As New Yorkers, we don’t find ourselves playing tourist very often. So we gladly accept the challenge when we have visitors coming into town. It’s suddenly socially acceptable to pose in front of landmarks. My former roommate and brunch partner in D.C. came up for the weekend. She knows the drill when it comes to the rules of brunching with me, always feed the camera first. Off to Chelsea Piers we went to board the Classic Harbor Line Brunch Cruise around Manhattan.
Once you get your table assignment, you’re able to board the boat. The boat itself is much more elegant than we expected, which truly elevated the experience. The beautiful wooden interior, mahogany rails and sunlight beaming in provided for an inviting ambiance. The boat was not overly packed either. There were about 30-40 patrons on board celebrating something or another. It was more intimate than one would have thought considering it was sold out.
Brunch is set up like a supper club, with banquette seating around the perimeter and buffet stations in the center as you set sail. The cruise is about 2 hours and 45 minutes and tickets are offered at a special rate of $86 per person ($108 reg.), which includes a four-course brunch buffet and one complimentary brunch cocktail, wine, or beer. Additional beverages are available for purchase. While this may be a steep price for brunch, it’s worthwhile for a special occasion especially with the cruise component.
We began with coffees and mimosas as the boat began to set sail along the Hudson. Our first course included an assortment of pastries, bagels, a smoked salmon platter, and a DIY waffle station. The waffles were also offered with a gluten-free batter. Kara and I tried a handful of things and were satisfied with the assortment.
The next course included chicken sausage, a veggie frittata, and a selection of antipasto. Following that a smoked brown sugar glazed Virginia ham was served with a kale salad, garlic roasted potatoes, and veggies served appropriately in boat shaped platters. The four courses concluded with bite-sized desserts and pastries.
The cruise fully circles the island, which we didn’t expect as we passed Brooklyn, the Bronx, and various islands and much more on the East Side. We also appreciated the light narration from the captain to point out interesting tidbits and subtly suggest it was time to pay attention as you take in the surroundings. You’ll see everything from Lady Liberty to One World Trade and the Empire State.
For a brunch buffet aboard a boat, the food was well prepared and executed. The four-course structure complemented experience, allowing for time between courses to step outside, enjoy the sun, and take stunning photos of the cityscape.
The Bitches say: five Champagne flutes
Classic Harbor Lines offers brunch cruises on Saturday and Sunday (beginning at 10:00 a.m.) from spring time to October 13th. You can book your tickets here for a special rate until the end of the season.
Bitch Biz: Classic Harbor Lines and Bitches Who Brunch are partners. While this article was written independently by Bitches Who Brunch, we do receive compensation from the company.