Day and Weekend Cruises
By Samantha Caramela
HIGHLANDS – Plan an exciting weekend getaway, a romantic date night on the water, or an interesting, inexpensive adventure this summer. Seastreak, a ferry and catamaran service, offers affordable year-round events and cruises for people of all ages. The boats afford full-cash bars, flat screen TVs, various shows, impeccable views, and more.
Catch a New York Yankee or Mets game without the hassle of traffic. Seastreak travels to Yankee stadium – a 75-minute ride – or Citi Field – 90 minutes – in plenty of time to catch the pre-game on- or off-board. The walk to the entrances of either stadium is short, and the ferry departs 30 minutes after the last out.
Everyone could use a weekend getaway, especially to scenic Martha’s Vineyard. The catamaran departs from the Highlands and Manhattan on Fridays and from Martha’s Vineyard on Sundays without connecting stops. Within the quick five-hour ride, guests are able to see views of Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, Long Island Sound, Block Island and more from the ferry’s three decks with 360-degree views. Another weekend getaway available is to Nantucket from Fridays-Sundays throughout June, one way or round-trip. A New Bedford Sunset Cruise, live entertainment, and a view of the sunset over the water. Also departing from New Bedford is another cruise to Martha’s Vineyard, running daily throughout the summer.
A convenient way to view the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks on the East River is from a Seastreak ferry. The Seastreak catamarans leave from the Highlands and Manhattan and station in the perfect spot so guests can enjoy the scenery from indoors or outdoors.
For a day in the city, board the NY Sightseeing Cruise on a weekday or during the weekend, choosing a convenient time. The round-trip is two-and-a-half hours, leaving from both New Jersey (Highlands and Atlantic Highlands) and Manhattan. Sights include Battery Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Governor’s Island, South Street Seaport, Statue of Liberty, Romer Shoal Lighthouse, Sandy Hook Lighthouse and more.
For more information visit www.seastreak.com.
Fishing & Party Cruises
By Capt. Robby Barradale
In the land of the Two Rivers we are fortunate to have so many great marinas and some of them host the best all-around party and charter boats in New Jersey.
Party boats – primarily out of Atlantic Highlands – sail daily and charge by the individual passenger. They are also known as “head boats” because they charge “by the head.” Vessels such as the Sea Tiger run half day trips, normally 8 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. and then again from 1:30 to 6 p.m. I highly recommend this type of trip if you go with kids. It’s just long enough to keep them busy without getting bored. Others such as the Fishermen offer 3/4 day runs from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and also a night trip from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. (Please check with your captains for possible schedule changes.)
Charter boats are reserved for a group that is essentially leas- ing the boat for a specific time frame. For fishing purposes you can opt for a smaller boat like Obsessive Behavior for personalized two-person fly or light tackle trips. Moving up, out of Highlands, we have a number of six-passenger boats such as Long Shot or Fisher Price IV, both captained by serious fisher- men who will “put you on the meat.” Our next step – more like a leap – would be the larger charters like the MiJo II that can handle up to 95 people. To be honest, 95 folks on a boat is a lot for fishing, 15 to 40 is a much more comfortable number.
It doesn’t have to be a fishing trip. Some people enjoy the more laid back atmosphere of a sunset cruise or maybe a Statue of Liberty run, or even a three-hour party/booze cruise. Both the MiJo II and the Mariner can customize this type of event for you.
Capt. Robby writes the Fish or Cut Bait column for the Two River Times
Ways to the Waves
By Joey Dominguez
With summer well on its way, Two River locals are already dreaming about the various ways to the Jersey Shore waters. Here are just a few activities.
Kayaking is an easy, fun activity that gets locals of all ages off of their couches and into the water. The Red Bank Marina rents kayaks and canoes hourly and by the day. They provide mandatory personal flotation device as well as all other necessary safety equipment.
The Oceanic Marina in Rumson also provides both single and double kayak rentals with access to Sandy Hook Bay. You can rent a kayak for a minimum two hours or for a full day. They also provide skiff and pontoon rentals with the appropriate boating license.
Paddleboarding, a water activity that involves kneeling or standing on a board while using your arms or an oar to propel you forward, originated in the waters of Polynesia and has since become a popular choice for local beachgoers. Navesink River Paddle Excursions in Fair Haven offers both private and semi-private lessons, board and paddle rentals and tours in both the morning and evening hours.
A derivative of paddleboarding, stand up paddling (SUP) is available in various locations. And for more of a chal- lenge, Ohanala offers SUP yoga – yoga practiced on Stand Up Paddle boards secured by tether to a floating dock.
If physically manning a boat seems daunting, you can enjoy a day on the water by letting a captain take the wheel on an eco cruise with NY/NJ Baykeeper. A Lighthouse Eco Cruise sails past the lighthouses of Coney Island and Sandy Hook and a Boats and Bridges Eco Cruise will offer a waterview that includes a boat graveyard. Both cruises launch from the Keyport waterfront and will provide light refreshments.
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