Captain Frank Rizzo and his crew draw on 35 years of navigation experience to pilot the Freeport Princess along the placid waters of Freeport’s Nautical Mile. On the night of their dinner cruise, passengers stroll up the gangplank of the 105-foot Coast Guard–certified yacht to wave kerchiefs at land-bound friends or don mermaid costumes and clamber onto the prow for luck. Once at sail, patrons can settle into plush stools and couches lining the main deck’s sumptuous windowed lounge, and slide past the cash bar for libations (not included in the dinner cruise) to toast the luxurious evening. The steaming buffet tempts diners with four gourmet appetizers and entrees in the formal dining area on the lower deck ringed with clear lucite tables to protect guests from having their shoelaces tied together while eating. Passengers can mount the elegant glassed-in stairs to the upper level, where DJs spin tunes on a large dance floor sparkling with disco lights and an outer deck lets passengers relish ocean breezes and peaceful views of the Nautical Mile’s cozy harbors.
Sailing seven days a week during peak season, Captain Rick Cohen tours the bay with passengers on 60- and 90-minute daytime and sunset cruises. As the blazing sun begins to hide behind the horizon during it famous sunset cruises, passengers breathe in the salty sea air and draw close to their companions or ask a seagull to hold hands with them. Harbor-seal-watching and eco tours allow passengers to get equally close to nature, while those visiting Freeport or Point Lookout can enlist the taxi services, which make it easy to visit several waterfront landmarks and eateries, including seafood haven Rachel's Waterside Grill and Crow?s Nest Mini Golf. The boat can also be chartered for bird-watching tours based on the season, as well as fishing trips.
Captain Lou gives his guests two ways to explore the South Bay, but both are by boat. For the outdoorsman, he and his staff lead fishing tours out on the bay. Each boat is equipped with contemporary fish-tracking and navigational equipment, so it's easy to locate the best spots to anchor. Social butterflies, however, might opt for moonlight party cruises across the water in cruising yachts, which can each hold up to 149 guests.
Mike Cannon fell in love young, and he fell in love hard. He was only 6 years old when he first stepped on board a fishing boat. For the next three years, his seasick father dutifully took him fishing every weekend, until one day, Mike told his dad that he didn?t need to come along. So it was at age 9 that Mike began his career as a bucket cleaner. At age 13, he became a deck hand for Capt. Mike Abbaticchio aboard the Capt. Mike, which he purchased for his own 16 years later. Today, he still commands the Capt. Mike, setting off into Jamaica Bay and the New York Bight with fishers of all experience levels for full- or half-day charters. Mike provides rods, bait, and tackle and doles out advice for catching winter flounders or avoiding direct eye contact with enraged striped bass.
About the 55’ Capt’s Lady charter-fishing vessel, fishers of all experience levels angle for fluke, striped bass, bluefish, or porgy in Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay. The boat’s twin Detroit Diesel engines keep things motoring while an experienced crew of happily grizzled seafarers make the experience fun and easy. When they’re not helping newcomers get used to fishing’s nuances, they’re happy to answer other questions; go ahead and ask them about the biggest fish they’ve ever caught, or about that time they mistook the Statue of Liberty for a really big mermaid. Recently renovated, the ship also includes creature comforts such as an onboard bathroom, snack bar, and cabin seating.
Loaded down with affable gangs of amateur fishermen, the Lady Midnight and her sister ship, the Captain Midnight, set off from Brooklyn's Pier 1 for full- and half-day charter fishing trips. After hooking the provided bait, passengers drop in their lines and patiently await bites from species such as fluke and porgy in the summer or blackfish and ling throughout the rest of the year. On the trip back to port, the boat's deckhands assist with cleaning and packaging the fresh catch. Owners can then take home their catch to toss on the grill or use to catch an even bigger fish in their bathtub that doubles as a lake.