Sweet sailing: Boat parties and booze cruises

The Spirit of Philadelphia holds a number of cruises throughout the remainder of the summer. (Photo via Spirit of Philadelphia)

Sometimes things on land just fall a bit … flat. That’s why we’re hitting the high seas, so to speak, for the remainder of the summer. I hope you’ve got your sea legs; it’s time to kick it like high-class cruisers. Swim trunks and flippy-floppies not required.

Summer happy hours in Atlantic City are best spent oceanside. Every evening at 6 p.m. until Sunday, Sept. 14, see the marinas and back bays of Atlantic City while sipping on your favorite beverages. You’ll set sail from the Historic Gardner’s Basin.

The next two Wednesdays, Aug. 20 and Aug. 27, sip on selected wines on a one-hour cruise departing from Dravo Dock in Wilmington, Del. Take your pick from one of the three sail times each night: 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

If beer floats and cheesesteaks tickle your fancy, the Spirit of Philadelphia is hosting a Yards Beef and Beer Cruise on Wednesday, Aug. 20 where you’ll get samplings from Yards, including a tart berry ale, PYNK, desserts from Franklin Fountain, and a build-your-own-cheesesteak station in addition to the ship’s menu items. Boarding begins at Penn’s Landing at 6:30 p.m. and you’ll be boozin’ and cruisin’ until 9:30 p.m.

Pinot Boutique holds a few tastings aboard yachts departing from the Independence Seaport Museum. On Wednesday, Aug. 20 and Saturday, Aug. 30 you’ll find out what wines pair best with Philly food favorites like cheesesteaks, soft pretzels and Tastykakes from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday nights got a little bit classier. Pop a bottle aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia for their champagne dinners the next two Fridays, Aug. 22 and Aug. 29. You’ll board the ship at Penn’s Landing at 7 p.m. and sip, dine and sail until 10:30 p.m.

Take your Sunday brunch to the seas river courtesy of the Ben Franklin Yacht. Every Sunday from Aug. 24 (and even Friday, Aug. 22 for good measure) through Oct. 12, sip on cocktails and listen to a guide point out areas of interest along the waterfront for two hours. Most weeks begin boarding at 12:30 p.m. (except for Aug. 22 when you board at 6 p.m. and Sept. 24 when you board at 4 p.m.) at Pier 24 and sail from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Another brunch option includes make-your-own Bloody Marys on Sunday, Aug. 24, Saturday, Aug. 30 and Sunday, Aug. 31. You’ll board at 11 a.m. for Aug. 30’s sail and 11:30 a.m. for the cruises on Sundays on the Spirit of Philadelphia for two hours of dining.

Take a page from '70s and '80s fashion magazines and get in gear for a throwback Caribbean coast on the Ben Franklin Yacht — you’ll board at Pier 24. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31, the best tunes from the decades will play while cruisers enjoy a complimentary buffet and cash bar.

Break all the rules and wear white after Labor Day during the Locals Only Summer of Love Sunset Cruise on Sunday, Sept. 14, setting sail at 6 p.m. Bid the season farewell with cocktails, (emotional) dance music courtesy of Dave P. Jayo and Ed Christof at the Benjamin Franklin Yacht at Pier 24 on Columbus Boulevard.

If you get hungry while you sail, this all-you-can-eat crab cruise will have you coming to Wilmington, Del. all September long. Friday, Sept. 12, Thursday, Sept. 18, Friday, Sept. 19, Thursday, Sept. 25, and Friday, Sept. 26, the Wilmington Riverboat Queen (located on the dock behind Iron Hill Brewery) welcomes diners aboard at 7 p.m. for two hours of gorging.