Gondoliers bedecked in striped shirts nurture romance while serenading guests during languid gondola rides along Huntington Harbour's lush waterways. Equipped with 13-foot oars, Sunset Gondola's imported Venetian vehicles stretch 37 feet from end to end. While some packages come with amenities such as chocolate-covered strawberries, guests are encouraged to bring along their own snacks and beverages. Gondola rides are also available for special occasions, including proposals, wedding ceremonies, and mustache debuts.
Atop Pirate Coast Paddle Co.’s fleet of standup paddleboards, guests glide over the placid inlets of Newport Beach Back Bay in scenic excursions. The paddleboards—which look like slightly larger, heavier surfboards—offer a sturdy enough base for guests to stand upright and propel themselves with a single oar, an action that exercises core muscles better than doing sit-ups with a porpoise on your chest.
Led by a staff of nautical guides, paddleboarding tours send clients into the orange horizon during sunset paddle outings and enjoy an ocean view of the stars during full-moon SUP parties. Pirate Coast also offers private, semi-private, and group lessons. During all excursions, Pirate Coast provides boards and necessary equipment rentals, letting clients worry about how to stave off scurvy while on the ocean.
Pirate Coast teaches aspiring sea cruisers to put plank to water and glide across the ocean's surface on a surfboard powered by a long paddle. Learn the basics of paddleboard through land and water instruction while simultaneously strengthening the core, the part of the body the rest of the anatomy looks up to. During lessons, students will practice newly acquired skills on Newport Back Bay, where calm waters relax inexperienced paddlers and rock merbabies to sleep. When the learning is complete, a tour of Newport Harbor will display views of windblown bluffs, sandy beaches, and yachts glimmering in golden sunlight. Each student is equipped with a stand-up paddleboard, paddle, and personal floatation device (upon request).
The idea for Newport Pontoons started in the same place it ended: the water. As the business’s founders spent their leisure time in Newport Harbor, they noticed that countless others shared their love for relaxing aboard watercraft. But typical rental boats were often too confining, restricting each person to his or her seat. Hoping to remedy this situation, the entrepreneurs tested numerous boat designs and one dolphin with a couch strapped to its back until they assembled a fleet of vessels that stood apart from those of competitors.
Each of Newport Pontoons’ easy-to-drive pontoon boats enables a floating party along the harbor waters. The decks allow ample room to socialize, grill out, or gaze at waterfront properties through 360-degree windows. Newport Pontoons also caters boat outings with sandwiches and cheese platters, saving customers the work of fishing for lost shoes.
Gondola Adventures sets quartets afloat on the Mandalay Canal and Lake Carolyn for a melodious aquatic outing spiced with Venetian charm. After boarding a sleek, electric craft or traditional single-oar gondola, wayfarers skim the water's surface to the tune of their gondolier's private serenade or the soothing softness of prerecorded romantic tunes. Gourmet chocolates and cider nourish tummy butterflies as the ship glides into sheltered inlets with views of cascading falls—a cue for sweethearts to lock lips and for wooden figureheads to shield their eyes and giggle. As the lake-top explorations wind down, the gondolas skate back to the docks along the unshared waterways, allowing guests to enjoy total solitude aside from the occasional patrol craft or stork addicted to peek-a-boo.
Pacific Avalon's fleet of three luxury yachts act as dreamy stages for magical moments, romantic dinner parties, and open-shore celebrations as they glide along the harbor shoreline of Newport Beach. On Thursday evenings, couples climb aboard the 100-foot Royal Princess, the 128-foot Ambassador, or the hulking 148-foot Majestic depending on how much leg room they need for drinking, dancing, and seafarer socializing. As the sun eases into the sea, like an old man into a bath, you and your date can sip an assortment of local wines while nibbling on trays of cheese and sausage. A live piano player will fuel the evening with sweet ballads and vamping vaudevillian show tunes as the ship gently travels through glistening waves and warm rays from the setting sun. A non-wine bar features alternatives for attendees interested in a break from vino sampling or looking to challenge fellow patrons to Shirley Temple stands.
The party-loving minds behind Yacht Party Cruises wanted a creative way for locals and tourists to explore a city's late-night atmosphere. Eventually they launched a fleet of luxury yachts into the waters of eight of North America's most lively urban waterfronts. On each vessel, festivities abound as DJs spin everything from hip-hop to Sinatra, inviting passengers to shake a leg in between trips to the full bar or buffet lined with hot appetizers. All yachts boast extravagant details such as wraparound decks, fireplaces, or a glass atrium that hangs above the dance floor offering dancers a direct view of the man in the moon's game of solitaire. Guests can also step onto the decks for fresh air or panoramic views of city's skyline.