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Why Riding the ZEPHYR is the Only New York Cruise Ship Experience I'll Ever Need

Updated on July 20, 2016

The ZEPHYR is an elegant, huge cruise yacht, featuring three decks and two cash bars and soft plush seating. You can just sit down and relax for the ride or you can hang out on one of decks and photograph fascinated sites and monuments.

We made our way to the second deck and headed to the back of the boat where many others were gathered. My wife smiled with anticipation. “This is going to be fun, honey,” she said. “We’ll get to see the Statue of liberty.” I prepared my camera as we squeezed through the large crowd on the deck. There appeared to be people from every nationality, including adults and children. I expect most of us were waiting for an adventure of a lifetime.

Gray New York Day on the Hudson
Gray New York Day on the Hudson

The Take Off

Soon the ZEPHYR was underway. The guide introduced himself over the loudspeaker. “Welcome to the most significant cruise you’ll ever take. You will never be the same.” These words only increased our excitement and anticipation of the journey around the Hudson River. We held each other tighter as the cruise boat left the Pier 16, heading further into the Harbor. This was in fact, the most expensive and worthwhile anniversary that we had ever scheduled. And so far, we were enjoying every moment of it.

In the middle of the excitement, the clouds grew denser. A slight, cool wind caressed our faces as we stood at the back deck, watching the thick waves the cruiser made as it moved across the Hudson River. My wife, along with a few other women, pulled their jackets tighter around them. The damp, air appeared to be getting colder. We stood on the outer deck of the ZEPHYR. Many people had gone inside where a decent heat made the difference between shivering and relaxing.

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The Majestic Skylines

As we approached the Manhattan Skyline, I grabbed my camera out of its bag and proceeded to take pictures. I snapped some quick pictures of the skyline as the boat moved along the river. The tall majestic buildings of the Manhattan Skyline just took your breath away. This was New York-the iconic city, the big apple that I had heard of all of my life. We were actually here. “Wow!” I never thought we would be having a New York experience, “said my wife, as she stared into my eyes. Since I was not an openly emotional person, I said the words that would always cover for my lack of emotional expressiveness. “It’s wonderful,” I said.

The guide was saying something about Manhattan, but we had missed it as I took a few snap shots of my wife learning against the bars on the ship deck. I could tell by the growing intensity of her shivering that she would abandon me for the inside warmth of the ZEPHYR, very soon. The positive take away of her departure would give me an opportunity to concentrate on my picture taking. The negative take away of the situation was that we would not get to experience the moment together. The Moment: to behold the magnificence of Lady Liberty together.

New York City Skyline
New York City Skyline

Make Your New York Experience Count!

Things to Pack
Things to See
Seasonal Clothing
Statue of Liberty
Broadway Shows
Comforatble Shoes
Times Square
Rockefeller Center Shows
Digital Camera
Central Park
Musicals in Central Park
Girl with Liberty
Girl with Liberty
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge

A slight drizzle had started when my wife left for the warmth and coziness of the inside deck. Only a few other people, including myself stood around on the outside deck. My first encounter with another person besides my wife came when a man tapped me on the back of my shoulder. He appeared to be thin, partially shaved Asian man, perhaps in late thirties. I couldn’t understand his speech well, but he was pointing at my camera and then at me. “Hi! Camera! Picture!” he said. He did this several times before I figured out what he was suggesting. He was asking me if I wanted him to take my picture as a tourist. Apparently, he knew those tourists who were alone might not have anyone to take pictures of them. So he was that guy who took snap shots of lone tourist. From the way he positioned me and took the picture, I could tell he was no rookie. He had been doing this for a while. I thanked him after he was done. First he stood there for a moment with what appeared to be a puzzling look on his face and then left. Later on I realized that he probably was waiting to be tipped a few dollars.

Beholding Lady Liberty: The Great Moment

After this unexpected encounter, time had seemingly accelerated. Events were happening so fast. I had to put my camera to work. I took consecutive pictures of the Manhattan and New Jersey skylines as the ZEPHYR roared across the Hudson River. I wanted to get as many picture of these buildings as possible, especially the Empire State Building. I figured that the more pictures I took, I would eventually create the perfect portfolio of the New York skyline. I also took pictures of Governor’s Island as well as other interesting dock activities along the harbor. Then the moment came.

Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty | Source
Orange Commuter Ship
Orange Commuter Ship

Although the visibility was poor, the Statue of Liberty stood majestically in the rain, underneath the dark clouds. The guide gave a brief history of this iconic and glorified statue, emphasizing it as one” the greatest symbol of freedom that mankind will ever know. Millions had immigrated to the United States by the turn of the 20th century. From then until this day, this iconic Lady Liberty would represent the legacy of the free and brave until the end of time”. The guide of the ZEPHYR could have preached a sermon. The way He had presented the Stature of Liberty sent chills down my spine.

I photographed Lady Liberty from all angles. I wanted to capture her in every way possible. Down in the bottom of the deck I knew my wife was as thrilled as I was. But by this time, the cold rain was beginning to take its toll on me. I was soaked by the continual drizzle. I sensed the slippery wet feel of my camera. Nevertheless, I was determined to stay. There were many more pictures to take.

New York Ferry Boat and Skyline
New York Ferry Boat and Skyline

Capture New York

Make sure to always take a camera on your New York cruise ship experience. The Pictures of this event will be priceless.

I moved closer to the back of the deck to get a full view of the Hudson River. The bow waves behind the ship were huge. The Hudson was full of activity, even though the weather was dull. I positioned my camera so that I could get the whole scene. Many cruise boats, some orange, some yellow and green, moved back and forth across the harbor. I expected many of these boats were commuting people back and forth to the variety of restaurants, shops and other popular spots that were located along the river. In the sky, a few tourist helicopters hovered over the water. From what I had seen in magazines and wall art, the New York Skyline photographed from a helicopter took some of the most breathtaking pictures imaginable.

The Brooklyn Bridge

As I turned my focus from the activity of the Hudson River, I looked over my shoulder just in time to see that the ZEPHYR was approaching the Brooklyn Bridge.

New York Cruise Yacht: ZEPHYR

It was a gigantic bridge, stretching across the river as far as I could see. I snapped pictures of it from both directions, even while the ship was under the belly of the bridge. I photographed the massive frames and the intricate shapes that made the bridge unique. I only had a little more time before the battery power of my camera became depleted. As the shipped turned around, I knew I had captured the essence New York. Because of the inclement weather, I could only hope the pictures would turn out decent enough to appreciate the experience on the Hudson.

Cold, soaked and wet, I met my wife down at the bottom deck. She sat talking to a friend she had met along the journey. “Hi honey!” said my wife. She introduced me to the Lady. “What a great experience,” the lady said. “Yes, it was indeed, “I said. “It was wonderful.” The three of us talked all the way back to the pier. The ride of the ZEPHYR had been a trans formative experience; one that would live in the repertoire of our anniversary memories forever.


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    • Taranwanderer profile image

      Taranwanderer 2 years ago

      That skyline is just lovely! I actually prefer it dark and gloomy (don't read too much into that LOL)

    • profile image

      Adriana 2 years ago

      Side-splitting hilarious humor for slaiors!! I crew sailing on Lake Michigan, and I brought this book out on the boat with me last summer. I had our whole team holding their sides, everyone laughed so hard. My copy is a little wet from the spray, but this makes it even more dear to me since it now holds sun-drenched memories of summer sailing days. Anyone who loves sailing will love this book. There are also funny drawings with technical definitions, such as the tiller is labelled the Steerer, the mainmast is the Big Sail, the prow is the Front End, and the stern is the Back End. Very helpful to learn the official technical terms, in between laughing.