The waters off New York offer a cool breeze to boaters on hot summer days as well as views of some of the city's most treasured sites. The following museums, cruise lines and ferries celebrate the attractions of the port metropolis.
The Chelsea Piers Marina is the launching point for several New York cruises. Located on the western shore of Manhattan, it is accessible by car or public transportation.
The Schooner Adirondack
If you want to escape the sound of an inboard engine, let the wind carry you along the harbor aboard the Adirondack, an 80-foot sailing yacht of classic design. Guests can take the wheel or just relax with its unique view of New York.
Bateaux New York Tours
For a more luxurious experience along New York waterways, try the Bateaux New York's Celestial. Guests savor American haute cuisine, ballroom and jazz tunes, skyline views through the curved-glass walls and ceilings of two cavernous dining rooms. Brunch and dinner cruises are available.
The Chelsea Screamer
Thrill seekers may opt for the bumpy ride aboard the Chelsea Screamer as this high-speed jet-propelled boat whips through New York Harbor. Don't blink, or you may miss the close-up views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Circle Line Cruises
With ships embarking from locations at South Street Seaport and Pier 83 in Midtown Manhattan, Circle Line Cruises offers a three-hour narrated tour completely circling Manhattan island. There is also a shorter semicircle cruise and a two-hour evening cruise. For a slow-moving cruise ship, try The Beast, a 30-minute powerboat ride through New York Harbor.
Spirit Cruises depart from several locations in New York and New Jersey. Vessels are equipped with large outdoor strolling decks, dance floors, full-service bars and panoramic windows. Both evening and day cruises are available. Ships will sail on the Fourth of July offering a great view of OpSail's Parade of Sail.
Staten Island Ferry
Probably one of the most well-known and well-traveled ferries in the country, the Staten Island Ferry also happens to be among the cheapest. In fact it's free. The half-hour trip, crammed with commuters, goes from the southern tip of Manhattan to Staten Island and features clear views of downtown and the Statue of Liberty.
New York Waterways
With a fleet of dozens of ships, New York Waterway offers guided sightseeing cruises of New York Harbor, baseball cruises on game days to the Mets' and Yankees' ballparks, and day trips to nearby beaches.
South Street Seaport Museum
This restored waterfront on Manhattan's eastern shore offers a glimpse of the history of the port of New York and of merchant life before the steamship's arrival. Five fully functioning sailing vessels, built between 1885 and 1911, are in the South Street Seaport Museum's permanent collection.
Museum of the City of New York
Chronicling the city's history, the Museum of the City of New York is near the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art on New York's Museum Mile. Its exhibits tell the story of New York as a great port city with exhibits of photos and paintings of the vessels that connected the city to the rest of the world.
For more attractions in the Big Apple, visit the official New York City Web site.