May 23, 2022
People heading down the shore this summer can charter private tiki cruises off the Wildwood coast.
Kick Back Tiki Cruises opened earlier this month in West Wildwood. The BYO experience runs daily, with two-hour cruises running from 9 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. Each cruise is open to six people of any age, with ticket prices ranging from $350 to $500. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink, or order delivery from The Salty Mermaid Bar and Grille, Kick Back's catering partner.
After meeting on a booze cruise last summer, Captain Tim Merighi and his business partner, Matt Sawyer, decided to team up to share their love for the Jersey Shore with Wildwood visitors.
"It has always been a dream of mine to have a career that celebrated my love of being on the water," said Merighi, a Vineland native. "Creating a private BYOB tiki cruise has been the idea I have floated around for years. Now, as I look beyond graduating from St. Joseph's University, I decided it was time to bring the idea to life and create my own business. With the pandemic still gripping our everyday life, people deserve a place where they can escape their worries on the shore, soak up some sunshine and kick back while indulging in a cold drink."
Guests can extend their tours to 3 1/2 hours by adding a restaurant or sandbar excursion. Popular destinations include the Wharf in Wildwood, Champagne Island and Lazy Bass in Grassy Sound. The full list of daily tours is listed below, and booking is available now.
• Rise and Shine: 9-11 a.m., $350. Guests are encouraged to bring coffee, tea or mimosas for this early-morning tiki cruise.
• Mid Day: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., $400. Lunch options are available through The Salty Mermaid, or guests can bring along a picnic basket.
• Afternoon: 2-4 p.m., $400. Enjoy the sunniest time of day on the water.
• Happy Hour: 4:30-6:30 p.m., $450. Bring your own food and drink to spend the early evening hours out on the shore.
• Sunset Tour: 7-9 p.m., $475. Kick Back captains will take guests to the best places to check out the sunset and snap photos.
• Wildwood by Night: 9:30-11:30 p.m., $500. End the day by taking in the views of Wildwood at night.
Each tiki cruise boat is stocked with charging stations, a private bathroom, soundbar, Yeti cooler, Adirondack chairs and a seated bar.
Merighi and Sawyer decided Wildwood was the best place for their business due to its amenities and their love of the shore town.
"I grew up visiting all of the different shore towns as a kid and as a young adult," Sawyer said. "Wildwood will always have a special place in my heart as I have plenty of friends here and have made tons of visits."
The inaugural season wraps up this fall, but they would like to bring Kick Back to other shore towns in future years.
Daily through the fall
9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. | $350 to $500 for up to six people
626 W. 26th Ave.
West Wildwood, NJ, 08260