Hornblower City Cruises operates numerous water-based sightseeing experiences in New York catering to a diverse set of needs and interests. Two of the most popular Hornblower City Cruises are the Alive After Five cruise, a happy-hour ride around lower Manhattan, and the Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise, a guided tour by some of New York’s most famous attractions.
History of Hownblower City Cruises
Hornblower City Cruises is part of the Hornblower Group’s “City Experiences” portfolio of water- and land-based tourist services. Hornblower Group offers guided tours, transportation services, and ferry rides to customers in nearly two-dozen cities across the world, from London to Marina del Rey and a great deal in between. They own and operate some 200 vessels across these various locations, and host nearly 10 million guests on one of their City Cruises each and every year. They’ve won many awards for their sightseeing cruises, and their list of available tours is always evolving.
What You See on a Hownblower City Cruise
Hornblower City Cruises regularly runs dozens of unique cruises in the New York City area. These include everything from festive seasonal excursions to fine dining events to sightseeing experiences that show you a whole new side of the New York skyline.
One of Hornblower’s most sought-after sightseeing experiences is the Alive After Five cruise. This two-hour tour takes you for a scenic joyride along the southern tip of Manhattan during happy hour. A live DJ will set the mood with festive music as you see landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Brooklyn Bridge as you’ve never seen them before. Tickets for Alive After Five are available at four different price points. They range from General Admission—which gets you on the boat and allows you to purchase drinks from the vessel’s fully stocked bar—to the Fully Overboard ticket. This deluxe option covers admission, food, and two complimentary drinks.
Another classic Hornblower experience is its Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise. At 90 minutes, it’s an efficient yet informative tour perfect for the whole family. The tour departs from your choice of two convenient locations: Downtown (Pier 15 at South Street Seaport) or Midtown (Pier 78 at 12th Avenue on the West Side). Throughout your excursion, you’ll be able to enjoy a live narration provided by your tour guide as you pass New York wonders like Battery Park, Governors Island, Hudson Yards, the Statue of Liberty, and more.
Available amenities will vary depending on the nature of the Hornblower City Cruise you take. However, on both Alive After Five and the Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise you’ll have access to a full bar and concession stand. If you’d like to combine your New York sightseeing cruise with a more formal, sit-down meal, those cruises certainly exist and are available from Hornblower.
Tips for taking a Hownblower City Cruises
- The Hownblower Cruises is included on several money saving tourist passes including the NYC Sightseeing Pass, NYC Turbo Pass and New York CityPASS C3.
- One of the keys to a successful sightseeing cruise is dressing appropriately. No matter the conditions on land the day of your cruise, the weather can feel very different from a boat on the water. When in doubt, think layers. This way you can dress up or down depending on how the temperature hits you during the tour.
- The boarding process for any sightseeing cruise involves multiple steps, and can take quite a while. If, say, your Alive After Five tour is scheduled for 6:00pm, you’re going to need to be at the dock by at least 5:30pm. Building in this amount of time will help ensure you don’t miss your departure.
- With the rare exception of extreme weather, Hornblower City Cruises take place come rain or shine. If there’s a chance of precipitation on the day of your cruise, it’s never a bad idea to pack a poncho. Better safe than . . . wet!
- Hornblower City Cruises depart from New York’s Pier 61 and Pier 15. They don’t have their own parking lots, so if you’re planning on driving to your departure point, you’ll be stuck hunting for local parking options. If at all possible, consider using public transportation or taking a cab to get to either of these piers. It’s likely to save you a lot of time, effort, and worry.