NYC Guide

Bateaux – the best brunch cruise in New York City

If you follow me for a while, you know that cruises are among the NYC experiences I always recommend here on the blog and on my social media. I think cruises are an essential experience in New York City, since Manhattan is an island, and you need to leave it to appreciate all its beauty. Not to mention that the Statue of Liberty is also on an island. Fortunately, there are several ways to take a river cruise – and meal cruises are among the best ones. Bateaux cruises are the most famous cruises in the city, and I’ve had the opportunity to take the dinner one several times and it’s lovely. But I’ve always been curious about doing a brunch cruise and I had the chance to try that recently, in today’s post, I’ll tell you more about it!

The vessel

Bateaux is owned by City Experiences, North America’s largest dining & sightseeing cruise company, which operates in 7 cities within the US; Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Norfolk (Virginia), Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. It serves upwards of 2.3 million guests annually and has 7 operating brands within the US; Spirit, Odyssey, Seadog, Mystic Blue, Bateaux, Elite Private Yachts, & Potomac Riverboat Company.

Bateaux is a complete experience: in the case of the brunch cruise, the entire journey takes 2 hours and 30 minutes (slightly shorter than the dinner one, which takes a total of 3 hours) + a freshly prepared brunch + music – for dinner, there’s a live band, and for brunch, there’s a DJ, but the music selection is neat.

It is worth remembering that the Bateaux is the only vessel in Manhattan wholly enclosed in glass. This is not just an aesthetic detail – but a factor that makes your experience even more special; after all, the view from inside the boat becomes even broader and more magical, with a 360-degree view of the iconic city skyline. The vessel is long, with several tables, bathrooms, and two decks – the front and the back. And don’t worry: it’s very stable and it doesn’t shake at all.

Another thing I’m always asked when I talk about cruises is: what about the cold? Can I take this cruise in the winter time? And then it is worth remembering that the boat is all closed and heated. It’s not like you’re outside for two hours. Not to mention that you can enjoy the view from inside the boat and limit your trips to the deck – nothing that a warm coat can’t help you hold on for a few minutes!

Another issue that also worries people is the dress code. Bateaux has a sophisticated and elegant atmosphere – so here’s the tip: dress up because you deserve it. The suggested dress code is “cocktail” (look for inspiration on Google). But no need to rack your brains – avoid sportswear, sneakers, and caps. Choose your outfit with care – after all, it’s a special experience and you deserve it!

Boarding and route

The boat leaves from Chelsea Piers (23th Street and 11th Ave) – and it is recommended to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure. In the case of brunch, boarding starts at 11:30 am, and the boat leaves at noon, returning to the pier at 2:30 pm. If you are going on a cruise, plan well how you will get to the pier and leave in advance – especially because the boat will not wait for you in case of delays. I’m always anxious, and I like to leave my house with plenty of time if there’s anything unforeseen with traffic or public transportation.

Departing from Chelsea Piers (on the west side of Manhattan), the boat heads north, past Midtown and the Empire State Building, until it reaches the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, where it goes around and heads south to Battery Park, where you’ll get a view of the financial district, including One World Trade Center and Battery Park. From there,  Bateaux heads east towards the north, passing the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge, one of the most beautiful parts of the itinerary. After the Manhattan Bridge a little, it turns back again, heading to the Statue of Liberty, where it even stops for a few minutes for everyone to enjoy the views and take pictures. From there, it returns to Chelsea Piers, providing beautiful views of the southern tip of Manhattan again.

It’s the same route as the dinner cruise – only done a little faster.

A tip I already gave in my post on the dinner cruise, and it goes for this one too: most people focus on the front deck, the largest one – so got to the back deck, which is always emptier and, consequently, best to enjoy and make outstanding photos!

The Brunch

The Bateaux experience includes a brunch with a starter, a main course, and a dessert – you can choose one option. There are classic brunch dishes such as French toast and eggs and other dishes. In addition, the ticket also includes unlimited coffee, tea, and water.

Tips, more info and my final thoughts

It is normal to be worried when taking a cruise in this style, which includes a meal. You want to enjoy everything, you want to eat calmly – but also not miss the opportunity to admire the view, which, let’s face it, is fantastic. But after having taken this cruise several times, I can say that there is nothing to worry about. They serve meals in a well-spaced time interval, which allows everyone to enjoy the views.

As I said at the beginning of the post, this was my first time taking this brunch cruise and the experience was wonderful. Of course, if you compare it with the dinner one, I particularly prefer dinner, but it’s really a matter of preference because the two experiences are super similar.

And, finally, one of the advantages is that this can be a cruise more suitable for those traveling with kids – as children under 6 are not allowed on dinner cruises – in addition to having a more affordable price than the dinner cruise.


Price and reservations

  • Prices: start at $100 per person (it includes the brunch, unlimited tea, coffee and water). On Sundays.
  • Make your reservation  – use the code LAURA10 to get 10% OFF

Looking for other cruises/water experiences? Check these posts:

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