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One of Gloucester’s best-known eateries is set to cruise into the harbor.

With miles of shoreline and dozens of appetizing eateries, Gloucester is an ideal destination for a meal by the water. And starting this spring, the historic city will also be a great place for a meal on the water, with the launch of the Beauport Princess—a yacht offering dinner cruises, Sunday brunches, and floating functions in Gloucester Harbor.

The sleek, white, 165-foot vessel is the newest venture by Sheree Zizik, owner of Gloucester’s Seaport Grille restaurant and Cruiseport function hall. The plan, according to director of events Bridget Jaramillo, is to take the “classic New England elegance” of those two venues onto the open water.

“My pride and passion is the extraor- dinary food we serve and we take care of our guests so well,” Zizik says. “We want to continue that on the ship.” To prepare for her debut this season, the Beauport Princess was completely over- hauled, and fitted with new carpeting and walls. Each deck has its own dance floor and private bar; and on weekends, a stage on the lower deck will host a jazz trio. The ceiling of the second deck fea- tures a striking contemporary lighting fixture dangling delicate glass spheres overhead.

The open-air top deck offers relaxing patio furniture, bar service, and 360- degree views of the shoreline, as the ship cruises past some of Gloucester’s iconic sights. The boat makes a leisurely loop by the turrets of Hammond Castle, the artists’ colony at Rocky Neck, and the break-water, lighthouse, and graceful mansions of Eastern Point.

“It’s great for out-of-town guests,” Jaramillo notes. “You don’t often get to see Gloucester from the harbor.” Adding to the fun of this harbor adventure is its starting point. The ship departs from a dock flanked by working fishing boats, and the crew featured on the reality show Wicked Tuna can sometimes be seen pulling in opposite the Beauport Princess. 

Owner Sheree Zizik

Daily dinner cruises and Sunday brunch outings will be open to the public, with menus reflecting New England culinary tradition (dinner rolls come from Gloucester’s celebrated Italian bakery, Virgilio’s).

Private parties can book the second deck or, for groups of more than 150 people, the entire boat. Though this is the ship’s first season on the water, it is already attracting rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, and other celebrations, says Zizik.

Zizik also expects the Beauport Princess, which can accommodate parties of up to 350, to be in demand for weddings. On-board weddings are coordinated by a dedicated planner who manages all the details. The rates for a wedding at sea are about the same as those for a celebration at Cruiseport, and the same “black-tie standards” apply to events in both venues, Jaramillo says.

One important difference? Availability. Cruiseport’s function spaces are en- tirely booked for 2014 and close to filled for 2015 as well. The Beauport Princess, however, has plenty of desirable dates still available this year. “It’s growing much faster than we ever thought it would,” Zizik says.