See another side to Rhode Island’s historic city of Newport from Narragansett Bay on one of these fantastic harbor cruises.
In early 2021, Newport, RI was voted one of TravelMag’s 30 most charming small cities in the US. The city’s Gilded Age mansions, seafront forts and other historical buildings were one of the main factors in creating the city’s distinct character. And because Newport is mostly contained along a narrow, craggy promontory of Aquidneck Island, many of its best buildings line the shores, making the view from the open water particularly endearing. Here are three of the best Newport boat tours, based on factors such as the itinerary and value for money.
Scenic Narragansett Bay Cruise
Hop aboard the Coastal Queen for this lovely 75-minute cruise of Narragansett Bay. Through the excellent narration of your guides on this boat tour, you will get a glimpse of New England coastal life, with historic lighthouses and churches, colonial-era forts, fishing vessels at various wharves, and the International Yacht Restoration School. The boat has its own bar. This tour normally runs at least once daily at 1pm, and often up to three times a day at 3pm and 5pm also. Please check ahead, as the boat is occasionally not available on certain days or weeks. From $30 per person.
Sunset Cocktail Cruise of Narragansett Bay
For a few dollars more, you can stay out on the water for a little longer, while the sun sets over Rhode Island, and enjoy a complementary cocktail (for anybody aged 21+). Head up to the Coastal Queen’s open upper deck for the best views of the sights as you glide by, such as Rose Island – with its historic lighthouse and fortifications – and the shoreline of Jamestown. Please note that this tour usually runs from Fri-Mon and Weds, although operating days and times occasionally change. From $32 per person.
Newport Narrated Lighthouse Cruise
A final option, also aboard the Coastal Queen, is this 90-minute daytime cruise of Narragansett Bay’s most revered sites of interest. See four historic lighthouses, many of which marking out islands in the bay, such as Goat Island and Lime Rock. See the Gilded Age mansions, whose grand lawns lead down to the water’s edge, fortifications of Fort Adams, and the busting harbor of Jamestown. You’ll have live commentary all the while, adding context to the views. Drinks are available from the boat’s bar for an additional fee. From $35 per person.