New York City
Cruises & Boat Tours

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

4. 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: Circle Line Landmarks Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

5. 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

6. 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. 

From NYC: 2-Day Niagara Falls Tour with Shopping Trip

7. From NYC: 2-Day Niagara Falls Tour with Shopping Trip

Escape the hectic atmosphere of New York for a night on this 2-day tour to Niagara Falls. Travel to the U.S. side of the Falls and ride on the famous Maid of the Mist boat. Enjoy some time shopping for bargains at the an outlet mall along the way. Day 1: Depart from the centrally-located meeting point in New York on an air-conditioned van or bus and heads north. Pass the beautiful Delaware Gap and Watkins Glen State Park in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Stretch your legs on a walk through Watkins Glen Canyon and capture pictures of views of the waterfalls. Drive by the stunning Seneca Lake and arrive in Niagara Falls in the late afternoon. Tour the American side of Niagara Falls, including the American Falls, Goat Island, and Sister Island. Admire a night tour of Niagara Falls showcasing the colorful lighting of the thundering waters before settling in into your comfortable hotel room for the night. Day 2: Eat a hearty continental breakfast at the hotel. See both the Niagara and the Horseshoe Falls up close from the Maid of the Mist boat (available from May to October). When the Maid of the Mist is not operating, take a tour of the Power Vista Hydro-Electric Station and visit the Cave of the Winds. Board your bus or van and drive south and back to New York City. Stretch your legs in a more urban area, with a shopping excursion at one of the large outlet malls along the way. Return to the city in time for you to grab a late dinner.

New York: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Sunset Cruise

8. New York: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Sunset Cruise

Watch the sunset behind the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on this Manhattan cruise. Get panoramic views of the city skyline with excellent photo opportunities of iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. Depart from Pier 36 right under the Brooklyn Bridge and travel toward South Street Seaport and Battery Park. Travel on a comfortable ship that is well-maintained. Relax as you capture pictures of stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Get up close to within 100-feet of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for the most incredible photos opportunities as the sunsets. Admire views of One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, and more. While aboard, make the most of the full cash bar with snacks and drinks available to purchase.

New York City: Private Helicopter Tour for Couples

9. New York City: Private Helicopter Tour for Couples

Avoid the traffic and take in spectacular views on 30-minute or 45-minute scenic helicopter flight over Manhattan. Bring your special someone along on this unique tour that’s priced for 2 persons. Tours depart from and arrive at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, located just outside NYC and easily accessible by public transit (Metro-North rail) and by car (free parking). Alternatively, opt to include roundtrip hotel transfers from anywhere in Manhattan. Upon arrival at the airport, begin with a safety briefing before boarding the helicopter. Take off and enjoy stunning aerial views of Central Park, Yankee Stadium, the iconic Manhattan skyline, the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, and the East River bridges. Gaze down at the incredible sights from the air, knowing that there truly is no other place in the world like New York City.

Around Manhattan: Official NYC Architecture Cruise

10. Around Manhattan: Official NYC Architecture Cruise

Step aboard the decks of an elegant 1920's-style yacht, for an educational architecture tour around Manhattan, hosted by architects and members of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY). Enjoy your trip through the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers from the air-conditioned observatory, or wander to the outer decks for fresh air and sunlight. Circumnavigate the island of Manhattan, passing under all 18 bridges, while taking in the sites and architecture. Examine the visionary development of the waterfront memorials, get an update on the One World Trade Center, Downtown "Starchitecture", Jean Nouvel's 100 Eleventh Ave. condos, and classic icons of lower Manhattan like the Woolworth Building, Wall Street's art deco spires, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Marvel at New York's great engineering feats, such as the Harlem River's bridges: swing, lift, and fixed-span. Hear the story of postwar urban renewal and public housing along the East River and much more.

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?

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

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What people are saying about New York City

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 6,150 reviews

The trip is the right length and shows you everything around the Island of Manhattan. It is both current and historical in nature and would be enjoyed by all ages

I would highly recommend this tour to anyone traveling to New York City! Not only was it a lot of fun, but very informative as well!

Tim was an outstanding guide. He was super knowledgeable and had a great personality. Would highly recommend without reservation.

Excellent tour. Hannah was an awesome guide…. Very funny and knowledgeable. Great value.

The Statue is incredible! Having a knowledgeable guide made all the difference.