Here are four boats that offer unique scenic rides, all abiding by state Department of Health and CDC regulations, on the water in Nassau and Suffolk.
FREEPORT WATER TAXI & TOURS
"A lot of people don’t realize just how beautiful the sunsets are on the South Shore of Nassau County," says Captain Rick Cohen, who operates the My Bonni V, a 44-foot catamaran. "The most common thing I hear is, ‘I had no idea anything like this existed.’ "
This Caribbean-themed boat, which holds 28, offers guests beads, live steel-drum music on Saturdays and a cash full bar with mixed drinks ($8-$9) and light snacks. The Saturday two-hour cruise travels through the bays around Jones Beach, Point Lookout and Freeport.
Theresa Wadkins, 62, of Rockville Centre tends to go four times a summer. "I like the sense of peacefulness you get," she says. "Many people don’t have access to boats, therefore the sunset cruise allows you to have that experience."
DAYS OFFERED Friday-Sunday (through early October); leaving at 6 p.m., weather depending.
LAUNCHES FROM 211 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport.
COST $30 per person Fri. and Sun., 90 minutes; $35 Saturday, two hours (includes live music) (must be 10 or older).
INFO 516-521-7744, freeportwatertaxi.com
CAPTAIN LOU FLEET
There’s plenty of room on the Atlantic Pearl, a double-decker 100-foot cruise vessel, coming out of the Nautical Mile in Freeport. Up to 100 people can enjoy a cash bar with alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks and sealed snacks (no outside food/drink allowed) and a DJ on the top deck.
"For some, it’s their first time on a boat," says shipmate Corey Michael. "People like to walk to the front and do the open-arms thing like in ‘Titanic.’ There are lots of selfies on that one."
On the two-hour trip in the Great South Bay, guests pass the Jones Beach Tower, the bayside of Long Beach and Oceanside, then catch the sunset behind Manhattan.
DAYS OFFERED Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays (through Oct. 16); leaving 6 p.m. in September, 5:30 p.m. in October.
LAUNCHES FROM 111 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport.
COST $37 per person (reservations required).
INFO 516-623-5823, captloufleet.com
Take the three-hour Tri-Harbor Sunset cruise through Northport Harbor, Lloyd Harbor and Huntington Harbor as Captain Stu Paterson delivers private cruises aboard the 36-foot Downeaster Sashimi.
"I’ve been on the water for 45 years," says Paterson. "People enjoy the local flavor so I give them the history of the area."
Listen to Paterson discuss the homes on the North Shore, the Huntington Lighthouse, the Vanderbilt Museum, Mansion and Planetarium, plus Knutson’s Yacht Haven Marina, which built PT boats during World War II in Halesite.
Dina Santorelli, 53, of Massapequa Park booked a sunset cruise on the Sashimi last year. "The sunset was gorgeous by the lighthouse," she says. "The sky turned this reddish color and there was a nice breeze. It was like taking a mini vacation."
DAYS OFFERED 5-8 p.m. weekdays (up to November, weather depending).
LAUNCHES FROM Britannia Yachting Center, 81 Fort Salonga Rd., Northport.
COST $375 for up to 4 people; $75 per person (minimum of 5 people, maximum of 14).
INFO 631-707-3266, northportcharters.com
AMERICAN BEAUTY CRUISES & CHARTERS
C’mon aboard the 44-foot American Beauty II in Sag Harbor, where Captain Don Heckman will take 33 guests around Gardiner’s Bay or Noyack Bay. Throughout the two-hour tour, enjoy the vistas of the Peconic Estuary and Mashomack Nature Preserve as well as celebrity homes.
"A beautiful and memorable way to end a day is watching an inspiring sunset," says Heckman, who allows food and drinks to be brought on board. "Relax, unwind, breathe in the salt air and get caught up in the natural beauty."
Pat Arancio Remkus, 60, of Sag Harbor has gone on an American Beauty sunset cruise with both her family and girlfriends. "It’s a very relaxing time," she says. "Captain Don really makes the trip interesting and fun."
DAYS OFFERED 5:30 p.m., Thursday-Monday (through mid-October, weather depending).
LAUNCHES FROM Long Wharf in Sag Harbor.
COST $45 adults, $30 ages 5-12.
INFO 631-725-0397, americanbeautycruises.com
With Dorothy Guadagno-Levin