Clipper ships were first built in the 19th century to quickly transport seasonal goods, powdered-wig powder, and crates filled with tiny toy crates. Today, their classical form makes them an ideal setting for drinking. With today's Groupon to Manhattan by Sail, $55 gets you a craft beer tasting sail aboard a clipper ship cruising the harbor (a $100 value).
The 158-foot Clipper City is a steel replica of the clipper ships that plied the world's waters more than a century ago (it was built from original plans borrowed from the National Archives by Sean Bean, and then reborrowed by Nicolas Cage). As you wander the ship's storied decks, you'll be free to sample an array of delightfully crafted ales and lagers paired with charcuterie and cheeses. Boozing aboard one of the largest sailing boats still in commercial operation is a thrill, but the real show is Manhattan's skyline. See the Brooklyn Bridge the way it was meant to be seen—from below—and then glide by the Statue of Liberty close enough to honk the boat-horn and make catcalls at her. You'll also get a sweeping view of Ellis Island, the fortifications of Governors Island, and Battery Park at the mouth of the Hudson River.
Clipper City Craft Beer Tasting Sails depart at noon on select Saturdays and Sundays until October 17, toodling about beerily for roughly one hour and 45 minutes. Call ahead for an extreme amount of information and reservation-making power, and don't forget your ID when you head to the pier.
Citysearchers give some of Manhattan by Sail's excursions an average of four stars:
- the best sailing experience ever and i have had quite a few. from the moment i called to booked [sic] it until the moment i left the boat everything was magic. NY is just amazing at the sunset cruise. i love it – cubanfree
- I was downtown walking along the esplanade in Battery Park City waiting for an outdoor concert to start when my girlfriend saw people getting checked in on what looked like a private yacht. We went closer and saw that people were paying for tickets... we paid and jumped on… and we were underway. I had no idea you could enjoy the city this way. – ewab
Manhattan by Sail
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. Somm in the City hails Manhattan by Sail as a prime destination for weekend fun and NewYork.com lists it as one of the 12 Great Things to Do with Your Dad in NYC.
South Street Seaport, Pier 17
New York, New York 10038Get Directions