On April 8th at 3:25 pm, the Moon will cover 90% of the Sun in skies above New York City. While the city is not in the path of totality for the 2024 Solar Eclipse (a 100+-mile wide path where the sun is 100% covered), there will still be quite a show for the five boroughs. Join Untapped New York Insiders and Captain Mary Habstritt, Museum Director of the Lilac Preservation Project, for a special viewing of this rare celestial event on the deck of the 91-year-old Coast Guard Cutter Lilac, docked in Hudson River Park! All participants will get free eclipse glasses to safely view the spectacle.

This experience on April 8th will begin with a tour of the Lilac at 1:30pm. This event is free for Untapped New York Insiders! Not a member yet? Become an Insider today with code JOINUS and get your first month free.

Solar Eclipse Viewing & LILAC Tour

Solar Eclipse

Along with a prime waterfront spot from which to gaze at the eclipse, guests will get to take part in a tour of the steamship led by Captain Mary Habstritt. On this tour of America’s oldest lighthouse tender, you’ll get to visit spaces not normally accessible to the public. Be sure to wear proper flat footwear and comfortable clothes as you’ll be tackling steep stairs, trip hazards, and a ladder. By the end of the tour, you’ll know about the Aids to Navigation system that keeps ships safe, the job of buoy tending, and more fascinating facts and tales from the Lilac‘s long and storied history.

After the tour, grab a seat, put on your free eclipse glasses, and look up! You’ll get to watch the eclipse from the Lilac‘s open deck. You are welcome to bring snacks or a picnic lunch to enjoy on the deck, just remember to take out everything that you bring. Chairs will be provided by the Lilac crew, but be sure to bring everything you’ll need to enjoy your food and beverages.

Lilac was launched on May 26, 1933. As a lighthouse tender, the Lilac’s job was to carry supplies to lighthouses and assist lighthouse keepers with major repairs. The ship served nearly four decades as a lighthouse tender on the Delaware River and in Delaware Bay. In the 1970s, it was donated to the Seafarers International Union and served as a dormitory for cadets enrolled at SIU’s Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship in Maryland. Through the 1980s the ship was under the private ownership of Henry Houck. After Houck’s death, his wife put the boat up for sale. Today, the ship is the last surviving steam-propelled lighthouse tender in America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. She is operated as a museum by the non-profit Lilac Preservation Project out of Hudson River Park.

Lilac Steamship
Photo Courtesy of Lilac Preservation Project

The next total solar eclipse won’t come to the continental United States until 2044, so you don’t want to miss this opportunity to see it pass through town this spring!

Solar Eclipse Viewing & Lilac Tour

Lilac Steamship

Please note that since the boat is still in its wintering phase, there is no running water on the boat. Composting toilets are available on board and public restrooms on the pier are open.

Next, check out 10 Secrets of Hudson River Park and More Unique Places to Watch the Solar Eclipse in New York