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Jersey Shore Dinner Cruises This Summer

Is there anything better than watching the sunset while enjoying a great meal?

If you’re looking for something new to do at The Shore this summer, how about a dinner cruise?

There are plenty of options, whether you want to enjoy the Cape May-Lewes Ferry’s 17-mile ride from Cape May to Lewes, Delaware; mosey along the Toms River or Barnegat Bay on a paddle wheeler; or take a private excursion with friends.

A dinner cruise can be a romantic evening, fun for the family, or just a way to celebrate.

Here are some places to set sail:

Cape May to Lewes Ferry, Cape May

If you’ve never taken a trip on the Cape May-Lewes ferry, this is the summer to do it.

It’s not exactly a dinner cruise, but you have the opportunity to relax while moving on to your next destination. The ferry offers food and drink during its trip between New Jersey and Delaware, and there’s an indoor take-out area and outdoor bars, weather permitting.

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Passengers can snack on chicken fingers, hot dogs, fries, fruit parfaits, Caesar salad and sandwiches and sip house wine, canned beer, cocktails and other beverages.

There are also places to eat and drink at the Cape May and Lewes terminals.

The cost is $8-$10 for one-way tickets and $14-$18 for round-trip tickets, with an additional charge for bringing a car. The cost for children ages 6-13 is $4 one way and $7 round trip. There is no charge for children under 6 years old.

To go: Cape May Terminal, 1200 Lincoln Blvd.;

Little Lady Charters, Toms River

The little lady is shown at Toms River.

The Little Lady may be the way to go if you want a more private experience.

Little Lady Charters offers bookings for day and sunset cruises only. The boat is 37 feet long and offers a nice amount of space, with comfortable seating for up to six people. It offers 360 degree views and great coverage if the weather changes.

Guests can bring wine or snacks on board, or just sit back and enjoy the views on a leisurely river trip.

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The cost is $180 per hour for daytime cruises and $250 for sunset cruises Monday through Thursday. From Friday to Sunday the cost is $250 for the day and $300 for the sunset.

To go: 1 Robbins Parkway; 732-684-4027,

River Lady Cruises, Toms River

A paddle wheel propels the River Lady on day and evening cruises on the Toms River.

An authentic 150-passenger, 85-foot-long reproduction of a paddlewheel riverboat takes you cruising the River Toms and Barnegat Bay.

“It is the only true paddle steamer in the entire state and has been the scene of family parties, friend reunions, marriage proposals, surprise parties and corporate events since 1989,” reads -on on the River Lady Cruises website, which are public and run weekly during the summer.

Sightseeing, lunch, and dinner cruises are available, and guests can reserve a few tables, an entire deck, or the entire boat.

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The Victorian (main) level is enclosed and air-conditioned, while the upper deck is open, but covered.

The River Lady passes waterfront homes, yacht clubs, historic areas and often sailboat races, the company said.

Cash bars serving wine, beer, champagne, seltzer water, and soft drinks are available on each deck.

Passengers can dine on Chicken Francese, Chicken Marsala, Salmon, Vodka Penne, and Gluten-Free Pasta Primavera. The meals are accompanied by salad, vegetables, potatoes, rolls, dessert, coffee and tea.

A children’s menu is also available.

The cost is $42 and $27 for children under 11. Discounts are offered to seniors.

To go: 1 Robbins Parkway; 732-349-8664,

The queen of the river, Brielle

The River Queen sightseeing cruise is said to be the most popular, offering “unique perspectives of the beautiful waters and quaint homes of the Manasquan River.”

But there are plenty of other cruises to choose from, including lunch excursions; pyrotechnic cruises in July, August and September; and murder mystery dinners.

Prices range from $40 for a two-hour lunch cruise to $90 for the three-hour murder mystery cruise. Both offer buffets, with a cash bar available for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

To go: 800 Ashley Ave., Pier No. 2; 732-528-6620,

Spirit of Cape May, Cape May

Dolphin sightings, dinner and beautiful sunsets – did that catch your eye?

The Spirit of Cape May says it offers top-notch food, unparalleled views, and those dolphin sightings — all in one evening. The 400-passenger vessel, which measures 110 feet long and 28 feet wide, features a partially enclosed sky lounge and an outdoor dance floor.

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Dinner cruises are offered at 6:30 p.m. daily from mid-May to the end of August, then at 5:30 p.m. until September. Menus include braised ribs, balsamic chicken and penne alla vodka with pesto and spinach.

Soda, water, coffee and tea are included, as well as a beer or wine with an adult dinner. There’s a cash bar with draft beer, craft beers, cocktails, frozen drinks, premium liquors, and wine by the glass.

The cost ranges from $25 to $79.95. Children under 6 years old are admitted free with each paying adult.

To go: 1218 Wilson Drive; 609-884-5445,

Patrons dine on the deck of the Moshulu tall ship located at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia in this July 2020 Courier Post photo.

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