Cruisers Return to the Big Apple

New York City, like the rest of America, is ready for the return of cruisers.

Chelsea Piers
Chelsea Piers overlooks the Hudson River with 65 slips, 25 of which can accommodate larger yachts. Maximum length overall is 300 feet, and maximum draft is 18 feet. Security is provided 24 hours a day. Lori Barbely

It’s a truly odd thing to think about New York City with visitors to iconic places such as the Guggenheim Museum being down 70 percent, and with tourism overall having come to an utter standstill for so long. In January 2020, Broadway ticket sales generated more than $150 million. In January 2021, that figure was zero.

But as this issue of Yachting went to press, all of the pandemic’s problems seemed poised to turn around. Normalcy may not fully resume during the boating season this summer and early fall, but NYC mayor Bill de Blasio says there is reason to expect and hope that change for the better is coming—including the “Great White Way” resuming activity by September, even if he has to “move heaven and earth to bring Broadway back.”

New York City park
What better place to tie up the boat, lace up the walking shoes, and enjoy some civilization? NYC & Company

In fact, heading into the boating season, there were lots of signals that boaters tying up in the city would have things to see and do. Yankee Stadium, which was a COVID-19 vaccination site during the spring, was reopening with limited capacity for fans who want to see a game in person. The folks who put on Shakespeare in the Park were expecting shows to return during July and August. Lincoln Center created “Restart Stages” to produce outdoor shows at venues throughout Manhattan. And the city itself came up with an “Open Culture” program that lets musicians, comedians, dancers and others apply for permits to perform outdoors.


In other words, even if international travel remains challenging for now, there’s about to be a cultural revival on America’s most famous island. What better place to tie up the boat, lace up the walking shoes, and enjoy some civilization?

New York City

If you tie up at Chelsea Piers, you’ll be on the West Side of Manhattan near the Whitney Museum of American Art, whose Julie Mehretu and Madeline Hollander exhibitions run through August. A Jasper Johns exhibition opens in September. You’ll also be near the Museum of Illusions, which is set up for kids and adults alike to explore holograms, games, puzzles and more. The Frying Pan is another local treat. It’s a lightship built in 1929 that, from May through October, serves beer, wine and cocktails along with fish ‘n’ chips, clam chowder, lobster rolls and other fare. And of course, Pennsylvania Station is not far from the docks, with its subway and train lines connecting you to pretty much anywhere you want to go in and around the Big Apple.


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