A Sunset Cruise on NYC’s Floating Lobster Shack

New York City is notoriously expensive. The city wages a war on your wallet from the second you touch down at JFK and doesn’t let up till Manhattan is a blip on the horizon. Which is why I can’t believe that one of my favourite experiences in New York City, a sunset cruise along the Hudson, was basically free.

I caught up with an American friend while I was in the city, and he suggested spending an evening aboard the North River Lobster Co.

North River Lobster Co Free Sunset Cruise

North River Lobster Co describes itself as a “floating lobster shack” that floats up and down the Hudson River. Boarding the boat is free and you can stay on board as long as you like. You can hop on right before it cruises down the river and get off after, or you can stay on board for hours – and for several cruises. Just pay for your drinks and food at the bar.

I didn’t see any other tourists on board – just dozens of New Yorkers spending a sunny afternoon on the water. I was also expecting over-priced food but it was reasonable by the city’s standards.

North River Lobster Co Free Sunset CruiseNorth River Lobster Co Free Sunset Cruise

Cocktail jars are $15 but you can get $12 refills. Considering I saw plenty of $28 cocktails ( 30% for tax and tips!) across Manhattan, this is a steal.

We shared a dozen oysters and splurged on a lobster roll each. At $22 it was an expensive sandwich, but it was delicious – and it was as close as I was going to get to a New England lobster roll on this trip.

Lobster roll at North River Lobster Co Free Sunset CruiseNorth River Lobster Co Free Sunset Cruise

If you time it right, you can make it on board for the cruise at sunset. Check their website for departure times and compare it with your weather app to check what time the sun will set that day.

While we feasted on seafood and sipped cocktails, we watched the sun go down and the city light up.

North River Lobster Co Free Sunset Cruise

The boat docks at Pier 81 in Hell’s Kitchen, which is a 10-minute walk from Times Square. They have a bar on the Pier too, so you can get started on your cocktails if the boat is still cruising when you arrive.

I can’t think of a better way to start a summer’s night in the city.

North River Lobster Co Free Sunset CruiseNorth River Lobster Co Free Sunset Cruise NYC

What’s your favourite thing to do in New York City?