About 175 North Bergen senior citizens took over the second deck of the Spirit Cruise vessel and spilled out onto the adjoining outdoor decks on Friday, July 12, when the county offered its annual senior boat ride around the lower tip of Manhattan and back again.
On the return trip a DJ spun an energetic mix of dance favorites to fill the dance floor and end the party on a high note.
The clear, warm weather was perfect for a sightseeing tour past the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Freedom Tower, and up the East River to the Brooklyn Bridge. Along the way an onboard host provided a running commentary describing local sights and attractions passing by on either side.
Sponsored by County Executive Thomas DeGise and the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and coordinated by Catherine Macchi, consultant/community outreach for the Hudson County Office on Aging, the program provides free cruises annually for about 2,400 seniors from all 10 county municipalities and numerous senior groups.
Karen Pianese and Alyssa Davison coordinated the planning, tickets, and transportation for North Bergen. Months of planning go into arranging the event, with attendees selected by lottery. Many of the seniors attend regularly and look forward to it all year.
The ship was shared with the neighboring Town of Guttenberg, which brought about 70 senior citizens, all seated on the third floor.