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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 Best of NYC Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

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

Enjoy a relaxing cruise of New York Harbor and Manhattan Island as you discover the secrets of the city. You will circle Manhattan, passing 3 rivers, 7 major bridges – including the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge – 5 boroughs, and more than 101 sights in New York’s legendary skyline. Get up close to the Statue of Liberty and see Manhattan just as the great explorers would have seen it at the end of their long ocean journeys. Tour the city by water and see the outer boroughs drift by. Fun and knowledgeable tour guides will bring the city that never sleeps to life, telling fascinating stories about the breathtaking sights as you sail. See it all as you marvel at the best that New York has to offer. Cruise highlights include close-up views of the Statue of Liberty, Randall’s Island, High Bridge, Columbia University, Harlem, Gracie Mansion, South Street Seaport, Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, The Cloisters, Grant’s Tomb, and The Little Red Lighthouse.

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

4. 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

5. 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: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island First Tour of the Day

6. NYC: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island First Tour of the Day

Be the first of the day to discover two of New York’s most iconic monuments with exclusive first ferry tour departure to Liberty Island, including a visit to the Statue of Liberty Museum and Ellis Island. Watch American history come to life with the only tour operator that runs ferries this early. Arrive at the grounds just under the watchful eye of Lady Liberty, where great views across NYC's skyline, Lower Manhattan, and the Big Apple await. Then, board the city's earliest ferry to Ellis Island (early morning tour only), ensuring you avoid the swelling afternoon crowds. Follow in the footsteps of some 12 million immigrants and learn about the process those hopeful individuals went through to settle in America. View and walk the Stairs of Separation, growing to understand the Island's two very unique names - "The Island of Hope" and "The Island of Tears". After your guide has explained to you the history, they will give you the option to continue your exploration of Ellis Island on your own with the audio guide (included) or return to The Battery on the ferry with them. If you wish, feel free to stay on Ellis Island a bit longer to explore your personal heritage and find all the unique and interesting sights in the special location.

NYC: Manhattan Skyline Buffet Dinner Cruise with Live DJ

7. 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

VIP Central Park Private Horse Carriage Ride

8. VIP Central Park Private Horse Carriage Ride

Enhance your Central Park experience with a narrated, private horse carriage tour and discover its famous sights. Sit back and relax aboard a beautiful and well-maintained carriage. See the popular attractions and get beautiful scenic views along your journey through the famous Park. Pass by Wollman Rink, Carousel, Chess and Checker House, The Dairy, Literary Mall, Bethesda Fountain, The Lake, Boat Pond, Sheep Meadow, Tavern On The Green, Columbus Circle, Balto Statue, Summer Stage, The Boathouse Restaurant, Bandshell, and Cherry Hill. Hear plenty of interesting facts about Central Park and its attractions. Take memorable pictures, during two photo stops at Bethesda Fountain and Cherry Hill (aka Friends Fountain).

From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

9. From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

Your day will begin with an early morning departure from Times Square in Manhattan, where you’ll be greeted by your bilingual tour guide for the day. After 4-5 hours, your first destination will be the nation's current capital, Washington, DC. Once there, visit the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. During the tour, stop for a classic outside view of the White House, home and office of the U.S. President, and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own. Your next destination, after a 3-hour journey, will be the first-ever U.S. capital, Philadelphia, PA. Visit its historic Old City neighborhood and the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. Then, ascend to the top of the Rocky Steps before returning to Times Square in Manhattan.

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

10. 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.

Frequently asked questions about New York City Cruises & Boat Tours

What are other things to do than Cruises & Boat Tours that are worth visiting in New York City?

The other unmissable things to do in New York City are:

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

Great sights by the boat and talks about the buildings along the way. It is with stating to walk around the building and follow tour signs since that was a little confusing at the pier.

Kevin had a wealth of information to share with the group. It was great to learn about the history of Hudson Park and other relevant areas of NYC. Kevin was an awesome guide!!!

It was a lovely night (albeit a bit chilly). Got to see the city from a different angle as well as Lady Liberty which was the biggest thrill for me....and I am Canadian!

Lots of great picture opportunities. The guide seemed very knowledgeable and was full of interesting information. We saw everything we could want to around Manhattan.

This tour is the best! Tour guide is very knowledgeable and friendly person. Explained history of the city from the roots.