On the water in Cape May
On the water in Cape May—for the purposes of this post I’m talking about boats of various sizes and types. There is a plethora of boating experiences you can have just off the island and each one has its own vibe and personality. Some of them are wonderful kid friendly activities and others are strictly for the adult crowd. Whether you like speed and exhilaration or slow and relaxing, there is something for everyone. I personally love being on the water (which is ironic because I am actually deathly afraid of deep water) and find the gentle rocking from the waves rather Zen. Boating in Cape May was touched on briefly in my Birding in Cape May posts, so I thought it was a good idea to cover a few more. It’s important to know that these are seasonal activities, and each has their own specific calendar of availability.
Fun and Parties
Jersey Shore Cruises (Cape May Cycle Cruisers) located on Ocean Drive is a super fun and unique experience on the water. It is a pontoon, cycle party boat. Yes, I know that sounds crazy but also so much fun! It is basically a pontoon boat that is fitted with a table for pedaling. The pedaling is optional, so don’t worry about the commitment. You will not actually be propelling the boat through the water. Private and non-private cruises are available. Private tours can accommodate up to 20 party guests. Cycle cruising is also great for celebrations, family fun and of course bachelorette parties! There is even a sound system on board to play your favorite tunes—yes you’ll have room to dance. So, grab your sunscreen, snacks, a cooler (for your favorite drinks) and your shades and give it a try! Check out all of the options and make a reservation online.
Island Hoppers located in the Harbor View Marina on Ocean Highway is a great option if you just want to book a trip with others or schedule a private cruise. The 90-minute harbor cruise is not private (you will be on the boat with others) and departs 4 times throughout the day—from 11:00am to 5:00pm. While onboard you will see a variety of wildlife, local birds, waterfront homes and more. Water is provided, but you are also able to bring a small cooler as well. Private cruises are also popular and are a great way to celebrate a special occasion, bachelorette parties, anniversaries—you name it. Each cruise is a maximum of 6 people and vary in price depending on time of day and length of cruise. The Harbor Hop is very popular with stops at local bars such as The Schooner Bar at the Lobster House, Tavern Deck Bar at Two Mile Landing and more! There is also a wonderful 2-hour sunset cruise that begins at 7:00pm. Reservations can be made online.
Tiny Cruise Line located near the Lobster House on Route 109 has even more options for some wild time on the water. Their two boats out of Cape May are the Tiny Tiki and Fancy. Tiny Tiki is (you guessed it) a Tiki boat that accommodates up to 15 passengers for the 1.5 hour trip and 12 for the 3 hour bar/restaurant or swimming trip. The Fancy, a fantail launch boat hold up to 10 passengers on their trips that also include a 1.5 hour and 3 hour hopper option. As you might imagine, it’s also an extremely popular bachelorette party venue as well! Both vessels allow you to bring snacks and beverages, but there is more room to accommodate on the Tiny Tiki. Reservations can be made by calling or email.
Miss Chris Fishing is located on Wilson Drive and is perfect for a fishing excursion. This family-owned business has been around since 2015. They offer a variety of fishing cruises that fit everyone’s schedule from early bird to sunset. Most of the cruises last about 4 hours and include everything you would need to fish including a fishing license. There are some longer specialty cruises as well, such as the full day (8 hour) Wreck Special. You are welcome to bring food and a cooler. The crew will clean your catch as you head back to the marina, so no worries about that. There are also quite a few options for private charter cruises, and you can also add a buffet meal and open bar. There’s even a burial at sea private charter. Reservations can be made online.
East Coast Jet Boat is located at Utsch’s Marina and is definitely for those who have a need for speed! This hour long wild ride including spins, tricks, and a high-speed adrenaline adventures you’ll never forget! The boat hold 23 passengers and is not really suitable for young passengers. You will learn a little, get wet a little and have a ton of fun! Reservations can be made online.
Seeing a little nature and more…
Cape May Whale Watcher is located on Wilson drive and has been in business since 1993. Our kids loved to take whale watching cruises when they were little, and we always saw something. There are a variety of whale and dolphin watching cruises to choose from. Depending on the time of day and one you select, there is free Danish, hot dog or pizza included with your ticket. Additionally, there is a snack bar with items for purchase include a selection of adult type beverages such as beer, wine and even cocktails. Or you can book a dinner cruise and go all out. You might be surprised to learn that they also have some pretty awesome specialty cruises as well. Two in particular piqued my curiosity: the Wine Cruise and the Brew Cruise. The Brew Cruise included pretzel necklaces, which if you read my Pub Crawl post you know I credit my sister Liz with that idea! I was also not aware that they do private charters too. Reservations can be made online.
Cape May Whale Watchers & Research Center is located on Route 109 at the South Jersey Marina. Their focus is primarily on nature cruises with options to see whales, dolphins, as well as a variety of local birds. Most of the cruises are 2-3 hours, but they do offer a 24-hour cruise that departs at 6:30 in the morning. This educational adult only trip is led by a team of experienced marine mammal naturalists and researchers, and even a pelagic bird naturalist. While offshore, they chum the waters for pelagic birds. If that is too long, they offer a shorter 12-hour cruise as well. As with the others, private cruises are an option as well. Reservations can be made online.
Birding by Boat on the Osprey is located on Wilson Drive. The Osprey cruises are all about birding and have expert naturalists on each journey. We had a great time when we went. The guys who ran the cruise were extremely knowledgeable and so nice (and funny). They have been running tours since 1995. The birds that you might see vary depending on the time of year, but you will certainly see a lot. The cruises are typically 3 and a half hours and go down the canal, as well as through the marshland. They also offer a sunset cruise which is two hours. Reservations can be made online.
I hope this has inspired you to venture out on the water if you have not tried it. Taking a cruise is one of the most fun things to do in Cape May! You’re certain to find one for every vibe. Please note that they generally run from spring to late fall and the specific schedules will be on each website. All the cruises I have mentioned have some sort of restroom on board. Most of them are kid friendly and I don’t believe any are doggie friendly, but private cruises may make an exception. They do prefer that you don’t bring any glass bottles onboard for the obvious safety reasons. I believe the only thing missing from the cruise options in Cape May is a yacht cruise—there is so much to do. Let me know if you like cruising in Cape May and which one is your favorite!
This was a fabulous edition of your blog! Looking for summer boat tours and you delivered!!
That makes me so very happy! I hope you have a wonderful time!!!
Thanks for the helpful info on boat day trips for non-fishers. Much appreciated!
You are so very welcome!!!