Manhattan by Sail: Take the ultimate mini staycation on a sailboat

manhattan by sail sailboat new york schooner
Get on board the Shearwater – don’t forget the champagne, either.
Credit: Olivier Palade / Manhattan by Sail

Ever wanted to escape on a sailboat, relaxing in the warm breeze while a strapping man in a tank top pours you champagne? Manhattan by Sail allows you to do just that without even leaving the city.

The company’s two boats, the Clipper City and the Shearwater, offer short boat trips right from downtown Manhattan.

On one recent champagne brunch sail, New Yorkers and tourists alike laid back on the wooden deck of the Shearwater sailboat as they feasted on lox and quiche and sipped on unlimited champagne.

“Stay hydrated, folks,” said Captain Dave Zimmerman. “And if you’re drinking champagne, it’s extra important to stay hydrated, so drink twice the amount.” He paused: “Kidding; I’m kidding.”

The two-hour journey took passengers on the 85-year-old Newport-style schooner yacht on a scenic tour around lower Manhattan. The river breeze on the sail was the perfect way to cool off on a hot day and even New Yorkers couldn’t resist posing for photos against the skyline of downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

Though the boat’s seats are somewhat limited (New Yorkers should be used to the lack of space), even the most jaded city people can’t deny the boats’ old-time charm, open deck and airy views.

Harried parents, discerning lushes and culture hounds can all find the right trip on Manhattan by Sail: The company offers a pirate and mermaids or salt sailors-themed “kids sail,” which features story-telling and face painting, as well as jazz concerts, burlesque shows and whiskey, wine or craft beer tastings. Night owls will enjoy the regular city lights sails and monthly full moon sails.

Find out more about Manhattan by Sail on their website.


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