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The new Coastal Cat ships from ACL will dock in Sag Harbor seven times from May to October. (Photo courtesy of American Cruise Lines)

Folks in Sag Harbor are used to seeing giant building-sized yachts docked along the wharf, but this year, there’s a new boat in town.

Starting in May, the U.S.-based American Cruise Lines began their newest water tour, the Yankee Seaports Cruise. The eight day, seven night trek starts in Boston, stops in the New York City and winds it way down the south shore of Long Island with an overnight stop in Sag Harbor. 

“Ships dock in the heart of each destination, and they can tender in or dock there so our guests can walk into town, just like from a private boat or ferry,” says Alexa Paolella, a representative from ACL. “ACL introduced 10 new river boats [recently] — authentic paddle wheelers and the coastal boats. All have 100% outward facing state rooms. The whole style is meant to be comfortable like a floating boutique hotel to go and enjoy the ports.”

According to Paolella, the average size of each double state room is 350 square feet for a double state room, and the boat is fully handicap accessible and offers elevators to access docks when in port. 

The sun deck of one of ACL’s Coastal Cats. (Photo courtesy of American Cruise Lines)

The common complaints about cruises, of course, from people who live in the areas of port are that the boats and their guests take more than they give. What seems to be the positive about ACL’s modus operandi is cruisers here tend to be seekers of experiences. The boats, for instance, don’t do the usual floating circus stuff. “There are no casinos, no swimming pools, no Cirque du Soleil,” says Paolella, citing intimate musical performances and lectures about the boats’ destinations. “We had a Mark Twain expert, for instance, on the Mississippi cruise,” she says. 

They also partner with businesses in each port to create a more symbiotic relationship between the cruising company and each town, as well as a better experience for their guests. 

“Guests can do what they want – it is an all-inclusive cruise on board, with food, drink and activities – however, guests often eat in the local restaurants in port because they have more time in every port,” she says. “On shore activities are included, too, and we also arrange extra excursions that are extra with a local company, like a fishing charter.”

When in Sag Harbor, the Yankee Seaport’s activities will include:

  • A behind-the-scenes experience at Bay Street Theater
  • Local wine tasting with our Long Island wineries and local experts 
  • A docent-guided visit to Sag Harbor Cinema, including a screening, view of current exhibitions, a cocktail in the Green Room, and swag bag.
  • A visit to Kidd Squid Brewing for a beer tasting and take-away four-pack 
  • A Sag Harbor Historical Exploration, including a personal guided tour of the Annie Cooper Boyd House, Custom House and Whaling Museum.

ACL is the only cruise line in the world that has a 100% U.S. flagged fleet of river boats and small cruise ships, all well under 200 passengers, offering a multitude of itineraries around the country, covering coastal treks like the Yankee Seaport Cruise here as well as other East Coast-rimming destinations like Newport, Rhode Island, coastal Maine, and Nantucket to water bodies like the Hudson River, Chesapeake Bay, the Columbia and Snake Rivers and the Puget Sound among others. 

“No one else can sail these itineraries; only companies that have U.S. flagged small ships and riverboats, and that’s just us. The others can’t go where we go,” says Paolella.  

The Yankee Seaport Cruise will run from May through October, there will be seven cruises that visit Sag Harbor. Click here for information. The next Sag. Harbor port stop is Tuesday, May 28.