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Best Dinner Cruises in New York City

A cruise in Manhattan will give you an unforgettable romantic evening, but if you do it aboard a luxury boat with dinner included, you will live a movie night. Take note of what awaits you!

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

7 min read

Best Dinner Cruises in New York City

View of the Statue of Liberty at sunset. | ©Phil Dolby

You will probably never get tired of seeing the Manhattan Skyline: its skyscrapers, its dynamism, its lights? It all looks magical and even more so, seen from the water. Fortunately, dozens of cruises ply the Hudson every day, but which are the dinner cruises that will make you live a movie scene?

There are plenty to choose from, but I've selected the best ones so you won't have any doubts when it comes to choosing which one best suits your tastes. Here we go:


The Premium option

New York Gourmet Dinner Cruise with 3 Dishes

Luxury cruise with gourmet dinner

Aboard this incredible glass-enclosed boat you will enjoy the best views of Manhattan while enjoying a three-course premium menu and the best live music to liven up the evening.

Duration: 3 hours

Around 7:00 p.m. the adventure begins on this spectacular glass-enclosed boat that will take you to sail the waters of the Hudson and see the skyline of New York's best skyscrapers while you enjoy an exquisite three-course dinner and the best live music.

This is undoubtedly the most premium experience you could choose to say goodbye to your trip to New York: the fully glazed boat will allow you to observe the most spectacular panoramic view of Manhattan at all times.

This three-course gourmet dinner cruise on New York's Hudson River will give you unforgettable views from the Hudson of the Empire State Building, the Financial District, the Brooklyn Bridge and even the Statue of Liberty for three hours.

Why I recommend this option: If you are looking for a premium and exclusive experience to enjoy an evening as a couple, this is the option for you.


How much does it cost to take a dinner cruise in New York?

Night cruise| ©Tony Fischer
Night cruise| ©Tony Fischer

Prices for a dinner cruise around the Hudson are around 225 euros at Hellotickets, depending on the type of menu you want to be served on board. The most premium option features an exceptional three-course menu served at the table to all guests.

If we compare them to the prices of the more standard New York cruises that do not include dinner and are limited to doing an itinerary along the Hudson, it is clear that those that include dinner are more expensive, but also much more exclusive. The number of places is limited, they do not depart every day and the quality and attention correspond to a totally luxury service.

Also the comfort and the size of the vessel are totally different: dinner cruises are held on luxury vessels, on yachts or glass barges designed for the maximum pleasure of all the senses.

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Duration of New York Dinner Cruises

Cruise table| ©Siniz Kim
Cruise table| ©Siniz Kim

New York dinner cruises all last between two and three hours. Keep in mind that this is a relaxed experience designed for the passenger to enjoy the experience: the views of the city, the exquisite dinner, the luxury boat...

The good thing about the considerable duration is that they cover a great route around the island of Manhattan and even go as far as the Statue of Liberty so you can see it up close. The speed at which they go is quite leisurely, so you will have time to enjoy dinner and the view at the same time.

If you are worried about potential seasickness, you should know that there is no danger: they are all very large, stable boats and the river does not usually present problems with waves. Get ready to enjoy a quiet evening while savoring the best views of Manhattan. Here is a classification of the duration of New York cruises.

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What will I see on an evening dinner cruise?

View of Manhattan at night| ©John Cunniff
View of Manhattan at night| ©John Cunniff

During the nearly three-hour cruise, you will have the opportunity to comb the entire southern tip of Manhattan Island and cruise up the river to Midtown. The piers are usually on the south side of Manhattan Island, so you will have a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the main skyscrapers of the Financial District, including One World Trade Center.

Some itineraries go as far as Liberty Island for a close-up view of the illuminated Statue of Liberty and return to Manhattan to start the ascent to Midtown, where you can see, among others, the legendary Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center.

In general, the perspective of the Manhattan skyline from the water is something that leaves no one indifferent and you will enjoy every minute aboard this cruise. Here is a list of the main attractions that you will see during a cruise on the Hudson River

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Why it is worth choosing a dinner cruise?

Dinner cruise| ©vtravelled.com
Dinner cruise| ©vtravelled.com

It is true that compared to other cruises that depart during the day and do not include dinner it may be a little more expensive, but the difference is worth it because the experience is completely different. The boat is totally luxurious, it is much more comfortable, touring the city at night is unforgettable and the itinerary is also longer.

These cruises do not have the appearance of being so touristy, but quite the opposite: it is common to see Americans and specifically New Yorkers celebrating here an evening with their co-workers or a date with their partners. The feeling of being aboard these ships is practically the same as staying in a real five-star hotel in Manhattan.

If you are also looking for an unforgettable experience to celebrate a special event (birthday, anniversary, surprise your partner, etc.), this evening will not only meet your expectations but will probably be the best memory you will take away from this trip to New York.

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When is the best time to take a dinner cruise on the Hudson River?

View of New York from the cruise ship| ©Ana Paula Hirama
View of New York from the cruise ship| ©Ana Paula Hirama

Obviously, all dinner cruises take place in the late afternoon/evening, when the sun is setting and the first lights on bridges and skyscrapers begin to awaken. Honestly, this is the best time to take a dinner cruise and cruise the Hudson.

If you are wondering what is the best time of the week to book it, usually these cruises depart on weekends or towards the end of the week (Thursday to Saturday) but my advice is to check dates and book in advance: places are limited and there is a lot of demand.

On the other hand, if you are worried about it being too hot or too cold, don't worry. The dinner takes place in the interior lounges of the ship, which are perfectly acclimatized so that the heat or cold outside is not a problem. Of course, if you take the cruise in winter, bring a good coat that will allow you to go out on deck for a while to enjoy the views without glass getting in the way of your views of the city.

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Take a dinner cruise in New York City with kids

Enjoy the cruise as a couple| ©Mark Hardie
Enjoy the cruise as a couple| ©Mark Hardie

Before booking, make sure that children are allowed to board the cruise. For example, in the most VIP option offered by Hellotickets, children up to 6 years old are not allowed on board. This is a VIP experience where silence reigns, there will be live jazz or classical music and they wanted to maintain an "adults-only" atmosphere.

For older children, keep in mind that no price reductions or special rates are offered, so you may not be able to afford to take them or do these cruises with them (as they are also late in the afternoon, they may end up falling asleep). Be that as it may, consider all this before booking a cruise with the little ones of the house. I have summarized everything you should consider in this article about taking a cruise in New York with kids.

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Other dinner cruise options

If you are interested in enjoying the views that the Hudson River can offer you at sunset but you want to save some money on dinner, there are other cruise options that might interest you more. For approximately 100 euros you can enjoy a dinner aboard a boat with live music.

With a duration of two to three hours, with this boat ride you can enjoy a three-course dinner, coffee, tea and live entertainment. All this without losing sight of the spectacle of the New York skyline.

Tips to make the most of a dinner cruise in Manhattan

Relax and enjoy the moment| ©vtravelled.com
Relax and enjoy the moment| ©vtravelled.com

The truth is that enjoying yourself ab oard these luxury vessels is not difficult at all. As soon as you set foot on the boat you will feel like you are in a period movie and you will lose track of time. Even so, let me give you a few tips to get the most out of a cruise on the Hudson.

  • Book early to make sure you can take the cruise on the day that best suits you during your trip.
  • Be on time: remember that the ship waits for no one and you will want to be there on time to avoid surprises or arriving in a hurry.
  • Pay attention to the dress code: although it is not necessary to dress up, you will want to avoid the "touristy looks" that you will have used to tour New York during the day. If possible, avoid sneakers, flip-flops or shorts and don't hesitate to dress up a little more than usual: after all, this is a special evening that you don't get to enjoy every day, right?
  • Forget the camera: although you will be tempted to take pictures all the time, my advice is to take some pictures during the trip, but don't get obsessed with it. No picture will be able to describe the feeling of sailing around Manhattan under the starlight.
  • Turn off your phone. The same goes for cell phones. You'll have time to tell your friends and family about the unique experience you've just had, but at that moment you'll want to be enjoying everything around you to the fullest and with all your senses (and if you don't want to turn it off, remember to put it on silent so you don't interrupt the musicians!)

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