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Governors Island

Governors Island: Our most recommended tours and activities

NYC: Statue of Liberty Express Skip-the-Box-Office Cruise

1. NYC: Statue of Liberty Express Skip-the-Box-Office Cruise

Departing from Downtown Manhattan in Battery Park, this 50-minute express cruise is the fastest way to get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty. The best views are definitely from the water and you'll enjoy the insights of your fun, onboard tour guide with live narration. Begin your cruise experience at Battery Park's Slip 6. Get your souvenir photo with Lady Liberty in the background while you wait.  Board the vessel, sit back, and set sail on your round-trip sightseeing cruise. Bask in the panoramic view of downtown New York's celebrated towers, memorials, and Landmarks while you relax on board the state-of-the-art boat.  Cruise right over to see the Statue of Liberty, one of the most iconic symbols in the world. On your way to Lady Liberty, you’ll sail past and learn about Ellis Island, once home to the United States’ busiest immigration station, where approximately 12 million immigrants came through.  You will also see Governors Island, a former military base that has since been redeveloped with a beautiful park for the public to enjoy.

NYC: Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

2. NYC: Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

Experience New York at sunset on a cruise of the harbor, and take in all the sights and lights of Manhattan aboard a climate-controlled boat. Grab your friends, family, and coworkers - or even a random stranger - and embark on an unforgettable journey of the harbor with "Lady Liberty" keeping watch. With a drink in your hand, purchased from the fully stocked bar, feel the breeze on your face and be mesmerized by the shimmering skyline. Get endless photo opportunities to make you an Instagram star as you sail past legendary attractions such as the Statue of Liberty and get perfect views of the Freedom Tower - One World Trade Center, Empire State Building, Pier 54 (Titanic Pier), Battery Park, and more. See where millions of immigrants were processed when they arrived in America at Ellis Island, cruise past Governors Island, the South Street Seaport, and Brooklyn Bridge. Marvel at unrivaled views of the Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, and Chrysler Building, and discover the East Village, United Nations Building, and USS Intrepid Pier from a different perspective. 

NYC: Manhattan Skyline Buffet Dinner Cruise with Live DJ

3. NYC: Manhattan Skyline Buffet Dinner Cruise with Live DJ

Take in New York City's iconic skyline on an evening boat cruise. Marvel at key landmarks, such as Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat dinner with unlimited non-alcoholic drinks and dance on the upper deck to tunes played by the live DJ. Board the boat at Pier 36 and settle in before setting sail under the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. Enjoy views of City Hall, the Woolworth Building, South Street Seaport, the Lower Manhattan Skyline, and Wall Street on your right, and the districts of Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights on your left. Once at the southern tip of Manhattan, pass Governors Island and enjoy panoramic views of the whole of Lower Manhattan, dominated by the Freedom Tower, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Step outside onto the boat's outdoor upper deck to take in these iconic views. Then, head up the Hudson River with the State of New Jersey on one side and Midtown Manhattan on the other. Spot the Empire State Building and Hudson Yards. Next, pass Ellis Island and pause just off Liberty Island at the perfect place to take breathtaking photos of the Statue of Liberty. During the cruise, enjoy a delicious 3-course buffet meal and some light tour narration to ensure you don't miss out on the key attractions. Listen to music played by the live DJ throughout the evening. Take a spin on the dancefloor on the outdoor section of the upper deck after your meal. Sample menu: Garden mixed greens salad Either marinated top round steak or roasted pork loin Chicken Francese Baked tilapia Pasta with tomato and basil Broccoli, carrots, baked potato, and zucchini in a coconut cream sauce (seasonal vegan dish) Mashed potatoes Seasonal vegetables Chocolate mousse or New York cheesecake Non-alcoholic beverages, including juice, soda, or bottled water Tea or coffee

New York City: Sunset Sail Aboard a Schooner

4. New York City: Sunset Sail Aboard a Schooner

Experience the most stylish means of viewing a New York sunset by sailing aboard the Schooner America 2.0. While sailing you will be treated to an alcoholic drink of your choice by an exceptional crew, as you watch the warm rays of the sun sink peacefully into the horizon. Step away from the hustle and bustle of the city with your favorite companions when you board this 105-foot, 1800s-style vessel, America 2.0. She's perfect for romantic outings, entertaining friends from out of town, or just relaxing. This is sure to be an event you’ll want to experience again. Glide peacefully through the waters of the New York Harbor on the most relaxing, beautiful, and romantic excursion in the city. During your trip, take in the majestic colors of the sunset surrounding New York Harbor's skyline and iconic landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island. Heading south from Chelsea Piers and down the Hudson River to Battery Park, the schooner will pass by Ellis Island and sail out to the Statue of Liberty. Wind and time permitting, she will head toward Governors Island and breeze by the Financial District.

New York City Bus, Boat and Walking Tour

5. New York City Bus, Boat and Walking Tour

See the best of New York City on sightseeing tours by bus and boat. In addition, enjoy a walk through the Financial Center to Wall Street and The New York Stock Exchange. A live tour guide will enhance your experience with commentary on this 6-hour program. The Staten Island ferry ensures breathtaking views of the New York City and New Jersey skylines. Take in views of world-famous landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, Brooklyn Bridge, Governors Island, and more. This tour gives you two options for tour buses - a luxury climate-controlled closed-top bus or a unique small-capacity glass-top or open-top convertible bus that can open when the weather is nice or retract and turn into a glass-top to protect you from the weather elements.

Manhattan Holiday Yacht Cruise with Jazz, Cocoa & Carols

6. Manhattan Holiday Yacht Cruise with Jazz, Cocoa & Carols

Celebrate the holiday season in style this Christmas on board a luxury 90-minute yacht cruise of Manhattan Harbor. Step inside the yacht’s toasty solarium, decked out in full holiday décor, and enjoy a warm and cozy tour with your friends, family, and loved ones. Delicious hot cocoa, cookies and treats will be served as you sail past Battery Park, South Street Seaport, the Financial District, Governor's Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. Relax in the heated main observation cabin, join in the caroling, or enjoy the beats of a live jazz trio. Sip on a complimentary glass of champagne, wine or beer, and purchase mixed drinks from the on board bar. Then, watch as the gorgeous views of Manhattan Island sail by, all from the comfort of a heated back-deck salon and glassed-in observatory of the 1920s style yacht.

NYC: Evening Jazz Cruise on the Yacht Manhattan

7. NYC: Evening Jazz Cruise on the Yacht Manhattan

Cruise New York City's famous harbor aboard the 1920s-style yacht, the Manhattan, while listening to live jazz music on a 1.5-hour cruise. Sit back and enjoy gorgeous views of the New York skyline while enjoying a live jazz band which will play everything from classic jazz standards by Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington, to new renditions of Motown songs, R&B grooves, and hits from today! The band does take requests, so please ask for your favorite, as they may very well know it! During your cruise, see many famous buildings and sights, including Battery Park, South Street Seaport and the Financial District, Governor's Island, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. An alcoholic drink is included to enjoy as you soak up the surrounding sights and the sounds.

2-Hour Day Sail to Statue of Liberty on America 2.0

8. 2-Hour Day Sail to Statue of Liberty on America 2.0

Offering a premium sailing experience, the Schooner America 2.0 is the newest, largest, most elegant ship designed for the fleet. Added in 2011, the America 2.0 provides the most exceptional day sailing one can find in New York Harbor. Her design is influenced by the style of the late 1800s but incorporates technology of the 21st century, thus connecting the past and present beauty, history, and art of sailing in New York Harbor. A day sail on this 105-foot schooner is perfect for family outings, dates, and entertaining guests from out of town. A sail on America 2.0 is guaranteed to be a memorable experience. Within 5 minutes of leaving the dock, you'll forget the mayhem and noise of Manhattan street life as you feel the relaxing breeze of the harbor. Take in the famous Manhattan skyline as it was meant to be seen — from the water — plus spectacular views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. You'll experience the following on your 2-hour sail: • Heading south from Chelsea Piers and down the Hudson River to Battery Park, the schooner will pass by Ellis Island and sail out to the Statue of Liberty • Wind and time permitting, she will head toward Governors Island, breeze by the Financial District, and sail through the Buttermilk Channel

Manhattan: Statue of Liberty and Skyline Cruise

9. Manhattan: Statue of Liberty and Skyline Cruise

Leave the noise of the city behind and see New York in a new light. Sit back and marvel at the famous skyline from the comfort of the solarium on this gorgeous 80-foot 1920s style yacht. Get up close to The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on this sightseeing cruise. As you pass by such important sites at Battery Park, the financial district, and South Street Seaport, your captain will provide an informative narration. Cruise the Hudson River and New York Harbor on the Manhattan. The Manhattan provides a turn-of-the-century elegance and comfort, complete with teak decks and mahogany trim. Settle into the spectacular glassed-in observatory on the back deck, equipped with cushioned seating around conversation-friendly tables. The observatory is heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer, providing panoramic views in the utmost comfort.

Sailing Tour New York with Brooklyn Sail

10. Sailing Tour New York with Brooklyn Sail

Experience the magic of NYC from the water on this sailing cruise from Brooklyn. Feel free to bring your own food and drinks. Capture pictures of iconic sights like the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge.  Meet your captain and begin your sailing adventure. Get up close to sights like Governors Island and the towering Statue of Liberty. View the immense Brooklyn Bridge from the water. See a piece of history as you pass by Ellis Island. Take in views of the World Trade Center.  Celebrate a birthday or anniversary, make a memorable proposal, build a tighter work team, or make a regular day special with an NYC cruise. Return to your meeting point at the end of your cruise. 

Other Sightseeing Options in Governors Island

Want to discover all there is to do in Governors Island? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Governors Island

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,206 reviews

it was perfect - in case for ellis island you have to book 3 month before this was the perfect arrangement to see Liby in here whole beauty from boat. If you beeing a little earlier you can catch a seat on the top which is highly recommendet

The tour was nice it could’ve started an hour later so you would been able to see more lights as you was going out for the first hour. There was a time whether guide was not talking at least they could’ve played music. All in all it was OK

very nice boat trip with a lot of picture potential, but you should be there at least an hour earlier if you want to get a place on deck (outside).

Everything was great, plus surprisedly I got best tickets ! I would get again from here to another activity ! .

The tour guide Hannah was so amazing She was so joyful and funny People should tip her more