- Have a real Brooklyn experience. Get on board a boat departing from Brooklyn's Sheepshead Bay. The Brooklyn-based Sheryll Princess passes under the Verrazano Bridge, through New York Harbor, near the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Governors Island, and South Street Seaport and more on our way to see the fireworks. There's a DJ, dancing and cocktails, along with a buffet. $125. Contact (516) 459-6564 or (917) 767-2939.
- The wonderful, Red-Hook based Waterfront Museum and Showboat has sent out a call announcing a rare (if pricey) opportunity to see the 2011 fireworks. The nonprofit North River Historic Ship Society has 100 tickets available, at $225 with $175 tax deductible, for a Fourth of July party and fireworks from the roof of Pier 66 Maritime, at Manhattan's 26th Street and the Hudson River. You will be able to see the fireworks barges, and enjoy food, an open bar, seating — and best of all, no crowds. The proceeds benefit the North River Historic Ship Society, which champions the preservation of vintage ships such as the Brooklyn Waterfront Museum and Showboat.
- Take a commercial cruise, whether a ferry such as NY Waterway, or a classic yacht or many others that depart from Manhattan. More ideas for July 4th cruise boats leaving from Manhattan.
Tip to sailors of all varieties: Thinking of getting out in New York Harbor on July Fourth in the evening, in your own small craft? Before you put your oar in that oarlock or hoist the sail to see the fireworks display, it's smart to check with the NY City Police department, who keep a pretty tight lid on water traffic on Independence Day.