Drinks

8 Floating Bars Worth Leaving the Shore Behind

Because a cocktail just tastes better when you're on the water
Best Floating Bars Around the World
Photo: Luke Thompson

What’s more summery than a fruity cocktail? A fruity cocktail served on the water.

Whether you’re just emerging from a long and painful winter or you enjoy alfresco drinking all year, everyone knows that daytime drinking is more fun on the water. Grab your swimsuit and your sunnies because we’ve rounded up the world’s coolest buoyant booze spots just in time for the best summer ever.

 Cloud 9

Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

Floating atop the ever-changing, colorful crystal lagoon waters of the Roro Reef off Malolo Island, the year-round Cloud 9 (pictured at top) is a South Pacific paradise that serves up local drinks, international DJs, wild water sports and wood-fired pizzas. The surfer-chic, two-story platform is outfitted for R&R with sunny daybeds, beach chairs and plenty of other places to perch while sipping an ice-cold bottle of Fiji Gold beer.

 

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 Frying Pan

New York City

On sunny days from mid-April through October, New Yorkers flock to the Frying Pan, a historic bar barge docked on the Hudson River. What it lacks in fancy frills, it makes up for in burgers, brews and glittering city views. (Keep an eye on its Facebook page for any weather-related closures.)

 

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 Atrium at Pan Pacific Singapore

Marina Square, Singapore

Strictly speaking, the bar at the sleek and sophisticated Pan Pacific Singapore hotel doesn’t float, but if you’re prone to seasickness and don’t want to miss out on the charm of a floating bar, head to Atrium. The dramatic, high-ceilinged space houses Asia’s longest bar (over 140 feet long), and a cool collection of seating pods are fixed in the reflection pool, so you don’t have to worry about rocking the boat.


 Jicoo

Toyko

Like something out of Tron, the futuristic Jicoo cruises around Tokyo Bay every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening throughout the year. Shuttling between Hinode Pier and Odaiba every half hour, this ultramodern bar, done up in gleaming white and neon lights, is replete with creative cocktails and lively entertainment.


 D-Boat

St. John’s, Antigua

Part wet-and-wild water park and part Caribbean party boat, this retired oil tanker is all kinds of fun. The fruity shots, waterslides, floating trampolines, rope swings and inflatables give this place a playful party vibe, but all ages are welcome aboard (that is until nightfall, when the party kicks into high gear).

 Kayak Guru at Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The only thing better than a swim-up bar is a bar that swims to you. At The Palm Dubai Resort, a refreshing, fruit-filled cocktail or mocktail is only a short dip away. Kayak Guru, a Thai-inspired wooden boat bar, floats around the resort’s three chilled lagoon pools, which you can slip into right from your room’s terrace.


 Tamesis Dock

London

Tamesis Dock, a double-deck “dive” bar (har har) is permanently docked between Lambeth and Vauxhall Bridges, an ideal spot for soaking up the dreamy, iconic views of the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. The 1930s-era Dutch barge now lives a second life as an eclectic neighborhood pub and hosts whimsical live music nights (like Ukulele Wednesdays) and stand-up comedy events. It just may be the perfect summertime spot for a quintessentially British Pimm’s Cup cocktail.

 Supafish

Melbourne, Australia

For five short summer months (December through April in Australia), the glowing, gleaming Supafish floating bar brings Melbourne’s Yarra waterway to life. This sunny, scene-y spot boasts plenty of neon colors, lime-topped Coronas by the bucket-load (literally) and killer views of sunsets over Southbank. 

This article was originally published on AFAR.

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