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Boat tours of New York City

  • New York, United States of America (USA)

Last updated: 07 April, 2024

In case you didn’t know, the city of New York has five boroughs. The smallest, Manhattan, where all the fun stuff is, is actually a small (and very crowded) island, bordered by the Hudson River to the west, and the East River to the east.

So seeing New York by boat is not as daft as it might seem – it’s a great way to appreciate New York’s spectacular skyscraper-infused skyline without the crowds and traffic, and comes with commentary explaining the history of the skyline, the famous bridges and the Statue of Liberty – useful without being too obtrusive.

Options range from a 3-hour round trip to a 30-minute thrill ride.

Logistics

Price from: £25
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around
Duration: 1-3 hours

Getting there & doing it

Tours depart from Pier 83 in Midtown.

The ‘Semi-Circle’, a 2-hour trip round the bottom of Manhattan and back, is a safe (and cheap) bet, with views of the Empire State, Statue of Liberty, Financial District skyscrapers and Brooklyn Bridge. There’s also a 3-hour option that circumnavigates the whole island, or a cruise to the Statue of Liberty and back in 75 minutes.

For the thrill seeker, there’s an adrenaline-pumping 30-minute jetboat ride down the Hudson to the Statue of Liberty and back.

The City Pass

The mobile-delivered City Pass gives you entry to 6 top New York attractions at a 40% discount: the Empire State Building’s 86th-floor observatory, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

When to do it

Cruises run all year round, seven days a week, rain or shine.

The ‘Harbour Lights Cruise’ runs at sunset, so you can appreciate the New York skyline lit up by a galaxy of office lights.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • New York City

Sit back and unwind on a relaxing two and a half hour cruise around Manhattan Island. You'll see all the sights on the only New York cruise to circumnavigate Manhattan in its entirety. Choose between two ticket types: Cruise with Standard Seating which includes general admission boarding and seating available on the outdoor deck or inside the temperature-controlled cabin. Cruise with Premium Seating which includes advanced boarding and exclusive indoor seating area in the temperature-controlled cabin with premium-cushioned seating.

Price $52

Min age 3

Rating 4.41 / 5 [2911 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • New York City

Grab your friends or that special someone and get ready for two-and-a-half hours of real New York fun departing from Chelsea Piers! This New York dinner cruise includes an attended chef-prepared buffet, fun DJ music with dancing and breathtaking views of the New York skyline from the interior dining decks and outside rooftop lounge. Creative cocktails, wine and beer available from the well-stocked cash bar. Enjoy iconic skyline views of Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and more! You will get a great view of Lady Liberty from the boat and get to take amazing photos. Don't wait - add this dinner cruise to your New York itinerary today!

Price $132

Min age 0

Rating 4.17 / 5 [1215 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • New York City

Come aboard Bateaux New York for NYC's most elegant dinner on the water! Enjoy a chef-prepared, 3-course plated dinner while you take in unforgettable 360° views of the skyline from the East and Hudson Rivers. Cruise past the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade Center and more. Take in incredible up-close views of the Statue of Liberty! From the fully glass-enclosed dining deck or exterior open-air deck you will get panoramic breathtaking views of the iconic city sights. Enjoy a live band performance with female vocalist and pianist. Creative cocktails, wine and beer are available for purchase from the well-stocked cash bar. Bateaux New York is your excuse to dress up! Semi-formal attire (dress pants, dress shirts, skirts or dresses and dress shoes) is required for your special night on the water. Casual jeans, t-shirts, and sandals are not permitted onboard. Get ready for a glamorous evening! Dress code will be enforced.

Price $175

Min age 6

Rating 4.44 / 5 [1198 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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