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By Ian J. Stark
Special to Newsday
Updated July 8, 2021 5: 00 AM
From fishing for trophies to cruising into the sunset, the waters around Long Island, the city and upstate can be both a source of entertainment and relaxation — here are five excursions that can get you out onto the water this season.
CAPTAIN LOU FLEET
DEPARTS FROM: 31 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport
THE TRIPS: This fleet is running half-day fluke trips daily 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Check the schedule for limited or special offshore trips for codfish, ¾ day trips for fluke and black sea bass, full-day journeys to an ocean wreck for fluke or full-day blackfish trips as well. Whale-watching cruises are also an option, with boats running most weekends and some weekdays (until Nov. 14, 2021). Look to its Nautical Mile Cruises calendar for a selection of casual voyages like two-hour Scenic Cruises (through waterways within Baldwin Harbor, Mansion Harbor and Parsonage Cove); there are also Sunset and Moonlight cruises that follow the same path (plus Randall Bay) and include a DJ, dancing and a cash bar. There are two-hour Doggy Sunset Cruises held every other Wednesday. Leashed dogs can ride for no charge. DJ Vinny Dice is mixing freestyle and other classic beats during cruises aboard the Starstream VIII from 7 to 10 p.m. July 21 and Aug. 4. For fans of "The King," there’s a cruise starring Elvis Presley-impersonator Steve Mitchell on Aug. 16 (tickets available at nauticalmilecruises.com). Some night cruises are 21-and-over only. Fishing and whale-watching cruises are open to ages one and older. Rates vary per experience and age.
INFO: 516-623-9867; captloufleet.com.
VIKING FLEET MONTAUK
DEPARTS FROM: 462 West Lake Dr., Montauk
THE TRIPS: This fleet offers four-hour half-day fishing on Saturdays and Sundays aboard its newest vessel, the Viking Starlite, as well as a 3/4-day fishing trip Thursdays through Sundays and an "Intro to Fishing" excursion Fridays through Sundays. Fluke, porgies and sea bass are the main target for the summer. Each cruise is family-friendly and good for beginners; advance registration required. The Viking Superstar is also frequently used for ferry service to Block Island, RI (Thursdays through Mondays) and New London, Conn. (Fridays and Sundays) until Sept. 6. Whale watching trips are running too, as are Sunset Cocktail Cruises.
INFO: 631-668-5700, vikingfleet.com.
MONTY'S ARK ADVENTURES
DEPARTS FROM: Town Dock, Port Washington and Pier 25, Manhattan
THE TRIPS: Monty's Ark is a lobster boat with an air-conditioned/ heated wheelhouse that takes its name from the late Monty Marshall, a local nautical legend in the Manhasset Bay area — and his grandson Captain Steve Marshall will be at the controls for the trips. Recommended dates for the runs are up until Sept. 30, for which people can register in advance for dock-and-dine journeys that bring passengers to and from Louie's Oyster Bar and Grille (395 Main St., Port Washington; 516-883-4242, louiessince1905.com) and Prime (117 North New York Ave., Huntington; 631-385-1515, restaurantprime.com) for meals, while the three-hour Manhattan Skyline Tour provides views of NYC and many of its marine landmarks.
For more of a distant adventure, there’s the Provincetown Vacation Excursion (through Labor Day) which can last between one-two weeks, during which the Ark becomes your way to the eastern shore of Connecticut for day trips to spots like Mystic, New London, Niantic and Stonington. The next portion of the trip leads to Provincetown Harbor in Massachusetts, which can lead to day trips to Boston, Gloucester or Plymouth. Other possible trips include a ride to the Statute of Liberty, an LGBTQ+ charter, a ride to one’s favorite fishing locations or a destination of your choice, which can be tailored and used for private family day trips, proposals and more.
INFO: 516-636-3094; montysarkadventures.com.
CLASSIC HARBOR LINE
DEPARTS FROM: Chelsea Piers (Pier 62) and North Cove Marina, Battery Park (both in Manhattan)
THE TRIPS: Water tours around the Big Apple tend to offer unique views of both historic and modern buildings and the city skyline. Classic Harbor Line offers architecture tours Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons ($86 per adult for groups of four or more). Led by an expert member of the American Institute of Architects, the journey will pass under all of Manhattan’s bridges. Live Jazz Sails head out aboard the 105-foot schooner America 2.0 during sunset on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays ($96 per adult for groups of four or more). The fleet offers a brunch cruise around Manhattan Saturdays and Sundays ($124 per adult for groups of 4-7), a "Statue and Skyline Sightseeing" cruise offered twice daily ($48 per adult). Guests can also enjoy a "Champagne and Cheese" cruise that includes three sparkling wines paired with a trio of cheeses ($94 per adult for groups of 4-7). All tours (except the Champagne/Cheese option) offer one complimentary beverage such as coffee, soda, juice, soft drink, beer, wine or champagne.
INFO: 212-627-1825; sail-nyc.com
DUTCH APPLE CRUISES
DEPARTS FROM: 141 Broadway, Albany
THE TRIPS: Long Island may offer the most marine access in the state with its bays, ocean and Sound access, but the state capital is located along the Hudson River, which has plenty of history and nature to explore along its shores. Dutch Apple Cruises offers a two-hour sightseeing excursion that features a river historian who narrates the first half of the trip, but then steps aside for the second half to allow passengers the opportunity to relax and enjoy the ride; food and full bar service are available aboard (pre-order food in advance); two-hour sunset cruises are also available.
INFO: 518-463-0220; dutchapplecruises.com. $22.99 ($25 for walk-ups), $12.99 ($15 walk-ups) for ages 3-12, two and younger are free.
By Ian J. Stark
Special to Newsday
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