Some of us were born into a land sort of family. We may never remember being on a boat as a child. Our family’s time to shine is more the Christmas holidays than the sun-bronzed days of summer. These types probably prefer autumn when its crisp breezes blow away the stink of hot, humid summer. They may even consider summer “those really hot months we have to endure before fall.”
There are summer families of course. They live for the warmer weather when they can shed layers of clothing. Their legs have never been on the same scale of white as the rest of us. And there is one thing summer families tend to know that the rest of us don’t: Being on the water puts everything into perspective.
Not just the water itself of course. But the blue, expansive sky reflected in the water. And the trees and foliage along its banks and shores. Depending on where you are – maybe it’s rolling hills beside a lake, palm trees in the sand, or steep red banks of dirt. Sometimes, it’s even the wildlife. The gentle rock of water and the vast scenery somehow work together to soothe and refresh us.
This is why I’ve been fascinated lately by harbor cruises offered in so many of the great cities perfect for tourists. New York City, Boston, Virginia Beach, and Chicago – all of these great cities offer site-seeing cruises; and I’m sure many more do as well.
New York, Chicago, and Boston, for instance, offer cruises with a relaxed pace as well as wet and wild high-speed ones on giant speed boats often painted with jaws and eyeballs like a shark. Boston Harbor Cruises calls their speed boat Codzilla. Chicago calls theirs the Sea Dog, and New York City, The Beast. flagship harbor cruise offers excellent info on this.
Many of the cruises have unique themes to give us options. Chicago often sets the bar for beautiful architecture and offers a cruise devoted to this fact. In St. Louis, Missouri, you can cruise the Mississippi on an 1800s-themed steamboat named after one of the famous characters in Mark Twain’s novels. Boston offers a Lighthouse and Lobster cruise on a schooner. You get a unique view of historic lighthouses and at the end actually bring in the lobster catch! And New York City’s Circle Line offers a romantic cruise by moonlight.
And what about the wildlife? Several eastern seaboard cruise lines offer tours for whale or dolphin watching. Aquatic life is some of the most mysterious and majestic in the world. You’ll be fascinated and moved to see them in their natural habit as if you’ve caught a mythical creature off guard.
Whether the pace is fast or slow, though, what better view of the harbor could there be than from the water? There is no more refreshing atmosphere for summer or breathtaking perspective under autumn’s angled light. Harbor cruises are a unique, refreshing way to see the sites in any city by the water.