Boat tours are a fantastic way to explore New York City. After all, the five boroughs of the city are surrounded by bays, harbors, rivers and the Atlantic Ocean, so it makes perfect sense to spend some time of the weather. Whether you’re feeling the need for speed or you would prefer a leisurely cruise, it’s easy to find a boat excursion to suit your style. With so many points of departure from Manhattan, Queens, and Long Island, it’s quite easy to find boat tours that fit right into your vacation plans as well.
A Manhattan harbor tour is a long-standing tradition for both locals and tourists. No matter how many times you’ve been to the city, you’ll find something new with a cruise. Choice is certainly on your side here—from the docks on Manhattan, you’ll have the chance to step aboard yachts, jet boats, and comfortable catamarans for tours. Some depart of afternoon sightseeing excursions and others set sail on leisurely and romantic dinner cruises. The Beast, a jet boat, whips around the harbor on a fun-filled journey with the captain pointing out all the iconic sights of the Manhattan skyline.
If you want to see the Statue of Liberty, boat tours are your best (and only option) for seeing the iconic statue. She’s located on Liberty Island, which is closed to private traffic. Ticket prices include the ferry ride along with an audio guide and a ferry ride to Ellis Island—the famous immigration station—before the trip back to the mainland. These boat tours depart from Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan or Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Of course not every New York boat tour departs from the docks in Manhattan. The three-level and always-elegant Skyline Princess departs for dinner cruises from the Worlds Fair Marina in Flushing Meadows, Queens. The same company also operates boat tours of Long Island Sound and Connecticut Harbor. In the last few years, the cruise terminal in Brooklyn has become of the most popular starting points for extended boat tours heading out to Atlantic Canada, the Bahamas and even Europe.