By Kevin Wilkerson, Culture With Travel California Correspondent
You don’t hear the champagne corks pop because the glasses are all poured by the time you step on board.
So you either grab one or are handed one and, if you’re like me, head to the top open deck where the late afternoon California sunshine is still shining in all its glory.
From there, it’s either sit back and enjoy the scenery and the slow-moving experience or go mingle with the other passengers. Perhaps even me, because if you’re on the Hornblower Sunset Cocktail cruise in Marina del Rey, Long Beach or Newport Beach, I may well be there, too.
Hornblower has a series of harbor cruises in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County. There are several of them and the most popular are these sunset cocktail ones in the summertime. They last two hours and include a glass of champagne, two drinks and appetizers, as well as conversations and a sunset. All for just 38 bucks!
Of course, you can purchase more drinks for $6-12 and turn it into a real party but it’s not really a booze cruise. If you really want to crank up the partying, go for one of the weekend brunch cruises that includes bottomless mimosas. You can even go on John Wayne’s former yacht in Newport Beach.
Anyway, back on board the sunset cruise, if you go on a Wednesday in Marina del Rey, you glide alongside the sailboats in California Yacht Club’s weekly regatta, the nation’s longest-running continuous regatta. Although when you peer down at those people on their sailboats, it’s obvious they don’t exactly treat this like the America’s Cup. Many, like us, have a drink in hand.
It’s funny but despite having all that water all along its nearly 1,000 miles of coastline, California is not really a “boating” state. Its culture is more surfboards and stand-up paddle boards.
So it’s good to have boats like the Hornblower to get on the water on occasion.
Kevin Wilkerson publishes the travel and lifestyle blog PubClub.com. He loves being on boats of all sizes. Especially when it involves cocktails.