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The Best New Year's Eve Boat Rides in NYC

New Year’s fun is never in short supply when you come to New York. But it’s not all in Times Square. Consider taking a cruise ship for a complete New Year’s party experience. You’ll see fireworks over the New York skyline, drink from an open bar, eat dinner, and dance past midnight with these luxury cruises. No bar-hopping in the cold or standing for hours to wait for the ball drop. Let these cruise companies take care of you as you welcome 2019 in New York City!

New Year’s Eve Cruises in NYC: New York Water Taxi

marian s heiskell new york water taxi sunset

Sightseeing staple New York Water Taxi will turn into a nightclub on New Year’s Eve. On a small, climate-controlled boat, you can watch fireworks out the window and indulge in a buffet dinner and a selection of beer and wine (included in your ticket price). Look forward to lobster roll hors d’oeuvres and beef tenderloin as a main course, plus couscous and vegetables at the buffet for plant-based eaters. Dessert will include an assortment of petits fours and cookies. You can also see the frenzy of Times Square from the TV on board and witness the ball dropping live. Board at 10pm and return at 1am. Tickets start at $199. Pier 81 at W. 41st St. and the West Side Hwy., 212-742-1969,

New Year’s Eve Cruises in NYC: Circle Line Cruises

Circle Line Fireworks Cruise

This year, Circle Line promises a front-row seat to the fireworks over the Hudson River as 2018 becomes 2019. Departing from Pier 83 in Midtown, this special cruise will be the party boat you don’t want to miss, with dinner, drinks, and a DJ. There will be a bar and buffet dinner, plus hors d’oeuvres and a complimentary glass of champagne for your midnight toast to the new year. Plus, the ship is climate-controlled for frosty weather, so no worries about freezing in Times Square! Boarding begins at 9:15pm, and the boat will return at 1am. Tickets are $179, and guests must be at least 21 years old. Pier 83 at West 43rd St., 212-563-3200,

New Year’s Eve Cruises in NYC: Spirit Cruises

Spirit of New York New Year's Fireworks Cruise

Spirit Cruises will also stop the boat in front of the Statue of Liberty for a dazzling fireworks show at midnight. Spirit is offering dinner cruises departing from both Chelsea Piers and from New Jersey on one of their Spirit of New Jersey vessels. Both cruises provide dinner, dancing, an open bar, access to the outdoor rooftop lounge. Spirit of New York starts at $299.90, and Spirit of New Jersey starts at $269.90. 

Special discount code for New Year's Eve cruises with Spirit and Bateaux in New York Harbor: save 15% on all cruises with code NYE15.* 

Featuring spectacular skyline views and fine food, Spirit is also offering a slate of other cruises around the new year. The festive Jingle Bells Lunch Cruise and Holiday Lights Dinner both occur on December 30. Get a jump on New Year’s Eve celebrations with a New Year’s Eve Lunch cruise from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Ring in 2019 with a lunch cruise on January 1, perfect for a family celebration this holiday. Lunch cruises start at $64.90, and Holiday Lights Dinner tickets start at $119.90. Spirit of New York: Chelsea Piers, 212-727-2789; Spirit of New Jersey: Lincoln Harbor, 201-333-8600;

*Valid on all Spirit and Bateaux cruises 12/30/18-1/1/19. Code subject to expiration at any time. Parties of 1-19 guests. Certain restrictions apply.

New Year’s Eve Cruises in NYC: Hornblower

Hornblower Cruises

On Hornblower’s luxury yachts, you can enjoy a wide range of nautical New Year’s festivities. The Hornblower Hybrid will take guests to see fireworks from the comfort of this luxury yacht. You’ll also enjoy a four-course dinner with dessert, open bar, and a DJ. The boat will also stream footage of the ball dropping on Times Square at midnight. From $325. Sit up top for the Admiral’s New Years Eve experience (starting at $375), or book a seat on the lower deck (starting at $325).

The Hornblower Sensation will take guests on for New Year’s as well for the Manhattan Fireworks Cruise. This option includes a dinner buffet, open bar, and DJ, starting at $275. Foodies can look forward to the Premier New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise aboard the Hornblower Esprit. This formal event will serve a six-course dinner, in addition to dancing and prime views of fireworks over New York Harbor. Tickets start at $625.

If you’re keeping the party going on New Year’s Day, book a seat on the Jazzy Champagne Brunch Cruise January 1. You’ll receive unlimited mimosas and live jazz, plus a brunch buffet with all the eggs and french toast you can handle. Tickets start at $82. Cruises leave from Pier 15 at South Street Seaport & Pier 40 in the West Village, 646-681-1799,

New Year’s Eve Cruises in NYC: Bateaux

bateaux statue liberty ny harbor nyc night

Get your New Year’s photo op with fireworks at the Statue of Liberty. Bateaux New York will take you on an unforgettable dinner cruise this New Year’s Eve and light up the sky behind Lady Liberty herself. Complete with plated dinner, an open bar, and live music from The Sterling Band, it’s a spectacular opportunity to celebrate the season in style. This 9pm-1am cruise starts at $599.90 per guest.

Bateaux will set sail December 30 and New Year’s Day as well. January 1, 2019, you can have a bottomless mimosa brunch during your cruise or enjoy dinner for the first night of the year. All cruises will feature live entertainment. Brunch cruises start at $94.90, and dinner cruises at $149.90. Chelsea Piers, 212-352-1366,

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. The recipient of a BA in English and an MFA in Writing, Merrill Lee teaches English to college students and lives in Brooklyn.

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