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The 5 Best New York City Dinner Cruises – [2021 Reviews]

There is no other city skyline in the world more recognizable and iconic than that of lower Manhattan. Who could forget the Chrysler Building or the Empire State Building? And the Statue of Liberty is arguably the most famous statue in the world.

The best way to view the cityscape of Manhattan is from the water in New York Harbor. And why not enjoy a delicious, gourmet meal while you admire the scenery? There are some great dinner cruises around the island of Manhattan.

When it comes to dinner cruises NYC knows how to get it done right. Whether you want to see the New York City skyline while you enjoy a wonderful dinner aboard the ship, or float past the Statue of Liberty during lunch, you can’t go wrong with an NYC cruise.

I’ve identified 5 top-rated New York dinner cruises that I believe are the best you can find. Read through the reviews below and see which of these cruises you would enjoy the most.

Best New York City Dinner Cruises


Bateaux New York City Dinner Cruise

New York City Lights Dinner Cruise

Spirit of New York Dinner Cruise

Departure Point:Chelsea Piers, ManhattanChelsea Piers, New York41st Street Marina, Manhattan
Departure Times: 7pm 7pm 7pm
Duration:3 hours3 hours2 hours
Tour Includes:A la carte dinner, live jazz entertainment, 2 viewing decks Buffet dinner, DJ dance/pop musicChampagne and hors d’oeuvres, open bar upgrade option, 4-course meal, dancing
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Quick Answer: The 5 Best Dinner Cruises in New York City

  1. Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise
  2. New York City Lights Dinner Cruise
  3. Spirit of New York Dinner Cruise
  4. Hudson’s by World Yacht New York Dinner Cruise
  5. Statue of Liberty Bateaux Lunch Cruise

First, let’s look at the top-rated dinner cruises in New York City with up-to-date reviews and recommendations, and then also see our Traveler’s Guide to New York City.

NYC Dinner Cruise Reviews

No dinner cruise is just like another when it comes to New York City. Ready to pick the perfect one for your stay? Bring along family or friends and enjoy one of the best ways to enjoy NYC. Choose from New York City’s best dinner boat tours below:

#1 Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise

new york dinner cruises editors choice

Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Chelsea Piers, Manhattan
  • Departure Times: 7pm Departure 
  • Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
  • Included: A la carte dinner, live jazz entertainment, climate-controlled cabin, 2 viewing decks

The Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise is one of the most luxury ways to enjoy dinner. Are you on a romantic trip to New York City?

This is a perfect way to add a bit more of that romance at a private table. Enjoy a wonderful gourmet meal while you listen to the live jazz.

Showing you the beautiful nighttime skylines of Manhattan and Brooklyn as well as New Jersey, the Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise is a perfect way to see the lights of New York from a comfortable dinner table.

You will also be able to view the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

Board the cruise ship that features fully-enclosed glass walls from the Chelsea Piers. You can take in the sights of the Hudson River, the East River, and New York Harbor from the glass-enclosed cabin or the two observation decks.

If you are looking for a first-class experience, don’t forget to upgrade your dinner cruise for a premium open bar, a private table, and a delicious meal.

As the best dinner cruise, NYC can’t offer much better than the Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:

Editor's Choice - Best Snorkeling Tour in Maui

#2 New York City Lights Dinner Cruise

New York City Dinner Cruise 2 image

New York City Lights Dinner Cruise at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hornblower Landing at Hudson River Park, Pier 40
  • Departure Times: Boarding: 6:30pm    Cruising: 7:00pm – 10:00pm 
  • Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
  • Included: 3-course a la carte dinner, drinks included, Live DJ music

There’s nothing quite like a three-course meal followed by premium cocktails and a night of dancing aboard a beautiful cruise ship.

The New York City Lights Dinner Cruise includes dinner as well as free drinks plus all the entertainment you need while viewing the NYC sights lit up at night.

This 3-hour dinner cruise in NYC departs from Hudson River Park in Manhattan. Once aboard the 3-level cruise ship, attentive waitstaff allow you to enjoy the sights in luxury.

You can opt for a more luxurious upgrade as well, ensuring you can see the beauty of New York from a window seat.

Enjoy a cocktail from the cash bar as dancing commences after dinner with a live DJ. If you’d rather enjoy the views, you can see the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Ellis Island from the open observation deck.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:

Editor's Choice - Best Snorkeling Tour in Maui

#3 Spirit of New York Dinner Cruise

Spirit of New York Dinner Cruise at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Chelsea Piers, New York
  • Departure Times: Monday thru Saturday at 7pm / Sundays at 6pm 
  • Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
  • Included: Buffet dinner, DJ dance/pop music, plenty of viewing deck space

If you love the thought of a buffet dinner aboard a New York City cruise ship, the Spirit of New York Dinner Cruise is the one for you.

Whether you are bringing romance onboard or you have a whole group of family and friends to enjoy the sights with, the NYV skyline is not to be missed.

Start of in New York Harbor, departing from Pier 61, and let the courteous waitstaff direct you to the buffet table to enjoy a little bit of everything. A cruise buffet? Can it get any better? Yes, it can. When you see the New York City skyline illuminated like no other place on Earth.

And it gets even better when dinner concludes and the DJ starts playing and you can spend the rest of your 3-hour Manhattan dinner cruise tearing up the dance floor, heading back to Pier 61.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:

Editor's Choice - Best Snorkeling Tour in Maui

#4 Hudson’s by World Yacht New York Dinner Cruise

Hudson’s by World Yacht New York Dinner Cruise at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Cruise departs from 41st Street Marina, Manhattan
  • Departure Times: Onboard Champagne and hors d’oeuvres Reception 6pm-7pm, Departs 7PM
  • Duration: 2 hours (approx.)
  • Included: Champagne and hors d’oeuvres, open bar upgrade option, 4-course meal, dancing

You can choose to upgrade your 4-course dinner aboard the Hudson’s by World Yacht New York Dinner Cruise so you can enjoy a full, open bar as well as a window seat.

The first hour of your 2-hour Hudson River dinner cruise will be spent enjoying champagne and hors d’oevres, mixing and mingling with other cruise-goers, followed by your gourmet dinner.

Departing from Pier 81, you will enjoy beautiful views of Manhattan and the East River, seeing popular NYC landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building.

The New York City lights are not to be missed above the Hudson’s by World Yacht New York Dinner Cruise.

The gourmet meal is planned around locally sourced ingredients and is prepared right on board the cruise ship, served by experienced and courteous waitstaff. Enjoy a luxurious NYC cruise dinner in style.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:

Editor's Choice - Best Snorkeling Tour in Maui

#5 Statue of Liberty Bateaux Lunch Cruise

Statue of Liberty Bateaux Lunch Cruise at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Chelsea Piers, Manhattan
  • Departure Times: Departure time is provided upon booking. All cruises begin boarding 1/2 hour prior to the departure time. Tickets may be picked up at the dockside kiosk up to one hour prior to the cruise. 
  • Duration: 2 hours (approx.)
  • Included: glass-enclosed w/ climate-controlled, major NYC sites tour, 3-course lunch, live pianist music

If you’d rather enjoy the sights of New York City during the day, taking in the unique skyline, the Statue of Liberty Bateaux Lunch Cruise is ideal.

The pianist on board will narrate your cruise, telling you where to look and why, as the Bateaux New York cruise ship takes you by the One World Trade Center, the Brooklyn Bridge, and even the Statue of Liberty.

Your 3-course meal is served as you enjoy the climate controlled, glass-enclosed cruise ship sailing along the Hudson.

Your talented pianist helps create a relaxing and luxurious environment as you take in lunch on the Hudson with friends, family, or group.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:

Editor's Choice - Best Snorkeling Tour in Maui

Travelers Guide to New York City

New York City Dinner Lunch Cruises - Guide Image

Whether you only have a day to visit in New York City or you are in town for a whole week, it is important that you know how to get around, where to go and also what not to do in the City. Use this handy travel guide to get the most out of your NYC experience.

Airports & Entry

If you are flying into New York City, it can get a little confusing as there are 3 airports that service the city. Both John F. Kennedy airport (JFK) and LaGuardia (LGA) are located in Queens.

This puts you right in the heart of NYC when you arrive. However, JFK primarily receives and sends international flights, unless you are flying through Continental Airlines. If you are flying in from another location within the US, you will most likely fly into LGA.

The Newark International Airport (EWR) is a more modern airport and with less crowds, it can be an easier and less stressful way to reach New York City. Newark isn’t very far from NYC. The benefits of flying into EWR may outweigh being a little farther away when you arrive.

Planning Your NYC Trip

A vacation in New York City requires some forethought and planning. First, you need to know how and when you will get there. However, additional planning for the time you are there can make the trip a lot less stressful.

Many restaurants in the city are very small, and very busy. You don’t want to be stuck waiting in line for several hours just to eat dinner. Make your dinner reservations as far in advance as you can.

You may also want to purchase a CityPass or an Explorer Pass. Instead of paying admission to each of the attractions you plan to visit, you can purchase one of these tourist passes that allow you entry into a set amount of attractions out of the 35 that accept the passes.

It not only saves money that can be spent on other parts of your trip, but it makes getting into these attractions a lot easier.

Restaurants & Eating Out

New York City has some of the finest dining you can experience in the US. However, dining in these restaurants can be pretty pricy. Plan on enjoying a couple of meals at a luxury restaurant, such as Gabriel Kreuther where you can enjoy French cuisine, or even the Empire Steakhouse. Here, you can enjoy a great steak as well as great drinks.

Cheaper restaurants or even casual dining will help you save some cash. Enjoy authentic NYC pizza at Famous Amadeus Pizzeria, for example. However, if you are on the move and need to grab something quick, there are always street vendors. You may even be surprised at how good the food is.

Nightlife & Entertainment

The New York City nightlife keeps both locals and tourists busy well into the night. If beer is your thing, you want to check out the Blind Tiger. Specializing in craft beers with 30 taps available, you’re sure to find a beer you love.

The Angel’s Share may not have a glamorous outdoor appearance, but inside, you will find classy and flashy drinks. As a Japanese cocktail bar in East Village, it has a unique feel. Want to visit someplace famous? The 7B has a grunge feel, also located in East Village, and has been featured in several movies, including the Godfather.

However, if you haven’t planned your NYC nightlife before arriving, you won’t have a problem finding a fun, unique place to enjoy a few drinks or even dancing. Famous for fun, the New York City nightlife has a lot to offer.

Getting Around

The subways in New York City may even be an attraction. There’s nothing quite like speeding through underground tunnels on a train. However, the subways are a very easy, quick, and cheap way to travel throughout the city. The local busses also make getting around easy.

You will have to pre-pay for your rides on both the subway system and the bus routes through the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or MTA. You can get single-ride passes or even an unlimited ride pass that lasts for the length of your trip.

You will definitely want to keep your subway and bus route map handy so you can figure out your travel ahead of time. Subways have stops every 8 to 10 blocks, approximately but if you take an express ride, the stops are farther apart. If you plan on visiting Staten Island, you will need to take the free ferry to the island.


If you are looking to stay in the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, you want to find a hotel in midtown. The right hotel will give you beautiful views of Time Square and more. However, these hotels are usually a bit more expensive just because of the location.

If you are looking for a luxury stay, the Mandarin Oriental or the famous Park Hyatt are close to attractions. If you want to save some cash and stay in a more affordable hotel, the Skyline Hotel New York or the Travel Inn, located in midtown, work just as well.

If you are traveling to New York City with your family, or even a group, you may want to look into a vacation rental. Several companies can help you find a residence within the city that is being rented out by the owners. They won’t be there, as you are renting the space. You typically have a lot more room, and conveniences such as a kitchen, when you find a vacation rental. It helps that it can save you money as well.


If you are going to enjoy a New York dinner cruise, you most likely want to visit in Summer or Fall. The average temps in NYC during the winter hover just above freezing and aren’t ideal for visiting most attractions in the City. The best time to visit would be from June to September.

You should look up the projected forecast just before you leave so you know what weather is expected. Be sure to pack clothes accordingly, but you may want to throw in a couple of outfits meant for different weather, just to be safe.


The Big Apple is never short on attractions to keep tourists busy from sun up to sun down. The Empire State Building is one of the most popular attractions as you are able to see the New York skyline from the observation deck. The Statue of Liberty is not to be missed. If you find yourself in Central Park, there are plenty of food vendors and even free activities to enjoy. If you want to take in a show, be sure to hit Broadway, and if music is your thing, there’s always the Radio City Music Hall.

What NOT to do in NYC

Past tourists to New York City have learned from early mistakes and many locals can tell you how to plan for a trip. Most advise that you shouldn’t get out of the car or off the plane without a plan for your trip. Winging it in the big city means you may miss out on seasonal events or even attractions you want to visit but they are closed or busy.

Stopping by attractions when they are the busiest will also have you wasting a lot of time standing in line. Visiting during off-peak hours will allow you to enjoy those attractions with less crowds, also saving time for other tourist attractions.

You shouldn’t plan to visit only those museums that are the most popular. Others, such as the Frick or the Neue Gallery, can be just as exciting and also feature smaller crowds.

When walking on the sidewalks, be sure to walk with traffic and set aside if you need to slow down or stop. You shouldn’t walk more than 2 people wide and keep to the side of the sidewalk that is moving in the direction you are headed. When stepping off a curb to hail a cab, place yourself past any parked cars and wave and those cabs who have their cab light on, signaling it is available.

A lot of tourists stick close to the hotel and avoid many areas that are busy or large. However, you shouldn’t be afraid of getting lost. The streets are mostly laid out in a grid and it is usually very easy to tell which direction you are going or need to go.

Get the Most Out of Your Trip to NYC!

Knowing that New York City is one of the biggest tourist areas around the country, locals are usually very willing to tell you where the closest subway entrance is, if you are headed in the right direction, or even how to get back to your hotel if you’ve lost your way. There’s nothing like a visit to the Big Apple, and while you are in town, be sure to take in the best New York dinner cruise.

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