Technically, there are dining cruises in Corpus Christi, but the situation is complicated. Hornblower Cruises, one of the nation’s largest dining cruise operators, has a ship based in Corpus Christi, but it isn’t used for regularly scheduled dining cruises, like the brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises that you can take in other cities in which Hornblower Cruises operates. Instead, the ship can be chartered for private events, which can include a dining component. There is also a somewhat undefinable entity called Harrison’s Landing that offers a few things that are kind of like dining cruises, but not exactly. Below we have presented all these options in our guide to dining cruises in Corpus Christi.
We’ll begin with the known entity – Hornblower Cruises – which we have now written about on a number of different occasions. Basically, the company has a large fleet of ships that are scattered across the country (with a concentration in California), and these ships are largely used for dining cruises. Any person can buy tickets to get on board, and then the passengers are served brunch, lunch, or dinner as they sail around whatever body of whatever is in the area. However, in Corpus Christi there is only one boat, the MV Independence, and it isn’t used for this function. (“MV” is short for “Motor Vessel,” in case you’re curious.) Instead, the ship is used for 90-minute harbor cruises, which feature drinks and snacks, but not an actual meal. The MV Independence can also be rented out for private events, like some sort of corporate gathering, and it is only on these cruises that full meals can be served (in the form of a buffet). So, unless you are invited to a private event hosted on their ship, you won’t be taking a dining cruise in Corpus Christi with Hornblower.
This leaves us with Harrison’s Landing, and it took us quite a while to even figure out what this is. As far as we can tell, it’s a multifaceted business on the waterfront. They offer cruises – tours of the harbor, as well as “learn how to sail” mini-cruises – but they also operate a restaurant, bar, and gift shop. Most of the establishment is on solid ground (or at least a solid dock), but it has a floating patio, which Harrison’s Landing refers to as the “floating bar out back,” but it may just be (as is implied by several reviews) a place for seating. Evidently, this floating section is something of a draw because of the novelty of eating on the water, and in the final analysis this is really all a dining cruise is, so this is the first type of “dining cruise” offered by Harrison’s Landing. The other is their “Cruise & Dinner Package,” which includes a meal at the restaurant and a two-hour sail on the bay. Again, this isn’t a dining cruise, but it includes dining and cruising in one package. Finally, for the harbor tours that Harrison’s Landing offers, they have a BYOB policy that extends to food, so you could skip the dinner part of the “Cruise & Dinner Package” and just bring something on board for yourself. In this way, you can basically create your own dining cruise.
So, there aren’t really dining cruises in Corpus Christi in the way that we normally use the term “dining cruises,” but it is nevertheless still possible to eat a meal on the harbor, and in a few different ways.