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How To Cruise On A Budget In NYC (North River Lobster Co)

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lobster boat
Checking out the menu before boarding the boat. Photo courtesy of Jessie Festa.

Recently, I made one of my most memorable New York City discoveries: a 3-deck lobster boat restaurant called the North River Lobster Co offering beautiful skyline views, uber fresh lobster, and tasty cocktails.

It’s pretty budget-friendly, too, as you pay $10 to board and then only for what you eat, and there are plenty of food options for under $25 as well as $9 beers, $10-$12 wines, and $16 signature cocktails — like the refreshing “Watermelon Mule” with lime vodka, ginger beer, and watermelon.

Plus, they offer great packages if you want to host your birthday party on a boat in NYC. If you have enough people, they’ll even reserve an entire floor of the boat for you!

A delicious lobster from the North River Lobster Co. Photo courtesy of Jessie Festa.

What amazed me was that the cruise itself was so budget-friendly to board, with no obligation to buy food or drink if you didn’t want to.

Seriously. You can sit back and get a tan while sailing the Hudson River, with each cruise lasting an hour.

North River Lobster Co opened in May 2014, and I’ve actually had a few local readers in NYC send me emails asking if I’d tried it after hearing the buzz. Well, now I have, and I have some tips:

shrimp po boy
My shrimp po’ boy. Good, but the lobster was wayyyy better. Photo courtesy of Jessie Festa.

1. Order the lobster, lobster roll or lobster cobb salad. North River Lobster Co is known for their lobster, which is uber fresh and so packed with flavor you won’t even need butter.

I made the mistake of ordering the shrimp po’boy, which wasn’t bad, but was nothing compared to the lobster dishes my companions ordered.

north river lobster co
The upper deck of the North River Lobster Co boat. This is only a section of it — it’s actually much bigger. Photo courtesy of Jessie Festa.

2. Sit on the top deck if the weather is warm.

It’s open and you’ll be able to feel the breeze and work on your tan (although I recommend you wear sunscreen, as I got a bit burned).

Plus, the atmosphere on this level is very lively and social. The second level is also nice, with window-side tables and a raw bar, with more of a romantic feel.

manhattan skyline
The Manhattan skyline as seen from the North River Lobster Co boat. Photo courtesy of Jessie Festa.

3. Bring your happiest friends. Just feeling the sun shining on you while sipping a vodka-laced lemonade on a boat will instantly make you overjoyed. Bring fun and happy people with you to enhance the experience.

4. Bring your camera. Even if you’re a local you’ll have many opportunities for great skyline and food shots.

What’s your favorite budget-friendly experience in NYC? Please share in the comments below.

About Jessie Festa

Jessie Festa is a New York-based travel content creator who is passionate about empowering her audience to experience new places and live a life of adventure. She is the founder of the solo female travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, and is editor-in-chief of Epicure & Culture, an online conscious tourism magazine. Along with writing, Jessie is a professional photographer and is the owner of NYC Photo Journeys, which offers New York photo tours, photo shoots, and wedding photography. Her work has appeared in publications like USA Today, CNN, Business Insider, Thrillist, and WestJet Magazine.

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  1. OHMYGOSH! My friend mentioned something to me about a lobster boat earlier this summer, but then we could never figure out the name of it or any details about it. Thank you so much for pointing it out! So psyched to finally try it out before the weather gets too cool 😀

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