Boat Trips Around New York City to Enjoy This Summer

There’s no shortage of boat trips to be had in the city – we are on an island after all. Take advantage of the warm weather and the water all around us, and go out for a boat ride! From sunset cruises and speedboat rides to educational tours of New York Harbor and even the Governors Island Ferry, here are some ways to cruise around the city this summer.

Recreational Boat Rides

Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Cruises

Explore the city in style and board these iconic yellow water taxis! You can hop on and off as you wish at any of the four stops this cruise makes: Midtown Manhattan, Battery Park, South Street Seaport and DUMBO Brooklyn. The ride is 70 minutes round-trip, and it is a guided tour. You can buy a one- or two-day access pass, and the taxis typically operate from 10 am to 7 pm. One-day tickets are $31 for children ages 3 to 12 and $37 for adults. Two-day tickets are $36 for children ages 3 to 12 and $42 for adults.

Departs from: Pier 83, 12th Avenue & West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036 in Manhattan; 22 Battery Pl., New York, NY 10004 in Manhattan; 167 John St., New York, NY 10038 in Manhattan; Pier 1 Playground, 102 Furman St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 in Brooklyn

a yellow New York Water Taxi sits in the water with the Brooklyn Bridge and city skyline in the background

Photography Tours

Calling all photographers: The Adventure Sightseeing Tour will give you plenty of chances to snap the perfect photo. The New York Media Boat will pass by 40 sights along its route – don’t worry, it stops frequently so you can take your pictures without feeling rushed. The route is designed for photographers, so you’re sure to have unique angles and vantage points to get that one-of-a-kind photo. The tour lasts 1.5 hours and costs $95 per person.

Departs from: North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place (intersection of South End Avenue and Liberty Street), 250 Vesey St., New York, NY 10281

Speedboat Rides

If you’re a family of thrill-seekers, this is the boat trip for you! The Beast is not your ordinary sightseeing cruise. Aboard this 70-foot watercraft, you’ll twist and turn towards Lady Liberty at speeds up to 45 miles per hour! Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for children, and boats depart every hour from 10 am to 6 pm from Pier 83. The ride lasts about half an hour, and you will get wet!

Departs from: Pier 83, 42nd Street and the West Side Highway, New York, NY 10036

Sunset Cruises

Hop on board a classic schooner or yacht and experience the beauty of the sun setting on the city with these cruises. Multiple cruises are available, and prices and duration vary based on the cruise. You can choose from offerings like jazz cruises, cocktail cruises, an Irish music cruise, and even a sushi and sake cruise!

Departs from: Chelsea Piers, Pier 62 (West 22nd Street) New York, NY 10011; or North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place (D Dock), 250 Vesey St., New York, NY 10281, depending on the cruise

photo via Time Out 

Educational Boat Rides

Architecture Tours

Narrated by members of the American Institute of Architects’ New York chapter, these tours will walk you through the architecture of everything from the Statue of Liberty and the Chrysler Building to newer structures by names like Frank Gehry. Tours take place on 1920s-style yachts with indoor climate-controlled seating as well as outdoor seating. You can choose from several tours, such as the Historic Architecture Tour and the Lower Manhattan Architecture Tour. Prices and duration vary, depending on the tour.

Departs From: Chelsea Piers, Pier 62 (West 22nd Street), New York, NY 10011

Hidden Harbor Tours

If you’re interested in a more educational boat trip, you don’t want to miss the Hidden Harbor Tours. Narrated by maritime historians and other experts, these tours will teach you all about New York and New Jersey’s working waterfront. The two-hour tour will take you by Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, tugboat berths in Erie Basin, oil and car ports in Brooklyn and more. You’ll definitely have a greater appreciation of the maritime industry and its crucial role in the city’s economy after going on this boat trip.

Departs from: Depends on cruise.

Transportation Boat Rides

Ellis Island and Liberty Island Ferry

Get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty! To get there, take the ferry operated by Statue Cruises. Children under 4 years of age ride for free. The price is $9 for children between the ages of 4 and 9 and $18.50 for people above the age of 13. Seniors pay $14. Tickets are round-trip and include access to both Liberty Island and Ellis Island as well as audio tours of each. Ferries typically depart daily between 8:30 am and 5:45 pm in intervals of 15 or 20 minutes.

Departs from: Battery Park, 1 Battery Place, New York, NY 10004 in Manhattan; Liberty State Park, 1 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305 in New Jersey

the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island with the New York skyline in the background

Governors Island Ferry

For a relatively inexpensive boat ride, take the ferry over to Governors Island. It’s just far enough to help you escape the chaos of the city but not so far that you’d have a long commute to get there. (The ferry ride is only 8 minutes, after all!) Adults and children over 12 years of age pay $3, and senior citizens pay $1. Children under 12 years of age ride for free (The ride is free for everyone before noon on Saturdays and Sundays!). Over the summer, this ferry service is only available between 10 am and 6 pm on weekends.

Departs from: Wall St./Pier 11, Gouverneur Lane at South Street, FDR Drive, New York, NY 10005 in Manhattan; Governors Island, Hay Road, New York, NY 10004 on Governors Island

Staten Island Ferry

If you’re looking for a free boat trip, join the 22 million other people who take the Staten Island Ferry every year. You can catch the ferry from Whitehall Ferry Terminal, also known as South Ferry, in Manhattan or from St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. The ferry runs every 15 minutes during rush hour, every 20 minutes at select weekday times, and every 30 minutes on nights and weekends.

Departs from: Whitehall Ferry Terminal (South Ferry), 4 Whitehall St., New York, NY 10004 in Manhattan; St. George Ferry Terminal, 1 Bay St., Staten Island, NY 10301 on Staten Island