Do you love getting out on the water, but aren’t quite ready for the commitment of a multi-day cruise? Dinner cruises are the perfect solution — offering all the magic of cruising without the huge time commitment and price tag.
Unique dinner cruises can be found all over the United States, but the following are particularly intriguing, whether for the delectable menu, gorgeous scenery or uncommon ship design.
Maine Windjammer Dinner Cruises
Sail to coastal Maine waters aboard historic tall ships known as windjammers with Maine Windjammer Cruises. These are historic cargo schooners that have been restored and repurposed to provide exceptional sailing opportunities. Four-hour dinner cruises are available on one of three National Landmark ships, the Grace Baily & Mercantile, Schooners Mistress, or Summertime. Dinner includes a Maine lobster feast with fresh lobster, corn on the cob, grilled steak, salad and dessert. Dinner cruises depart from Camden Harbor on the coast of Maine throughout the summer. If you have time before your cruise, consider hiking the Bald Rock Trail in Camden Hills State Park, which provides breathtaking views of the Penobscot Bay.
The Nautica Queen on Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio
Experience a unique part of Cleveland as seen from Lake Erie, as you cruise past the bustling city, under historic bridges and down the Cuyahoga River on the Nautica Queen. Sunset dinner cruises are around three hours long and include a buffet meal and live music. The Nautica Queen includes three levels of comfortable lounge and dinner areas with great views of the Cleveland skyline.
Hornblower Cruises in San Francisco, California
For the best sights in San Francisco Bay, you can’t go wrong with Hornblower Cruise. The San Francisco fleet includes the 292-foot San Francisco Belle and the Hornblower Hybrid, which is powered by solar panels, wind turbines and fuel-efficient diesel engines. Cruises feature entertainment and sail around popular sites like the San Francisco Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and more. Hornblower dinner cruises include a four-course dinner featuring locally-sourced ingredients. Live entertainment is the highlight of the night, and wine and beer are available for purchase.
Sunset Dinner Cruise in Clearwater Beach, Florida
For beautiful Gulf of Mexico sunsets, fine dining and live entertainment in both Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Florida, check out StarLite Cruises. StarLite is a family-owned business that has grown to become Florida’s largest daily excursion fleet. Choose to relax in a climate-controlled cabin or on the open-air observation deck, look for dolphins or relax with a glass of your favorite wine. Dinner entrees include fresh seafood, New Zealand lamb and even incredible vegetarian options.
Lake Powell Dinner Cruise in Arizona
Straddling the border between Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell is a huge reservoir on the Colorado River and includes some of the most spectacular scenery out west. With more than 2,000 miles of shoreline, this is the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States. A sunset cruise aboard the Canyon Princess will take you through beautiful Wahweap Bay, where you’ll cruise past towering cliffs and mountains, dine on Southwest delicacies and experience a one-of-a-kind desert sunset. Lake Powell cruises run from May to September and last approximately two hours.