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New York City Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended New York City Cruises & boat tours

NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

1. NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

Take a 60-minute boat ride to within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty. Cruise right under the Brooklyn Bridge and see the most famous skyline in the world. Your live English guide will point out the sites as you journey along the river including the Empire State Building, the new Freedom Tower, the Manhattan Bridge, Governor's Island, and more. Make use of both the indoor and outdoor seating, along with large open windows for your viewing pleasure. Get within touching distance of "Lady Liberty" and then move on to Ellis Island to take photos of the famous entry point to New York City. Marvel at the skyline of Manhattan and its famous skyscrapers, including the new One World Trade Center. Glide down both the east and west sides of Lower Manhattan on this roundtrip cruise, and purchase drinks and food from the concession stand aboard the boat. 

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

2. 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 Landmarks Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

3. NYC: Circle Line Landmarks Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

Take in many of the iconic sites of midtown and lower Manhattan on a semi-circle boat cruise. Enjoy magnificent views of the world's most recognizable skyline and get a close-up look at Lady Liberty and Ellis Island from the water. See the sights with a local tour guide who brings to life the breathtaking sights and the fascinating history behind the Big Apple. Sail down the Hudson River, cruising around the Battery, and up the East River. Pass under the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges to the United Nations building before heading back to Pier 83, the starting point for your tour.

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

4. 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. 

New York City: Sunset Yacht Cruise

5. New York City: Sunset Yacht Cruise

Experience a beautiful New York City sunset and the illuminated skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan on a harbor cruise of the Hudson River. Sit back and enjoy gorgeous 360-degree views of the island from the open decks or glassed-in back-deck observatory. Marvel at the 1920s style décor of the boat, and take in stunning views of sights, including Battery Park and the South Street Seaport. Gaze at the towering monuments of the Financial District and sail past Governor's Island, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Cruise the Hudson River and enjoy views of Manhattan's skyline.

From New York City: Niagara Falls Full-Day Bus Tour

6. From New York City: Niagara Falls Full-Day Bus Tour

Take a day trip by comfortable bus to famous Niagara Falls. Enjoy a smooth round-trip journey, different vantage points to view the Falls, free time in Niagara, and, when in season, a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat. Begin your day with a morning departure from Times Square in Manhattan. Travel by comfortable motorcoach in the company of your guide. Enjoy the scenic landscape of upstate New York on your journey north. Take advantage of the wi-fi on board. The travel time is approximately 7-8 hours, each way, with one rest stop. Experience the adventure, beauty, and natural wonder of Niagara Falls aboard the historic Maid of the Mist boat, or, when the Maid of the Mist is not running, from other observation points such as Gorge Walk. Learn about the interesting history of these mighty waters and enjoy spectacular views of the falls from different vantage points. You will have the opportunity for lunch on your own, souvenir shopping, and exploring the beautiful Niagara Falls State Park. After an unforgettable experience and wonderful memories, relax onboard your comfortable motorcoach for the return to Times Square in Manhattan, arriving back between 11 PM-midnight.

NYC: Luxury Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Harbor Cruise

7. NYC: Luxury Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Harbor Cruise

Embark on a sightseeing cruise from Manhattan’s Chelsea Piers. Enjoy stunning views of the NYC skyline with a 180-degree sightseeing experience from a boat that is all-glass and includes curved ceilings and walls. Hop aboard the boat at Chelsea Piers and being your sightseeing adventure. Sail along the Hudson and East rivers, admiring the Manhattan skyline. Spot Freedom Tower and the Empire State Building. Get up-close views of the iconic Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. Capture pictures of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Gaze out from one of the open-air decks for unobstructed views. Relax in the elegant atmosphere and take advantage of the attentive service as you dine on a brunch, lunch, or dinner prepared by the chef. Listen to a variety of tunes throughout the cruise played by a skilled pianist. Hear fascinating facts about New York’s famous attractions. Dance to piano melodies that include jazz, blues, and Broadway hits. On the dinner cruise, enjoy the added entertainment featuring an acoustic trio of a baby grand piano, upright bass, and jazz guitar. For brunch, enjoy bottomless mimosas while taking in the spectacular views. Sample Bottomless Brunch Menu - Early Risers: Seasonal Fruit, Breakfast Pastries, Scottish Smoked Salmon, Scrambled Eggs, Breakfast Meats, Breakfast Potatoes, or Cinnamon French Toast Casserole - Late Risers: Organic Mixed Field Greens, Baby Romaine & Spinach Caesar, Roasted Broccoli Florets, Baked Ziti Pasta, Roasted Salmon Provençale, Maple & Mustard Glazed Chicken, or Hand Carved Strip Loin, USDA Choice - Desserts: Bateaux Signature Dessert Station Sample Plated Lunch Menu - First Course: Baby Romaine & Spinach Caesar - Entrée: Maple & Mustard Glazed Chicken Breast - Dessert: New York Style Cheesecake Sample Plated Dinner Menu - First Course: Baby Romaine & Spinach Caesar, Lobster Bisque, Togarashi Tuna Tartare, or Duck Pate De Foie Gras (available for additional price) - Main Course: Forest Mushroom Ravioli, Herb Roasted Shrimp, Maple & Mustard Glazed Chicken Breast, Braised Beef Short Rib, Pan-Seared Atlantic Cod, American Wagyu Striploin (available for additional price), or Broiled Maine Lobster Tails (available for additional price) - Dessert: New York Style Cheesecake, Humbolt Fog & Belletoile Triple Cream Brie Cheeses, Bateaux Signature Warm Butter Cake, Valrhona Chocolate Mousse, Freshly Cut Fruit & Fresh Strawberries, or French Macarons (available for additional price)

Manhattan: Statue and Skyline Cruise aboard the Luxury Yacht

8. Manhattan: Statue and Skyline Cruise aboard the Luxury Yacht

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.

From NYC: 1-Day Niagara Falls Tour with Seasonal Boat Ride

9. From NYC: 1-Day Niagara Falls Tour with Seasonal Boat Ride

Embark on a day trip to Niagara Falls from New York City. Witness the dramatic views of the falls and avoid the hassle of border-crossing traffic and visa checks as this tour visits only the falls on the American side. Head north towards Niagara Falls in the late evening, making one stop along the way. Upon arrival in the morning, have breakfast and relax before traveling to the American side of the falls. Board the famous Maid Of The Mist, bringing you to the Horseshoe Falls, the most spectacular part of Niagara Falls. Continue to other major sights on Goat Island, including Bridal Veil Falls. Tuck into a delicious buffet lunch in the afternoon before your return trip back to Manhattan in an air-conditioned bus, which will arrive in the late evening.

New York City: Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Buffet River Cruise

10. New York City: Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Buffet River Cruise

See the sights of New York City from onboard the 'Spirit of New York' ship and cruise on the Hudson River. Enjoy an al-fresco buffet dining experience while savoring views of the Manhattan skyline Board the vessel at Chelsea Piers and be welcomed on board. Take a picture that you can purchase later as a souvenir. Be seated at a private table and marvel at iconic views of the city from the water. Have a brunch, lunch, or dinner buffet consisting of creative meals that are prepared fresh daily. While you feast, listen to tunes by an onboard DJ. Marvel at unobstructed views of the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. Sample Brunch Menu: Early Riser • Breakfast pastries • Scrambled eggs • Breakfast meats • Breakfast potatoes Late Riser • Field green salad • Kale quinoa salad • Green goddess pasta salad • Honey sesame chicken • Oven-roasted whitefish • Root vegetable fricassee • Roasted broccoli Dessert • Cakes• Brownies• Seasonal fruit Sample Lunch/Dinner Buffet Menu: Salads • Organic mixed field greens • Organic spinach and kale salad • Green bean salad • Kidney bean, black bean, and chickpea salad • Red beetroot salad • Bow tie pasta salad • Vegetables, potatoes, and pasta • Roasted broccoli florets • Creamed corn and cheddar cheese casserole • Baked ziti pasta • Mashed potatoes Entrees • Oven-baked Atlantic flounder filet • Honey and sesame chicken • Italian beef meatballs • Braised beef short ribs (dinner only) Desserts • Seasonal fruit • Raspberry mousse • Lemon pound cake and fresh strawberries • Coconut vanilla cake • Carrot cake • Red velvet and chocolate chip brownie (dinner only)

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Frequently asked questions about New York City

What top attractions are a must-see in New York City?

What are the best day trips and excursions from New York City?

The best day trips and excursions from New York City are:

Washington, DC

New York City boat tours: Everything you need to know

Although we automatically think of the Hudson River when it comes to New York City, the city actually has two more rivers. The East River separates Manhattan from Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and Long Island City, and the Harlem River marks the border with the Bronx borough.

Do you dream of seeing the city from a new angle or are curious to know the location of "Miracle on the Hudson?” Have a look at some suggestions for New York City boat tours to make the most of your time in the Big Apple.

Skyline cruises in New York City

Even if you’re visiting New York for the first time, we bet you’ll be able to point out the most famous buildings. The Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and the One World Trade Center are just some of the well-known landmarks you can spot from the Hudson River.

In the city that never sleeps, you can choose from a variety of boat tours focusing on the iconic skyline. Architecture enthusiasts will enjoy the Official NYC Architecture Cruise, where actual architects double as travel guides for three hours. Can you guess how many bridges are around Manhattan? Well, after the cruise, you'll probably be able to name a few more than the Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, and Queensboro Bridge.

Other skyline-themed cruise options include 60- to 90-minute trips from the East Side to the West Side. All come with plenty of selfie-perfect backgrounds and a guest appearance by Lady Liberty.

Dinner cruises in New York City

Can you imagine having dinner with your own view of New York City? Enjoy a meal of Italian beef meatballs from your private table as the (appropriately named) Spirit of New York cruises along the East and Hudson rivers. Wrap it all up with dessert, drinks on the rooftop lounge, and dancing to the beat of the onboard DJ.

If you’re looking for an authentic sailing experience, climb aboard the 1929 vintage schooner Shearwater. It’s not just a yacht; it’s a floating landmark that will take you on a two-hour sailing and wine tasting expedition around Manhattan. Cheese and snacks are included.

Statue of Liberty cruises in New York City 

A gift from the French in the 1800s became New York City’s most famous attraction. The Statue of Liberty stands for freedom and once stood as a beacon of hope for immigrants arriving on Ellis Island. The best way to see its full glory? On a river cruise with unobstructed views.

But if you want the full experience, choose the Statue of Liberty: Pedestal Express and Ellis Island tour. You’ll get skip-the-line admission to the Statue, the Pedestal, and the Museum, plus live guided tours. 

River taxis in New York City

What color are typical New York river taxis? Yellow, of course. Hop-on Hop-off NYC Water Taxis are a unique and fast way to get to top attractions in one day. Water Taxis stop at Pier 83 (near Hell’s Kitchen), Slip 6 - Battery Place (World Trade Center, 9/11 Memorial, and view to Statue of Liberty), Pier 16 (view to Brooklyn Bridge), and Pier 1 - DUMBO (Brooklyn).

If you prefer a ferry experience, choose a classical hop-on hop-off boat tour around Manhattan. These ferries stop at most of the same places but also include a ticket to see the view from the top of the One World Observatory.

New York City river cruise tips

If you're planning to combine sightseeing on land and the river, look for a cruise that includes access to attractions. A hop-on hop-off option is also a great idea if you’re an active sightseer.

Wear flat, comfortable shoes and pay extra attention when getting off and on the boat. 

In addition to going on river cruises, you can also experience life like a local and catch one of the commuter ferries. The Staten Island Ferry runs 24/7 and since it’s free, it’s also a great alternative if you’re on a tight budget. You’ll get views of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan. NYC Ferry and NY Waterway are the two other companies operating commuter ferry routes.


Other Sightseeing Options in New York City

Want to discover all there is to do in New York City? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about New York City

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 6,150 reviews

Very friendly crew and amazing views! Does not land at Ellis island. Arrive as early as possible, as the line to board can get long. We got a table on the first floor by the front of the boat, they open the front deck once the ship gets moving which provides seating unlike the rear deck.

There is nothing wrong with the Circle Line. You got interesting information about NY and you can take great photos. The only thing negative or a matter of luck is whether you have a few typical tourists on board who behave like typical ego tourists. :-)

The entire staff of our cruise ship were so sweet. Great experience and beautiful views.

It was a very enjoyable experience and the guides were really lovely.

It was very good experiance. We as a family like it .