Explore the Valley from its most pivotal point — the Hudson River. Whether you’re looking to catch a cool breeze, absorb the area’s legends and lore in a fun way, boogie down at a dance party, or explore a historic lighthouse, there’s a river cruise waiting to welcome you aboard.
River Rose Tours and Cruises
Ride an authentic New Orleans paddle wheeler with Captain John “Duke” Panzella, who has been navigating the Hudson for 15 years. Sightseeing cruises are available weekends and Wednesdays; a buffet and dance party is offered on Friday nights; and Sunday’s ride serves brunch. A popular choice is the “A Day in Cold Spring” cruise, which shuttles guests to the scenic village where they can enjoy the sights for three hours before being ferried back to Newburgh (where all cruises begin and end). $15-$45.
Empire State Cruise Lines
Departing regularly from Poughkeepsie’s Waryas Park, the 60-foot long, double-decked motor vessel Mystère offers sightseeing and dinner cruises — with a menu prepared by the Ice House on the Hudson — as well as once-a-month High Tea outings. May 10-Oct. 25. $45-$65.
If you’re looking for a bit of history, look no further than Hudson Cruises, whose popular Hudson-Athens Lighthouse tours continue this season. Guests ride the Spirit of Hudson paddle wheeler to the historic watchtower for an informational walking tour. Don’t miss out on the weekend dance and scenic cruises, especially the Jazz Parties and the Murder Mystery Dinner. Visit Web site for ticket information.
Hudson River Cruises
Setting off from Kingston, the Rip Van Winkle glides past the mid-Valley’s historic mansions, colorful orchards and vineyards, and two lighthouses. Summer music cruises on weekends offer live entertainment, dancing, and refreshments. $10-$49.
Hudson River Adventures
Hop aboard the motorized Pride of the Hudson in Newburgh and sail past Storm King Mountain, West Point, Cold Spring, and other majestic sites as part of a narrated sightseeing cruise. Saturday Sunset Cruises offer specialty cocktails and music; the line also provides tours to Bannerman Castle. $20-$59.
Hudson Highlands Cruises
Climb aboard the Commander, one of the last operating vessels to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War I. The circa-1917 boat offers full- and half-day narrated cruises, which depart from Haverstraw weekdays and Sundays, West Point on weekdays, and Peekskill on the last Saturday of the month. $15-$40.