Guided cruises offer several ways to explore the Long Island coastline from shore to shore and lighthouse to lighthouse. These discovery and nature cruises are sailing this summer.
BAY JAM LIVE MUSIC
Moon Chaser Cruises departing from Captree Boat Basin, Captree State Park, Bay Shore.
NEWS 631-265-1848, themoonchaser.com
This popular 65ft boat offers party space on the main deck and the airier open deck upstairs. Bay Jams cruises feature live rock and reggae, and sightseeing tours are narrated by a former comedian and usually run weekly through September. Sightseeing cruises in July and August and dinner cruises with Flynn’s restaurant, on Tuesdays and Thursdays in July and August.
RIVER BOAT TOUR OF THE GRANDE SOUTH BAY
Departs from Bay Shore Marina, at the end of Clinton Avenue, Bay Shore.
NEWS 631-321-9005, laurenkristy.net
COST $44.95 includes a bagged lunch or $79.95 includes dinner
The 65-foot Lauren Kristy, a replica of a turn-of-the-century Mississippi riverboat, cruises the Great South Bay for guided tours focusing on wetlands, wildlife and local history.
ATLANTIS EXPLORER CRUISE
Sails daily, from June to September, then on weekends, departing from the wharf behind the Long Island Aquarium; 431 E. Main St. Riverhead.
NEWS 631-208-9200, longislandaquarium.com
COST $40, $5 under 3 years old
The venerable Long Island Aquarium tour boat cruises the Peconic River on two-hour eco tours of the Peconic and nearby Flanders Bay.
WHALE WATCHING AND DOLPHIN VISIT
Half-day tours begin May 15 from 111 Woodcleft Ave., Nautical Mile, Freeport.
NEWS 516-544-6698, liwhaleandsealwatching.com
COST $66 adults, $46 from 3 to 12 years old. Children under 3 years old are not permitted.
The Atlantic Pearl, a 100-foot Yank supercruiser with two large observation decks, has a knack for spotting beaks: whales can be seen from anywhere on board. Who knew there were so many whales and dolphins sailing off the South Shore?
Departures for the five-hour journeys take place on weekends and Wednesdays, from June 3 to September 3. 4 of Viking Fleet, 462 W. Lake Dr., Port of Montauk, Montauk.
NEWS 631-668-5700, vikingfleet.com
COST $80, $50 5 to 12 years old
Humpback whales, flippers and minkes regularly encounter the 140-foot Viking Starship’s offshore cruises, says Arthur Kopelman, CRESLI marine mammal population ecologist and cruise guide. Also keep an eye out for the antics of the bottlenose dolphins.
WETLAND NATURE CRUISE
Departs June from Stony Brook Marine Services, 51 Shore Rd., Stony Brook.
NEWS 631-751-2244, wmho.org
COST $40 adults, $30 from 3 to 6 years old; $7 under 2 years; Private charter $550 (27 passengers).
Explore the 88-acre Wetland Preserve on Stony Brook Harbor and West Meadow Creek. A naturalist on board informs passengers about the fauna, flora, cultural and natural history of the region.
4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS CRUISE
Departs July 4 from Captree Boat Basin, Captree State Park, Bay Shore.
NEWS 631-661-1867, captree.com
COST $75 adults, $65 children
The Laura Lee Fleet is among the party boats that will once again take passengers from the Boat Basin to the anchorage to see fireworks on July 4. Other options include the Captree Pride and Captree Princess (631-848-9857, from $60). Reservations suggested.
One-hour daytime harbor cruises from Freeport’s Nautical Mile, plus themed cruises.
NEWS 516-521-7744, freeportwatertaxi.com
COST One-hour tours $20, happy hour tour $25, sunset cruises and karaoke $30
Freeport Water Taxi offers one-hour rides suitable for families and pets (Friday through Sunday). Additionally, the company offers a karaoke cruise (Tuesday), happy hour cruises (Friday-Sunday) and sunset cruises with live music (Saturday and Sunday).
Sat 5 p.m. departures from the wharf at 103 Third St., Greenport.
NEWS 631-477-2100, eastendseaport.org
COST $55, $49.50 seniors, students, military
The East End Seaport Museum offers cruising adventures through Peconic Bay, including their “Bug Light” cruise at the Long Beach Bar, narrated by a native Greenporter and descendant of “Bug’s” last known lighthouse keeper. Light” in the East.
TRY ALSO The Long Island Lights Narrated Tour from Cross Sound Ferry, June 4-October 1. 9, departing from Orient Point aboard a catamaran with airplane-style seating that brings passengers past eight distant lighthouses. He also visits the ruins of Fort Tyler from the Spanish-American War, razed by bombing in World War II. ($33 adults, $16.50 ages 2-11; 631-323-2525, longislandferry.com)
OTHER LONG ISLAND CRUISES
ELIXIR YACHT CHARTER by LONG ISLAND BOAT RENTALS, 403 Main St., Port Washington, 516-761-0840, LIBoatRentals.com/ElixirYacht. Season May 15-November 15. Offer Luxury party yacht for up to 24 people. Half-day cruises at 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Rates $3,825 to $5,000, catering and beverage service, taxes and tips extra.
NORTHPORT CHARTERS Departs from Britannia Yachting Center, 81 Fort Salonga Rd, Northport, 631-707-3266, Northportcharters.com. Season May 15-Nov. 15. Offer historical tours, sunset cruises, bird watching and local “marine ecosystem” tours. Private cruises available. Rates From $375 for a 3 hour cruise for 1 to 5 passengers or $75 per person for 5 people.
SAPPHIRE PRINCESS11 Richmond St., Freeport, 516-442-4614, sapphireyachtcharters.com Offer Lunch, dinner and themed cruises. Rates Starting at $79.
SKYLINE PRINCESS CRUISES, 1 World’s Fair Marina, Flushing, Queens; 718 446-1100; skylinecruises.com Offer 3- and 4-hour brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises to the Statue of Liberty; Long Island Flagship Cruises. Rates Starting at $66.
TOO HAPPY CHARTERSHuntington (Office 663 Park Ave.), Huntington, 631-897-7126, toohappycharters.com Season May 1-Oct. 15. Depart Huntington Harbour. Offer Sunset cruise, brunch charter, day and half-day at anchor, Zen on the Deck. Private charters for up to 6 people, meals and soft drinks included. Rates Starting at $650.