iAdventure sends urbanites on a variety of excursions in and around the Big Apple, inspiring them to branch out and try new experiences in the do, see, eat, and drink categories. The organizers draw from a variety of interests and a large pool of connections, allowing them to orchestrate outings ranging from walking tours of millionaires' homes to mixology boot camps. Many of iAdventure's events focus on helping out charitable causes or celebrating lesser-known holidays, such as Bastille Day.
Hudson River Community Sailing is a unique combination of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and sailing club. The proceeds from adult lessons and memberships go toward funding scholarship-based programs for at-risk urban youth. Each year, their Sail Academy,—an after-school academic program built on experiential, student-first lessons—immerses these students in the world of sailing and boat building. In addition to unlocking the secrets of boating, these sessions teach students the functional fundamentals of math, science, and self-esteem, earning them credit towards graduation along the way. The club's other youth work include the First Mates program—which preps students for college and career through a deep dedication to boating, racing, and navigation—and the City Sail summer program, which groups students into a small crew for a week of character-building exercises aboard a working 24' boat.
Hosting frequent fundraising events, such as the Dark and Stormy benefit, helps the team introduce as many new mariners as possible to the singular pleasure of sailing the Hudson. Their sailors also enjoy the perks of the club's location, drinking in awe-inspiring views of the Manhattan skyline that the Beatles saw just as they landed their moon module on Ellis Island.
Just a subway train's throw from Manhattan, City Island seems like a different world—tree-lined banks and sprawling waters that stretch toward the New York City skyline and out into the open Sound. New York Sailing Center's owner Captain Stephen Glenn Card touts the location for its absence of man-made disturbances such as wind shears and strong currents. Captain Card has taught since the 1980s, and continues to lead multiday immersive-sailing classes for everyone from beginners to advanced cruisers and navigators.
Throughout the years, they have developed a fine-tuned training system that combines in-classroom instruction (including practice with a large, moveable boat) and on-water obstacle courses within Eastchester Bay and Long Island Sound. Atop these waters, students practice on Beneteau sailing boats —twin-rudder vessels that can accommodate beginner's mistakes, and are also the only boats to receive endorsements from a national sail training organization, such as ASA or US Sailing. As students progress, instructors teach more advanced skills such as bareboat cruising and navigation. They even take some of their brightest pupils on sailing trips to destinations such as Italy or Captain Hook's retirement home.
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.
For more than 30 years, the captains and crews behind Manhattan By Sail have been giving visitors and locals alike the chance to view the city from an entirely new perspective. Their 158-foot Clipper City vessel is a replica of a 19th-century cargo schooner that was constructed in the 1980s using plans purchased from the Smithsonian. Clipper City can hold more than 130 passengers between masts and rigging that tower as high as 120 feet above the deck. The vessel can set sail on daytime, sunset, and evening cruises, including specialty excursions that allow passengers to enjoy a champagne brunch, a wine tasting, or an impromptu sea-shanty sing-along.
World Yacht's scenic, elegant cruise along the New York Harbor creates a picturesque evening for photo-snapping tourists and savvy locals alike. Once you've embarked upon one of World Yacht's three environmentally friendly yachts, you'll be privileged with a private table, access to the outdoor deck, and a complimentary glass of champagne, as you nonchalantly sail past the glittering Manhattan skyline. As the ship makes its circuit, you'll also get to behold the charm of the Village, the stately Empire State Building, and the seldom-seen "Kick Me" sign on the Statue of Liberty's back. Take a moonlight walk on the outdoor deck, or snuggle up inside and adore the sights through the boat's panoramic-view windows. A diverse line-up of live musicians and professional DJs will be on hand to shake hips and nod heads. And on pleasant evenings, you'll get to dine al fresco on chef Denis Weekes's full menu or à la carte menu (food not included with this Groupon) as you bask in the glow of the city.