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TravelLong Island Getaways

Long Island partyboat cruises for sightseeing, live entertainment

Visitors take a tour of the harbor on

Visitors take a tour of the harbor on the Port Washington Water Taxi at the Port Washington HarborFest. Credit: Linda Rosier

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, capacities may vary due to guidelines and with other social distancing measures are 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. Also, Flynn's restaurant dinner cruises will begin this summer.

RIVERBOAT TOUR OF GREAT SOUTH BAY

Departs Bay Shore Marina, end of Clinton Avenue, Bay Shore.

INFO 631-750-5359, laurenkristy.net

COST $44.95 includes a bagged lunch or $74.95 includes dinner

The 65-foot Lauren Kristy is a replica of a turn-of-the-century Mississippi riverboat, complete with paddle wheel, cruises the Great South Bay on sightseeing tours focusing on wetlands, wildlife and local history.

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 for half-hour cruise; $25 (all ages) for one hour cruise.

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. Tour also includes information on the history and environment of the area.

ATLANTIS EXPLORER CRUISE

Sails daily, June-Sept., then weekends, leaving from the dock behind the Long Island Aquarium, 431 E. Main St. Riverhead

INFO 631-208-9200, longislandaquarium.com

COST $40 ($5 younger than 3)

The Long Island Aquarium’s venerable tour boat cruises the Peconic River with two hour 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.

WETLANDS NATURE CRUISE

Departs starting in June, from Stony Brook Marine Services, 51 Shore Rd., Stony Brook.

INFO 631-751-2244, wmho.org

COST $550 private charter only, up to 16 passengers.

Explore the 88-acre wetlands preserve on Stony Brook Harbor and West Meadow Creek. Onboard naturalist fills in passengers on the area’s wildlife, flora, cultural and natural history.

WHALE WATCHING AND DOLPHIN TOUR

Half-day trips begin May 15 from 111 Woodcleft Ave., Nautical Mile, Freeport

INFO 516-544-6698, liwhaleandsealwatching.com

COST $56-$66

The Atlantic Pearl, a 100-foot Yank super-cruiser with two big viewing decks, has a knack for spotting spouts: whales can be seen from anywhere onboard. 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, Jun. 26-Sep. 5 from Viking Fleet, 462 W Lake Dr., Montauk Harbor, Montauk.

INFO 631-668-5700, vikingfleet.com

COST $80 ($50 ages 5-12)

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.

SUNSET CRUISE

Offered select weeknights from the Nautical Mile in Freeport.

INFO 516-623-5823, captloufleet.com

The Capt. Lou Fleet traditionally offers summertime sunset cruises that depart from Freeport's Nautical Mile with a DJ and cash bar. Reservations required.

SHORT TOUR

One-hour daytime harbor cruises from the Nautical Mile in Freeport, plus themed cruises.

INFO 516-521-7744, freeportwatertaxi.com

Freeport Water Taxi offers one-hour jaunts that are family- and pet-friendly. In past summers, the company's 90-minute sunset cruise have involved themed trivia sessions centered around pop culture, movies and music.

COST From $20

OTHER LONG ISLAND CRUISES

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

SAPPHIRE PRINCESS, 11 Richmond St., Freeport, 516-442-4614, sapphireyachtcharters.com Offering Lunch, dinner and themed cruises. Rates From $59

SKYLINE PRINCESS CRUISES, 1 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. Rates From $62

TOO HAPPY CHARTERS, Huntington (Office 663 Park Ave.), Huntington, 631-897-7126, toohappycharters.com Season May 8-Oct. 15. Departs from Huntington Harbor. Offering Sunset cruise, Day at Anchor, Zen on the Deck, and Mind & Body Meditation class. Private Charters up to 6 guests. Rates From $600

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