Hudson River Cruise on October 17 Benefits Rocking the Boat
On this two-hour tour of the Hudson River, guests not only treat themselves to a wonderful experience aboard the Schooner Adirondack but support one of Classic Harbor Line’s favorite non-profit organizations in the process! Rocking the Boat runs an innovative and impactful program for South Bronx youth, teaching them to build, row, and sail traditional wooden boats as well as use them to undertake environmental research projects that are helping to restore the Bronx River. At Rocking the Boat’s seventh Rocking Manhattan fundraiser, 100 people will be raising money and rowing 10 Whitehall gigs around the island. You can participate, too, by buying a ticket on Adirondack, which is serving as the event’s spectator boat. Eat oysters courtesy of Down East Seafood, drink, and be merry as you cheer on the Rocking Manhattan rowers down the final stretch of their 30-mile journey. Event details: Depart Pier 25 at 4 pm, return to Pier 25 at 6:15 pm.
Click here to purchase tickets!
Do you love sushi? Do you love sailing? Do you love sunsets? I’m going out on a limb here and guessing you’re a fan of all three (we’re not friends anymore if you said no, sorry.) Guess what, this isn’t just a culinary fantasy — from now until September 21 Classic Harbor Line and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will offer a light-dinner sail on deck of one of New York’s newest schooners.
I partook in the sail this past Wednesday and it was truly dreamy. We sailed past iconic landmarks such as Battery Park, Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty. It was a beautiful and breezy escape from the hot concrete of the city.
But let’s talk about the star of the show — the sushi. The menu includes a sampling of nine sushi pieces and one roll served in two platings and paired with four sake flights. Everything is served super fresh, stored in special coolers just one hour before the sail.
If you want to snack on some of the highest grade sushi in the city, sip sake all while sailing down the Hudson River, you can buy tickets here.
Our streets may be dense and green spaces few, but New Yorkers love to be outside. We host cocktail parties on fire escapes, casually inquire about alfresco seating in March bluster and risk legal infraction to picnic as we please. As summer temperatures tilt toward tropical, we are particularly inclined to eat, drink and be merry while sailing the high seas. (Or, y’know, bobbing on the East River.) Fortunately, a fleet of barge bars, culinary yachts and roving schooners has arrived on New York’s shores, giving nautically minded imbibers opportunities to drink up and ship out. Here are six places to set sail this summer.
Why it’s hot: This isn’t your Uncle Leon’s dinner cruise. Monday nights, a 105-foot schooner glides down the Hudson for two-hour sunset sails, providing peak skyline views and enviable hashtag opportunities. The biggest draw, however, is on-board menus by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, served alongside healthy pours of sake and champagne.
Must-try item: Haiku Gekkeikan sparkling sake, plus fresh cuts of fatty tuna hamachi and king salmon unagi.
Insider tip: Morimoto sailings depart Chelsea, but a sister vessel, the 1920s-style yacht Kingston, is debuting in Brooklyn Bridge Park Marina this summer. Brooklyn waterfront tours start Saturday, June 20.
The details: Pier 62, Chelsea Piers, Manhattan; 212-913-9991
Need a fun summer date night? Set sail around New York Harbor on Monday nights with the Morimoto Sunset Sushi Cruise. Aboard the elegant schooner, America 2.0, you’ll get a sampling of sushi from Iron Chef Morimoto, paired with four sake flights and stellar sunset views of New York City. Chelsea Piers (Pier 62), Manhattan; www.sail-nyc.com
Happy Mother’s Day! In honor of the most important of holidays, the staff at amNewYork is sharing our favorite activities to do with our own moms. Let us know your favorite activities with you own moms too.
And don’t forget to at least call your mom today. She deserves it.
It’s tough to pick one top NYC spot to hang out with my mom, because I’m lucky to have made so many memories with her in the city over the years. Our classic traditions, like riding the Coney Island Cyclone (front car only) to being the loudest fans at Yankee Stadium (she is, at least) will always be favorites. But just last summer, we started getting into boat cruises, a new tradition I hope we will continue. We are both constantly busy, so taking a relaxing sail out on the water is a great way for us to unwind — the wind in our hair, amazing views of the skyline in the distance, mandatory wine glass in hand. Classic Harbor Line has a bunch of options worth checking out at sail-nyc.com.
All aboard! Chef Masaharu Morimoto has signed on to host Classic Harbor Line’s June 1 kickoff of the Chelsea Piers boat line’s weekly sushi dinner cruises along the Hudson. Morimoto is probably best known for his “Iron Chef” showdowns with embattled chef Bobby Flay, in which he declared that Flay “is not a chef.” Classic Harbor Lines is adding trips along the East River this season, and yacht tours out of Brooklyn Bridge Park will run this summer.
You may not afford a yacht in NYC but Classic Harbor Line can let you spend this spring and summer cruising around the islands of NYC on gorgeous, wooden Gatsby-era motor and sailing yachts, built in Albany, New York with 100% all made-in-America materials. Classic Harbor Line — designer, builder and operator of classically inspired yachts — offers year-round tours, sails and cruises in New York Harbor. You can make a full day of it, too, starting your evening experience with a day visit to the High Line, a bite at Chelsea Market, or some time at the new Whitney Museum. https://www.sail-nyc.com/
One of my favorites of their cruises is the annual Architecture Tour, a natural in a city with a skyline like New York City’s. This year’s tour will include sneak previews of Staten Island’s Freshkills Park, the world’s largest sustainable park project and the city’s most exciting land reclamation project. Vegetation, wildlife and pristine wandering waterways now fill this once-active landfill area. https://www.nycgovparks.org/park-features/freshkills-park
>A foodie lover cruise, Chef Morimoto’s Sushi and Sake Cruise happens on Monday nights. Eat and drink with a fantastic menu from the master chef, all with a beautiful backdrop of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, and New Jersey (yes, New Jersey is growing up!). http://www.morimotonyc.com
For families, the “Around Manhattan” brunch cruises run every Saturday and Sunday morning on the luxury yacht Manhattan. Food options happily include gluten-free choices, complimentary brunch cocktails, and selections for even the youngest guests.
Full-day cruises to Bear Mountain are a great way to escape the city and get physical as well. The program combines a stunning cruise up the Hudson River with hiking and exploring (or relaxing) in beautiful Bear Mountain Park and a cruise back to the city on a luxury yacht. Breakfast is included on the outbound trip, with a picnic lunch on the return.
Specific dates for all cruises are listed online at https://www.sail-nyc.com/
Classic Harbor Line’s Hudson Valley Fall Foliage Cruises October 25 and 26 and November 1 and 2, 10:15AM
Take in the colorful fall views of the Upper West Side and the Hudson River Valley as you cruise in style aboard the elegant 1920s-style yachts, the Manhattan and the Kingston. The 2.75-hour journey up the Hudson, in partnership with Hasselblad Swiss camera company, is joined by a professional photographer who’ll offer photo tips and provide guests with high-quality photos posted online for easy downloading post-cruise. Tickets from $72. 62 Chelsea Piers, W. 22nd St., 888.215.1739
Fall is one of the prettiest times of the year in the tri-state area. The colors on the trees are just amazing. If you want to get a closer look at the foliage, all you have to do is hop on a boat.
Don’t blink. If you do you just might miss the sea of reds, yellows, and oranges about to wash over city trees. As it turns out, the best way to savor the colors of fall is by boat.
Classic Harbor Line’s fall foliage voyage sails past the Upper West Side, Palisades Park, and the George Washington Bridge and heads to Tarrytown.
For under $100, the cruise includes brunch on a 1920s style yacht.
The tours continue well into the colder months.
The peak time for fall foliage in New York City is typically late-September/early October through early November. Whether you want to wander on your own observing the beautiful colors of the changing autumn leaves or are hoping to get a tour, these are some great ways to experience the changing of the leaves in and around New York City.
Enjoy a three-course brunch on the Yacht Kingston or Manhattan while traveling up the Hudson River on this 2.75 hour cruise to experience the changing leaves of autumn. Ticket price includes brunch, as well as coffee, tea, juice and one Bloody Mary, Mimosa, beer, wine, or champagne. Cash bar is available for additional drinks. Note: The smaller, simpler Yacht Kingston is a less expensive, and will have a simpler menu and no Bloody Marys.
Price: $72 (Kingston)/$98 (Manhattan)
Schedule: Saturdays and Sundays, mid-October through mid-November
Departs: 10:15 a.m. (Kingston)/ 10 a.m. (Manhattan)
Details and tickets: Fall Foliage Cruise on Yacht Manhattan
Autumn in New York is glorious enough to have had a song written about it (bit.ly/1ymZTSL), and it looks pretty good from the water, too, by luxury yacht or swanky schooner via Classic Harbor Line (sail-nyc.com).
CHL offers a wide variety of excursions, including:
• an American Institute of Architects’ accredited tour that explores the many bridges of Manhattan;
• the classic New York skyline and Statue of Liberty sail that takes in the sparkling new World Trade Center tower;
• an über-relaxing champagne sunset cruise through the Hudson and East rivers (skyline included at no extra cost);
• and during October, a riotously colorful fall foliage jaunt into the Hudson Valley.
Private charters are available. It’s a peachy way to do the Big Apple.
There’s just something about autumn. Crisp weather, changing leaves, cozy sweaters and festive foods add excitement to the air.
Every new season in New York City brings plenty of new things to do, places to be and people to see, and fall is no exception. We mapped out the must-dos, so you can start prioritizing and head into winter with zero regrets.
Concrete jungle, so what? You don’t have to trek upstate or to Long Island to revel in the colors of fall. Hop on board a Classic Harbor Line vessel for a foliage-filled tour of the Upper West Side, Hudson River Valley and Palisades Park, enjoying brunch while you get your seasonal photos in.
Tickets can be purchased at zerve.com/SailNYC.
There is still a solid month left of summer and still time to take a mini cruise and enjoy the historic and dramatic NYC waterfront!!
You do NOT want to miss this enjoyable adventure with perfect boating weather on one of these signature cruises this SEPTEMBER:
AIA Around Manhattan Architecture Tours
Morimoto Sunset Sushi & Sake. This was my favorite! See pictures here. Yes! I took those gorgeous photos. Non-professional!
AND IN OCTOBER:
Classic Harbor Line is hosting many special Architecture Boat Tours for ArchTober including new featured guide cruises for a sneak preview of Fresh Kills Park in Staten Island and first ever Queens waterfront Boat Tour with Guest Guide Queens Boro President Melinda Katz.
Also in October, Classic Harbor Line is partnering with Swedish Camera Maker www.hasselbladusa.com to offer the best photos of the FALL FOLIAGE Cruises up the Hudson River.
Classic Week Races Weekend October 11th-13th you can get the chance to ride on a racing schooner in NYC Harbor www.nyharborsailing.com
Visit for tickets www.sail-nyc.com
NY1 VIDEO: NY1 parenting correspondent Shelley Goldberg recommends some places to go with parenting news you can use. Click to view the video.
Statue of Liberty Cruise: Classic Harbor Line
Special Discount, Now – October
Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers, Manhattan
Tickets: Adults $42, Kids $24 (50 percent off with code “KIDS12”)
As our warm-weather days are winding down, let us not forget that there is still time to plan a summer adventure with your friends and family. The Classic Harbor Line of New York offers guests a variety of experiences–none of which involve the stress of dealing with airlines and hotels. The cruises are great for any family, couple, or friend group looking for luxury the way it’s supposed to be–hassle free! Take a peek at some of the exciting packages and spend the day or night on the waters of New York City.
1. The Architecture Cruise. This option provides guests with the opportunity to experience New York through the eyes of AIANY (American Institute of Architects New York) members, who guide the tour and introduce Lower Manhattan’s greatest skyscrapers, as well as the key features alongside the East River. Learn about New York City and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and champagne with your party as you cruise on a Gatsby-style yacht. For two hours and forty-five minutes, you will pass under eighteen of Manhattan’s bridges and circumnavigate the island. This cruise is ideal for any party, any size, and is regarded by many as one of the best experiences that Classic Harbor Line has to offer. Also note that due to popular demand for this type of cruise, Classic Harbor Line is also offering various time slots made available to all!
2. Schooner Sailing. The Schooner America 2.0 is the pioneer in relaxing daytime cruises. Built in 2011, it caters to the customer looking to truly kick back on the seas and embrace the breeze of New York’s Harbor. On the Schooner, you can experience true boating and get to know the harbor in an entirely new way. This option accommodates any size group from 6 to 60, and includes a narrated presentation of the island of Manhattan.
3. Sunset Jazz. Enjoy some evening jazz and a complimentary drink on this cruise when you depart from the Chelsea piers on a Sunday afternoon. This cruise is the perfect option for a romantic date, featuring the talents of the cruise’s very own trio “The Sound Waves” playing works of Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington. Admire the views with your party all the way from Battery Park to Brooklyn in this one and a half hour cruise.
4. Chef Morimoto Sunset Sushi & Sake. The famous Morimoto from the Food Network’s Iron Chef can be found on Classic Harbor Line’s Sunset Sushi & Sake cruise. This option is adaptable to guests, as you can choose the ways in which you would like your food served. Request an open saki bar if you wish, or fine cuisine served buffet-style. These cruises can be scheduled privately, however there is a selection of pre-scheduled Morimoto cruises if you would like to purchase tickets at a predetermined date.
5. Brunch. This option includes a delectable ensemble of meal choices for each guest to enjoy. What could be better than brunch on a leisurely weekend? Brunch with a breathtaking view of Downtown Manhattan, of course. The menu offers a variety of brunch favorites, from Belgium Waffles to Salmon Platters. And be sure to save room for some Italian cookies and fresh fruits for dessert! This type of cruise is the perfect way to spend a day catching up with loved ones and rekindling your inner foodie.
6. Wine Tasting. There are multiple Wine-Tasting options at Classic Harbor Line, NY. Each wine featured on the cruise is carefully selected and served to each guest, alongside the finest artisan and farmside cheeses. And if you have no time left during the summer to schedule one of these wine-tasting cruises, they are also offered during the holidays, an ideal way to celebrate the season in style.
7.Full Moon. The Full Moon Cruise Option provides an opportunity to sail beneath the stars. You’ll sail by Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, among other city icons. There’s nothing like New York past sunset; guests will watch the city come alive. Complimentary wine, beer, and champagne will be provided to those who choose to attend the Full Moon Cruise, created with elegance and sophistication in mind.
8. Full Day Bear Mountain. This nine-hour long event begins with an open breakfast buffet and travels north throughout the Palisades and the lower Hudson River Valley. After the boat docks at Bear Mountain, guests enjoy three hours of outdoor activities. This cruise is perfect for families and friends who enjoy hiking and exploring. If you wish, you can also visit the museum or zoo alongside the beautiful Hessian Lake!
If you’ve got a free day to spare and you’re looking for something to do with friends and family, then browse through the selection of cruises offered by Classic Harbor Line! There is bound to be one that fits your taste, time constraints, and craving for luxury. Don’t let the last month of summer fly by; these cruises are the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle of the city…but not too far away!
Instead of sitting back and watching summer slip right through your fingertips, it’s time to grab it by the horns.
And where’s the best place to do that? On a boat, obviously.
Leave the Circle Line for the tourists, because these cruises are anything but ordinary. You’ll indulge in fresh local grub, enjoy some off-kilter entertainment, and maybe even learn a thing or two.
Yelling, “I’m on a boat!” never felt this good.
Whether you’re trying to impress your date or just get your fill of fresh seafood out on the water, the Morimoto Sunset Sushi Cruise serves up sushi from NYC’s Iron Chef Morimoto along with an assortment of crisp sake.
While you nosh, enjoy unparalleled views of the skyline, Ellis Island and more aboard the Classic Harbor Line’s newest and largest vessel, the America 2.0.
Book it: $124, at zerve.com/sailnyc
Want to avoid the hassle of big-name cruises? Westchester Magazine staffers took to the water and found a classic yacht & sailboat tour around the NYC harbor.
Sure, everyone knows about the Circle Line tours—but do we really want to join that circus? I, for one, much prefer the idea zipping around New York harbor in a classic yacht or sailboat, while sipping a glass of Champagne. And that’s just the type of experience you can expect with Classic Harbor Line, which operates out of Pier 62 at West 22nd street. The company offers a variety of themed cruises (as well as private charters), with sunset sails the most popular, along with the critically acclaimed AIA-NY Around NYC Architecture Tour, Morimoto Sushi & Sake Sail, and full day trips to Bear Mountain and back.
I set sail on a perfect Sunday afternoon on the 105-foot Eco Schooner America 2.0 with my three daughters and a few of their friends. The entire experience—chatting with the crew and other passengers, enjoying the breezes and expansive skyline views was fabulous. No matter how many times you visit the city, seeing it by boat is the best way to fall in love with New York all over again. I know I did.
“It was brilliant,” agrees my daughter Lauren Giles, visiting from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “The last time I was that close to the Statue of Liberty I was actually on the island. Seeing her so clearly on such a beautiful day was practically magical.”
Lauren Steffens, visiting from Columbia, Missouri, loved seeing the city from a new vantage point. “It gave me a new appreciation for NYC’s shining architecture and magnificent waterfront,” she says.
“It felt like a comfortable living room on the water,” says Westchester Magazine Creative Director Aiko Masazumi, who took the sunset tour with her husband and son on the Manhattan, an 80-foot 1920s-style yacht. “Unlike Circle Line or World Yacht, it was a small and cozy boat. The crew members were paying attention to all the passengers, taking care of the food, drinks, and entertainment, including a magic show for the kids on board. We enjoyed the beautiful view of the Statue of Liberty, the gorgeous sunset, and the warm breeze on the perfect summer night. If I was lucky enough to throw a party on the boat, I would definitely call them up!”
Art Intern Alexandra Tutelian was also on the Manhattan. “I was unaware of all the beautiful architecture surrounding New York City until I went on the boat cruise,” she says. “The staff was extremely accommodating, checking up on the passengers often, which I found really nice. I would absolutely go again.” Indeed, that was the sentiment echoed by all the attendees. And it’s easy to go again—just a quick trip down the West Side Highway and into another world.
Insider tip: Park at one of the garages between 10th and 12th Avenues rather than the insanely high priced one at Chelsea Piers. Download a coupon for even greater savings.
What residents know, but visitors often forget, is that New York’s Financial District hosts a wealth of ways to get out onto the frothy waters that surround the island of Manhattan. Downtown workers can leave the office, walk to the docks, trade the briefcase for a cocktail, and climb aboard.
Now, unless you own your own boat, nobody’s going to let you captain a ship without any help. (No matter how many Lasers or FJs you sailed at summer camp, these boats are $50,000+ pieces of delicate machinery.) Instead, each charter boat has at least one sailor aboard who will actually raise the mainsail, lower the boom, unfurl the spinnaker, and act out any other lingo you might have picked up from Captains Courageous. You and your friends get to sit back, enjoy the view, and do your best not to get any of the East River in your mouth.
Starting on the smaller side of the spectrum, you can charter a 34.5′ boat from Gotham Sailing. It holds up to six passengers, with the standard, four-hour charter going for $399.
In the same price range, you can charter a Tayana 37 from Narwhal Yacht Charters. Their Tayana, a brand whose vintage-inspired wood and metal finishes (and ease of use) has earned a cult following, is available for four-hour cruises — just contact the captain, Eric Puleio, for charter rates.
Atlantic Yachting, which sails from 79th Street boat basin, has two boats for charter — a 43′ and a 42′ sloop. Each boat, staffed with two crew members, can hold a maximum of six passengers. The charter times vary from two to four-hour sails.
Now, before you rush out to the piers, it’s important to remember that sailboats in this size-range will inevitably rise and fall with every wave; if you’re hoping for a languorous cruise with martinis and board games, you should probably opt for something larger.
Which brings us to the Atlantic Sail and Charter, which mans a stunning, 62.5′ long wooden sailboat from 1921, which holds up to 25 passengers. It’s as classic as they come — built for the founder of Citibank, it’s got a mahogany hull and enough teak to reforest Burma.
And then there’s the Classic Harbor Line, which offers a 105 foot, three-mast schooner that can hold up to 75 guests. Weekday evenings cost $1,375 per hour, with a two-hour minimum.
The beauty of all of these options is that they require minimal commitment: you’re not joining a yacht club or buying a boat — at most, you’re taking a cab.
NEW YORK CITY — If you want to get on the water this summer, you can hear live rock ‘n’ roll or even see whales.
New York Harbor is big enough to offer varied but simple ways to get onto a boat and have fun. Here’s a list:
Classic Harbor Line
Where: Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers, near 11th Avenue and 21st Street.
When: Trips take place nearly every day on each vessel. Those interested should check the company’s calendar here.
Cost: Varies depending on trip. The cheapest voyage is $46 for a two-hour daytime sail past the Statue of Liberty aboard the Adirondack. But there’s also a $124 Morimoto sushi-and-sake tasting aboard the America 2.0.
Several companies, including Classic Harbor Line, offer an historical alternative to the regular diesel-fueled ferries that run sightseeing tours. Classic Harbor sightseeing cruises, dining trips and fireworks viewings are available on two schooners through the summer, the 80-foot Adirondack and the 105-foot America 2.0.
For many folks, summer often means escaping to the beach. But city-folk — and travelers — can take in a dose of water-filled fun this summer without ever leaving town. How? By experiencing one of the numerous river cruises in key cities nationwide.
From a sunset-sail in New York to a culture-filled excursion in Chicago, here are five city river cruises to consider right now.
This weekend marks City of Water Day — a fun and event-filled happening to honor the importance of the New York-New Jersey Harbor. And to celebrate, Classic Harbor Line is giving away free sailing trips on its elegant Schooner America 2.0 vessel.
Every day, three envelopes (each with two tickets) are being hidden near the Schooner’s Chelsea mooring with clues tweeted via @ClassicHarbor. Look for them in iconic Chelsea spots such as the High Line, Chelsea Market and Chelsea Piers.
The winning cruises feature top-shelf booze and sightseeing across lower Manhattan from this elegant vessel.
Standard cruises start at $52 for two hours.
Classic Harbor Line is paying it forward and offering “Hidden Sailing Trips” similar to “Hidden Cash NYC” starting Sat July 5th and culminating on Sat July 12th City Of Water Day. Every afternoon at 12 NOON several clues will be tweeted out on the location of 3 envelopes that contain 2 free tickets (a value of $104) for a day sailing trip on Schooner America2.0 via @ClassicHarbor. The envelopes will be hidden around public spaces in Chelsea and finders must tweet a photo of them with envelope at location to redeem the free sails. We want to encourage New Yorkers to get out and enjoy the waterfront and enjoy sailing. Envelopes will be hidden around iconic Chelsea locations like the High Line, Chelsea Market, A Chelsea Art Gallery, Hudson River Park, Chelsea Piers. Manhattan is an Island & we are hoping to get more people out on the water this summer. Classic Harbor will be giving away 42 sailing tickets for a total of $2184. Tickets can be redeemed on the day the winner finds it and up to 30 days after.
So get your running shoes on and get out there to find your tickets. This hot weather is the perfect time to get out on the water to cool down and what better place to do that but aboard the Schooner America 2.0! Set sail on this magnificent 105 foot schooner with a glass of Champagne in hand and the wind in your hair. We look forward to having you! Happy Hunting!
Happy birthday, America! It’s time to get your red, white and blue on, rain or shine.
Here’s your guide to explosive events going on this weekend – indoors and out!
Why crowd in with the masses when you can catch the fireworks from a luxurious vessel?
Hop aboard a 1920s-style Classic Harbor Line yacht and enjoy festivities from the comfort of an open-air deck complete with booze and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets range from $276 to $376 at sail-nyc.com.
Saturday’s summer solstice gives us the longest day of the year. Make the most of the time when day turns to dusk with these sunset events throughout the city.
Sunset sail with the Classic Harbor Line, Pier 62 at 22nd Street and the Hudson River
Ever sit at your desk and daydream you were sailing off into the sunset? Dream no more: Classic Harbor Line charters cruises that sail around Manhattan, complete with booze and snacks.
Choose from two schooners — the 105-foot America 2.0 or the 80-foot Adirondack — to simply enjoy a cool breeze off the water while watching the sun fade behind the cityscape. Or, for the more active, sign up for an evening wine tasting or sample sushi and sake prepared fresh by Iron Chef Morimoto.
When: Through November, various departure times
Info: Costs vary by cruise and food and drink offerings, $52 to $124. 212-627-1825, sail-nyc.com
CHELSEA—Want to win a day trip sailing around New York City? Read on: In honor of City of Water Day, Classic Harbor Line will be giving away two free sailing tickets every day between July 5 and July 12. At noon, @ClassicHarbor will tweet clues about the Chelsea location of three hidden envelopes containing tickets. To redeem, finders must tweet a photo of themselves with the envelope. A summer scavenger hunt in the city? At least the reward is a schooner trip on the water. [CurbedWire inbox; official]
We were recently invited out onto the mighty Hudson for a wine and cheese tasting sunset cruise hosted by Classic Harbor Line New York. There’s nothing quite like escaping the hot sticky streets of New York to the open air. Summer can be very wonderful in this city, you just have to know how to make it so.
We met the Yacht Manhattan on Pier 62 of Chelsea Piers, and we were off. The pairing of the evening was Sparking Wines of the World and Cheeses That Love Them, created by Miss Wendy Crispell. How delightful, and absolutely perfect for a late summer evening.
We started off with a welcome glass of Brotherhood Winery Blanc de Blanc from New York to warm up our palates. Already charging North on the Hudson, we were on our way. The sunset was upon us, the sky pink and purple, and Manhattan’s skyline lighting up accordingly.
Then the cheese arrived.
Our first pairing featured the Szigeti Gruner Veltliner Brut, from Austria and a creamy Valancay goat cheese from Loire Valley. We were instructed to first taste the wine – crisp and almost citrusy with a touch of almond in the nose, then taste the cheese – creamy with a slightly sour kick, and then taste them together. The combinations were delightful, the clean flavors of the wine cut through the creaminess of the cheese, highlighting the citrus notes in each.
The second pairing was St Hiliare Blanquette Limoux from Languedoc, France, and La Tur, a sheep/goat/cow cheese from Piedmont, Italy. The wine was dry, yet creamy, with sweet flavors of citrus and apple, compared to the creamy, almost ice cream like La Tur. This was one of my favorite pairings of the evening, creamy, decadent, and delicious.
The third set of the evening featured Marques Gelida Exclusive Cava Reserve, a blend of Macabeo, X-arello, Parellado, and Chardonay, from Penendes, Spain, served with Gallego, a cow’s milk cheese from Galecia, Spain. Followed by a pairing of Jean Bourdy Cremant du Jura, a sparkling Chardonnay from Jura, France served with Delice D’ Bourgogne, another cow’s milk cheese from Burgundy, France. This cheese was another one of my favorites, probably because it is a Triple Cream, 75% butterfat, making it “unapologetically rich”, with a little bit of funkiness due to the mold rind which gives it the flavors of almost a mushroom. It paired very nicely with the Jean Bourdy, which was a bit citrusy, mineraly, and a touch nutty.
At this point patrons were out on the ship’s deck, watching the final bits of the sunset, taking photos, and staring mouths agape at the magnificent Lady Liberty. She’s a lovely one. The city was sparkly off in the distance, and the salty air complimented by our glass of sparkling Chardonnay. We were not exactly in a hurry to get back on shore.
The last pairing was the most surprising of the evening; a pour of Cleto Chiarli, Grasparossa di Castelvetro Lambrusco from Emilia Romangna, Italy, with Capra Sarda, a sheep’s milk cheese from Sardinia, and a nice piece of dark chocolate. Yes, you read that correctly, chocolate. The flavor combinations were exquisite. It was almost as though the dark chocolate made the fruitiness of the wine more evident, and when paired with the cheese, it becomes irresistibly creamy. This pairing was so decadent, so surprising, and something we would love to try for a desert course at home.
It was a fabulous night to say the least. All of the pairings were delicious and interesting to say the least, and they were all supplemented with information about the history of the wines, technique of making, and flavor notes by our hostess, Wendy Crispell. Be warned, you’ll be spoiled in a second, imagining your daily commute on this fabulous 1920’s era yacht – greeted each night by a glass of sparkling wine, off to your mansion up the Hudson.
As the end of August approaches, it can seem like a blink of the eye between July 4th and Labor Day. But there’s a nice way to keep the summer sailing along with a patriotic flair, on board a 105-foot schooner that’s built along the lines of the racing yacht that is the namesake of the America’s Cup.
“The original schooner America was built in Brooklyn actually, on the east side, in 1851, commissioned by the New York Yacht Club,” explains Classic Harbor Line General Manager Sarah Greer.
What’s known as America 2.0 is now sailing New York Harbor through October. It is the fifth boat operated by Classic Harbor Line that was built in Albany by the Scarano brothers.
“A lot of local products, cherry from the area, even the boat builder’s back yard actually. Tons of hardware, the sails, the mast all fabricated by U.S. manufacturers,” notes Greer.
Regular New York sailings on America 2.0 are scheduled through October. Everything from a $55 two hour day sail to an $80 sunset sail, up to $135 for a sushi and sake cruise.
Enter code Val15 to get $15 off any America 2.0 cruise through the end of the year either on New York Harbor or when it relocates to Key West for the winter.
Who wants to see Manhattan, it has to leave. And from where you can see an island probably better than from the water? You do not have to be to sign on with one of the container ships that push their way through the New York Harbor to Red Hook. Many visitors take a tour boats that chug the Statue of Liberty or the southern tip of Manhattan around, or they boarded the (free!) Staten Ferry Iceland. However, this will all much more elegant: a sailboat.
And so I now stand on wooden planks and see the lights of the city sparkle. If already, because already, “City Lights Rope”, the provider Manhattan By Sail is a way to sail after sunset at the Shearwater. The actual sailing done a nice three-man crew, which also serves drinks. “Of course we also have alcoholic beverages on board – we are sailors,” say (and of course remain even sober). Before our group, you have people sailed into the sunset.
Its seaworthiness has provided long ago to prove the boat: the late 70s, early 80s, it even sailed once around the world. But the three-masted schooner is much older: 1929 Shearwater was baptized, the time of the great Gatsby when sailing was a simultaneously elegant and adventurous pleasure of the rich. The wooden boat was made of oak timbered shortly before the Great Depression by hand and is the only movable monument of New York. And so chic this all sounds: One and a half hours night sailing on the yacht costs nowadays just 45 dollars.
A wind indicator does not need our Department. “I feel the wind,” said the captain to me. He needs to hear him roar in both ears, then he knows the wind direction. Just before the Statue of Liberty, he turns to again and again. Through the darkness a long barge full of stones and gravel slides amazingly fast towards us. He must decide whether to turn to her to go out of the way. At the guests goes unscathed – almost: “Main Crossing,” he exclaims before turning, so guests sit under the mainsail and get not about standing the tree in front of the head.
On the way we see three other big sailboats. Manhattan by Sail has the Clipper, and other operators offer relaxing tours. So you can see the America 2.0 boarded at about Classic Harbor Line: The boat is designed with environmentally friendly aspects replica of America, the 1851 America’s Cup won. And who wants to keep even the pods or the control in hand, also comes at his expense: The Manhattan Sailing School offers weekend courses where you learn everything you need on the Hudson and the East River can. Including the commands. On the Shearwater one only hears what calls out to the helmsman of the crew. He radioed to other boats. When the big boats it makes no sense to call across the water. While the small dinghy in regattas “Starboard!” Shout when someone is going to disregard the rights of way, the big horns per se. “Five times means danger,” says our captain. But we do not get to hear.
The 2012 Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks are just around the corner. The 36th annual summertime staple will include 40,000 fireworks set off from six barges in the Hudson River between 18th and 43rd Streets, beginning at 9 p.m.
This pyrotechnic spectacular is not to be missed, though the coveted hot spots for watching along the West Side Highway fill up quickly with crowds. Metro has you covered for some of the city’s other best views of the fireworks, for both big spenders and the budget-conscious.
Get up close and personal with the fireworks on a river cruise. Step aboard one of Classic Harbor Line’s impressive yachts and enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as you watch the show in style. It’s a pricey endeavor, but the cruises last nearly three hours and offer incredible views from below the show.
NEW YORK — Forty-thousand fireworks will explode over the Hudson River this Fourth of July, drawing tens of thousands of patriotic spectators to Manhattan’s West Side.
The “Ignite the Night”-themed Macy’s display, kicking off at 9 p.m. next Wednesday, will feature performances by pop superstar Katy Perry and award-winning country artist Kennny Chesney, synchronized with the colorful raining sparks.
“We have put together a show like no other, filled with incredible high-flying effects, choreographed to a soaring, patriotic and exuberant score that will cap off a magnificent day of celebration for millions,” Amy Kule, executive producer of the fireworks, said in a statement.
Those who want a front-row seat to the 25-minute pyrotechnics should head to the West Side between 18th and 43rd streets, staking out a spot as early as 5 p.m.
Backpacks, lawn chairs and other large objects are prohibited, but it would be a good idea to pack some water, because temperatures are expected to climb into the high 80s that afternoon.
DNAinfo.com New York put together a guide of all the best places to catch the show.
Hudson River Park will offer exclusive VIP viewing of the fireworks on the tip of Pier 84, at West 44th Street and the Hudson River, for those who are willing to shell out.
The VIP section, which boasts an unobstructed view of the display over the Hudson River, has 500 tickets on sale for $200 apiece. The luxury viewing party includes grilled food, a full bar featuring red, white and blue patriotic cocktails and a live brass quintet performance.
The party is kid-friendly and will also include balloon sculptors and face-painters. Tickets cost $100 for children ages 5 to 12, while children under 5 get in for free.
Those who don’t want to pay can stake out a spot on the eastern portion of Pier 84, which will be open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Space on the pier will likely go fast, as most of the rest of Hudson River Park will be closed during the fireworks.
WEST SIDE HIGHWAY
At 2 p.m. on the Fourth, the city will shut down traffic on 12th Avenue as well as the northbound lanes of the West Side Highway between 22nd and 59th streets to make way for a giant block party.
The public can access the viewing area on 11th Avenue at the following cross-streets: 24th Street, 26th-27th Streets, 29th Street, 33rd-34th Streets, 40th Street, 42nd Street, 44th Street, 50th Street, 52nd Street, 54th Street and 56th-57th Streets.
Views of the fireworks will be limited north of 59th Street, but Riverside Park, along the Hudson River between 59th and 70th streets, may offer partial views of the show.
Early birds will have the best chance of getting a spot, because the Parks Department will stop letting people in at 4 p.m., according to the blog Mommy Poppins.
The Sky Room at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, 330 W. 40th St., will offer panoramic views of the fireworks from the 33rd and 34th floors.
The club boasts the highest rooftop bar in the city, with 360-degree views, including windows looking out over the Hudson River. Tickets are $100 per person and include an open bar from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The World Yacht and Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises are co-hosting a Fourth of July extravaganza at Pier 83, West 43rd Street and the Hudson River. The $89 tickets include grilled food, cold beverages, music and carnival games for kids, along with stunning views of the fireworks.
The activities start at 4 p.m.
The Golf Club, the bowling club 300 New York and Chelsea Brewing Company are among the places at Chelsea Piers, West 23rd Street and the Hudson River, that will offer an up-close look at the Fourth of July fireworks.
Tickets to the Golf Club party are $100 for adults and $25 for children. Picnics are permitted, but not alcohol.
300 New York will offer a place to bowl and a view of the fireworks for $40 a person. The ticket provides each guest with two hours of bowling.
Beer fans can enjoy some suds with their fireworks at the Chelsea Brewing Company. For $175 a person, ticket-buyers can enjoy a free brewery tour, an open bar and a buffet dinner.
Jason’s barbecue joint in Chelsea Piers also offers a great view of the fireworks. Tickets are $40 per person and include a buffet with burgers, hot dogs, grilled baby back ribs, corn on the cob, baked beans and more.
Those who want to get out on the water to see the fireworks, along with the Statue of Liberty and New York’s skyline, can hop aboard a 2 1/2-hour Classic Harbor Line cruise. Tickets are $300 and include an open bar with beer, soda and Champagne, along with a spread of fruit, cheese and dessert. The yacht leaves Chelsea Piers at 8:15 p.m.
Since the West Side Highway will be closed to foot traffic starting at 4 p.m., anyone going to Chelsea Piers will need an authorized security pass to cross 10th Avenue. Security passes can be obtained by pre-booking tickets to any of the Chelsea Piers events.
After a long day in the sun, the best way to see the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks is to hop on a small boat with friends and share a couple of pops while you watch the pyrotechnics.
Taking its first Independence Day voyage, the Schooner America 2.0 is the newest addition to Classic Harbor Line’s fleet.
Munch on hors d’oeuvres as you sample unlimited local craft beers, like Fire Island Lighthouse Ale, and wines from the Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley.
The 105-foot vessel is a replica of the yacht that won the first America’s Cup Race in 1851. Cutting-edge technology makes this version fast and light with minimal impact on the environment.
The cruise leaves from Pier 62 and lasts just under three hours. Schooner America is $425 per person; prices for other boats in the fleet range from $275 to $375 per person.
Information: +1-212-627-1825; https://www.sail-nyc.com.
It’s summer, which means that along with the overbearing heat, the streets of New York City are teeming with people. While I usually don’t mind bumping shoulders with strangers, sometimes we all need a break from the chaos. Instead of holing up at home or in your hotel room, let me let you in on a little secret: local cruises.
Classic Harbor Line, a local boating company that features sailing, boat tours and private charters, allows for a mini vacation with their special interest day cruises. The vessels depart from downtown Chelsea Piers and sail on the Hudson River.
Classic Harbor Line gives you numerous options. Offerings range from having top scholars speak about the history and future of the NYC waterfront to foodie experiences of past Morimoto sushi & sake fights. Other options include the AIA (American Institute of Architects) NYC Architecture Tours. With this event, you sail down the Hudson as the NYC skyline sprawls around you in a 360 degree panorama. All the while, members of the AIA tell you how it came to be.
There’s a cruise to spark every interest. Check out the Jazz Cruise, the Spanish Wine Pairing, and Flamenco Guitar. These are just some examples, but you can enjoy anything from wine tasting, beer and cheese pairings, brunches, sunset dinners, jazz shows and more.
Beginning on May 23, the new America 2.0 is ready for boarding. It’s an 11-foot eco-friendly schooner and one of the leading boats for Op Sail 2012.
Here’s an idea. With Independence Day around the corner, why not hop onboard? Classic Harbor Line has all it takes for a spectacular Fourth of July evening. You can get aboard the Schooner Adirondack or the Yacht Catskill. You’ll sip champagne and watch the beautiful fireworks display over the NYC skyline, all in the company of Lady Liberty.
CHELSEA — Keep your eyes on the fore-and-aft sails and hold on to your captain’s hat: This weekend marks the sixth annual New York Classic Week schooner races.
The three-day-long series of sailboat races kicks off on Saturday and the action goes through Monday.
Several new kinds of yachts will test their mettle during the races, including the Chelsea Piers-based America 2.0, a 105-foot, 85-passenger carbon fiber boat that designers are hoping will outrun its 17 competitors.
“It’s a classic,” said Will Candis, a spokesman for Classic Harbor Line Yachts, the boat’s owner. “It’s brand new, but it looks like it’s from the 1800s.”
The boat was delivered two weeks ago, and its owners are hoping to use the race to show what it can do.
Along with many other yachts in the race, the America 2.0 will carry about 40 passengers who want to see the races from up close — while sipping on wine and snacking on hors d’oeuvres, of course.
The America 2.0 is expected to sail at about 13 knots, or 15 miles per hour — which owners said is fast for a boat that’s also serving as a bar.
Organizers said they are confident that the fall winds will really start to kick in this weekend, and spectators from around the city will be in for some speedy sailing.
The races begin in the New York Harbor each day at 12 p.m. and will feature some of the city’s most iconic sites, including sails around the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano-Narrows bridge.
Classic yacht race:
Under the brilliant sun of Columbus Day weekend, seven classic vessels plied New York harbor in a dazzling display of tall masts and sails. On each of the three days, they were to have raced each other up and down the harbor, but said Michael Fortenbaugh, commodore of the North Cove Marina, “The high pressure system that brought the sunshine and warm temperatures also meant light winds. There was also strong current because of the approaching full moon.”
The course for Saturday’s race from North Cove to the Verrazano Narrows bridge “was altered to be a one-way race that finished at the bridge,” said Fortenbaugh. “America II crossed the finish line first but Black Watch won on corrected time. What that means is that each boat has a rating that reflects its theoretical speed. After the finish times are recorded, they are adjusted based on the rating to see which boat actually performed best in that race.”
On Sunday, the boats were supposed to race to the Statue of Liberty. The race started but light winds caused the race to be abandoned after two hours. On Monday, the boats were slated to race around Governors Island and back, but because of the light winds and strong currents, the course was again changed to a one-way race. “Salty won this race on corrected time, beating America II by two seconds,” said Fortenbaugh.
If the guests aboard the vessels minded that the racing didn’t materialize as planned, no one seemed to mind too much. The weather was gorgeous. The harbor looked beautiful. Aboard Classic Harbor Line’s new schooner, America 2.0, which was launched just three weeks ago, champagne and beer were poured and the crew brought out box lunches.
The Pride of Baltimore II, a reproduction of an 1812-era topsail schooner privateer, preened and posed as she scooted around the harbor. Commissioned by the city of Baltimore as a goodwill ambassador, she evokes the days of the famed early 19th-century Baltimore clippers, whose speed helped to win the war of 1812 against the British.
“This regatta will be held at North Cove again next year over Columbus Day weekend,” said Fortenbaugh. “The public can participate by buying a ticket to race on one of the boats. This year, America II offered six tickets at $390 per race and sold out. The Pride of Baltimore II offered 35 tickets at $90 for each race and sold out as well.” Tickets for America 2.0, whose design is based on a vessel called “America” that was built in 1851 and won the first America’s Cup, were $125. The Columbus Day regatta marked her last appearance in New York harbor until May. She will be sailing in Key West for the winter.
Battery Park City in bloom:
The ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) that are currently stopping in Wagner Park on their way to Mexico and Central America for the winter find welcome sustenance in the “firecracker” plant, so-called because of its long, red blooms, well suited to a hummingbird’s slender bill and taste for nectar. Cuphea “David Verity” was hybridized by botanists at the University of California (U.C.L.A.) from two species of cuphea native to the parts of the world for which the hummingbirds are bound. Unlike Battery Park City’s specimens, few members of the genus “cuphea,” which has 260 species, are used for ornamental purposes. Most are raised for their seeds, which can be turned into oil.
Hummingbirds have good color vision and prefer red or orange flowers. They can see parts of the ultra-violet spectrum that are invisible to humans.
The hummingbirds now in Wagner Park are all female. The males migrate south several weeks before the females, and return earlier in the spring. These remarkable birds that are around three-and-a-half inches long and weigh one-eighth of an ounce are fueling up to fly thousands of miles, including a non-stop journey of around 500 miles over the Gulf of Mexico that will take them 18 to 20 hours.
Pier A update:
At the meeting of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee on Oct. 4, Anne Fenton, assistant to Gayle Horwitz, president of the Battery Park City Authority, had some news about Pier A. “We’re still working on the core and shell,” she said, but added that the restoration was taking somewhat longer than planned because of “the delicate nature of working with a historic building on the water.”
Pier A, which was completed in 1886 for New York City’s Department of Docks & Ferries, is the last surviving 19th-century pier on the Hudson River in Manhattan. It is expected to reopen in 2013 with restaurants and a visitor’s center. “That plan has not changed,” Fenton said.
Few things go better together than fresh sushi and perfectly chilled sake, but throw in warm summer weather, the sunset against the NYC skyline, and a yacht cruise through the harbor and you’ve got an absolutely sublime dining experience. Classic Harbor Line Yachts and Morimoto are happy to enter their third year of NYC’s Morimoto Sushi & Sake Sunset Yacht Cruise.
The celebrated upscale dining experience is now offering an extended schedule and a choice of watercraft for the evening – the Schooner Adirondack sailing yacht or the motor Yacht Manhattan – to be boarded at chic Chelsea Piers. And, because of Morimoto’s close proximity to the dock, the food remains famously fresh as it is prepared just minutes before passengers board and stored in special coolers until it is served within the first hour of the cruise. Diners will take off into the sunset and enjoy a variety of decadent Morimoto sushi impeccably paired with fine sake. Take time to savor the meal as the sun slowly dips behind NYC’s dramatic skyline, kick back, and enjoy the ride.
To book your spot or for more information, visit https://fareharbor.com/embeds/book/sail-nyc/items/25994/?full-items=yes&flow=4566.
In the concrete jungle that is New York, sometimes visitors — and even New Yorkers themselves — forget that the city is surrounded by water.
There’s the isle of Manhattan, of course; Coney Island (which is really a peninsula); and the hottest piece of land these days, Governor’s Island, situated right in New York Harbor. On your next foray to the Big Apple, catch the breeze on one of these wonderful water adventures.
Cruise with Classic Harbor Line
Sail around the city on the Yacht Manhattan. A predictable boat trip would be the Staten Island Ferry — free, yes, but hardly glamorous. Water Taxis are adorable, but only take you a few short hops. And sightseeing tours like those offered the Circle Line and the Beast are notoriously crowded.
For a more exclusive tour, check out Classic Harbor Line, which gives you the choice of cruising around in an indoor/outdoor motorized yacht, the Yacht Manhattan, or getting all salty dog on the swift-moving schooner Adriondack. The extensive list of tours makes these boats a great option whether you love brunch (which includes complimentary Bloody Mary or Mimosa), sunsets and Champers (Champagne Sunset Cruise), live jazz (Sunday Evening Jazz Cruise), booze and brie (NY State Beer & Cheese Pairing), or architecture (Around Manhattan Official NYC Architecture Tour). Tours start at just $45.
From my midship perch on the sharply slanted deck of the 80-foot schooner Adirondack as it slices the swift crosscurrents of the Upper Bay of New York Harbor, gritty Manhattan is transformed into the shimmering silver city of our dreams. Only the view from the troposphere in a passing jet offers a comparable perspective.
From sea level, as from on high, the anxious cacophony, the urgent currents of street and sidewalk traffic, the crowding, the bustle, the grind and the grime all evaporate, leaving a pristine, breezy urban paradise, its sharp vertical planes glinting in the late afternoon sun like a jewel in a sea green setting.
“Every sail,” says the Adirondack’s sun-soaked skipper, Greg Freitas, a Coast Guard-licensed captain, “is a day in the country.”
Operated by one of several charter companies that offer landlubbers similar escapes aboard wind-powered schooners and sloops, the Adirondack made its maiden sail of the season late one afternoon this month. Brought south from her winter berth in an Albany dry dock earlier that day, the boat, Captain Freitas said, was as stiff and creaky as, well, a middle-aged writer who hadn’t been getting his exercise. “The masts were removed for the winter, they still needed to settle fully,” the skipper said. “She was newly rigged and she needed to stretch and get the kinks out, like you would if you were laid up all winter.”
I wasn’t, but you wouldn’t know it to watch me board the two-masted, cedar-and-birch beauty as it bobbed at a floating dock in a cove at Chelsea Piers. Although I live less than half a block from the shores of the Hudson River– if the sea wall at Battery Park City can be called a shore — I lack the sea legs of a seasoned sailor. Somehow the two crewmen stationed at the rail seemed to sense this when I stepped from dock to ship just as a swell rocked the boat. Swaying drunkenly, my knees bending as if on a Bongo Board, I might have pitched into the drink between the dropping platform and the rising port side of the hull if not for a helping hand from the crewmen, who were kind enough not to smirk.
“Welcome aboard, sir,” one said, betraying not a hint of derision as I made my graceless way aft. “Take a seat and we’ll soon be under way.”
My fellow passengers included Richard Saez, a sailing enthusiast from Manhattan who said that he cruised the harbor aboard the Adirondack at least 20 times last year. “I love this; it’s in my blood.” The son of a son of a sailor, Mr. Saez claimed a long line of seafaring forebears, including his father, a merchant marine who worked on the great transoceanic passenger ships, and a grandfather from the Canary Islands, a seamen’s haven that legend holds “is all that’s left of the lost continent of Atlantis,” Mr. Saez said with a knowing wink.
Also on board was a temporarily out-of-work Broadway child wrangler. “I chaperone and take care of kid actors,” said Bobby Wilson, who once worked as a steward aboard a private yacht, among other colorful pastjobs. (“I was a tassel catcher on ‘This Is Burlesque,’ a traveling burlesque show in the 60’s,” he said.)
Idle since “Music Man” went dark last year on Broadway, and with many of the truck and bus tours that usually crisscross the country curtailed since Sept. 11, Mr. Wilson was hoping to land a part-time job on the Adirondack. “Even if it doesn’t work out, it feels great just to be out on the water,” said Mr. Wilson, who lives in Greenwich Village. “It’s a way to get out of the city without actually leaving.”
While we passive sailors chatted and didn’t lift a finger except to accept the free Champagne, wine, beer and soda offered by a steward, the crew members cast off lines and got busy organizing the rigging — a bewildering network of ropes and pulleys — and preparing to hoist the sails.
Captain Freitas, meanwhile, executed the countless tricky moves required to unpark the schooner from the tight confines of its berth and, with a series of quick, low-power thrusts from a stern motor, maneuvered it out of the cove and into the river.
With his deep tan, white Hemingway beard, calm manner and easygoing good humor, Captain Freitas is the vely picture of the weathered seafarer. Hailing from the old whaling town of New Bedford, Mass., the 53-year-old skipper runs a charter sailing service from his home port in St. John, Virgin Islands.
As we motored slowly out of the cove, the captain gave us a quick history lesson, noting that Chelsea Piers had been built at the turn of the last century to serve ocean liners. From Pier 54, just south of the sports complex where golfers now swat tee shots into a web of black netting from a four-tiered driving range, the British liner Lusitania had steamed to its doom in 1915. It was sunk and 1,198 died when a German U-boat fired a torpedo into it. Nearby, he said, was the site of the Cunard berth where the unsinkable Titanic was supposed to tie up at the end of its history-making maiden voyage in 1912.
Steering the Adirondack toward the Hudson’s far shore in Hoboken, N.J., about two-thirds of a mile away, Captain Freitas referred to the Hudson as the North River, just as Henry Hudson had done in his ship’s logs four centuries before. “Why the North River and not the West River?” I wondered, having always assumed that the East River was so named because it bordered the east side of Manhattan.
“Because il~s the river you sail to go north,” Captain Freitas explained. “To sail east, to Long Island Sound, you would take the East River.”
The Hudson flows 300 miles from the Adirondacks and “isn’t really a river at all once it reaches Lower Manhattan,” he said, further eroding my fanciful notion that living near the river made me something of a nautical expert.
“These waters are part of the Atlantic’s tidal estuary,” he said, explaining why the currents might run upriver toward the George Washington Bridge in the morning and out toward the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge hours later. Skylines and Waterlines
Whatever it’s called, we crossed the body of water between Manhattan and New Jersey. Once we came a few hundred yards within the shoreline below Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, a passenger pointed out River Street, the road where Charley, Rod Steiger’s character in “On the Waterfront,” met his doom. Then Captain Freitas turned the schooner’s distinctive blunt bow south.
Raising first the mainsail, then the foresail and the two headsails, the captain and the crew members had us speeding south before a strong wind that a fellow passenger, Noah Barnes, the Adirondack’s 29-year-old weekend skipper, estimated at 15 knots, or 17 miles an hour. Captain Barnes was along for the ride with his girlfriend.
Sailing past the Pavonia and Newport ferry stops on the Jersey City waterfront, where new steel-and-glass residential and office towers are rising to create a boxy, gap-toothed answer to the Manhattan skyline, we were carried by wind and currents back across the river until we were gliding past Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan.
Onboard chatter died away as all eyes turned to the void left by the World Trade Center. “It’s like an amputation,” Mr. Wilson, the child wrangler, said quietly. “It’s gone but you can still feel it,”
Before sailing with Captain Freitas, I had heard from one of my Battery Park City neighbors about his actions on Sept. 11, when he sped south from the Piers aboard the Chelsea Screamer, a 1,600-horsepower excursion boat that he captains on weekends. At the North Cove marina, west of the collapsed towers, he helped organize volunteer boaters who carried Out the makeshift evacuation of thousands of panicked office workers and residents stranded on the esplanade in the blinding cloud of smoke, ash and pulverized dust that had once been the Twins, as neighborhood children liked to call the World Trade Center towers.
Captain Freitas made trip after trip that day, ferrying 50 and 60 people at a time from the esplanade to Liberty State Park in New Jersey, directly across the river, and to and from the Chelsea Piers, where thousands more people fleeing Lower Manhattan took refuge in the hours after the collapse.
“He was really one of the unsung heroes that day,” my neighbor, Capt. Scott Shields, a city Parks and Recreation Department marine rescue specialist, had said of Captain Freitas.
From the river at the southwest corner of North Cove, you used to be able to look down Liberty Street and see the geometric patch of blue that separated the two silver pillars one block to the east. Now there is nothing but sky to be seen, and as we sailed past the emptiness and out into the Upper Bay, the Adirondack’s captain didn’t say a word.
Traversing the vast Upper Bay, we watched the city recede aft as we sped past buoys that mark the shipping lane that oceangoing cruise ships and freighters follow from the Lower Bay’s deep-water Ambrose Channel through the Narrows to their berths on the Hudson.
With sails scooping at the stiff wind and our deck at a steep 45-degree angle, we followed an exhilarating, sweeping tack that carried us across the harbor and north again. As we sped close by Bedloe’s Island and the undulating skirts of the Statue of Liberty, it occurred to me that we were being pushed by the same North Atlantic winds and buffeted by the same fierce tidal currents that Giovanni da Verrazano encountered in the spring of 1524, when he entered the harbor seeking a route to Asia.
That same quest may have led the Portuguese explorer Estevan Gomez to the harbor a year later. Ship captains from France and the Netherlands followed Gomez, and in 1609, Henry Hudson sailed the Half Moon into the mouth of the North River, which now bears his name. A British subject who claimed the harbor and its hilly, richly forested islands and the river valley beyond for the Dutch consortiwn that commissioned his voyage, Hudson reported in his log that his ship was greeted by “the people of the country who came aboard us, seeming very glad of our coming, and brought greene tobacco, and gave us of it for knives and beads. They goe in deere skins loose, well dressed.”
The waters are the same as they were then, but where we watched the sun reflecting off the silver-and-glass towers of the financial district from the deck of our schooner a mile or two out in the harbor, 17th-century colonists arriving by ship at the Dutch West India Company’s New Amsterdam settlement in New Netherland expected to behold a paradise. They had heard of unicorns gamboling under palm trees and natives who behaved like lambs.
From their decks, the colonists saw a tiny settlement on the southern tip of what is now called Manhattan that consisted of a few windmills and low buildings in the protective shadows of a military fort. The settlement was home to a succession of autocratic director generals (Peter Stuyvesant being the most famous) who ran it like a feudal manor and abused the same American Indians whom Hudson had found so friendly and well dressed.
In 1643 a premeditated act of terror occurred in New Amsterdam and across the river at the Pavonia settlement when on successive nights Dutch soldiers attacked two peaceful riverfront Indian villages, murdering and mutilating scores of innocents.
Twelve years later, Indians led an attack to avenge the death of an Indian woman shot by a Dutch landowner for picking a peach without permission in his orchard on Dey Street, a road that then traversed the site of the future World Trade Center.
The day after the shooting, an armada of 70 canoes sailed from Pavonia to New Amsterdam, where rampaging Indians killed the landowner and burned the village before moving on and destroying a struggling Dutch settlement on Staten Island.
A different sort of terror stalked the waterfronts of New York Harbor in later years, when, according to Herbert Asbuiy’s book “The Gangs of New York,” troops of river pirates in rowboats preyed on the ships and businesses that flourished on the Hudson River piers in the 19th centuty. In 1869 the Charlton Street Gang, led by a vicious woman named Sadie the Goat, flew the Jolly Roger from the mast of a hijacked sloop and terrorized the waterfront.
When one Manhattan pirate, Albert E. Hicks, was hanged for murder, as many as 10,000 people floated off Bedloe’s Island to watch. A gallows had been erected where Lady Liberty now stands.
Peace reigned in Lower Manhattan on the day the Adirondack made its first sail of the season. By the time we returned to Chelsea Piers, the wind and water surface had calmed considerably. As we coasted toward the cove at Pier 62, a fleet of nine small sloops glided past like a group of belles at an antebellum ball. On shore, to the north and east, the rays of the lowering sun played on the crown of the Empire State Building.
As soon as we entered the cove, the familiar noises of the city, though not the city’s tensions, returned with the bleat of a car horn and a static blast from a public-address speaker at the adjacent skateboard park. The sounds reminded us of how soothing it was to spend two hours listening to nothing but the rush of the wind and the slap of the waves on the Adirondack’s resonant hull. It is a music I won’t soon get out of my head.
A sampling of schooner and sloop cruises around New York Harbor. Schedules are subject to change:
THE ADIRONDACK. Designed by Scarano Boat Building Inc. of Albany, the Adirondack docks at Pier 62 in the northernmost cove at Chelsea Piers, at West 23rd Street and the Hudson River. It was modeled after the pilot boats that carried 19th-century ship captains and harbor pilots to oceangoing vessels anchored offshore. “They were built to go out in nasty weather to meet the clipper ships,” said Capt. Noah Barnes, the Adirondack’s weekend skipper. “They had to get the pilot to his ship as fast as possible.” The schooner offers two-hour sails daily at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., for $30 on weekdays and $35 on weekends. Also daily are two-hour cruises at 6 and 9 p.m., with free Champagne on the later trip. Those sails are $40 on weekdays and $45 on weekends. Children 16 and under are $25 on all trips. Reservations are recommended: (800) 701-7245, (917) 447-7245 or (646) 336-5270. Information: www.sail-nyc.com.
THE PIONEER. This steel-hull schooner was built in 1885 and sails from Pier 16 in the East River at the South Street Seaport, at the foot of Fulton Street, in Lower Manhattan. “She’s an example of a coastal schooner,” Captain Barnes said, “the 19th-century cargo ships that were the 18-wheelers of their day; a real workhorse.” Run by the South Street Seaport Museum, the Pioneer offers sails six days a week through mid-September: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 7 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 7 and 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 1, 4, 7 and 9:30 p.m.; Sundays, 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Trips that set sail at 7 p.m. and earlier are $25 for adults, $20 for students and 65+, $15 for children 12 and under. The 9:30 p.m. trip (also on some holidays) is $20 for adults, $15 for students and 65+, $12 for children 12 and under. Reservations recommended: (212) 748-8786. Information: www.southsreetseaport.com.
SHEARWATER. This 82-foot-long 1929 schooner docks at the North Cove marina in Battery Park City at the World Financial Center. Built in Maine, the Shearwater has circumnavigated the globe twice and during World War II served on submarine patrol for the United States Coast Guard. With teak decks and brass fittings, it is “a beauty,” Captain Barnes said. Beginning on Monday, the Shearwater will offer daily sails: Mondays through Fridays at noon (one-hour trips), $18. Mondays through Thursdays at 5 p.m., $30; 7:30 p.m., $35. Fridays at 5 p.m., $35; at 7:30 p.m., $40. Saturdays at 3 and 5:30 p.m., $35; 8 p.m., $40. Sundays at 1, 5:30 and 8 p.m., $35. Reservations required: (800) 544-1224. Information: www.manhattanbysail.com.
THE VENTURA. This 72-foot-long sloop built in 1921 has a mahogany-plank hull, Indian teak decks and a spruce mast. Like the Shearwater, the Ventura docks at the North Cove marina at the World Financial Center in Battery Park City. It offers a two-and-a-half-hour sunset harbor cruise on Fridays at 6 p.m. ($35) and a take-your-own Sunday brunch cruise at 11:30 a.m. ($35). Information: www.sail-nyc.com. Reservations: (212) 786-1204.
BOOKS AND CHARTS. Books and sea charts related to New York Harbor and the Hudson River are available at New York Nautical, 140 West Broadway, at Thomas Street, in TriBeCa. Open Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information: (212) 962-4522; www.newyorknautical.com.