You'll pay a premium to view the pyrotechnics from the water July 4.
Ordinary cruise costs are doubled, and sometimes quadrupled, when the regular appeal of a summer night on the water is amplified by the lure of the magnificent Macy's fireworks display.
The Hudson will be transformed into nautical parking lot Wednesday night, when thousands of boaters jockeying for a seabird's eye view of the fireworks festival clog the river.
The Coast Guard issues a special July 4 advisory notice each year regulating all vessel movement between 6 and 11 p.m.. This year, boats must make their way into designated viewing areas with thematically appropriate names like "Bravo" "Delta" or "Echo" sections, based on their size, by 8 p.m. Regular tugs, towboats and commercial vessels not there for fireworks gawking must be out of the regulated area by 6:30 p.m.
Alas, you won't be able to see the fireworks from the Staten Island Ferry: The last boat from both terminals departs at 7:30 p.m. with hourly service not resuming again until 11 p.m. Service is suspended in between, said the Department of Transportation "due to fireworks festivities."
Sausages, watermelon, slaw -- and, of course, suds -- will be served on The Brooklyn Brewery's excursion that is being held in conjunction with the NY Distilling Company and Brooklyn Roasting Company. Picnic lunches are also welcome.
Tickets: $100. Check in at Greenpoint Launch at the end of India Street (West St.) at 6 p.m., and boarding begins at 7:10 p.m. brooklynbrewery.com
The tri-level Paddlewheel Queen is an adults-only cruise with a three-hour open bar, dinner buffet and Top 40, hip-hop and dance music.
Tickets: $115 and up. The boat departs from the pier at E. 23rd St. and the FDR Drive. Boarding begins at 7 p.m. and sailing at 7:30 p.m. Boarding passes may need to be obtained beforehand. Visit oncruises.com for ticket information about this and other July 4 party boat options.
Classic Harbor Lines boats is sending out at least five different boats, from the 1920s-style water taxis Catskill and Beacon at the $275 per person end of the scale to the stately schooner and winner of the America's Cup, America 2.0 for $475 a head. Passengers should know that the sails may not be raised due to the minimal "maneuverability" possible in the boat-jammed waters.
Tickets: $275-$475, with various drink and hors d'oeuvres packages. All cruises depart from Pier 62 in Chelsea but at various times. sail-nyc.com or 212-627-1825.
About 150 passengers are expected to board City Lights Cruises' 120-foot Amberjack to drink at the four-hour premium bar, dance and nibble at the three-entrée dinner buffet .
Tickets $175. Boarding at Pier 81 (W. 41st St.) at 7 p.m. with an 11 p.m. return. 212-822-8880 or citylightscruises.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Want a chill sailing experience far away from the city fray?
The New York Sailing Center and Yacht Club will be setting off from City Island and sailing Long Island Sound to admire the more modest firework displays along the coast of Long Island. "You get miniature displays everywhere," said Sailing Center owner Capt. Stephen Glenn Card.
Tickets $75. The flotilla of smaller boats will set off from City Island with details to be determined. Info about the Club at startssailing.com but you can send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 718-885-0335 for more information .
Hornblower Cruises & Events'cruises set off early with The Hybrid offering a five-course dinner and open bar with a DJ cranking tunes. Its less formal (and less expensive) sister boat, The Infinity, will also have a DJ, but tray-passed hors d'oeuvres, a dinner buffet and "bottomless beer and wine" as well as a cash bar.
Tickets $175 and $250, plus taxes and fees. Boarding is at 5 p.m. at Pier 40's "Hornblower Landing," 353 West St. 212-206-7522 or hornblower.com.
Circle Line tours are all sold out but if you just want to get close to the action without the grief of seasick kiddies, you can go to Circle Line's family-friendly Pier Party. Expect stilt walkers, costumed characters, carnival games and kid-friendly food available for purchase.
Tickets $89. Doors to the party at Pier 83 (at the end of W. 42nd St.) open at 4 p.m. and the live DJ begins emceeing at 7:30 p.m. 212-563-3200 or circleline42.com