Surrounded by water on three sides, New York offers a wide variety of cruises that allow visitors to experience the city from a unique vantage point. Many of these tours will take you close to some of the city’s most famous water-based landmarks, including Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, as well as allow you to enjoy dazzling views back across Manhattan.
For anyone planning a trip to the Big Apple, we’ve picked out some of the best cruises currently available, using factors such as pricing and previous customer reviews to make our choice. We hope our selection both informs and inspires you.
This hugely popular tour gets you up close and personal with one of the most iconic and recognisable landmarks anywhere in the world, the Statue of Liberty. Departing three times a day – at 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm – every day of the week, you’ll traverse the waters of New York harbor aboard a well-equipped boat, accompanied by an experienced naval crew and a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide. As you make your way towards the famous neoclassical sculpture, you can enjoy views of the Manhattan skyline, along with other notable landmarks such as South Street Seaport, home to a fascinating collection of antique ships. The entire tour takes around one-and-a-quarter hours.
From $119.99 per person
Spend a memorable Christmas Eve on the water, gliding past the illuminated Manhattan skyline on a dinner cruise. Head to Pier 81 on the west side of Manhattan to board your sleek, stylish boat. As you depart, soak up the views as you pass some of the city’s most famous attractions, making your way around the tip of Manhattan, up the East River to midtown, and then back around to the west side. During the trip you’ll get to enjoy a festive three-course dinner with optional premium wine pairings while a DJ provides a festive soundtrack. After dinner, spend the rest of your evening dancing while taking in the dazzling sights of Manhattan by night.
From $67.94 per person
Why not see in the holiday season on a memorable lunch cruise around New York? After boarding a comfortable Hornblower yacht from Pier 40, you’ll cruise along the Hudson and East Rivers and through New York Harbor, past some of the city’s most renowned landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Manhattan Bridge. Indulge in a seasonally inspired lunch buffet, and enjoy the company of family and friends as an onboard DJ spins festive tunes. You’ll be able to purchase drinks throughout the trip. The cruise takes around 2 hours 30 minutes and ends back at Pier 40 early afternoon.
From $10 per person
Early morning, you’ll be picked up either in Queens or on Bowery Street in Manhattan, depending on your preference. From there, you’ll embark on your tour of New York City, with your first stop being the financial hub of Wall Street. Next, you’ll take a Statue of Liberty Cruise, riding through New York Harbor and looping your way around the distinctive statue, before moving on past Ellis Island, the arrival point for immigrants to the East Coast of the US for decades. Returning to the harbor, you’ll pass by Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue, and the world-famous Empire State Building. The tour concludes back on land with visits to Times Square, Madame Tussauds, and the Museum of Modern Art.
From $35 per person
Experience a Big Apple party from the water on this fun-packed 2.5-hour night-time cruise along New York Harbor – hugely popular for birthday celebrations, and bachelor or bachelorette activities. Starting at Pier 15 at the East River Esplanade, you’ll head out onto the water with the New York skyline in full illuminated view. Enjoy beer and wine or an unlimited, premium open bar and listen to live music and dance to an award-winning onboard DJ. Or take a walk to the outer deck to soak up more views of the city by night.
From $185 per person
See in the New Year in style on this 4-hour cruise, complete with a sumptuous Italian-themed buffet dinner, live music and fireworks. You’ll board your yacht mid-evening for a 9pm departure, heading off around the bay with dramatic views of the Manhattan skyline. After dinner the music kicks in, with live tunes spun by a resident on-board DJ. As midnight approaches, you’ll be treated to dazzling pyrotechnics that illuminate the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan’s downtown area. When the big moment arrives, mark the occasion with a glass of champagne and plenty of clinks all round. The cruise comes to a close at 1am.