An Interview with Hornblower’s Cameron Clark
Cameron Clark is currently Vice President and General Manager of Hornblower New York, a position he has held since August 2012.
Cam, how long and in what capacities have you been working with Hornblower Cruises & Events?
I’ve been working with Hornblower for a combined 13 years. Although, I must preface that it has been in two stints. I guess you can say I was a boomerang. I worked at Hornblower as a server in college while attending California Maritime Academy. It was a great opportunity for a kid in college looking to learn more about the industry and get paid while playing on boats. After college and graduate school, I worked with MEBA for a short time before coming back to Hornblower. It’s been an action packed 10 years. I have had the opportunity to work with an amazing team supporting our efforts in many areas across the country. We have continued to grow our operations by delivering on our motto “We Create Amazing Experiences.” Most recently I moved to New York to support in a leadership capacity for our East Coast Hornblower operations. Hornblower came to New York in 2007, with the expansion of Statue Cruises. The Hornblower Family of Companies now operates not only to the Statue of Liberty, but also the ferry services from Liberty Landing in Jersey City to World Five Financial, and the ferry services to Governor’s Island. Most recently we’ve moved into sightseeing, dinner cruises and the private events business. We’re now working hard to introduce the events industry and the New York Public to our amazing cruises!
So we’ve gotten the obligatory biography bit out of the way. Let’s focus on the products. What most excites you about Hornblower’s dining and entertainment cruises as the company moves into 2015?
What excites me most is seeing how much fun people have with us! We can take it for granted at times, but what we do is a blast and it’s refreshing to see the excitement in our guests. We live, work and play in one of the most amazing city’s in the world and whether you’re a local that has cruised with us many times before or a first time visitor from out of town, being out in New York Harbor is inspiring. If you were too make a list of some of the top things NYC is famous for, I’m certain it would look something like:
Visiting the Statue of Liberty
Visiting the Brooklyn Bridge
Catching a broadway show and visit Time Square
Exploring New York’s wonderful parks
Checking out New York’s restaurants
Visiting the Empire State Building
NYC’s Live Music Scene
Touring the USS Intrepid
It takes a lot of time and money to do all of those things. The great thing about Hornblower is we offer our guests almost all of that on our cruises! We’re essentially a moving rooftop lounge. Instead of being set with one view for the evening, you can pick your view throughout the night! While taking in some of New York’s iconic cityscape, you can enjoy cocktails and an eclectic selection of food choices. You might even catch classic a New York and Broadway tune with a Jay-Z twist while visiting the Statue of Liberty.
The Sunday Jazz Brunch Cruise has received rave reviews over the last year. What sets this brunch experience apart from all of the other great brunches that are going on throughout the city on weekends?
From bottomless Chandon Mimosas to a wide range of breakfast and brunch items there’s no better way to explore New York by day than relaxing on our Sunday Brunch Cruise. It’s combines what New Yorkers love most–brunch and the New York skyline.
Now on to the private charter portion of the business. In what ways do you think Hornblower can compete with and even surpass the experiences of the more renowned event venues in NYC?
There are so many great event spaces in New York. LED lighting, A/V options, amazing views–rarely do we know the word “no.” From elaborate galas to product launches that are out of this world, we can meet nearly any event request.
Name two aspects of Hornblower’s events business that you think would most surprise area event planners (in a good way, of course).
Simplicity and cost effectiveness. With vessels ranging from 10,000- to nearly 30,000-square-feet, we’re the largest on-the-water mobile event spaces around. We’ve docked at over 22 locations including in New Jersey, Brooklyn, along East River and at Chelsea Piers to name a few. Our events and production team can provide event professionals (especially planners) with all the tools and information they need to create an amazing experience.
And just for fun…what’s your favorite weekend activity in New York City besides getting out on the water? And Why?
While you can usually find me hanging at Pier 40 in the West Village, Pier 15 in the South Street Seaport or out on one of our yachts, if I’m truly off you’ll find me walking up the West Side along the Hudson River Park, strolling the High Line, hanging on Governor’s Island or walking the Brooklyn Bridge to see what all the buzz is about in Brooklyn these days.
New York has so much to offer and it’s just awesome being able to get out and explore!
To learn more about Hornblower’s executive leadership and its New York team, visit our About Us page.