Things To Do In Los Angeles Include This Relaxing Evening On The Water
I knew this was going to a good evening when the second I arrived on the main deck of the Honblower’s new sunset cocktail cruise out of Long Beach, CA – after being granted “permission to come aboard, sir” by the smiling captain – I was handed a bubbling glass of champagne.
Immediately, I was the one who was bubbling – with excitement, of course.
The boat was decked out VIP-style with linen cloths draped over tall, round tables like evening gowns on beautiful women. A gentlemen played gentle music on a guitar. Out the big, freshly-washed windows the Long Beach lighthouse sat proudly on its green-grass hill in the bright Southern California sunshine.
The open-air stern deck housed the champagne (a special treat for us travel bloggers and Long Beach officials on this unofficial first cruise) and when we got underway, gliding slowly past the lighthouse and Parker’s Lighthouse restaurant, where Guy Ferrari once toiled in the kitchen, I went up to the top deck.
I stepped up the stairs and stopped right in my tracks, for I thought I had just walked into a nice Las Vegas lounge. I was momentarily mentally misplaced. Cozy, upscale seating filled about half the deck and people were relaxed and chatting as if they were actually in a nice Las Vegas lounge, not on the top deck of a boat taking a harbor cruise.
Of course, we were moving and I eventually snapped out of my daze when the Queen Mary came into full view. Just a few days earlier, I had spent a couple of night aboard the Queen, and it was nice to get this on-the-water vantage point of her.
We cruised at such a slow speed, I felt if could be going faster if I were running on the land along side of the boat. But speed here was not the point. It was about not the destination but the journey.
I had switched to red wine at the point – good red wine –and the ride was so smooth it barely caused a ripple in the glass when I set it down to shoot my videos.
To pair with the wine, I loaded up on the many cheeses and crackers that’s included as part of the sunset cruise. There is also a big, appetizing bowl of fresh vegetables.
When we gently slid back into the dock, I was not ready to depart, for the sun was setting and I still had a full glass of wine. My legs would not move anyway, so I just stayed still for a moment and savored the moment.
You will too, I’m sure.
The dock location is just down from Gladstone’s (a good place to go for a Happy Hour drink beforehand or after the cruise, by the way) next to the Pine Ave. Pier. The name of the boat is, appropriately enough, Endless Dreams.
Summer Sunset Cocktail Cruises Details & Pricing
• Cruise Days: Wednesdays and Thursdays, June, July & August (except for July 19). The boat cruises the Long Beach harbor past the lighthouse, by the “oil islands” and gives passengers great views from the water of the Queen Mary.
• Time: 6-8 p.m. (boards at 5:30 p.m.)
• Includes: The cruise, appetizers and background music
• Cocktails, beers and available for purchase
• Cost: $37
• Tickets & Location: :www.hornblower.com