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Empire Cruises is a wedding venue for couples seeking to host events aboard a private cruise among New York City’s iconic landmarks. With six vessels, including a luxurious mega yacht called the Timeless, couples can host bridal showers, ceremonies, elopements, engagement parties, receptions, and rehearsal dinners. This popular venue caters to events of all sizes, whether it is an intimate celebration or a grand affair. Though peak season is considered from April to September, the venue has both indoor and outdoor spaces for off-season affairs. Empire Cruises is considered to be one of the most trusted private charter companies in the Greater New York City area.

Facilities and Capacity
With a 500-guest capacity, Empire Cruises is perfect for couples seeking an outdoorsy, yet private rooftop and waterfront venue in the city. There are six event spaces that range from outdoor and indoor settings so you can host your event at any time of the year. All of the yachts and boats include broad dance floors, entertainment lighting, modern sound systems, and climate-controlled decks.

Services Offered
Since 2010, the venue’s dedicated event planning team has been working with couples to create joyful and everlasting experiences through affordable all-inclusive wedding packages. Empire Cruises, which is fully insured, also includes in-house catering and bar services, as well as assistance with setup and cleanup. If preferred, couples can choose to bring in outside vendors or use Empire Cruises’ event rentals like audio equipment, chair covers, and a photo booth. Other services couples find helpful include:

  • Bridal suite
  • Bartender(s)
  • Champagne toast
  • House wine
  • Open bar
  • Premium liquor

In-house catering provides various types of services the couple desires, including dessert and hors d'oeuvres. There are only Italian and Latin American dishes catered, but the team accommodates certain dietary restrictions and requests like no pork, vegetarian, and nut-free. Additional catering options include:

  • Buffet
  • Cocktail reception
  • Cake
  • Server(s)
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Frequently asked questions

Do you have a site fee for wedding receptions at your venue?


Do you have a site fee for wedding ceremonies at your venue?


Which of the following are included in the cost of wedding catering?

Cake Cutting

Which of the following are included in the starting price for bar service?

House Wine
Open Bar
Premium Liquor

Describe your venue:


What kind of settings are available?

Covered Outdoor
Uncovered Outdoor

Which of the following wedding events does your venue service?

Bridal Shower
Engagement Party
Rehearsal Dinner

What event services do you offer?

Bar Services
Catering Services
Clean Up
Event Planner
Event Rentals
Get Ready Rooms
Liability Insurance
Outside Vendors

What catering services do you offer?

Cocktail Reception
Hors d'oeuvres

What bar services do you provide?

Champagne Toast
House Wine
Open Bar
Premium Liquor

What event items are available?

Audio Equipment
Chair Covers
Photo booth

What months are included in your peak season?


What months are included in your off-peak season?

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Reviews of Empire Cruises

Your trust is our goal. Our community relies on honest reviews to help you make those big decisions with ease.
1.0 out of 5 rating
1.0 out of 5 rating
2 Reviews
20% recommend it
  • Quality of service
    1 out of 5 rating
  • Average response time
    1 out of 5 rating
  • Professionalism
    1 out of 5 rating
  • Value
    1 out of 5 rating
  • Flexibility
    1 out of 5 rating
1.0/5 2 reviews
4.3/5 329 reviews
Robert B. Sent on 07/26/2021
1 out of 5 rating

Horrible - a rip off


I purchased 2 VIP tickets for the July 4th, 2021 fireworks cruise on the Liberty Belle - OVER A THOUSAND BUCKS! The VIP experience was simply not delivered. Not even an adequate experience. When I tried to complain after, phone calls and emails were not even acknowledged.

These people are crooks and scoundrels!

The major selling point was the "PRIVATE VIP OUTDOOR LOUNGE". There were not even enough chairs and I had to go backdown four floors and get some. VIP? Seriously?
Perhaps that could have been overlooked (or at least there could have been a sign, "VIP's - Bring your own chairs!" but the main event, of course, was the fireworks. It was, after all, sold as a "NYC Fireworks Cruise". I understand the Fireworks were nice but I wouldn't know, we couldn't see them! The Captain positioned the boat so the Captain's house (or whatever it is called) and the fake smoke stacks completely blocked the display. (photos attached). The people one deck below (who paid a fraction of what I paid) had a much better view but, by the time I noticed that, that deck was completely full.
There is MORE:
Initially, we were told to board at 5:30 and later received an email saying boarding was at 5 pm and departure at 5:45. "Gate closes 6 pm, no exceptions". The boat didn't even arrive until 6pm and did not set sail until after 7, AN HOUR AND A QUARTER LATE.
The VIP "Priority Boarding line" was not marked at all so, despite being there since 5, we ended up at the back of the line.
The DJ was playing music NO ONE in that crowd wanted to hear over dinner. When I respectfully asked if he would be playing a wider range of music, he said (and this is an exact quote of his words, if not his smartass offensive tone), "I don't need your advice. They hired me for a reason." I choose not to match his obnoxious tone so I did not say, "No actually you DO need to take my advice, I am paying you." Perhaps he had a problem with an inter-racial couple..... I thought those days were long gone.
Further, there was absolutely no FOURTH OF JULY music, no Star-Spangled Banner, nothing. This was especially upsetting to my spouse, who is a refugee to this country.
The food was not bad but clearly not VIP, including steak that was essentially slabs of fat.
The Party Favors consisted of a cheap fan (which no one offered us but another guest who saw my spouse was looking ill, did). It appears to have been sitting in a box for years with the folds all stuck together and the glue coming off on the spine. This is NOT VIP by anyone's standards.
There is still more but I will just add that the bathrooms were absolutely DISGUSTING. For a thousand bucks, they might have had ONE attendant/cleaner and enough toilet paper??? (I'll spare you that photo - DISGUSTING)

Don't give these people a PENNY!
Melissa C. Sent on 01/07/2021
1 out of 5 rating

Corruption and fraud

I have been trying to contact these people for months regarding a refund. I called them and left messages. I had an event scheduled for April and I wanted a refund because of Covid. The woman I spoke to Nicole Billings promised and ensured me that were the cruise not to happen, I would get my full refund no questions asked. Now I’m being told they can’t do it. These people are the biggest scammers and Iiars I’ve ever dealt with. I will be during the company as I found out they hosted an event in again and lied about ceasing their operations. They are corrupt, rude, and disrespectful. All I wanted was a nice birthday surprise for my mother and they ruined the whole situation. I hope no one else ever deals with these people. It will be my mission to let the world know about their corruption until the matter is corrected !!
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Empire Cruises frequently asked questions

Empire Cruises includes the following items and services in its wedding catering costs:
  • Cake Cutting
  • Dessert
  • Server(s)
The bar service starting price at Empire Cruises includes:
  • Bartender(s)
  • House Wine
  • Open Bar
  • Premium Liquor
The space offered by Empire Cruises for wedding events is known for:
  • Boat/Yacht
  • Rooftop
  • Waterfront
Empire Cruises offers the following indoor/outdoor options for weddings:
  • Indoor
  • Covered Outdoor
  • Uncovered Outdoor
Empire Cruises offers the following types of wedding events:
  • Ceremony
  • Reception
  • Bridal Shower
  • Engagement Party
  • Elopements
  • Rehearsal Dinner
Empire Cruises offers the following services for wedding events:
  • Bar Services
  • Catering Services
  • Clean Up
  • Event Planner
  • Event Rentals
  • Get Ready Rooms
  • Liability Insurance
  • Outside Vendors
Empire Cruises offers the following furniture and decor items for weddings:
  • Audio Equipment
  • Chair Covers
  • Photo booth
Empire Cruises is recommended by 20% of couples who have used their services. Their overall rating is 1.0 out of 5 with the following breakdown: 1 in quality of service, 1 in average response time, 1 in flexibility, 1 in professionalism and 1 in value.

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