Sound Excursions describes their carefully curated group experiences as "field trips for adults." It's easy to see why: every outing takes groups to a new realm of Washington, whether it's the frothy shores of Puget Sound, inland forests and mountains, or tables at Seattle's thriving restaurants. The events held at these diverse locations range from culinary workshops on topics such as sushi-making and moonshine-tasting, to adventurous excursions with whitewater rafting or kayaking, to laid-back themed party cruises. For many outings, luxury transportation is provided.
With its three classic yachts?the schooner Adirondack, the schooner America 2.0, and the luxury yacht Manhattan?Classic Harbor Line lets passengers experience what it was like to sail New York's waters during a time long past. The boats, which are reminiscent of the vessels that cruised the waters in the past two centuries, show off magnificent views of the modern-day Manhattan skyline, as well as views of historical landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty. Locals and tourists alike relax and sip champagne and cocktails while taking in the unique sights New York has to offer.
The boats set sail for various sight-seeing tours, day trips, private charters for office events, and special events, including a sushi and sake sail featuring sushi prepared by Iron Chef's Morimoto. Classic Harbor Line prides itself on providing a luxurious and hospitable cruising experience.
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.
Love for New York's harbor, iconic skyline, and renowned bridges resulted in the introduction of New York Water Taxi's black-and-yellow-checkered fleet of vessels in 2002. The eco-conscious crew first began by chauffeuring passengers between Brooklyn and downtown, but the business quickly expanded as locals and tourists demanded to see all of New York's mammoth manmade beauty such as the city skyline, Brooklyn Bridge, and Ellis Island from its treasured natural waterways.
Partnered with Circle Line Downtown, the fleet doubled in capacity and continued the tradition of ferrying passengers to explore the best sights and sounds of the city from the spacious view of a top deck. Knowledgable and entertaining guides narrate tours while patrons can indulge in a cash bar that provides refreshments along the way. Popular touring sites include Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, Times Square/Broadway, Hudson River Park, and South Street Seaport, to name a few. Statue Express and SHARK speedboat thrill ride grant passengers views of iconic sites, including the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Governors Island, and the former site of the World Trade Center.
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.