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Celebrate your sweetheart (or your gal pals) with these Valentine’s cruises
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This Valentine's Day, couples can fan the flames of romance onboard the Valentine's Weekend Couples Sunset Cruise, hosted Feb. 11-14 by Lanier Boat Charter. Photo courtesy Unsplash
Valentine’s Weekend Couples Sunset Cruise

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 11-14

Where: Safe Harbor Aqualand, Flowery Branch

How much: $170

Tickets: lanierboatcharter.com/charters-boat-rides-1 

Galentine’s Weekend Mimosas and Waffles Cruise

When: noon-2 p.m. Feb. 11-14

Where: Safe Harbor Aqualand, Flowery Branch

How much: $80-$240

Tickets: lanierboatcharter.com/charters-boat-rides-1

Fellas, what if someone told you there was a way to knock the pressure off finding the perfect gift for your valentine? (Assuming you’re aware the big day is mere weeks away.) 

Cue Lanier Boat Charter’s non-televised, comparably romantic version of "The Love Boat."

Whether it’s new flames you’re fanning or old ones you’re reigniting, the inaugural Valentine’s Weekend Couples Sunset Cruise presents four opportunities to woo your sweetheart by candle- and firelight.

On board, couples will be treated to complimentary champagne and charcuterie, chocolates, roses, fire pits and fixings for s’mores — and an opportunity to slow dance to one or two of “their songs” comprising the background music, which couples will provide beforehand along with at least 10 photos for a special slideshow.

The intimate two-hour voyage is intended to be the pre-game to a Valentine’s dinner rather than the night’s main event, according to Capt. Tom Stepnowski, owner of Lanier Boat Charter.

“I approach this from (the perspective of) the guy in the couple — he’s always responsible for gifts and showing his affection,” Stepnowski said. “I know it works in the opposite way, too, but I always think the guy has a little more pressure for Valentine’s Day. We try to make it easy for the guy by doing a lot of the shopping.”

Purchasing the tickets, however, Stepnowski has left in the gentleman’s hands. Tickets are available online and limited to 15 couples per cruise, which departs from Safe Harbor Aqualand at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 11-14.

Stepnowski said he anticipates tickets will sell out by Feb. 5 and encourages would-be passengers to act fast.

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Passengers onboard Lanier Boat Charter's Valentine's weekend cruises can keep warm by one of the propane-fueled fire pits on deck. Photo courtesy Lanier Boat Charter

The cruise will conclude with a fireworks display, posing the perfect moment for couples to get close, Stepnowski said.

As a memento of their romantic evening, couples will also receive a framed photo captured onboard.

Couples are encouraged to “dress warm (and) definitely bring a charged phone, because you’re going to have lots of wonderful opportunities with the sunset, with the fireworks, with the cozy little nooks and crannies and fireplaces that we have dotted all throughout the boat,” Stepnowski said.

A cruise for gal pals, too

While couples chart the water by night, by day ladies can enjoy brunch fare and one another’s company aboard the Galentine’s Weekend Mimosas and Waffles Cruise. 

Inspired by Leslie Knope, Amy Poehler’s character from Parks and Recreation who introduces the concept of “Galentine’s Day” in the sitcom’s second season, Stepnowski said the ladies-only cruises are designed to bring gal pals together to celebrate the friendships they share.

“It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst plus frittatas,” as Knopes coined it — except in this case, it’s waffles, because their sweet, decadent toppings are also something to celebrate, Stepnowski said.

Single tickets and group packages for the two-hour cruise, which departs the Aqualand marina at noon Feb. 11-14, are available online.

“Girlfriends that I know, they have four or five besties that they’ll want to bring on something like this,” Stepnowski said, noting the event is a prime opportunity to make some new besties as well.

Upon booking their voyage, ladies are encouraged to provide a couple of songs and photos that summarize their friendship to develop a slideshow they’ll view onboard.

“We will be cruising to the beat of a playlist that includes a song or two you recommend during your booking to ensure we evoke that gal pal ‘OMG shriek,’ that supportive hug, that knowing sentimental tear that reinforces your bestie connection,” Stepnowski said.