Want to take a steamboat ride up a lazy river? How about kicking back on a cruise ship lounger with the rock band Kiss? Perhaps you’d rather strike the downward facing dog pose aboard a yacht in the Galapagos. Or maybe sail remote-controlled boats on a pond in New York City. Whatever your nautical dreams entail, all you have to do is pick your vessel because we have you covered with nine ways to rock a boat.
When it comes to yoga, the word “luxury” doesn’t usually leap to mind. But family-owned Ecoventura cruise company is changing that with its two yoga-themed tours aboard the 20-passenger, Relais & Chateaux yacht Origin. Passengers take a seven-night tour of the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, where they can see a variety of wildlife, including tortoises, penguins, albatrosses and more. In addition to morning and evening yoga sessions with yogi Caroline Larrea, passengers can take nature hikes and power walks, as well as snorkeling, kayaking and paddle-boarding excursions. Chef-prepared three- and four-course meals can be adapted for vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements. The rate includes all meals, beverages, excursions and transfers. Both tours depart from San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos. The Nov. 3 tour traverses a southern/central route, and the Nov. 10 tour traverses a western/northern route. Combine both tours and receive a 5% discount. Ecoventura Yoga Cruise, Nov. 3-10, Nov. 10-17. $7,850 all inclusive. 305-262-6264, ecoventura.com.
How would you like to “Rock and Roll All Nite” and “Shout It Out Loud” with Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and the rest of the costumed glam rockers of Kiss on a cruise through the Caribbean? Enjoy dozens of restaurants, bars and lounges, a casino and a spa aboard the Norwegian Pearl for the Kiss Kruise, which departs from Miami Oct. 30. Stops include Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, and Falmouth, Jamaica. The cruise, which also features performances by Warrant and The Darkness among other bands, is one of many music festival cruises hosted by Atlanta-based company Sixthman. If country music is more your style, consider the Brantley Gilbert Cruise featuring performances by Chase Rice, Lanco and Tyler Farr. The ship sails from Miami to Cozumel Nov. 4-8. Passengers of Sixthman’s festival cruises can expect to see their favorite bands perform, sign autographs and more. Kiss Kruise, Oct. 30-Nov. 4. $2,380 and up. Brantley Gilbert Cruise, Nov. 4-8. $960 and up. 877-749-8462, sixthman.net/festivals.
When it comes to speed on the water, nothing goes faster than the competitors at the 39th annual Key West World Championship Nov. 6-10. Adding to the excitement is the addition of the 11th annual Super Boat National Championship. Previously held in Clearwater, Florida, the event makes its Key West debut and runs concurrently. Achieving speeds up to 140 mph in Key West Harbor, professional power boat racers will compete on Wednesday and Friday for the Super Boat National Championship, and on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for the Key West World Championship. In addition to the races, there are plenty of other festivities, including a Downtown Street Party on Duval Street from 7-11 p.m. Friday and the Awards Presentation at 7 p.m. Sunday. Key West World Championship. Nov. 6-10. Free. 305-296-6166, superboat.com/key-west-2019.
Racing remote-controlled, wind-powered sailboats in the center of New York City has been a tradition for more than 140 years. Located by the statues of Alice in Wonderland and Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park, Conservatory Water is where model sailboat enthusiasts gather from April through November to test their boating skills. Spectators can watch members of the Central Park Model Yacht Club compete in weekly regattas from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. The general public is welcome to float their boats the rest of the time. Rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 11 a.m. Mondays-Fridays, 1 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. Sundays. Expect a waiting list on weekends. The rate is $11 plus tax for 30 minutes. When hunger strikes, there’s a cafe nearby with waterside seating for viewing the action while you dine. Sail the Park, Central Park at 76th Street, New York City. sailthepark.com.
Nothing paints a storybook picture of the historic South like a slow glide up the Mississippi River on a steamboat. The American Queen Steamboat Co.’s nine-day Taste of the True South tour starts in New Orleans and cruises north to Memphis. Along the way, the vessel stops at the “White Castle of Louisiana,” a 64-bedroom plantation house in Nottoway. Up next is Francisville, Louisiana, located on the bluffs of the river and home to more than 140 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The next stop is Natchez, Mississippi, the oldest city on the river, followed by Vicksburg and Tunica, Mississippi. The rate includes meals, beer and wine, shore excursions and a one night, pre-voyage hotel stay in New Orleans. Taste of the True South. $2,299 all inclusive. Oct. 27-Nov. 4 and Nov. 10-18. 888-749-5280, americanqueensteamboatcompany.com.
The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade claims the distinction of being the seventh-largest spectator event in the country. More than a million people are expected to gather in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Dec. 14 to watch the 12-mile, two-and-a-half-hour parade of illuminated watercraft pass through town. Everything from private boats to mega-yachts adorned with lights and decorations will participate, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Stranahan House and traveling east along the New River to the Intracoastal Waterway to Pompano Beach. The grand marshal is glam rocker Bret Michaels. Additional festivities include musical performances and fireworks. Winterfest Boat Parade, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 14. $20-$25 grandstand viewing, $35 private boat viewing, $75 Santa Showboat. 954-767-0686, winterfestparade.com.
Explore mysterious Manchac Swamp, home to gators, snakes, turtles, herons and more, with a Cajun Pride Swamp Tour. Aboard an old-fashioned covered swamp boat, knowledgeable guides take visitors into the dense cypress forest, shrouded in Spanish moss. There they educate visitors on the Louisiana wetlands and its inhabitants, especially the American alligator, and the Cajun way of life. But the best part of the tour is spotting the elusive swamp creatures that are enticed to show themselves when the boat captain calls. Tours last 90 minutes and are offered at 9:30 a.m., noon and 2:15 p.m. daily. A 4:15 p.m. tour is offered most days from March 1-Oct. 1, but call ahead to confirm. The launch site is in LaPlace, Louisiana, 30 miles west of New Orleans. Cajun Pride Swamp Tours, 110 Frenier Road, LaPlace, Louisiana. $16-$27. 504-467-0758, cajunprideswamptours.com.
Norwegian Cruise Line launches a new, 3,998-passenger capacity ship in November called Encore with a seven-day cruise from Miami to the eastern Caribbean with stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Attractions include the Observation Lounge, featuring floor-to-ceiling, 180-degree views; the Waterfront, a quarter-mile promenade around the ship; a 1,100-foot race track that extends 13 feet over the side of the ship; a 10,000-square-foot laser tag arena; and an immersive escape room. Entertainment includes the Tony Award-winning musical “Kinky Boots” and The Cavern Club, a re-creation of the Liverpool club with live performances by a Beatles cover band. Dining options run the gamut from Texas-style barbecue and Asian cuisine to French and Italian. Accommodations range from studios for solo travelers to connecting staterooms with balconies for families. For high rollers seeking a more exclusive experience, The Haven by Norwegian provides keycard holders access to a private restaurant, bar, lounge, courtyard, pool and sun deck. It also includes concierge and butler service. Norwegian Encore seven-day cruise, starting Nov. 24. $449 and up. 800-657-5773, ncl.com.
For a river ride that gets you close to the action, take a kayak or canoe tour of the Chattooga River with Southeastern Expeditions, based in the North Georgia mountains. Designated a Wild and Scenic River, protected by a congressional act passed in 1968, the Chattooga is one of the few rivers in the area that hasn’t been dammed. There are few structures along the river, and motorized vehicles are not allowed within a quarter-mile of its shore. Southeastern Expeditions offers all levels of canoe and kayak instruction, from beginners to advanced. Overnight expeditions include camping in the Sumter National Forest, a Southern-style breakfast in the morning followed by rafting a series of daring rapids called the Corkscrew, the Jaw Bone and Sock ‘em Dog. Participants must be at least 12 years old and able to paddle. Some novice clinics allow younger children with families. Southeastern Expeditions, 7350 U.S. 76 E., Clayton. $77 and up. 800-868-7238, southeasternexpeditions.com.
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