Put The Wind In Your Sails With These Private Cruises & Sailing Lessons

A sailing boat takes a group of New Yorkers around the upper bay area, with the city skyline views in the background.

Aside from our beloved Statue of Liberty, New York City’s most popular landmarks and tourist attractions fill the city streets, but with the rapid development of the waterfront all around the city, we’ve seen an astonishing embrace of water-based recreation by New Yorkers. For awhile now we’ve been enamored with all of the city’s great free kayaking programs, but now let’s move on to bigger boats, and NYC’s best sailing excursions.

An intimate sailing option in the NYC area, a man takes a couple on a private sailing trip around the island.

Manhattan by Sail Cruise Options

There are loads of two-hour-cruise options these days, but we’ve heard good things about the folks (and the boats) at Manhattan By Sail, which launches from the Battery and lets you choose from the tall ship Clipper City or the classic schooner Shearwater. Like most of these outfits, Manhattan by Sail offers a variety of themes to its jaunts, from the “Daytime Statue Sail” to the “Lobster and Beer Lovers” twilight sail to the late-night “City Lights Sail”.

For a smaller-boat experience, chartering the Ventura is a popular choice–it’s like having a friend with a yacht; they provide the food, you bring the wine and beer–which also sets out for a open cruise every Friday night. Another more intimate sailing/yachting experience can be had on the Black Strap (top), which offers both sunset cruises and half- and full-day adventures.

A young boy with a blue life jacket on stands at the tip of the sail boat on his first sailing lesson in NYC.

Sailing Schools for Kids and Private Lessons

If you’re more interested in a longer-term relationship with sailing, there are several NYC spots in which to take lessons, including:

  • Hudson River Community Sailing has a City Sail Summer program for kids, as well as three levels of lessons for adults, from Intro to Sailing to an 18-hour course for those who already have a solid foundation and are looking to get US Sailing certified.
  • On the Upper West Side, Atlantic Yachting, which launches from the 79th Street Boat Basin, also offers a day camp for kids and teenagers as well as private and group lessons for adults.
  • Finally, if you’re looking for a sheer variety of sailing adventures, Classic Harbor Line, with a pair of schooners, sets off on architecture sails, brunch sails, wine-tasting sails, full moon sails, Sunday jazz sails, sushi sails… you name it, they sail it!

As the sun sets in the distance, a Ventura sail boat cruises the ocean outside NYC

Have you ever been sailing in NYC? Tell us in the comments where you went!

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