Family Travel: Seastreak Ferries

The Seastreak Ferry

By Mia Weber

Though the summer season may be fading, the opportunities to get out on the water for some family fun–or to start planning a top-notch vacation for next summer–are still endless. One of our favorite family travel resources in NYC? The Seastreak Ferry! Departing from Manhattan at points on the East River at 35th Street and at Pier 11, Seastreak provides reliable high-speed offerings that are equal parts incredibly convenient and fun in and of themselves.

One of Seastreak’s core offerings is its transport to Martha’s Vineyard during the summer months (May through August)–and while the opportunity for MV travel this season has drawn to a close, now is the perfect time to begin your research for a 2015 jaunt to the Vineyard with the whole family. Undeniably the most convenient way to travel from the city to Cape, the ride to MV takes passengers past many iconic NYC sights on the way out (which can be seen off several deck levels) and offers a snack bar (and a cash bar for mom and dad), multiple TV screens, and comfy seats onboard.

The five hours to Oak Bluffs seem to fly by as you look out at the beauty of Long Island Sound all around you. And in fact, even on a cloudy and humid August weekend, I noticed plenty of families with kids of all ages enjoying the ride to MV–with their strollers easily stored and their kiddos munching happily on slices of pizza. And once you disembark in OB, the access (within walking distance) to family-friendly restaurants, shopping, and sight-seeing is simply a dream come true.

The view from the back of the Seastreak Ferry, en route to Martha’s Vineyard

Additionally, if a beach day closer to home is more your speed, you can try Seastreak’s crusies to Sandy Hook Beach. Offered all week long with convenient departure times to and from Manhattan, this is a great way to explore a beautiful local beach that’s basically in NYC’s backyard.

And of course, as you look to the Fall season ahead, Seastreak also offers Fall Foliage Day Cruises on the Hudson with a stop at Cold Spring (September 20 through November 6). Pack up the whole fam and get ready to take in some of the Northeast’s most breathtaking leaf-peeping as the Seastreak Ferry follows the river as  under the George Washington Bridge, past the Cloisters, and past the Palisades. Then enjoy a cruise along the shores of Hastings-on-the-Hudson, Tarrytown, Ossining, Croton Point, Haverstraw, Stony Point, Bear Mountain, and West Point–all narrated by an expert on the history of the Hudson. Finally, the Seastreak ferry stops in Cold Spring, NY for a lunch break!

So whether you’re already counting down the month’s til next summer and the shores of the Vineyard beckon, or you’re in search of a totally unique way to enjoy the Hudson River with your family during peak foliage season, don’t miss Seastreak’s convenient and very fun offerings! For info on schedules, pricing, and more, visit!


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