Sunday, July 29, 2012

Spirit Of Buffalo - Evening Cruise

Living in Buffalo, we only have a few short months of boating season. Last month I had the chance to boat around the Niagara River on a friend's boat, and I had an absolutely wonderful time. Getting a beautiful panoramic view of the Buffalo skyline, and listening to a live band  (playing the weekly Thursdays at the Harbor series) was the perfect was to unwind after my "busy season" at work was complete. Driving home that night, I told my boyfriend we needed to do that again soon.

The chance to do it again came about a month later, on a different boat,
The Spirit of Buffalo. The Spirit of Buffalo is run by Buffalo Sailing Adventures, a family owned and operated company since 2008. The Spirit of Buffalo, built in 1992, is a 73 foot sailboat located in the Erie Canal Harbor, Central Wharf right next to the Naval Park. The gorgeous ship has maroon colored sails and is a beautiful green color. If officially began sailing in Buffalo in 2009. 

The company offers day and evening cruises as well as educational programs and pirate cruises. You can get married aboard the ship, and it holds about 40 people per sail. The typical cruise rate is around $28, but they offer additional options including a wine night and dinner packages that cost a little more. Kids are $18. They do bring water, pop and alcohol on board that you can purchase during the cruise as well.

Our cruise was scheduled to take off at 6pm, and we hopped on board and were on our way on time. Our cruise director for the night, Richie, was a lot of fun, and happily answered all the questions we had about sailing throughout the ride. I was even more excited we decided to check it out when I learned that Richie and his family are from Tonawanda, and he is a fellow Kenmore East alum! The entire staff on board was interactive and accommodating and always pointed out "fun facts" along the way. They were great with kids too, and Jacob didn't have a problem chatting away with them! 

It was a windy evening in Buffalo last Monday night (July 23rd) and we were told this was the fastest ride of the year. We were cranking along the river, so much so, that at one point the gigantic sail, ripped (this isn't something that typically happens). The crew handled it flawlessly. Once we hopped off the ship, Richie grabbed a knife and ripped off pieces of the sail that was damaged and gave us all a piece to have as a souvenir. Luckily for Richie and his family they had just purchased a new sail, and were planning on putting it up shortly. 

The $28 cost was worth the two hours I got to spend staring at all the beautiful sights Buffalo has to offer, and spending some more time teaching a seven year old about Buffalo. It is a great option for friends getting together for a night out, for visiting family members and for a birthday celebration. Make sure you bring your camera to snap some pictures, and if you are sailing on a later cruise (8-10pm sunset cruise) a light jacket or sweatshirt! 

I was never really into boating, but after spending a couple hours aboard The Spirit of Buffalo I found a new appreciation for the world of sailing and learned so much. If you are looking for another fun option during the rest of this beautiful Buffalo summer, consider purchasing a ticket on The Spirit of Buffalo! Happy sailing!

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