While you may not see any sailors spontaneously breaking into song, you’re guaranteed to spot throngs of uniformed service members throughout Hell’s Kitchen as in-person Fleet Week returns to New York this week! 

Sailors Intrepid Hell's Kitchen 2019
Sailors coming ashore and heading to Hell’s Kitchen during Fleet Week in 2019. Photo: Phil O’Brien

“We’re thrilled to return to New York and showcase how the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard provide our nation and NATO partners an advantage at sea,” said Rear Admiral Charles “Chip” Rock, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic in a statement. “New York is always an incredible host. We can’t wait for our brave women and men to get an opportunity to experience all the city offers and for New Yorkers to get a glimpse of what we do every day. This will create memories that last a lifetime.” 

The West Side’s own Intrepid Museum will celebrate the 34th annual Fleet Week and its 40th anniversary year from May 26–May 30, with a full week of events honoring the armed forces. Events take place at the museum on W46th Street and 12th Avenue — with all events on Pier 86 free and open to the public.

The exclusive celebrations kick off Friday, May 27 with the first of the museum’s free summer movie nights. But while the Intrepid traditionally shows the Tom Cruise-helmed classic Top Gun (cue “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins!), the sequel is slated to premiere next week and is therefore under embargo. Instead, the flight deck will feature recent Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Denzel Washington’s 1995 submarine-thriller, Crimson Tide. Seating is first-come, first-served and space is limited, so be prepared with your picnic blanket! 

Movie Night Intrepid Museum
Movie Nights on the deck of the Intrepid Museum. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Looking to toast a hearty “cheers!” to our service members? Head to Landmark Tavern for a special-edition “Intrepid-tini”, first served at a Freedom Dinner aboard the vessel and now perfected by former crew member Ray Stone. For further Fleet Week fun around the nabe, check out the Mean Fiddler’s limited time special of $6 beers and $8 well drinks, ladies’ night specials, and additional deals all week! And if you’re downtown, the infamous Coyote Ugly is offering 20 percent off all drinks for active service members!

For those visiting town for Fleet Week, retired and active US military and US veterans receive free Intrepid Museum admission with proper ID. Visitors can explore a variety of hands-on activities and interactive displays on Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29 from the US Marines, US Coast Guard, US Air Force, USO, American Legion, American Red Cross, and LEGOLAND, as well as meet former Intrepid crew members.

The weekend will conclude on Monday with a 10am Memorial Day Ceremony featuring remarks and a wreath laying ceremony in honor of the fallen led by civic and military leaders. During the ceremony veterans will unfurl a 100-foot US flag, play Taps and there will be a flyover by Navy fighter jets. There will also be a search and rescue demonstration performed by the US Coast Guard at 2pm. 

Mean Fiddler Sailors Fleet Week
Many bars — including The Mean Fiddler — welcome sailors from around the world during Fleet Week. Photo supplied

Over 2,000 service members are expected to visit the city over the course of the seven-day NYC Fleet Week. In addition to celebrations at the Intrepid, a wide variety of commemorative events will be held from May 25 to May 30 in all five boroughs, including a Parade of Ships with performances by the Navy Band from Pier 76 on Wednesday May 25, a Navy vs Marine Corps tug-of-war held on the NBC Today Show plaza on Thursday May 26, and ship tours for the general public in both Manhattan and Staten Island on Friday May 27, Saturday May 28, and Sunday May 29.

Local ship tours will be held at Pier 88, at the Intrepid itself, and at Pier 90, where the British Royal Navy HMS Protector, usually stationed in Antartica, is making a rare appearance in New York! For a full schedule, check out the US Navy League website and the NYC Fleet Week Facebook page

There are high hopes for first in-person Fleet Week since before the pandemic, with the US Navy League saying: “in 2019, at our last in-person Fleet Week, about 103,000 people took tours of ships moored throughout the city or saw aircraft displays at various parks and schools. Here’s to breaking that record in 2022!” 

HMS Protector Fleet Week
HMS Protector will be given a warm welcome in Hell’s Kitchen — it’s more used to patrolling in Antartica. Photo: Arron Hoare/Royal Navy

“I am honored to have our military’s finest on the steps of City Hall to welcome the return of Fleet Week,” said Mayor Eric Adams in a statement. “We’re letting our service members know that we are open and proud to welcome them back to our city. I salute their bravery and commitment in defending our nation.”

“New York City is home to 210,000 military veterans including 56,000 active service members who have supported us during some of our most challenging moments — from 9/11 to Hurricane Sandy to COVID-19. Now it’s time for us to provide them with the same commitment and support,” added Frank Carone, Chief of Staff for Mayor Adams. “As a Marine, I’m proud to welcome our service members stationed around the globe, back to the five boroughs for Fleet Week. They bring another inspiring milestone in our city’s recovery from the pandemic.”

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  1. I’m SO happy it’s back!

    To clarify …. Is there an actual “parade of ships” happening on the 26th? I ask, because I want to make sure I keep my eye out on the Hudson on the right day, so I don’t miss the view of some of the great ships going by! ❤️ Thank you!

    1. Hi Lori! You should be able to see the parade of ships on the river from just south of the George Washington Bridge down to Battery Park — Hudson River Park should be a good vantage point!

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