You've almost got one foot in the Big Apple and you're finalizing the details to make the trip unforgettable. If you're thinking about taking a Hudson River cruise but you're worried about whether your kids will enjoy it, you can be sure they'll love the experience.
Here's a list of important factors to keep in mind to book the best New York cruise and make the most of the experience with the whole family.
1. What is the best cruise to take with kids?
There are a variety of cruises that ply the waters of the Hudson, but the most interesting for children is the one that lasts an hour and a half and crosses the south of Manhattan, taking you to the Statue of Liberty.
Besides the fact that the duration of the cruises is very appropriate for children to stay attentive and interested throughout the crossing, they will love to get to the Statue, see it up close and see Manhattan Island from afar. In addition, these cruises depart in the morning and at noon, so you won't have to get up too early and you will be able to enjoy the most pleasant temperatures of the day.
Best of all, it is the most economical option and you can do this cruise for just over 30 € per person. If you think your children might want more (you would prefer to extend the navigation even a little longer to continue contemplating the views) there is a similar cruise of two and a half hours that skirts a wider part of Manhattan and will offer views of more skyscrapers.
2. Book in advance
If we are usually more or less flexible during trips, traveling with children it is best to avoid leaving too many things untied. If you plan to take a cruise with the whole family, it is best to compare prices online, check schedules and above all, book in advance.
Especially if you are traveling during school vacations, which usually coincide with the high season of the city, the demand will be very high and you may not find places for everyone on board the ship that best suits your needs or the schedule that suits you.
So to avoid last minute scares, book your cruise as soon as you are clear about your travel dates.
3. Night cruises are best avoided with children
Night cruises are wonderful, romantic, intimate experiences... there are even dinner cruises in New York on fully premium vessels to celebrate a special evening in the city. But they are not the best option when you are traveling with children.
They are three-hour cruises, take place late in the day and there is live music. Definitely not the plan that would win over the little ones.
There are in fact some cruises that do not allow children under 6 years old to board, do not have a children's menu and do not offer special prices or rates for children, so the expense is not usually worth it. By the way, if you are worried about the price of Manhattan cruises, you can read in this article a comparison of budgets according to the route and the vessel.
4. What to do with the baby stroller?
On most New York cruises you will be able to take your baby stroller on board. When you go to board, go to the ticket office and they will give you (free of charge) a ticket for the baby and you will be able to take the stroller on board without any problem.
In fact, the crew will tell you if there is a more accessible place for you to board with the stroller easily and comfortably, so as you can see, everything is ready to sail with children.
5. Will the little ones get seasick?
The chances of getting seasick aboard one of these cruises are negligible. The waves do not usually affect the Hudson, which is well protected in all weather conditions. The journeys are not excessively long and the vessels are large and stable.
In short, these cruises have all the ingredients for young and old to have a pleasant time on board without worrying about anything. Even so, if you think you run the risk of getting a little seasick, ask the crew which are the best seats to get some fresh air and feel less seasick. They have a lot of experience sailing so they will be happy to advise you.
Anyway, in case of extreme wind, snow or low visibility, the organization will cancel the departure of the cruise, so you will have no problem in receiving a refund of the activity if you cannot embark.
6. Protect them from the sun or cold
If you're traveling to New York in the summer, you're likely to enjoy a beautiful sunny day... but it's also quite hot. If you are cruising during the middle of the day, protect the little ones (although this is good for all of us) from the sun and heat. Bring a cap for them, cool water and sunscreen.
If, on the other hand, you are traveling in winter, you will need to protect them from the cold and wind so that they can spend some time in the open part of the boat to enjoy the views. Although there is a covered part where you can sit, at some point you will want to get out to see the city skyline in all its splendor.
7. Will the children be seated?
Yes, there are seats available for all passengers on all ships, so your children will be able to sit in their own seat. Please note that for safety reasons, babies or very young children must be seated on an adult's lap.
As you can see, this is a very pleasant and recommended activity to do with children, since besides being entertained, they will be able to enjoy some time sitting down, something that is surely appreciated after a long day walking through the long streets and avenues of New York.
8. Arrive at embarkation early
Time management is sacred when traveling with children and even more so if you have to take a train, a ship or a plane. Cruises in New York usually leave on time* and even if they do not require a large security check, it is best to be there at least half an hour in advance.
You can imagine that although New York is relatively adapted to baby strollers, it is not always comfortable to move around the city by subway, you will have to go in search of the most accessible subway or bus stops, wide sidewalks... In short, calculate that getting to the pier will take you some time, so you better not risk it and leave well in advance.
A good option considering that the docks are usually south of Manhattan or west of Midtown, is to take the opportunity to plan a walk around the area before boarding. For example, there are some cruises departing from the Hudson Yards area, so it's a good time to walk around the floating park on the High Line, for example. This way, you'll make better use of the time in your travel schedule and make sure that rushing doesn't play tricks on you.
9. Are there special rates for children?
Yes, there are reduced fares on most routes for children under 12 years of age by up to 15%. Children under three years of age, who can sit on their parents' lap, travel free of charge.
Before booking a ticket for children, make sure you know which fares apply to them. In Hellotickets, for example, you can directly select the age of the travelers and you will be shown the price of each ticket according to their age.