The Best Dinner Cruises in New York

What is the Best Dinner Cruise in NYC?

We love the dinner cruises in New York and have tested several ourselves. There is hardly anything better than experiencing New York from the water, enjoying relaxing music and eating and drinking something delicious. By the way, it’s also a great idea to combine sightseeing in New York with a dinner on a boat!

You have several providers to choose from. Some of them focus on romantic dinner cruises, but there are also dinner party cruises and family-friendly cruises.

But which dining cruise in New York is the best? That’s exactly what you’ll find out in our comparison!

My tip: Reservations should be made quickly as tickets are limited.


The Best Dinner Cruises in NYC

Being encircled by not one but two rivers, New York is a great destination for dinner cruises. Regardless of whether you have a reason to celebrate or not, a dinner cruise in NYC will guarantee an unforgettable evening, because it combines breathtaking views of the city at dawn and delicious food with a relaxing atmosphere accompanied with music.

NOTE: There are special cruises in New York for events like Valentine’s Daythe 4th of July, and New Year’s Eve.

Most Popular
Great Value

Bateaux Dinner Cruise on the East River

Dinner Cruise in NYC

Dinner Cruise NYC from New Jersey

Dinner Cruise NYC from Queens

Rating

Rating

Duration

Duration

3 hours

3 hours

3 hours

3.5 hours

Pier

Pier

Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers

Lincoln Harbor Marina

1 World's Fair Marina, Flushing

What to expect

What to expect

What to expect

What to expect

What to expect

What to expect

Hudson River

Hudson River

New York Harbor

New York Harbor

East River

East River

Price

Price

$208

$163

$169

$159

Food

Food

3-course dinner

buffet dinner

buffet dinner

buffet dinner

Drinks

Drinks

coffee, tea

coffee, tea

coffee, tea

coffee, tea

Not included

Not included

alcoholic beverages

alcoholic beverages

alcoholic beverages

alcoholic beverages

Departure

Departure

7 pm

7 pm

7:30 pm

7 pm

Entertainment

Entertainment

live jazz

live DJ

live DJ

live DJ

Best Romantic Dinner Cruises NYC

If you’re looking for an elegant and romantic dinner cruise, be sure to check out these tours. We’ve done both several times (both with friends and privately) and we’ve been thrilled every time.

These dinner cruises are not cheap, but really worth every penny!

  1. 01

    Bateaux NYC Dinner Cruise: The most romantic Dinner Cruise on a glass boat

    Cruise in Chelsea
    bateaux dinner cruise
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    Forget trying to snag a hard-to-get reservation at New York’s hottest restaurants du jour. Instead, indulge in a delicious 3-course dinner during the cruise on an all-glass boat around New York City that offers you an up-close look at the Statue of Liberty and other famed sites. As a live pianist plays relaxing music for you, take in the immense view of one of the world’s great cities, and enjoy a delicious pre-set dinner by the on-board executive chef. Upgrade to enjoy a romantic or first class VIP experience including a private table and French sparkling wine.

  2. 02

    Spirit: Dinner Cruise with Buffet

    Cruise in Chelsea
    dinner cruise nyc
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    Get a totally different and exciting perspective on New York: from a fun dinner cruise that floats around New York Harbor and Manhattan offering stunning views of the city and some of the world’s most famous landmarks, from the Statue of Liberty to the Brooklyn Bridge to the Empire State Building. Indulge in a delicious buffet dinner and then groove to the onboard DJ’ed music being spun. Add this dinner cruise to your New York itinerary today!

Best Family Friendly Dinner Cruise

Dinner cruises are not only a great option for couples (or those who want to become a couple) to do some relaxed sightseeing in NYC. These tours are also a great way to get out and about as a family and have a good time!

  1. dinner cruise nyc

    01 Spirit: Dinner Cruise with Buffet

    The Spirit Dinner Cruise is our recommendation when it comes to family friendly cruises on a boat.

  2. Dinner_Cruise_from_New_Jersey

    02 Dinner Cruise from New Jersey

    This dinner cruise starts in New Jersey and takes you along the Hudson River and East River. You will see the skyline of New York…

  3. 3_1_2_Hour_NYC_Skyline_Dinner___Sightseeing_Cruise___World_s_Fair_Marina_Queens

    03 NYC Skyline Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise from Queens

    This dinner cruise in New York is the only one that starts in Queens and takes you all the way to the Statue of Liberty. Just…

My recommendations

Which dinner cruise in New York is the best?

As you can see, we love the combination of boat tour, sightseeing and food. Therefore, we have tried many dinner cruises over the years. Some, unfortunately, were disappointing and way too expensive for what you got (so these are not represented in my best list).

We can personally recommend two dinner cruises: the Bateaux Dinner Cruise and the Dinner Cruise with the SPIRIT. We always had a great time on both!


Details of Each New York Dinner Cruise

1. Bateaux Dinner Cruise NYC

Bateaux Dinner Cruise

What makes this New York dinner cruise one of the best dinner cruises in NYC, if not at all, is the all-glass boat guaranteeing stunning views for everyone on board. Starting at the Chelsea Piers this cruise will be taking you down Hudson River, all the way to the Southern tip of Manhattan. On the way, you’ll be passing the city’s incredible skyline and some major sights like the Whitney Museum. Once arrived in Downtown Manhattan, you’ll be cruising past the One World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty as the sun sets.

On board, you can expect a fabulous 3-course dinner and unlimited beverages. To top the views and the dinner, there’s a live pianist accompanying through most of the ride. VIP tables and roses are available as an upgrade, but we’d say that unless you have a special reason to celebrate, they are not necessary! Our team agrees that Bateaux offers the best dinner cruise in NYC and other travelers agree. You can read more reviews here if you’re not yet convinced!

Please note that this is an upscale New York dinner cruise that strictly enforces its dress code: cocktail wear or dresses for woman and collared shirts and jackets for man are suggested. Do not wear any jeans or t-shirts.

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2. Spirit of New York Dinner Cruise

 Another option to have dinner on a boat in New York is the “Spirit of New York” (by Hornblower). Compared to the first two cruises, it does not offer a pre-set meal but rather a buffet, giving you plenty of meal and dessert options. The food is presented nicely and also tastes great. What we found unique about this dinner cruise is that it does not only have a live DJ on board to play the best tunes, Spirit of New York also offers interactive games to keep you entertained.

The cruise will stop right in front of the Statue of Liberty for a few minutes in case you want to pose for a few photos. What else could you possibly need other than tasty food, stunning views, a lot of dancing, and fun games?

Like on most dinner cruises in NYC, there’s also a dress code for Spirit of New York: business casual.

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3. Dinner Cruise from New Jersey

Dinner Cruise NYC from New Jersey

This dinner cruise starts in New Jersey and takes you along the Hudson River and East River. You will see the skyline of New York with all its important buildings. You will also see the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge from very close and have a delicious meal.

It’s really nice when you go to the outside deck and hear the typical New York sounds. It doesn’t get any better than that!

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4. NYC Skyline Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise – World’s Fair Marina Queens

Top New York City Dinner CruisesThis dinner cruise in New York is the only one that starts in Queens and takes you all the way to the Statue of Liberty. Just soak up the views and enjoy your dinner! Once returned to the pier, you are invited to stay on board for a little while longer.

Reserve Your Seats

What is the Best Cruise in New York for you?

There are over 40 boat and sailing tours in New York and it’s not easy to choose the best one. That’s where our Cruise Finder comes in. It will help you find the best boat tour for you!


FAQ

Which dinner cruise in NYC is the cheapest?

One thing in advance: the dinner cruises are not cheap. However, considering that you get dinner, a 3 hour sightseeing cruise, and a very special experience, it justifies the price.

The cheapest dinner cruises start at around $160. An alternative to this are brunch cruises or lunch cruises. These take place on the same ships and the itineraries are a bit shorter – here, the cheapest tickets start at $80.

Where do the dinner cruises depart from in New York?

The departure point depends on the operators: the two main ones depart from Chelsea Piers on the Hudson River at Pier 61/62. However, there are also Queens and Jersey City as departure locations.

Are there dinner cruises for special events?

Yes, especially the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinner cruises are very popular. If you are in New York at this time and plan to have dinner on a boat, you should book quickly. The tickets are very popular and the tours sell out quickly.

To help you quickly find the right dinner cruise for you, here are the best 4th of July Cruises, Thanksgiving Cruises, Christmas Dinner Cruises and New Years Eve Cruises for you.

Is there a dress code?

Yes, there is a dress code: smart casual.

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About the author
Steffen

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On this blog, I want to share everything I have learned and discovered, so you can have the best time in the greatest city in the world. By the way: Did you like my article? Then think about becoming a supporter of us on Patreon!

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