Explore Newport Harbor in Style


By Debbie Lavdas

After pushing off from the dock, you take the helm of the stylish electric boat. Simply throttle forward to meander effortlessly among Newport Harbor’s most scenic and coveted communities. Sunglasses on, friends in tow, you are now the captain of your own mini-cruise.

Pairings of fine wine, fruit and cheese are shared as you play your favorite tunes on the onboard iPod stereo system. Pelicans float overhead and sea lions splash next to the 18-foot Snug Harbor as it glides past some of Newport Beach’s most iconic sights— everything from lively Balboa Island to tiny Collins Isle, which James Cagney reputedly won in a poker game.

As the conversation flows under the charming canopy, the sun starts to set. No one seems to have a care in the world. Is it the seaside surroundings or the delighted company along for the ride?

“Our new boats are really quite beautiful, and a great way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary orjust bring friends out for a picturesque cruise around Newport Harbor,” said Greg Sinks, General Manager at California Recreation Company that exclusively offers the Electric Boat Rentals at Bayside Marina.

Up to eight guests at a time can enjoy all the refinements for a luxurious day on the water. Hi-gloss, polished wood dining tables allow for a lovely meal at leisure. Crisp tan vinyl seating with nautical navy piping and a matching tan canvas top add to the sophistication. Pops of vibrant accent pillows provide further comfort within the cabin. “You’ll feel like a boater among boaters, as if the boat truly was your own,” says Natalie Bizic with California Recreation Company.

And as sophisticated and urbane as the boats are, they are equally fun and delightful to drive. “If you can drive a golf cart, you can drive these,” explained Sinks.

Unzip the crystal-clear retractable windows, let in the ocean air and turn up the music playing from the iPod docking port—ideal for cruising with entertainment. There’s even a refrigerator to chill drinks.

Even though you are captain of the ship, you have an attentive crew from the California Recreation Company at your side—helping to load your boat or put together a deluxe menu and fun itinerary. The friendly staff provides a map of all the sights to see, from the Fun Zone to the private Harbor Island. They also can have any cruise catered by Palm Terrace Restaurant of Island Hotel Newport Beach®. Cuisine offerings, such as appetizers, grilled vegetables, salads, paninis and mini gourmet desserts can be delivered directly to the dock at the time of departure.

Ready to embark? Visit greatslips.com or call 949.721.0111. Rates start from $85/hour and rentals are available every day of the week.