it on silent so as not to interrupt the musicians!)