Cruisin' Down the Hudson Aboard the Dutch Apple II

Monday, August 27, 2018
If you've been a Life As I See It reader for even a short time, you probably know that one of my favorite places to be is on the water.  Having grown up on Saratoga Lake, I spent a lot of my younger years either on or in a lake.  Loving the water is in my genes.  These days I don't get 'in' the water much, but any chance I get to be on the water is an opportunity I grab.  I've expanded my horizons these past few years.  I've begun to enjoy time on other bodies of water besides Saratoga Lake.   You know my favorite local water vehicles are those in the Adirondack Cruise and Charter fleet on Saratoga Lake.  I also love the Caldwell Belle of the Mohawk Maiden cruises in Schuylerville (post coming soon), as well as the 'Lil Diamond Cruise line in Herkimer where we enjoy cruising on the Erie Canal and Mohawk River.  When I'm lucky enough to be on the East coast, I always find time for a schooner sail.  I haven't gotten to the coast yet this season but we did find a new (to us) local cruise venue and what a find it was!  I'm talking about the Dutch Apple Cruise out of Albany.  We picked the perfect day last week and from the second we stepped aboard, I've been anxious to share this one with all of you.  How have I missed this one till now?

Built by the Scarano Building Company in l986, the Dutch Apple II is 65 ft in length with a draft of 4-6 ft.   Wherever practical, Scarano utilized wood species that are both indigenous to the region and traditional for building boats. Some of the wood used include: Alaskan White Cedar, Douglas Fir, Adirondack White Cedar and Teak all coming together to create a most beautiful floating vessel.  Cruise season for the Dutch Apple runs from April-October.  The Dutch Apple II is docked at the Port of Albany, right next to the popular USS Slater.  Getting there was very easy, right off the Madison Avenue Exit of 787.  Boarding was also very user friendly, handicapped accessible even for wheelchairs.  There are three decks with a maximum capacity of 150 passengers.  The middle deck is enclosed, offering a full bar, tables and a dance floor.  The upper deck is open and partially covered with tables and chairs.  The lower deck is enclosed with restrooms, and seating for 70 people.   What I also loved about the Dutch Apple was the amenities ..... a full cash bar, snacks, ice cream and hot dogs.  I may have only had a diet coke, but it was nice having the options.   And...the hot dogs were only $2.50.  Very family friendly!

Our cruise guide was Pat and we couldn't have asked for better.  Pat was so cordial and fun with just the right amount of narration....talking enough to acquaint passengers with the highlights and history while still allowing plenty of quiet time for enjoying the experience.  

We chose seats on the top deck under cover, just behind the Captain's booth, which turned out to be a perfect location protected from the strong breeze that day.  At the turn-around point we did a little exploring among the decks and finished the last leg of the cruise on the middle deck.  I'd only been on the Hudson River in Albany once a long time ago on the old Albany Aquaduck which only went a short distance from its launch site, so traveling down river was both educational and scenic.  Besides the many industrial sites along the river, we enjoyed the view of beautiful homes and even some bald eagles.   We'd planned to explore the USS Slater after our cruise, but decided to save that for another day.

Loading scrap metal on a barge

Set atop the D & H building sits a copper weather vane (below), a replica of Henry Hudson's Half Moon.  Designed by Marcus T. Reynolds, standing 8 feet tall, weighing 800 lbs. and able to seat a grown man, this is the largest working weather vane in North America. (according to Albany Walks for Health)

Beautiful bald eagle quite a distance away, high atop a tree!
Hard to imagine that wing span is between 6-8 feet!!!
Captain Ron
Captain Ron keeping an eye on me as I try my hand as Captain.

The Albany Yacht Club (below) - one of the oldest yacht clubs in America, first established in 1873, although not in it's present location.

We are always amazed how much we haven't yet explored in our own hometown region.  Even having grown up in Albany, my husband found many things to learn aboard the Dutch Apple II.  If you haven't already, I urge you to find a time to enjoy a cruise on the Hudson on this beautiful, immaculate, smooth-sailing vessel.   The only thing that compares to this beautiful boat is the kind and friendly staff .  Top Notch! Whether you're a Capital Region native or visiting from out of town, this is one experience not to be missed.  Sight-seeing cruises run Wednesday-Sunday, with many special cruises at other days and times.  Post summer schedule begins in September so please check their calendar for more information:  
Tickets for daily cruises are $22.99 for adults, Seniors $19.99, Children 3-19 $15.00 and 2 and under are free.  These prices are for online purchases.  Walk up purchases are slightly higher. Looking for the perfect private event venue, look no more.  For more information about the Dutch Apple Cruise & Tours:
Thanks for stopping by!  I hope today's post will encourage you to play tourist and enjoy some of the many wonderful places thousands flock to our area to enjoy.  This is only one of them!  Please share this post with your friends!   Interested in any of the other cruising opportunities I mentioned?  Check out my Directory under Destinations!  Happy Sailing!

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