Row… row… row… your hot tub
Covid weary New Yorkers are riding out the second wave in hot tub boats. Despite a surge in coronavirus cases, where the state is finding nearly 11,000 new cases per day – numbers not seen since April - New York City residents are soaking up the season aboard the Hudson River’s latest attraction: hot tub boats.
The venture was started by Sea the City, and is the city’s first and only hot tub boat tour. Starting at $349 per couple, and $99 for each additional person, with an 8-person per hot tub limit, the tours travel down the Hudson River and feature breathtaking views of the Manhattan Skyline.
The entire boat can also be rented out for the weekend for $1,799, with two hot tubs that can accommodate 16 guests.
The 90-minute tour departs 10 minutes from Manhattan and circles the Statue of Liberty before heading back home.
The extra-wide aluminum catamaran was custom-built by a company in Albany and features two 600-gallon tubs, with special drainage systems so that rough waters don’t affect the hot tubs. Separate speaker systems, a changing room and a bathroom are also onboard.
Hot tubbers are invited to bring their own beer or wine to fuel the festivities, which they can store in the boat’s coolers.
Sea the City’s website says that the tours are ideal for engagements, bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations and more.
Owner Adam Schwartz started operations in September and he said it was an immediate success.
“We sold out in November and still have tours going out every day even though it’s getting colder,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz says the venture is Covid safe, and his staff, which consists of two supervisors and a captain, all wear masks. Furthermore, they wipe down surfaces in bathrooms and changing rooms between each reservation.
“As we got into higher Covid numbers recently, the number of people in the groups have shrunk,” Schwartz said.
However, he insists that none of his staff or customers have contracted the virus.
Nonetheless, they may be in violation of New York’s social distancing guidelines, where gatherings of greater than 10 people are prohibited.
But that hasn’t stopped New Yorkers from booking the boozy hot tub cruises, and Schwartz says business is going so well, he is planning on starting another hot tub boat in Miami.