5 Great Manhattan Boat Tours for Tourists

Sail ho! Test your sea legs by taking a boat or ferry trip around Manhattan. What better way to spend a hot afternoon than taking in some fresh(er) air and exploring the New York Harbor? Whether you're showing off our fair city to visitors or a tourist yourself, taking to the water is a great way to see breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and other NYC attractions like the Statue of Liberty and the ​Brooklyn Bridge.

Tip: Looking to get on the water on a boat trip offering some more local flavor? Check out these 10 NYC Boat Trips that Even Locals Will Love.

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    The BEAST Speedboat

    manhattan boat tour
    ••• Photo credit: The Beast Speedboat

    This high-speed boat whips travelers around the lower Hudson River and New York Harbor, right past the top harbor sights: the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Wear your bathing suit or be prepared to drip for the rest of the day.

    Board the boat: Pier 83, near West 42nd St. & the Hudson River
    More info: ridethebeast.com

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    Classic Harbor Line

    Fancy sailing in the harbor with billowing white sails overhead? Then look no further than the exemplary Classic Harbor Line, which takes guests out on working schooners to enjoy views of Lady Liberty and the New York City skyline. Included in the rates are a few rounds of wine, beer, or soft drinks, for added value to this wonderfully relaxing and memorable boat outing.

    Board the boat: Chelsea Piers at W. 21st St. & Hudson River
    More info: sail-nyc.com

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    Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

    There's a reason that the Circle Line remains so popular with tourists. The company offers several different sightseeing cruises around Manhattan, including the popular 90-minute hop around Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. You can also schedule an enchanting evening Circle Line cruise for a perfect relaxing ending to a busy day of city sightseeing.

    Board the boat: Pier 83, near West 42nd St. & the Hudson River
    More info: circleline42.com

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    Staten Island Ferry

    This free ferry ride to that distant borough of Staten Island takes only 25 minutes and offers stunning views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and New York Harbor. Disembark on the other side, explore this distinctly different side of NYC, and come back to the motherland and tell us what it's like. Every New Yorker should ride the Staten Island Ferry at least once.

    Board the boat: Whitehall Terminal, 4 Whitehall St.
    More info: siferry.com

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    New York Water Taxi

    New York Water Taxi offers an all-around New York City boating experience. Enjoy a happy hour harbor trip at twilight, boogie down on a Saturday night dance cruise, or head out on an Audobon eco-cruise and spot bird populations around low-lying areas. The taxi is an ideal way to explore Manhattan, as well – a day pass lets you hop on and off the boat at many different locations along the Hudson River. 

    Board the boat: Hudson River and W. 39th St., W. 10th St., Battery Park, and Pier 11 near the South Street Seaport; there are also two stops in Brooklyn.
    More info: nywatertaxi.com