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All About the NYC Cycleboats in Jersey City

by Steph
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If you’ve been looking for something unique to do in Hudson County this summer — you’re in luck: NYC Cycleboats is a brand new concept that has come to the local boating scene that launch out of Jersey City. Human-powered, NYC Cycleboats is a social and active water adventure that allows friends, families, and tourists to take in the Manhattan skyline as they pedal through the Hudson River, socializing, exercising, sight-seeing, and maybe even while day-drinking — thanks to a BYOB beer and wine policy.

“Guests can expect to have a great time and experience truly breathtaking views of Downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty,” owner Christopher Coscia tells Hoboken Girl in an email.
“The tour is a multifaceted experience that mixes socializing, drinking, exercise, sightseeing, and even dancing. The boat is outfitted with a Bluetooth stereo system so guests can play whatever music they’d like while pedaling along the Hudson.” Keep reading to find out more about the NYC Cycleboats in Jersey City. 

nyc cycleboats

How Cycleboats Came to Jersey City

NYC Cycleboats is the first of its kind in the New York Harbor. It’s a 16-person pedal-powered boat that features a mahogany bar, ice-filled coolers, and a Bluetooth sound system. Up to 10 riders can be seated comfortably at cycling stations. Riders pedal together to propel the paddlewheel vessel.

Cycleboats owner Christopher Coscia is a 30-year-old Staten Island resident who brought the idea to life here on the Hudson after participating in a Cycleboat tour in Chicago. When Coscia saw how fun {and how popular} cycleboats were on the Chicago River, he became inspired and knew he wanted to bring a similar experience to the HudsonAnd bachelorette parties everywhere are thanking him.

Read More: Weekend Getaway Idea: Chicago, Illinois

“Prior to the Chicago Cycleboat tour, I had always thought how fun it would be to do a pedal trolley {on land} in the City, but it is just not practical with the congested city streets,” Coscia says. “When I experienced the Cycleboat tour in Chicago, it mixed that pedal trolley vibe with additional seating and room to walk around.”

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“It was a blast and I couldn’t help but think: we need this in New York City. Similar to BYOB pedal trolleys that have become popular activities in cities like Nashville and Portland, NYC Cyleboats brings a comparable experience to the water, avoiding dangerous and congested metro area streets,” Coscia adds.

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How It Works

NYC Cycleboats features accommodations for up to 16 passengers and two crew members. Riders can alternate time spent cycling, socializing, and relaxing with additional non-biking seats. Plus, there’s a last-resort gas motor if you get super tired.

“Not to mention if you were tired of pedaling or just wanted to enjoy the view [in Chicago], the boats’ motor could easily take over,” Coscia adds. “I just thought that an activity that could be fun on a river in the middle of nowhere would be greatly enhanced by incorporating views of Manhattan. It was an activity that I wanted to see in NY/NJ and something I knew other people would enjoy as well!”

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With Coscia being a Staten Island native, he knew almost immediately that Jersey City was the perfect destination for NYC Cycleboats’ launching pad.

“We picked Jersey City because of its views of Manhattan, the diverse community, and ease of access via public transportation as well as personal vehicles {there is pay parking on site},” Coscia says.

“We also chose our particular location because of its proximity to the Statue of Liberty and being out of the way of the majority of NY Waterway ferries. We are a leisure vessel that will not be moving very fast and felt it was important to stay out of the way of commuter ferries trying to keep schedule. Jersey City was the perfect location to debut our new experience.”

What to Expect

While the boating experience is BYOB, Coscia says guests over 21 may bring wine and beer, however, no liquor is permitted.

The ride takes an hour and 40 minutes and leaves out of Liberty Harbor Marina in JC, across from Pier 11 in Manhattan. The boat pedals around the Hudson River, passes Ellis Island, and circles the Statue of Liberty.

“It is still a relatively new concept,” Coscia says. “It was brand new to Chicago last year and there is only one company that makes the boat, across the country in Oregon. Being totally honest, I was a bit surprised that I wasn’t late to the game when inquiring about the possibility of bringing a Cycleboat to NY/NJ. That being said, this is something that has been developing since last June between meeting with the Coast Guard and the manufacturer.”

nyc cycleboats hudson river
While NYC Cycleboats tends to follow a specific route, Coscia acknowledges that the tour is as fun as you make it.
“The tour is what you make of it, believe it or not, it can actually be pretty strenuous exercise depending on how much we lower the paddlewheel {that controls resistance}.  That being said, the guest doesn’t have to pedal at all if they don’t want.  They can sit around a floating bar drinking with friends while taking in the sights as we move along with the motor,” Coscia explains. “Down the line we expect to start blocking off one night a week for members that meet weekly or biweekly to socialize and exercise at discounted rates.”

The Future of NYC Cycleboats

Membership isn’t all Coscia envisions for his boating endeavor. NYC Cycleboats is a fun option for birthday parties, graduations, and even bachelor or bachelorette parties.  Coscia believes there’s something for everyone at NYC Cycleboats.
“My ultimate goal is to create an unforgettable experience and a different way to celebrate special occasions,” he adds. “I really enjoy incorporating exercise and physical activity into my everyday life and social activities. For people that have the same outlook, the NYC Cycleboat tour is a must-do.  In the future, I plan to bring Cycleboats to more NYC/NJ locations but we’re taking it one step at a time.”

For more information and booking opportunities, check out NYCCycleboats.com or email Chris at [email protected] or call 718-635-0430.

Have you done a cycleboat tour before? Let us know in the comments! 

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