The City That Never Sleeps, New York is a treasure trove of adventure, and the best boat tours in NYC epitomize the concrete jungle’s allure to a tee. The streets are always buzzing with activity and you’ll never run out of things to do in NYC, which is exactly why more and more travelers are turning to the water to escape the crowds.
Gliding down both the East and the Hudson Rivers, these enchanting adventures present a wonderful change of pace from the jam-packed streets; showing off a new, utterly beautiful perspective of New York City.
Want to dive straight in? Browse our catalog now!
1 – The Beast speedboat ride by Circle Line Cruises
Rating: ⭐️ 4.8/5 (371 reviews)
“Great! Super excited and so much fun! It’s worth it for those who have children!!! Gives a super excited and very good to cool off!!! My 10 year old son loves it!” Aracy, Getyourguide
Designed exclusively for adrenaline junkies, The Beast NYC combined a highlight reel of sightseeing with a high-speed, max-thrills adventure on the picturesque rivers that surround Manhattan.
Capable of hitting dizzying speeds of 45 miles per hour, this custom speedboat promises dramatic powerslides, jumps and bursts of speed guaranteed to get the heart rate up.
But it’s not just about the excitement; the Beast is also a terrific way to check out the quintessential New York City landmarks. In between spins down the Hudson and jumps on New York Harbor, you’ll be able to float slowly by the Statue of Liberty and catch a stunning panorama of the Lower Manhattan skyline.
The BEAST Speedboat experience is a great alternative if you want to see the Statue of Liberty. The hosts are funny, nice, and make sure that your adventure is equal parts thrilling and breathtaking. If you are visiting in the warmer months (and don’t mind getting a little wet) and want a quick and fun way to see iconic parts of the Lower Manhattan skyline, this is a fantastic choice!
2 – Harbor lights cruise by Circle Line Cruises
Rating: ⭐️ 4.6/5 (126 reviews)
“It’s was great!! We sat on the very top of boat & we had a great view & beautiful evening! A highlight of our NYC visit!!” Angela, Tiqets
The Harbor Lights Cruise by Circle Line Cruises is an iconic and romantic way to explore the New York City skyline at night. This slow-paced, 2-hour cruise takes you along the Hudson River, past the Lower Manhattan skyline and up the East River, dishing up stunning views of famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Battery Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Roosevelt Island along the way.
As the skyline twinkles under the moonlight, you’ll be treated to lovely views of skyscrapers like the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the Freedom Tower from afar.
On board the luxurious boat, you can relax on comfortable outdoor decks or in the climate-controlled indoor cabin while listening to the value-packed narration from knowledgeable guides.
The Harbor Lights Cruise by Circle Line Cruises is one of the best boat tours in NYC for anyone looking to see the city’s beautiful skyline lit up at night.
If you’re looking for a relaxing way to see the sights while learning about the landmarks, it’s a wonderful option.
Read more: Fun things to do in New York City at night
3 – Statue of Liberty & Midtown sightseeing cruise by Circle Line Cruises
Rating: ⭐️ 4.6/5 (27 reviews)
“We loved it!!!! The tour guide was awesome, very funny and informative. I would definitely recommend it!” Anna, Tiqets
A fast, fun and thrilling way to visit the iconic Statue of Liberty (without the heavy price tag of going to Liberty Island itself), this popular daytime cruise combines classic Lower and Midtown Manhattan sightseeing with an educational twist.
With live narration from the knowledgeable crew, you can learn about the history and significance of Lady Liberty — an icon who has held the torch over Manhattan since 1886 — as you take in spectacular views of the concrete jungle’s skyline.
En route to Lady Liberty, you’ll also get to see notable landmarks like Chelsea Piers, the High Line, Governor’s Island and the Lower Manhattan skyline.
Great for families and first-time visitors who want a quick but in-depth look at the Statue of Liberty, this cruise is the perfect balance between sightseeing and relaxation. The tour guides are knowledgeable and entertaining, providing interesting facts and anecdotes throughout the journey. Take a seat on the open-air upper deck when the weather’s warm to really soak up the beauty of the New York skyline. Definitely recommend!
Read more: Statue of Liberty last minute tickets
4 – “Best of NYC” sightseeing cruise by Circle Line Cruises
Rating: ⭐️ 4.7/5 (43 reviews)
“It was the most relaxing entertaining cruise ever I’m gonna do it yearly now perfect way to see New York” Simonne, Tiqets
Lasting close to 2.5 hours, this cruise acts as a highlight reel of the five boroughs, taking you down all three NYC rivers (the Hudson, the East and the Harlem) and passing by infamous sights like Ellis Island, One World Trade Center, Yankee Stadium and more.
In total, you’ll cruise under 20 different bridges — none more famous than the Brooklyn Bridge — learning all about the history and architecture of this great city along the way.
Compared to most other boat tours in NYC, the “Best of NYC” sightseeing cruise by Circle Line Cruises provides a much more comprehensive look at the city’s iconic landmarks and skyline.
The “Best of NYC” cruise is a fantastic and incredibly relaxing way to see the iconic sights of New York City. The circular route around Manhattan Island ensures that you won’t miss any major landmarks, and the onboard tour guide adds another layer of excitement and knowledge to the experience.
Try to get in line early to get the top back seats!
5 – Manhattan sightseeing cruise by Circle Line Cruises
Rating: ⭐️ 4.3/5 (106 reviews)
“A spectacular boat ride, with fantastic views. Highly recommended” Isabel, Civitatis
Focusing on the many faces of Manhattan, this 90-minute tour shows off the diversity and beauty of New York City’s most famous borough.
With commentary from your local crew the whole way through, you’ll learn about postcard-worthy landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, underrated spots like the UN Headquarters, and all of the towering skyscrapers in between.
For the best things to do in Manhattan, this tour offers an overview of the city’s highlights, passing by iconic neighborhoods like Chinatown, Greenwich Village, and the Financial District, where you can catch a glimpse of the Freedom Tower, Manhattan’s tallest building.
Manhattan is as postcard-worthy as they come, and there’s no better way to appreciate it than from the water.
The Manhattan Sightseeing Cruise serves up a fresh perspective of the Big Apple’s iconic skyline. If you’re looking for a leisurely and entertaining way to take in the sights and learn more about the city’s history, this tour is a must-do.
Read more: Best NYC city tours
6 – New Year’s Eve cruise by Circle Line Cruises
Rating: ⭐️ 4/5 (104 reviews)
“My husband and I had a wonderful new year’s eve. The firework at the statue of liberty was incredibly beautiful, the atmosphere on board really great.” Matteo, Viator
NYC is special any time of year. But when the city is lit up with sparkling Christmas lights and colorful fireworks on New Year’s Eve, it reaches a whole new level of magic.
Besides the obvious advantages of viewing the city’s skyline, the cruise also gives you a front-row seat to the festivities as the clock strikes midnight.
With an open bar full of cocktails, as well as delicious hors d’oeuvres and a DJ spinning the latest hits, there’s arguably no better way to ring in the new year.
Compared to the chaos that is the Times Square ball drop, a cruise along the Hudson River is a peaceful and luxurious way to celebrate the start of a new year. The open bar and the live DJ set the mood terrifically, but it’s the skyline lit up with fireworks that steals the show. 10/10.
7 – Manhattan architecture cruise by Classic Harbor Line
Rating: ⭐️ 5/5 (703 reviews)
“This was a great way to look at all of New York famous buildings and learn about their history! I would go again!” Jessica, Viator
In partnership with AIA New York (the American Institute of Architects), this cruise is tailor-made for architecture enthusiasts.
Departing from Chelsea Piers aboard a luxury 1920s-style yacht, this cruise takes you on a 2-hour ride along the Hudson River, showcasing some of Manhattan’s most iconic feats of human engineering — the Empire State Building, the Woolworth Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge, to name a few.
On board, a licensed architect will guide you through the history and design aspects of each structure, giving you a newfound appreciation of the myriad diverse architectural styles that make up New York City.
A non-negotiable NYC boat tour for architecture buffs, this highly educational adventure combines all the best elements of a harbor tour with a comprehensive look at the city’s most iconic buildings. The guides are great at telling the story of how NYC has developed throughout the eras! 10/10.
8 – Sunset Yacht cruise by Classic Harbor Line
Rating: ⭐️ 4.9/5 (223 reviews)
“We had the best time on the Manhattan II. It was all so elegant and festive with lovely music, amazing cocktails, and great food options.” Bonnie, Getyourguide
By day, the New York skyline is a feast for the senses. But as the sun goes down and the colors change; as the buildings begin to be illuminated by sparkling lights, it becomes all the more enchanting — and there’s no better vantage point for it all than a Classic Harbor Line 1920s-style yacht on the Hudson River.
Easily one of the more romantic boat trips in NYC, this sunset yacht cruise escorts you down the Hudson, past Battery Park and the South Street Seaport en route to the New York Harbor.
Take your pick from the open-air deck or the glassed-in back-deck observatory; either way, expect picture-perfect sunset views.
The beautiful, historic boat adds an extra level of romance to this already special sunset cruise. The views are breathtaking and the friendly crew make sure you learn a thing or two along the way. Ideal for those warm summer nights, this intimate, classic yacht cruise is definitely worth the extra few bucks.
9 – Sailing on the Schooner Adirondack by Classic Harbor Line
Rating: ⭐️ 4.9/5 (138 reviews)
“I will keep unforgettable memories! It’s actually my favorite moment in New York. I absolutely recommend!!” Laura, Getyourguide
Taking place on a glorious 80-foot schooner (a big sailboat), the Schooner Adirondack by Classic Harbor Line promises a wonderful 2-hour retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the New York streets.
As you set sail from Chelsea Piers, you’ll be treated to stunning views of Lower Manhattan, with the chance to snap pictures of the Statue of Liberty and the southern tip of Manhattan — glass of bubbly in hand.
Expect to hear plenty of colorful commentary about the world-famous landmarks as you sail by.
A less touristy experience compared to other sightseeing vessels, this sailing experience is a fantastic option for open-aired Lower Manhattan sightseeing.
Given that this sunset cruise is more popular with adults, it’s an excellent choice for couples or friends looking for a peaceful evening on the water.
10 – Evening Jazz Cruise by Classic Harbor Line
Rating: ⭐️ 4.7/5 (172 reviews)
“Wonderful experience in every way! An unforgettable ride, with excellent attention from the crew, personalized and warm. The best thing about my stay in New York!” Pamela, Getyourguide
One for the music aficionados, this toe-tapping cruise takes you along the Hudson River with live jazz music ringing out as you sail. With a complimentary drink in hand, you can sit back and take in the iconic Manhattan skyline transforms from day to night.
Operated by Classic Harbor Line, the Evening Jazz Cruise transports you back to a bygone era; not only through the music, but through the 1920s-style luxury yacht as well.
As you sail past picturesque spots like the Financial District and Governor’s Island, you’ll hear classics from Duke Ellington, modern R&B grooves and everything in between.
A guaranteed magical evening on the water, this cruise takes the culture and excitement of a jazz concert to the serene setting of a yacht. It’s a very romantic experience that’s not at all touristy compared to some of the other sightseeing cruises. 10/10 recommend for music lovers!
11 – Holiday cruise by Classic Harbor Line
Rating: ⭐️ 4.8/5 (303 reviews)
“This was one of the best NYC experiences ever! So glad that we did this, I definitely will be recommending it to anyone that is visiting New York City.” Krystal, Viator
If you’re lucky enough to be in New York City during the holiday season, the Big Apple comes alive with bright lights, festive decorations and Christmas cheer.
On board the Classic Harbor Line’s NYC Holiday Yacht Cruise, not only are you blessed with lovely views of the skyline — particularly that of the Financial District — but you’re immersed in a winter wonderland of carols, cocoa, cookies and holiday spirit.
The luxurious yacht features a glass-enclosed cabin, heated interior and plenty of blankets to ensure you stay nice and cozy when it’s cold outside – a lovely overall experience.
Guaranteed to leave you feeling oh-so festive, the Holiday Yacht Cruise embodies what NYC at Christmas time is all about: twinkly lights, warm drinks, and scenic views. The music and hot cocoa are delightful, and the detailed holiday décor is the cherry on top.
12 – Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Cruise by Attractions4Us
Rating: ⭐️ 4.1/5 (143 reviews)
“I love the one hour ride, it was fun to see the Statue of the Liberty really close, there was a wonderful oportunidad to take very nice pics to of around of the bay!” Elena, Tiqets
Operated by Attractions4Us, this affordable sightseeing tour takes you onto the picturesque waters of New York Harbor aboard a three-level paddle boat.
The boat boasts both indoor and outdoor viewing areas, allowing you to snap those envy-evoking photos of Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline regardless of the weather.
Take your pick from daytime cruises, romantic sunset cruises, or a moonlit night cruise.
This adventure is a great option for anyone wanting a quick and easy boat tour experience to squeeze into a day of sightseeing. The crew is helpful and the audio guide is very insightful. Its East River departure point is very convenient too. Recommend!
13 – Adventure boat ride by New York Media Boat
Rating: ⭐️ 5/5 (493 reviews)
“It was fun experiencing the speed boat on the waves; all the different angles of the sights was nice to take pictures and memories!” Marco, Viator
A fast-paced, hair-raising ride adventure awaits with New York Media Boat. Taking place on the New York Harbor where you’re treated to top-notch views of the Freedom Tower, Staten Island and the underrated Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, this tour is not for the faint of heart.
You’ll be holding on for dear life as your experienced captain navigates through the waves and performs thrilling maneuvers – think jumps, powerslide, and rapid acceleration moves.
If you’re a thrill seeker, this rollercoaster-like tour is a no-brainer. The captain makes sure that the adventure is fun as well as educational, and you’ll get to see some of the most famous landmarks in NYC from a unique perspective. The tour is relatively short, so it’s easy to fit into your busy sightseeing schedule.
14 – Brunch or Lunch cruise by City Experiences
Rating: ⭐️ 4.3/5 (223 reviews)
“The sightseeing, the food, and the music was great. I would recommend the lunch buffet cruise on the Spirit of New York for any visitor to New York.” Ralph, Getyourguide
A great way to add a touch of luxury to your NYC sightseeing itinerary, the City Experiences tours – take your pick from brunch, lunch or dinner – provide a more leisurely pace compared to some of the other boat tours on this list.
As you make your way along both the Hudson and East Rivers on the Spirit of New York ship, you’ll be treated to views of landmarks like the Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower.
Meanwhile, you can tuck into an al-fresco-style buffet while you enjoy tunes spun by the onboard DJ – what’s not to love?
Not only is the food amazing, but so are the staff and the views. The cruises aren’t overcrowded, and there’s more than enough food for everyone to feast. The skyline views are epic, especially on dinner cruises, and the live entertainment is the cherry on top.
15 – Statue cruise by City Experiences
Rating: ⭐️ 4.3/5 (1097 reviews)
“Perfect boat ride to see Lady Liberty. Easy on and off, plenty of seating and standing room. Also loved the availability of snacks and drinks on board. Well spent 1.5 hours with my daughter.” Jana, Headout
Focusing on the infamous Statue of Liberty – a symbol of America that’s stood tall in the New York Harbor since the late 1800s – this short and sweet City Experiences tour acts as a sneak peek to the Lower Manhattan icons.
You’ll get to see the statue and her pedestal up close and personal, as well as cruise by other notable sights like Ellis Island, the historic South Street Seaport, and the upscale Seaport District.
This tour also offers an audio guide that provides insight-packed commentary on the landmarks as you pass them by.
One of the more affordable Statue of Liberty cruises, this 1-hour sightseeing tour is perfect for anyone on a time crunch in NYC. The audio guide is extremely insightful, telling the history of the area. The fact that you can cancel 24 hours before the experience and get a full refund provides that extra peace of mind. A+.
16 – Dinner cruise by City Experiences
Rating: ⭐️ 4.5/5 (378 reviews)
“I was very pleased with our cruise. The Statue of Liberty was a wonderful highlight and the crew members and music made it very memorable and moving.” Lesa, Civitatis
Combining a 3-course meal with live music and unlimited (non-alcoholic) drinks, this evening adventure promises a romantic, easy-going night out on the water.
With a non-compulsory semi-formal dress code, this cruise sells itself as an elegant alternative to the typical tourist sightseeing packages.
As you tuck into your delicious meal, you’ll be blessed with unobstructed views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and more.
If you’re traveling as a couple, this City Experiences excursion (by Hornblower) is the perfect date night option.
Great views, great food, and a brilliant live band to top it all off! While it might be a little more expensive compared to other dinner cruises, the City Experiences Hornblower cruise promises a highly romantic excursion that’s worth every penny.
17 – Statue of Liberty Cruise by Liberty Cruise
Rating: ⭐️ 3/5 (102 reviews)
“This tour was the best. The guide was extremely knowledgeable. My daughter and I really enjoyed it and would take this cruise again.” Gigi, Viator
Operated by Liberty Cruise, who have run Lower Manhattan tours for years, this particular Statue of Liberty cruise is compact, affordable and highly educational — a great option if you’re looking for something simple and budget-friendly.
Thanks to a live narration, you’ll hear all about the history of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and immigration to America as you sail around the New York Harbor.
Regardless of the time of day, you’re treated to exceptional vistas of the Financial District’s skyline, plus the shores of Brooklyn, New Jersey and Governor’s Island.
The views and the information are top-notch. Thanks to the cheap price, it’s a good option if traveling with kids. Getting on the boat leaves something to be desired, so make sure to arrive early to make the process smooth.
18 – Statue of Liberty Super Express Cruise by New York Water Taxi
Rating: ⭐️ 4.5/5 (1598 reviews)
“I went with my husband and we took a bunch of awesome pictures of the city during the sunset. I definitely recommend this!” Gabriela, Viator
Taking place in an iconic yellow NYC Water Taxi (boat-style), this short and sweet tour is tailor-made for those short on time,
Thanks to the smaller vessel, it’s faster to get around compared to bigger boats, yet still allowing enough time for great photo opportunities of the Statue of Liberty and the New York Harbor. The onboard narration ensures you’ll learn plenty about the iconic sights as you cruise by them.
Plus, the boat leaves every hour, so it’s easy to fit into an already jam-packed day of sightseeing.
Fast and fantastic! If you have limited time to visit the area, this is a quick way to see a couple of New York’s main tourist landmarks. You get to see Lady Liberty up close and learn about its history. Great value for money too. Definitely recommend.
19 – 4th of July Fireworks Cruise by Go Sailing NYC
“I booked a 2 hour sail on the 4th of July as a surprise for my husband’s birthday and he said it was the best birthday present ever” Nina, Google Review
New York already boasts the world’s most recognizable skyline. But when the Fourth of July rolls around, the city takes it to a whole new level with festive fireworks lighting up the night sky.
The Go Sailing NYC cruise is more like a private party on the water; you’ll have the entire boat to yourself, with an open bar and catering options to turn it into a full-blown celebration.
As you sail around the New York Harbor, you’ll see Lady Liberty and the Lower Manhattan skyline up close, with luxury front-row seats to the dazzling fireworks.
It’s not cheap, but it’s one of the more magical experiences you can have on the New York waterways. The views are spectacular and the crew are so friendly and respectful. If you want to celebrate Independence Day in style, there’s no better way.
20 – Sailing on the Shearwater Classic Schooner by Manhattan by Sail
Rating: ⭐️ 4.5/5 (53 reviews)
“Beautiful views of Hudson, Manhattan, Brooklyn, East river, Statue of Liberty. And the journey is really comfortable!” Sam, Viator
Like stepping back in time, the Shearwater Classic Schooner sells itself as a nostalgic and elegant way to experience the New York Harbor. Dating back to 1929, the Shearwater has a rich history; and with its spacious outdoor deck, you’ll be treated to amazing city views.
You can expect a knowledgeable and courteous crew who can share interesting historical facts about the city and its iconic landmarks — the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, to name a couple.
The incredibly relaxing tour, run by Manhattan by Sail, promises an intimate experience with only 37 passengers on board.
A much more intimate experience than the larger tour boats, the Shearwater is a delightful adventure that combines peaceful and picturesque sightseeing with a touch of old-school sailing. The boat is beautifully maintained, the crew is friendly, and it’s decent value for money. Overall, a lovely afternoon experience.
21 – Tall Ship Sail aboard Clipper City by Manhattan by Sail
Rating: ⭐️ 4.5/5 (223 reviews)
“It was a great Saturday afternoon for a sail around NYC, the weather was outstanding, jazz music and atmosphere was on point. Thank you guys for a wonderful day in NYC.” Ray, Viator
Looking like an old-timey pirate ship, the Clipper City tall ship invites sightseeing travelers to join an open-aired adventure through NYC.
While the skyline views and up-close look at the Statue of Liberty and the Governors Island National Monument are notable highlights, the boat is an attraction in its own right.
This 158-foot long, 120-foot-high vessel is an impressive sight — able to accommodate more passengers than any other sailboat in the county.
Guests are encouraged to help with the ropes to raise the sails, making it a highly engaging experience too.
This tour is fantastic! Not only do you get to see the magnificent skyline and Lady Liberty, but you can also help hoist the sails and steer the ship. If you want more than just sightseeing – if you want an experience, then the Clipper is a great option.
22 – Sightseeing Cruise by N.Y.C Skyline Tours & Cruises
A relaxing, informative, and affordable way to see the Statue of Liberty and its surroundings, this N.Y.C Skyline Tours sightseeing excursion keeps it simple.
You’ll be able to sit back on the Majestic Princess and enjoy the scenery as a guide narrates your journey through some of New York City’s most iconic landmarks — the Freedom Tower, Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island and Governors Island, to name a few.
Take a seat on the open-air bow or back deck if the weather’s nice, or stay cozy indoors – either way, spectacular views await.
A no-frills and informative cruise that won’t break the bank, the NYC Skyline Tour is perfect for anyone looking to take in the quintessential sights within a shorter time frame.
Since it departs from the Historic Seaport, you explore the quaint neighborhood before or after the cruise too.
23 – Sailing tour in New York by Brooklyn Sail
Rating: ⭐️ 5/5 (123 reviews)
“The captain was very knowledgeable about all the landmarks and very friendly with the all the customers treated everyone with respect. Will definitely book again.” Vincent, Viator
A more intimate sailing and sightseeing experience, the Brooklyn Sail cruise provides all the notable highlights of a Manhattan cruise (iconic landmarks, killer views and plenty of fascinating insights) without the need to actually set foot in the busy island.
Plus, being on a smaller boat means you get to sail closer to iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge.
The best part? With a maximum of six guests allowed on board, you can ditch the tourist crowds and enjoy a leisurely cruise with your nearest and dearest without the noise and chaos of a big boat.
This is far from the “typical” tourist experience. The Brooklyn Sail is a small-group, authentic, super fun couple of hours on the water. You feel relaxed, like you’ve got your very own boat, and the guides (Ian and Tyler) are incredible. Definitely recommend for anyone staying in Brooklyn.
Read more: Best things to do in Brooklyn
In the bustling metropolis of New York City, a plethora of companies provide intimate, private boat tours that offer a refreshing escape from the crowded streets (and the overcrowded, touristy sightseeing cruises).
If you love an exclusive experience, services like SamBoat and Click & Boat act as marketplaces for boat rentals, allowing you to navigate the city’s waterways at your own pace.
Whether you’re looking to charter a yacht and a captain for a luxury sunset cruise, or simply rent a small boat for a laid-back afternoon, these platforms have something to suit every preference and budget.
Let’s take a look at the most popular options below.
24 – Private sailing charters by Tribeca Sailing
Oozing luxury, Tribeca Sailing boasts a slew of packages for intimate charters and private sailing tours.
The team offers bespoke trips on their gorgeous sailboats, ranging from family-friendly afternoon jaunts to romantic sunset cruises and twinkling moonlit city lights excursions — each with a maximum of up to six people onboard.
Bring your own food and drinks, connect to the speaker, and learn the ins and outs of sailing — it’s all part of the intimate adventure.
Regardless of the time of day, you’ll get a breathtaking perspective of the city’s iconic skyline, with the flexibility to customize your route as you please.
The boat is charming, the captain is kind and easy-going, and the entire sailing trip is an absolute delight. The experience is intimate, personalized and so much fun. Don’t overthink it – Tribeca Sailing is the way to go!
25 – Private luxury daytime boat tour by NYCbySEA
Rating: ⭐️ 5/5 (25 reviews)
“Captain Mike was super friendly, our family had an amazing time definitely the way to see the city away from crowded ferry. We will definitely do it again when we are back in the city.” Nichole, Viator
If luxury and comfort are what you’re after, then the NYCbySEA opulent powerboat should sit high atop the list.
After stepping onto the elegant 28-foot vessel, you’ll be taken on an intimate tour past some of the Big Apple’s most postcard-perfect landmarks; the Freedom Tower, Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, to name a few.
Thanks to a maximum of 6 guests, it’s a wonderful alternative to the overcrowded tourist ferries. And, as the cherry on top, you’ll get an in-depth run-through of all the sights as you float them by.
The NYCbySEA private tour is a fabulous option for a quick showcase of Lower Manhattan’s sights. The personalized service and smaller groups make this a great option for couples and families looking for a more intimate experience. Skip the big, touristy boats and spend a little extra for this wonderful experience!
26 – Private boat charter by New York Harbor Tours
With two boats in its shed — the 6-passenger Tireless and the 16-passenger Reliance — New York Harbor Tours can serve us a delightful, intimate experience no matter how many people are in your party.
Perfect for birthday parties and bachelor/ette shindigs, these cruises come in a handful of shapes and sizes — take a short sightseeing tour around the Upper New York Harbor (to see the Statue of Liberty), or opt for a circumnavigation around the entire Manhattan island.
Either way, you’ll be doing it in style aboard these vintage yachts with a friendly captain to boot.
Dave and the team are phenomenal! If you’re looking for an intimate, customizable, and scenic boat tour of New York City, look no further than Reliance (and Tireless) yachts. Dave and Joel are experienced and knowledgeable, providing an educational yet fun discussion throughout the tour.
27 – Boat rentals by SamBoat
Offering the ultimate in flexibility and self-guided exploration, SamBoat is an online third-party marketplace — the boating equivalent of Turo — where you can take your pick from all kinds of different vessels scattered around New York City (and beyond).
From 101-foot superyachts in Long Island to 6-person motorboats in Chelsea Piers and bareboats in the Hamptons, you’ll find a wide selection of boats, ships and yachts to choose from – with and without skippers included.
Simply choose your dates, set your budget, and browse the marketplace to see what’s available.
If you want to ditch the tourist scene altogether and really explore NYC off the beaten path, a boat rental is your best bet. Tip: Choose an option that has a skipper included so that you can sit back, relax, and let someone else navigate the waters for you.
What is the best time to go on a boat tour in NYC?
The best time to take a boat tour in New York City is from April to June and September to early November when the city enjoys warm and pleasant weather. Even better, the tourist crowds are not as overwhelming as in July, August, or December, and it’s also a great time to bag some good cruise deals.
What happens in case of bad weather?
If you’re aboard your NYC boat tour and you encounter bad weather, you do not need to worry as most of the boat tour providers boast ultra-modern amenities like the climate-controlled cabin and indoor seating to avert the rain.
And in case, the boat tour is canceled due to extreme weather conditions, you’d either be provided with a different date for an excursion or the entire deposit, 100% of it, will be refunded to you.
How to book boat tours in NYC?
The best way to book boat tours in NYC is to do so online.
Several websites sell a huge array of boat tour options, so using a comparison service like TourScanner can help you compare prices and read reviews before making your final decision.
You can also visit ticket booths located at popular tourist spots like Chelsea Piers and the South Street Seaport.
- Before booking a boat tour, it is advisable to keep a close eye on the weather. New York’s weather can change quickly, so bring an extra layer just in case.
- During the summer months, the NYC sun can sizzle. Make sure you wear sunscreen and bring a hat that won’t fly away on a windy day.
- Bring along a camera (or, at the very least, a fully charged phone) so you can take photos of the iconic Lower Manhattan skyline as you pass it by.
- Sometimes boat decks can get a little slippery. To avoid any embarrassing falls and navigate the stairs with ease, make sure to wear comfortable shoes that have a good grip (flip flops and high heels should be avoided).