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A dinner cruise is a must-do activity while you’re in New York City. I mean, amazing views of the iconic Manhattan skyline, sailing under the Brooklyn Bridge, and getting right up close to the Statue of Liberty – what’s not to love?
The Bateaux Premier Dinner Cruise is one of the best-known dinner cruises in New York (which, as we found out, is for a good reason!) It’s an upscale experience involving a 3-course dinner, live music, and exceptional service. Plus, it’s an excellent chance to see the city from a different perspective, and if you go during the summer, you can catch a glorious sunset over the Hudson River.
We recently went on the Bateaux New York Premium Dinner Cruise and – spoiler alert – we had an excellent time!
If you’re considering an evening out on the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise, stay tuned because we’ve written an in-depth review of our experience and whether or not we really think it’s worth it.
Don’t have time to read the full article? You can easily book the 5-star rated Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise online here!
What is the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise?
It’s a 3-hour long dinner cruise that takes you along the Hudson River to Upper New York Bay, where you’ll have spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty lit up at night. It’s an all-glass boat (yes, even the ceiling is glass!), so you really do have the best seat in the city! When we did the cruise, we ate dinner with the a view of the Statue of Liberty right outside our window, it was very special.
You’ll also venture along the East River so that you get a first-class view of the Brooklyn Bridge. In fact, you’ll cruise right underneath it.
The cruise departs at 7 pm, so during the summer in NYC, you get to see a dazzling sunset over the Hudson River if the weather’s good. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for us as we went on a rainy evening, but we still loved seeing New York City light up before our very eyes. It turned out to be a fantastic way to spend a rainy day in NYC!
Dinner is served at around 8 pm, and it’s a three-course plated dinner that comes out in stages. You get to choose from a menu when you arrive what you would like for each course. We loved the food and were absolutely stuffed by the end of the meal – it was way better than the fare that we would usually expect from a dinner cruise.
There’s also live music on board, and people do dress up for the occasion, so it does feel like a really special evening.
The Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise varies in price between $250 – $300 USD per person, although on select dates you may be able to find tickets for $200 USD. It depends on the date you choose, and you can usually save money by booking in advance, so we don’t recommend waiting until the last minute.
You can book your Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise tickets easily online here through Viator. Viator is our go-to when it comes to booking tours and we’ve always had good experiences with them. You can also choose to pay in your home currency to save money on those costly international bank fees.
And as we say, it’s best to book your Bateaux cruise at least a few weeks in advance, because it’s a popular experience and prices go up closer to the date. It also does sell-out, so just be warned!
Related Read: If you love food as much as we do, then you should join one of the best food tours in New York while you’re visiting!
How long is the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise?
It’s 3 hours long. The cruise starts at 7 pm and ends at 10 pm, although you can board from 6:15 pm onwards. We recommend getting there early if you can because you get more time to explore the boat, enjoy the music, and choose your meals. We found it quite difficult to choose because all of the options sounded so delicious! You can also order drinks as soon as you get there and the wait staff are very attentive.
In the end, we arrived at 6:15 pm on the dot and got to enjoy an extra 45 minutes listening to the music and having a drink.
Related Read: One of the other experiences we loved the most while in New York was a helicopter ride – read about our experience before you book!
What is the food like on the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise?
It’s a 3-course meal and it’s a plated dinner, not a buffet. There are 3 to 5 options available for each course, including at least one vegetarian option. For example, to start we chose between a watermelon and feta salad, ravioli, and a chowder.
You can also choose to upgrade your main course for an additional fee. For example, we had the option to upgrade to an 18 oz prime ribeye steak, however, the included food is amazing on its own and that’s the menu that we stuck to and were impressed with. You can also pay to add other items like a cheese board. Again, we didn’t add anything and left stuffed!
The food is quite fancy, and we found it to be absolutely delicious. Daniel had the ravioli for his starter, Cioppino for his main, and chocolate mousse dome for dessert. I chose slightly different choosing the crab and corn chowder to start, cioppino for my main, and the cheesecake for dessert (listen to my advice and do not skip the cheesecake!)
Make sure that you arrive hungry because the portions are generous, and you’ll be stuffed by the end of the evening!
The food is served throughout the night, allowing plenty of time to enjoy the views, live music, and drinks. You also have time to digest between each course, wander the boat, and even enjoy some fresh air from the outer deck. They even plate the main course right as they arrive at the Statue of Liberty so you can enjoy her while you eat!
Note: While the 3-course meal is included in the ticket price, drinks are extra. We did find them to be reasonably priced, though. You’ll get a drink menu when you arrive on your table. You can choose from a section of beer, coolers, ciders, premium cocktails, highballs, a huge wine list, and a variety of non-alcoholic options.
Is the live entertainment good?
Yes, it’s fantastic!
The live music on our Bateaux New York Premier Cruise was a 4-piece band which included two singers, one of whom also played the piano and occasionally rapped (which was impressive considering she was an older lady with some serious style for rapping!) They were very talented and gave an amazing performance that really made our evening special.
They played lots of classic hits in a relaxing style that set the mood for a fun but very classy dining experience. However, some current hits were also mixed in too.
The night moved from slow classics that had people dancing the night away with their loved ones in their arms to a little more upbeat after dinner – it was perfect.
There are plenty of breaks throughout the night to mix things up and allow time for people to talk etc. It’s a well-thought-out performance and everyone loved it!
Note: It’s a good idea to bring some cash to tip the band at the end of the night.
Where does the Cruise depart from?
Related Read: Another epic dinner cruise we did was in Vancouver, Canada – read all about it!
What are the views like on the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise?
The views are amazing! The Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise is an all glass boat, so it’s the ultimate way to see the city from the river.
You get amazing views of the iconic New York skyline, including world-famous buildings like the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the One World Trade Center. It makes you feel like you’re in a movie!
You’ll also get excellent views of the Brooklyn Bridge, too, and you sail close to the Statue of Liberty. We loved seeing her lit up at night, so we would definitely recommend a dinner cruise over a day cruise.
We did the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise on a rainy night and the views were still incredible. The rain didn’t ruin anything for us, but those who get good weather are in for an even bigger treat, as you’ll get to see an awesome sunset.
Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise vs. the Standard New York Dinner Cruise
We had a fantastic time on the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise and would definitely recommend it, but the standard New York Dinner Cruise might be more suited to some travelers, particularly those on a tighter budget.
One of my favorite things about the Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise was that it was an all-glass boat, so we couldn’t have asked for better views. The New York Dinner Cruise has big windows but it’s not an all-glass boat, so you don’t get quite the same experience.
The Bateaux cruise also serves a 3-course plated dinner, while the New York Dinner Cruise has a buffet. We loved our plated dinner but it’s really a matter of preference, as some people might prefer a buffet as there’s more choice!
Another key difference is the on-board entertainment. The Bateaux cruise has a live band who play jazz and blues covers of popular hits, while the New York Dinner Cruise has a DJ, as well as some interactive games. Again, it’s all a matter of preference and we definitely think the entertainment on the New York Dinner Cruise will be a hit with kids.
The Bateaux cruise also lasts longer. It’s 3 hours long, whereas the New York Dinner Cruise is 2.5 hours long. You can also board the Bateaux cruise 45 minutes early, while you can only get on the New York Dinner cruise 30 minutes ahead of departure.
There’s also a difference in price – which is likely the biggest deciding factor for most. The Bateaux cruise typically costs $250-300 USD whereas the New York Dinner Cruise normally varies between $189 – $205 USD per person. So if you’re on a budget, the New York Dinner Cruise is a better option, although we do think that the Bateaux cruise is 100% worth splashing out on.
All in all, the Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise was definitely the right choice for us. It’s perfect for anyone who wants a sophisticated and romantic evening. With that being said, we think that the standard New York Dinner Cruise is a great choice for families or travelers working on a tighter budget. You’ll have a great time either way, so choose what best suits your needs and preferences!
Related Read: For another fun activity in New York City, be sure to head up to the Edge NYC State Observation Deck!
What does the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise Cost?
As mentioned above, the price does vary depending on the time of year and day of the week. You can expect to pay between $250 USD-$300 USD per person. This price includes the 3-course meal, but you’ll need to pay extra for drinks. You should also plan to tip!
Money Saving Tip – Some of NYC’s best attractions unfortunately aren’t free. But that doesn’t mean you have to blow your budget to see them! We purchased a New York City attraction pass during our visit and it helped us save 30-40% on admission fees to top attractions like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. There are a few different options, but the top three are the New York CityPASS®, the New York Pass, and the New York Explorer Pass by Go City.
What did we like about the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise?
The views from the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise were insane! The fact it’s an all-glass boat means that you get a premium view of one of (if not THE) most iconic skylines in the world, as well as world-famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. It’s the kind of experience that makes you pinch yourself!
Going at dinner time also means that you get to see the city lit up after dark, which is really special.
The service on board really was exemplary. The staff were so friendly and attentive and treated us really well. We felt so welcome on the boat and the staff did everything they could to make sure we had a positive experience. My wine glass never got empty before our server asked if I wanted another, so I was a happy camper (or should I say ‘cruiser’?!)
There was such a relaxed and classy atmosphere on board the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise. Although it’s a pretty fancy evening out, it doesn’t feel stuffy or too formal to enjoy. The focus is just on having a great time! The live music really contributes to the elegant yet laid back feel on board.
They actually ask that everybody dresses in semi-formal attire, so no t-shirts or jeans. It’s a good reason to get dressed up in New York City!
Treatment by staff
The staff were so friendly and really went out of their way to make sure that all of the guests had a fantastic time. It was the kind of service you would expect in one of New York’s top restaurants! We definitely recommend bringing some cash with you for gratuities because the service really is first-class.
The food was just delicious. Again, we couldn’t have asked for more at a top restaurant! There were plenty of yummy menu options to choose from – like lemon potato gnocchi and Atlantic striped bass – and the portions were super generous.
Vegetarians are well catered for and if you have allergies or any other dietary requirements, you can always contact the company through Viator after you book and they’ll make arrangements for you.
The Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge
The Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge are two of New York’s most iconic sights, so the fact that we got to see them both up close on our Bateaux dinner cruise was just incredible.
I mean, the whole skyline was just insane, but these two really stood out because, unlike the city’s famous skyscrapers, you can’t get such great views of them from observation decks like the Empire State Building and the Edge. A dinner cruise lets you see them in much more detail.
We especially loved seeing the Statue of Liberty lit up at night, and we think it’s a much better way to see her than enduring hours of queues on Liberty Island!
On this cruise, you are guaranteed your own table for you and your party. So when you book, be sure to book for all of your group, and then they will create a table to your booking size. When you arrive, just show your ticket and you will be taken to your specifically reserved table.
This means there is no need to worry about getting separated or having to sit with strangers. This is one of the perks of booking a premium dinner cruise!
What didn’t we like about the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise?
Normally, there are always at least a few things we don’t like about an experience. However, on this occasion, I’ve had a very long, hard think and I honestly haven’t been able to come up with anything!
It really was a perfect experience and any very small shortfalls would easily be made up for by the rest of the cruise. We had a fantastic time from start to finish, and there really was nothing that we disliked!
Even with the rainy weather, it was the most perfect evening in New York. It’s an experience we can easily recommend to anyone as one of the best cruises in NYC. In fact, I have already told my mom to book it for her upcoming NYC trip!
Is the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise worth it?
A very emphatic “yes”!
It’s hands-down the best dinner cruise we’ve ever done anywhere in the world. It’s somewhat expensive, but you get what you pay for (and more!) so we think it’s totally worth spending the extra money.
In my opinion, it’s actually a bargain because the quality is so high.
The dinner is super generous, the entertainment is amazing, and the boat itself is beautiful. Don’t even get me started on the views again! It’s such a wonderful experience that, knowing what I know now, I would actually be prepared to pay quite a lot more for it.
So in a nutshell, yes, it is 100% worth it. Even if you only have one day in NYC, be sure to make time for this cruise – you won’t regret it!
Don’t just take my word for it, though; check out 1000+ 5-star reviews here on Viator.
Note: This is a very popular cruise in New York, and it does frequently fully book up. Secure your spot online here to avoid missing out!
How to Book the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise?
We booked our cruise on the website called Viator, and it was a seamless experience. In fact, we almost always book tours on Viator when we travel.
Well, first of all, you get to choose the currency that you pay in. For me, my bank accounts are all in Canada, so I can easily change the price to Canadian Dollars on Viator (at a good exchange rate) and pay in CAD with my debit or credit cards. This means no international transaction fees from my bank – that’s always a win!
Viator also has a secure booking system where you can feel safe entering your payment details. No need to provide credit card details on some tour operator’s website, Viator is a huge company (TripAdvisor actually owns it) so you can be sure your details are secure.
Viator also offers a lowest price guarantee, so if you see the cruise advertised cheaper elsewhere, just contact Viator and they will price match!
Other Things to do While You’re in New York City
As the biggest city in the USA, there is no shortage of things to do in New York! I mean you could spend weeks here and still not see a fraction of what the Big Apple has to offer. But if you only have a few days and want to see the highlights, these are other top attractions and activities we highly recommend checking out.
- Eat pizza! – New York was home to the first pizzeria in the US way back in the early 1900s and it’s still something this city is known for. I dare say the pizza here is legendary! Top pizza joints include John’s of Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, Prince Street Pizza in Nolita, and we also loved 2 Bros Pizza. You can even eat pizza (and lots of other treats!) on a food tour of Chelsea Market which is a foodie’s paradise!
- Visit Central Park – Likely you’ve seen this famous park in movies, so it’s a must while you’re here. Central Park is huge with great spots like a historic carousel, Belvedere Castle, and even a skating rink in the winter. Feel like you’re starring in a rom-com with this horse and carriage ride. It’s 45 minutes around Central Park and a fantastic way to cover more ground in style.
- Fly above NYC – Exploring on the ground is fun, but to truly appreciate the New York skyline, take to the air! Joining a helicopter flight in NYC gives you a front-row seat (or hopefully a window seat!) to all the iconic sights like the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. We chose this 15-minute helicopter flight that flew over Manhattan and it was a highlight, if not THE highlight of our whole trip!
- Cross the Brooklyn Bridge – New York can be expensive, but strolling over the Brooklyn Bridge is a completely free thing to do in NYC! The views of the skyline are stellar and there are lots of vendors if you get hungry. We recommend walking all the way across to Brooklyn Bridge Park for the best views of Manhattan.
- Empire State Building – As one of the most iconic buildings in the entire world, the Empire State Building is an attraction like none other! Of course, you’ll see the building from afar, but the views are next-level from the Empire State Building observation deck. Make sure to reserve tickets for the main observation deck in advance as only a limited number of people are allowed up at a time.
- Take a day trip – Not only is NYC full of fun, but it’s close to other amazing destinations you can visit for a day! Head to Washington, DC to check out the White House, try some amazing Philly Cheesesteak and see the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, or take a tour from New York to Niagara Falls.
Where to Stay in New York City
New York City is huge – there is just no other way to put it! Even Manhattan (the area you’ll want to base yourself in) is a lot bigger than you think. That’s why choosing the right hotel in the right location is so important during your stay in New York.
Below, we’ve simplified it all for you by choosing a couple of the very best hotels available in the city. All three of these options have ideal locations close to attractions and the subway system. They all have amazing reviews, too, so just choose the one in your budget category and you’ll be ready to pack your bags!
Motto by Hilton – $$$
Motto by Hilton is a gorgeous hotel located in the Chelsea neighborhood only 600 meters from the Flatiron Building. The hotel features modern decor that has “speakeasy vibes”. In fact, they have a beautiful bar onsite that looks like the perfect place to sip an Old Fashioned. There are a variety of rooms on offer including some that are a little more budget-friendly, and some that are pure luxury with city views! Prices start from about $400 USD per night plus tax.
Delta Hotels by Marriott New York Times Square – $$
Delta Hotels by Marriott New York Times Square is where we stayed the last time we visited New York, and honestly, we loved it! This hotel is the perfect combination of comfort and value for money. It was clean, modern, and our room had all of the amenities we needed for an enjoyable stay (air conditioning, k-cup coffee maker, steamer, large shower, big windows, etc). Plus, the location is ideal – it’s only a couple blocks from Times Square!
Prices do range, but they do go as low as $200 USD per night plus tax depending on the time of year and day of the week. You can check prices and book online here!
Nap York Central Park Sleep Station – $
For those traveling on a tight budget, Nap York is a budget hostel that’s an ideal choice. Although affordable, this property is immaculate and offers a ton of amenities for a great stay including air conditioning and a shared kitchen. The rooms are modern and the location is about as central as it gets! This property only offers dorm rooms, but they are affordable at as little as $150 USD per night.
Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!
We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.
They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!
Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)
Thanks for reading!
I hope our review of the Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise has helped you decide whether it’s a good activity for you or not. Honestly, we think mostly everybody would love this cruise. It was such a treat, and we would book it again in a heartbeat the next time we visit New York.
If you found this blog helpful, be sure to check out our other blogs about traveling in the United States. Also check out a couple related reads below: