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Long Island partyboat cruises for sightseeing, live entertainment

Boat operator Michael Di Maggio of Massapequa and

Boat operator Michael Di Maggio of Massapequa and his toy schnauzer, Pignoli, at the Trivia Night Sunset Cruise at the Freeport Water Taxi & Tours in Freeport in 2017. Credit: Marisol Diaz

Guided cruises offer myriad ways to explore Long Island’s craggy 120-mile coastline from Sound to sea, shore to shore and lighthouse to lighthouse. Sightseeing and nature cruises have resumed around Long Island this summer, running at 50% capacity and with other social distancing measures in place.

BAY JAM LIVE MUSIC

Moon Chaser Cruises departing from Captree Boat Basin, Captree State Park, Bay Shore.

INFO 631-265-1848, themoonchaser.com

This popular 65-foot boat offers partying space on the main deck and the breezier open deck upstairs. Bay Jams cruises feature live rock and reggae, and sightseeing trips are narrated by a former stand-up comic and typically run weekly through September.

PORT WASHINGTON HARBOR TOUR

Departures daily on the hour, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., from the Town Dock, 347 Main St., Port Washington

INFO 516-455-0411, portwatertaxi.com

COST $10 adults, $5 children

Don’t be surprised, old sport, if your captain quotes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” while pointing out East and West Egg (respectively, Sands Point and Kings Point), the location of the novel’s symbolic green light, and the magnificent homes of modern day Gatsbys.

RIVER CRUISE

Sails 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. daily (except Tuesdays and Thursdays) leaving from the dock behind the Long Island Aquarium, 41 E. Main St. Riverhead

INFO 631-208-9200, longislandaquarium.com

COST $35 ($25 ages 3-12, $5 younger than 3)

The Long Island Aquarium’s venerable tour boat cruises the Peconic River with 90-minute eco-tours of the Peconic and nearby Flanders Bay.

LIGHTHOUSE TOUR CRUISE

Departures 5 p.m. Saturdays from the dock at 103 Third St., Greenport

INFO 631-477-2100, eastendseaport.org

COST $49 ($19 ages 3-12)

The East End Seaport Museum recently resumed some of its popular lighthouse cruises. Bob Allen of Greenport is that rare tour guide who speaks from personal experience — his lighthouse lore was passed down by his own great-grandparents, who were the last live-in keepers at one of the cruise’s regular stops, the Long Beach Bar “Bug” Light in Orient.

WHALE, DOLPHIN AND BIRD TOUR

Half-day trips from 116 Woodcleft Ave., Nautical Mile, Freeport

INFO 516-623-5823, captloufleet.com

COST $50-$65, $38-$55 ages 4-12

The Atlantic Pearl, a 100-foot Yank super-cruiser with two big viewing decks, has a knack for spotting spouts. Who knew there were that many whales and dolphins cruising the waters off the South Shore.    

WHALE WATCHING CRUISE

Departures on 5-hour trips weekends and Wednesdays through August from Viking Landing, Montauk Harbor, Montauk.

INFO 631-668-5700, cresli.org

COST $75 ($50 ages 5-12)

Get ready for a whale of an Insta-moment. Humpbacks, finbacks and minkes regularly meet the 140-foot Viking Starship’s offshore cruises, says Arthur Kopelman, a CRESLI marine mammal population ecologist and cruise tour guide. Also keep eye (and smartphone) out for bottlenose dolphin antics.

OTHER LONG ISLAND CRUISES

LADY LIBERTY CRUISES, Inspiration Wharf, Main Street, Port Washington, ladylibertycruises.com, 516-922-9214. Offering 4-hour cruises on the East River to Statue of Liberty. Rates $139-$159 a person includes food, beverages and entertainment.

SAPPHIRE PRINCESS, 11 Richmond St., (office 31 Woodcleft Ave.), Freeport, 516-623-5823, sapphireyachtcharters.com Offering Lunch and sunset dinner cruises.

SKYLINE PRINCESS CRUISES, 1 Marina Rd., World’s Fair Marina, Flushing, Queens; 718 446-1100; skylinecruises.com Offering 3- and 4-hour brunch, lunch and dinner cruises to the Statue of Liberty; Long Island lighthouse cruises; private charters for up to 450 guests. Rates $50-$125

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