Field Trip: S-Cruise by Smartboat

S-Cruise approaching pierEver since the weather turned warm, I’ve been wanting to get out on the water. An evening at Grand Banks helped, and so did kayaking off Pier 26, but neither really scratched the itch quite like S-Cruise by Smartboat. As someone who likes neither crowds nor tours, I found it ideal—a small, zippy boat with optional guide.

It’s called the Smartboat because the hull is built with a sailboat design, out of a light material—so it’s faster and more fuel efficient (and the engine uses gas rather than diesel).

S-Cruise has suggested itinerary options, generally involving circling Liberty Island and possibly including a trip under the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges. Or you can come up with your own cruise, possibly popping over to Surf City by the Colgate clock for a meal, or up to La Marina. And S-Cruise is even running water-taxi rides to Mets games and the U.S. Open. Bear in mind that most marinas charge $50 for both dropping off and picking up, and that you can’t drink alcohol onboard (but you’re welcome to bring beverages and snacks).

Because S-Cruise offered to take Adam and me out for no charge, I suggested we do something fairly simple. After signing an innocuous waiver, we boarded the boat, where we met our Coast Guard–certified captain, Charlotte. We went to Liberty Island, circled it (getting a rare glimpse at the back of the Statue of Liberty), and came back, gawking the whole time at the Lower Manhattan skyline, Jersey City, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. Adam and I mostly chose to stand, but you can also sit on the bench at the back of the boat.

It was exhilarating.—we were so energized that afterward, at North End Grill, we babbled about the experience to both our server and a manager at North End Grill. Click the pictures below to get a better view, although none of them really get across the roll of the water or the spray. Rates for four people start around $220, or $55 per person, which might seem substantial, but you’d pay more than that for 90 minutes of entertainment on Broadway…. Call 877-884-6296 or visit for more info.

S-Cruise leaving pierS-Cruise passing 1WTCS-Cruise captains viewS-Cruise looking at New JerseyS-Cruise looking back toward ManhattanS-Cruise approaching Statue of LibertyS-Cruise approaching Statue of Liberty2S-Cruise Captain CharlotteS-Cruise circling Liberty IslandS-Cruise Ellis IslandS-Cruise heading back to ManhattanPrevious Field Trip posts:
Wave Hill
Governors Island
F.D.R. Four Freedoms Park
Litchfield County, Conn.
One Wall Street
Behind the Scenes at Grand Central Terminal
The Howard/Crosby Microneighborhood
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
East River Ferry
Museum of American Finance

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  1. Clever to use a sailboat hull (does that mean a hull that slices rather than planes?)

    But please spare me the marketing hype. A gas engine is far dirtier than a diesel, despite the old stereotype, and less efficient also. When I first saw the headline I thought this boat might be electric. Now that would be smart.