What’s a Sunset Cruise?

We’ve all heard of cruises that leave port and return a week later after touring the Caribbean. But they’re far from the only cruise game in town. If a week at sea feels like a little too much commitment, money, or risk, then a short sunset cruise might be perfect for you.

A sunset cruise is much smaller in scale, because the experience is designed to be more relaxed and intimate. You’re also way less likely to catch a nasty cruise ship virus. Here are some things you should know if you’re new to the world of sunset cruises.

They last two or three hours

Sunset only lasts so long, after all. A sunset cruise will leave a good hour or so before sunset so you’ll have time to take plenty of golden hour photographs. The point is to watch the sunset from a unique vantage point on the water, then return to shore once the sun is gone and night has taken over.

You’re not just sitting on a boat and watching the sun go down, though. You’re also doing plenty of eating and drinking. Some cruises will set out a buffet full of appetizers and finger foods, while others will offer a full dinner with table service. Either way, there’s also going to be wine and other adult beverages available.

While there’s a lot to see above the water, that’s not the only show. Some boats also have underwater lights that allow you to gaze upon the sea life at dusk. If you’re not close to an ocean, you can take a sunset cruise on a nearby lake or river. But the best experience comes from going on a cruise off the coast of Florida or another coastal state. Something like a sunset cruise West Palm Beach is simply more beautiful and luxurious than going on a riverboat or lake cruise.

You can charter your own cruise

Many sunset cruises are open to the public. That means that anyone can go online and look up a cruise’s schedule, then buy tickets and climb aboard. If a cruise ship is set to depart the marina at 6pm, then it’s going to do that regardless of whether the ship is completely full or only half-full. If you’re not sure how much you’d like a cruise, starting with a public sunset cruise is your best bet.

But what if you’re planning a party and want things to feel a little more exclusive? In that case, you can charter your own sunset cruise. It’s typically more expensive to reserve an entire boat for your party, but it’s worth the price if you want to be sure that no one else will bother you. When you charter a boat, you’ve got more room to spread out and relax with friends and loved ones. Such trips can be quite romantic if you’ve got the right person by your side.

Sunset cruise safety tips

Most cruise ships should have their own supply of life jackets for adults and children. You may not have to wear a life jacket for the entire cruise, or even for any part of the cruise, since local regulations vary. However, you should know where the life jackets are located in case of an emergency. If the ship’s captain tells you to retrieve your life jackets, don’t question it.

If you’re worried about motion sickness, you have a few options. One is drinking lots of water and avoiding alcohol. You can request a ginger ale or Sprite to help settle your stomach. Eating crackers may also help. If you’re not feeling well before the cruise, it might be best to see if you can reschedule for a later date. Generally speaking, it’s a bad idea to get on a boat if you’re already feeling under the weather. You want to enjoy yourself, after all, and you should stay on solid ground if you’re feeling ill.