For first-time visitors, sightseeing cruises offer a terrific overview and a chance to orient yourself, while learning a bit about New York City's history and architecture. No matter how many times you've visited New York City, these boat rides are a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the city's skyline and waterways. Visitors of all ages will enjoy a sightseeing cruise and most boats can accommodate the special needs of most passengers.
If you've got the time, this three-hour cruise will take you all the way around Manhattan, offering participants views of all five boroughs and a chance to see 20 different bridges! During the tour, a guide supplements the views with interesting information about New York City. This tour might be a bit too long for young kids, but it's a great choice for just about anyone else.
Although their cruises are a tad pricier than some others, Classic Harbor Lines ships are smaller and offer a more intimate, crowd-free experience (their largest ship, the Schooner America 2.0, holds just 75 passengers). You won't have to queue up in a long line to board or disembark and you can even relax and enjoy a drink from the bar during most of their cruises.
Circle Line's Shark Speedboat combines the excitement of a speedboat ride with the great views of New York City and the Statue of Liberty. A great choice for families, the Shark Speedboat ride is fun and a quick way to see the Statue of Liberty up close, and they even stop for a photo-op.
Circle Line's Zephyr Yacht Harbor Cruise combines the comfort of a yacht ride with the great views of New York City and the Statue of Liberty. In just one hour, you can see much of downtown Manhattan.
The Water Taxi's Hop On/Hop Off Service
Water Taxi's Hop On/Hop Off Service offers visitors a tour of the New York Harbor, including great views of Governors Island, as well as the option to hop on and off at stops along the 1 hour route.