Every year it was the same thing: summer would come and I would see the people riding Jet Ski across the Hudson River here in New York and wondered how amazing that experience should be. Until the staff from Sea and the City contacted me in October last year inviting me to take a tour. But, I thought it would be something with a greater appeal for warm weather and that I would enjoy the experience more on a hot day. At the end of May, we finally booked our tour and, although I already posted a video on the channel, linked at the end of this post, I thought it would be interesting to talk about the experience also in a post and list important details that were left out.
1. Choose your tour
There are two available tours: 1 Hour – New York Harbor Tour e 2.5 Hour – Full Manhattan Circle Tour. We did the 1 Hour, that pass by Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport and Governors Island. The 2.5 tour, obviously, includes mora places, like Williamsburg, Long Island City, Roosevelt Island and George Washington Bridge. Regardless of your choice, remember that you can operate the Jet Ski or you can go with someone (friend, boyfriend, family, etc.). In the middle of the tour, it is possible to change positions.
I think it’s good to explain the word “tour” in this case – it’s nothing more than a guided tour of Jet Ski. The group follows the instructions and directions of a guide – that is, you do not drive aimlessly by the river, you must follow the itinerary of the tour. But that’s all. You go at your pace and always have someone around to guide you. In my case, I was always one of the last of the group, and sometimes some guide signaled me to cut a path and find the group faster.
- Monday – Thursday: 1 Hour – New York Harbor Tour U$159 + U$49 for an additional rider
- Friday – Sunday: 1 Hour – New York Harbor Tour U$179 + U$49 for an additional rider
- Monday – Thursday: 2.5 Hour – Full Manhattan Circle Tour U$299 + U$59 for an additional rider
- Friday – Sunday: 2.5 Hour – Full Manhattan Circle Tour U$339 + U$59 for an additional rider
3. Tours departure
Sea and the City is located at Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, and the most convenient way to get there is by taking the Liberty Landing Ferry which leaves from the World Financial Center Terminal (199 Vessey Street) in Downtown, adjacent to Brookfield Place, very close to One World Trade Center. Arriving at the terminal, just check the gate on the big screen – the ticket costs $7 (round trip is $14!) and the payment is done inside the Ferry – that is, you do not need to buy a ticket before. Check the website and see all the schedules so you can plan your trip and do not miss the last boat leaving the park! Once you exit the ferry, turn right, with Manhattan behind you, until you reach the Maritime Center Building. Around the building, Sea-City’s office is behind it. Important: you have to be there 30 minutes before your tour time! Due to the greater availability of ferry schedules, I think it best to take the tour on a weekday.
4. What do I need to bring?
Do not forget an ID – otherwise, you do not take the tour. And also bring the credit card used for the reservation. Yes, it is super necessary to make the reservation beforehand as there are not many spots available at each tour. Bring bathing suits (I wore a swimsuit) and also bring a bag to leave your belongings and make the change of clothes. Sea the City has free lockers for you to accommodate your belongings. Another very important thing: if you like your sunglasses, it is not a good idea to ride the Jet Ski with it. There are great chances of it falling into the water! Or you take cheap sunglasses, which you will not miss.
5. How can I make pictures/videos?
It is not allowed to take cell phones and cameras to the Jet Ski. There are two package options:
- Photos + GoPro – $59 (when booked in advance) or $ 79 (if you decide on time);
- Photo Package – $ 29 (when booked in advance) or $ 39 (if you decide on time).
But blog readers do not pay for the photo package! INSERT THE “PeruchiPics” CODE in the reservation comment space to get the photos package for FREE!
If you choose the GoPro package, a camera will be placed in front of your Jet Ski and will record the whole ride. It’s funny to see our reactions later! Soon after the tour, you already receive the memory card with the video. As for the photos, there are some stops during the one-hour tour and the guide herself takes the photos. On the one-hour tour, we took pictures at Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and the city skyline. Photos are emailed until 24 hours after the tour!
6. I never ride a Jet Ski!
Nor did I! Incidentally, it was one of the first things I asked them about and guess what? Most people who do the tour have also never ridden Jet Ski before. It is not necessary to have the experience, or anything. You watch a safety video beforehand and the guide gives you several tips as well – here comes another important factor: you NEED to understand English and have your level should allow you to communicate! I was very excited to do the tour, but, I confess, I was worried too. I talked to some people who had already done it (also for the first time) and calmed down. Basically, you only use two Jet Ski functions: power on and accelerate. And that’s it! The more you accelerate, the more stability you have and, believe me, you will get it! Yes, I was nervous, tense, but I was concentrating on what I was doing (after all, it was my first time, right?) and it was much easier than I had imagined. Oh, everyone wears a lifejacket, obviously.
Plus, the experience is simply fantastic and unparalleled. It does not compare to anything I’ve ever done here – and I’ve seen NYC from Big Ferry, small Ferry, and sailing boat – but nothing, absolutely nothing compares to seeing the city from a Jet Ski! In fact, now that I know how it is, I feel more willing to repeat the experience! Oh, we did the 6:15 pm tour! Remember: you must be 18 to ride the Jet Ski!
7. But my trip to NYC is during Winter time…
No problem! There are tours almost all year round – the season starts in March and runs through the New Year. There are appropriate clothing provided by the company – I even wore a jacket over my bathing suit, because I was afraid of getting cold with the wind and water, which occasionally spills over you.
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.