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Where To Catch a Boat Ride in the New York City Area

Where To Catch a Boat Ride in the New York City Area

Set sail!

Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy the water, whether you’re in it or on it! Don’t feel like taking a dip with the kids? Consider taking the whole family on a relaxed, thrilling, or educational boat ride. Peacefully sail the harbor at sunset, enjoying light music and a view of the sun slipping behind the skyline, rip through it on a roaring monster of a speedboat, or board an educational cruise in order to explore estuaries, wetlands, and the very depths of the ocean and river with your young ones. The New York metro area offers a wide variety of cruises and sails sure to delight all ages, and we’ve collected the very best ones for you right here.

*Note that dates and departure times are projected; call ahead or check company websites to confirm all details.

Boat Rides in Manhattan

Circle Line Downtown
Pier 16, South Street Seaport

Rides: The Statue of Liberty Express cruises by downtown landmarks and pauses at the feet of Lady Liberty. Climb aboard the Zephyr for a 1 hour cruise with tour guides and amenities including a sun-deck and indoor climate-control. For a more thrilling experience, choose the SHARK Speedboat Thrill Ride. This 30 minute speedboat adventure features music and a guided tour. Passengers must be 40” to ride and children must be able to sit in their own seat.
Hours: The Statue of Liberty Express departs at 10am, 11:30am, 12:45pm, 2:30pm, 3:45pm, and 5pm daily from May to September. The SHARK Speedboat Thrill Ride departs every hour on the hour from 12pm to 5pm from May to September.
Cost:  The Statue of Liberty Express: $31; $26 children ages 3-12; free for children younger than 3. SHARK Speedboat Thrill Ride: $30; $25 children.

Circle Line Sightseeing
Pier 83 at West 42nd Street

Rides: Options include the BEAST speedboat (30 minutes), Landmark Cruise (1.5 hours), Best of NYC Cruise (2.5 hours), and Liberty Cruise (1 hour). The BEAST Speedboat is a 70-foot speedboat that flies towards the Statue of Liberty at around 45mph. Children must be 40” tall to ride and must be able to sit in their own seat without assistance. All other cruises feature tour guide narration, food and drink, outdoor deck space, heated/air conditioned indoor seating, restrooms and large windows made for sightseeing.
Hours: The BEAST Speedboat departs every hour on the hour from 10am-6pm daily from April 30 to Sept. 30. All other cruises run daily from May 2 to September 5. The Landmark Cruise departs at 11am, 12:30pm, 3pm, and 4:30pm. The Best of NYC Cruise departs at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. The Liberty Cruise departs at 10:30am, 1:30pm, and 3:30pm.
Cost: The BEAST Speedboat: $29 adult; $23 child. Landmark Cruise: $37; $31 children. Best of NYC Cruise: $43; $36 children. Liberty Cruise: $31; $26 children. Free for children younger than 3 on all cruises.

Clipper City Sail
North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place (Shearwater)
The Battery, Slip 2 (Clipper City)

Rides: Explore the harbor by sail aboard either the 82 foot schooner Shearwater or the 158 foot topsail schooner Clipper City on various sightseeing trips throughout the day. Sunset Sail (2 hours) and City Lights Sail (1 hour) depart from North Cove Marina. The Daytime Statue Sail (1.5 hours) and Sunset Sail depart from both locations with differing times.
Hours: Daytime Statue Sail departs from North Cove Marina Monday through Friday at 12:30pm and 2:45pm, Saturday at 12pm and 2pm, and Sunday at 2pm. Sunset Sail departs at 7pm for most of the season. Check the website for specific dates. City Lights Sail departs Thursday through Saturday at 9:30pm from June to September only. Daytime Statue Sail departs from The Battery daily at 12pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, and 5:30pm.
Cost: Sunset Sail departing from North Cove Marina and The Battery: $55; $25 for children 13 and younger. City Lights Sail and Daytime Statue Sail departing from North Cove Marina: $45; $25 for children 13 and younger. Daytime Statue Sail departing from The Battery: $45; $25 for children 13 and younger.


Boat Rides in Brooklyn

Marilyn Jean IV
Sheepshead Bay, Pier 6
917-650-3212; 917-560-8224;

Rides: The Marilyn Jean IV is a 70 foot Lydia party fishing boat equipped with everything you need to have an enjoyable fishing trip with the family. Crew members help passengers catch, clean, and pack fish which may include Fluke, Flounder, Striped Bass, Weakfish, Bluefish, Sea Bass, Porgies, Blackfish, Ling, and Cod depending on the season and time of day, making this fishing boat perfect for beginners. Check the website for fishing reports from Captain Ryan. Passengers also have access to food and beverages while having various sightseeing opportunities. The ship sails twice a day during peak season.
Hours: The Porgy’s and Ling Bottom Fishing trip departs at 7am and returns at 3pm daily. The Evening Stripers and Blues trip departs at 7pm and returns 12am daily.
Cost: The Porgy’s and Ling Bottom Fishing trip and the Evening Stripers and Blues trip costs $60; $55 seniors; $30 for children younger than 14. The Evening Stripers and Blues costs $50; $45 seniors; $25 for children younger than 14. Reservations mus be made online.

Sea Queen VII
Sheepshead Bay

Rides: Captain Steve and the crew of the Sea Queen VII welcome would-be fishermen and women on the vessel for half day and nightly excursions. The vessel is 85 feet with a family atmosphere and offers a heated cabin with a full service galley and bathrooms. The crew is extremely knowledgeable and eager to help even the most basic of novices. Rods can be rented for $5 and tackle is priced accordingly. Bait is given for free. Passengers are alternatively permitted to bring their own equipment. Fish cleaning is done at the end of the trip by the crew.
Hours: The half day fishing excursion departs at 7am and returns at 12pm or departs at 1pm and returns at 5pm. The nightly excursion departs at 7pm and returns at midnight. Both run most every day, but check the website to make sure.
Cost: Half day fishing: $35; $25 non angler (ages 4 and up); $25 children ages 4-10. Nightly excursion: $50; $25 non angler; $35 children ages 4-10.

Freedom Cruises
Sheepshead Bay
917-650-3212; 646-413-1643;

Rides: Cruise past the famous Coney Island and Brighton Beach Boardwalk and Amusement Parks aboard the Pink Lady for the Harbor Sightseeing Cruise. The boat will then cruise past the historic Norton’s Point light house on your way toward NY Harbor. After gliding under the Verrazano Bridge, the Captain will bring the Pink Lady within 50 yards of the Statue of Liberty where he will stop the boat for a few moments before heading back to Sheepshead Bay. Professional guides provide commentary while also answering questions throughout the tour. A refreshment bar is open throughout the trips and serves beverages and light snacks.
Hours: Saturday-Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Cost: Prices and dates vary, call ahead for availability. Advance purchase of tickets is strongly recommended.

RELATED: Sightseeing Cruises in New York City 


Boat Rides in Queens

Whale and Dolphin Watching Adventure Cruises
Riis Landing, Rockaway

Rides: The American Princess Fleet is the original whale and dolphin watching operator in the NYC area. Cruises head out into the Atlantic Ocean and seek out these beautiful mammals. Cameras, video cameras, and binoculars are recommended. Children are encouraged to participate in helping the crew take the official whale & dolphin count. There is snack concession and a full beverage bar on board. Passengers are permitted to bring sandwiches on board, but beverages and coolers are prohibited.
Hours: May 5-Nov. 23: Wednesday-Sunday. Times vary but generally start at 12pm or 1pm and end at 4pm or 5pm. Check the website for details.
Cost: $48; $33 children ages 5-12; free for children younger than 5.

Boat Rides in Westchester County

Trinity Cruise Company
Riverfront Green Park South, 12 Riverfront Green, Peekskill

Rides: Experience the Hudson Highlands on a public Sightseeing Cruise, summer One Hour Boat Ride, or public Sunset Cruise. The Sightseeing Cruise is a 2.5-3 hour ride with Captain’s commentary that heads north from Peekskill to the West Point area and then returns. The One Hour Boat Ride is a short sightseeing cruise from Peekskill to the Bear Mountain Bridge that is perfect for families and small children. Highlights include Iona Island, the Bear Mountain Bridge, and the peak of Anthony’s Nose with short commentary by the Captain or crew. The Sunset Cruise travels north beyond the Bear Mountain Bridge to Mystery Point and then returns as the sun goes down. Soft music is played on this 1.5 hour cruise. 
Hours: The Sightseeing Cruise departs at 11am most Thursdays-Sundays. The One Hour Boat Ride departs at 3:00pm most Fridays and Saturdays during the summer. The Sunset Cruise departs most Wednesday-Saturday evenings. Times vary with the time of the sunset.
Cost: Sightseeing Cruise: $28; $24 seniors; $18 children. One Hour Boat Ride: $12; $6 children; Sunset Cruise: $22; $20 seniors; $14 children.

Boat Rides in Rockland and Orange Counties

The River Rose
Newburgh Waterfront, 70 Front St., Newburgh

Rides: This two hour cruise aboard the River Rose, an authentic stern driven Mississippi paddle wheeler, heads south from Newburgh and includes a narrated tour of historically significant sites such as Bannerman’s Island, the Catskill Water Aqueduct, the Village of Cold Spring, World’s End and the military academy at West Point. Passengers will also learn the history of the many cities and towns on both banks of the Hudson. The River Rose also hosts a Sunday Brunch Cruise and a Dinner Cruise, both of which are buffet style.
Hours: Narrated Sightseeing Cruise: Usually 2pm-4pm every Saturday-Sunday plus some Tuesdays-Thursdays until Oct. 28. Sunday Brunch Cruise: 11am-1pm on June 17, July 15, Sept. 23, and Oct. 21. Dinner Cruise: 7-9pm on June 15. Check for exact dates and times.
Cost: Sightseeing Cruise: $22; $16 children ages 4-12. Brunch Cruise: $42; $26 children ages 4-12. Dinner Cruise: $48; $26 children ages 4-12. Free for children younger than 4 on all cruises. Advanced ticket purchase is highly recommended.

Boat Rides in Fairfield County, CT

The Maritime Aquarium
10 N. Water St., Norwalk

Rides: All cruises are on the R/V Spirit of the Sound, the only research vessel in North America with hybrid-electric propulsion. Aquarium educators are aboard every cruise. The Marine Life Encounter Cruise includes sampling techniques such as a plankton tow, trawl net and biodredge that brings up a variety of fish, crabs, and mollusks. A video microscope and large touch tank on board enhance observations. No food is available for purchase, but passengers can bring their own on the lighthouse cruises and Sunset Cruise. Passengers must be over 42” tall to ride and children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Hours: Central Long Island Sound Lighthouse Cruise: 10am-3:30pm on Saturday a month in May, July, and September. Western Long Island Sound Lighthouse Cruise: 9am-4pm one Saturday a month in June and August. All-Ages Sunset Cruise: 6:30pm-8pm on selected Saturdays. Marine Life Encounter Cruises: 1:15pm-3:45pm most Saturdays and Sundays from May 13 to Sept. 30. Some cruises will depart at 10am, 2pm, or 4pm. Check website for exact dates and times.
Cost: Central Long Island Cruise: $70. Western Long Island Sound Lighthouse cruise: $75. All-Ages Sunset Cruise: $29.95. Marine Life Encounter Cruise: $29.95. Aquarium members receive a $10 discount on lighthouse cruises and a $5 discount on the Marine Life Encounter Cruise. Reservations are strongly recommended and in some cases required.

Sound Waters
Cove Island Park, 1281 Cove Road, Stamford

Rides: Explore the Long Island Sound aboard an 80-foot Schooner on an afternoon sail designed for families. Work together to raise sails, discover what inhabits the water of the Sound, sample and test water quality, learn about hypoxia, and analyze groundwater. Alternatively board the Schooner at sunset for dinner and beverages. All passengers must be 5 years for both.
Hours: Afternoon Sail: Saturday-Sunday 3-5pm or 2-4pm from May 26-Sept. 30. Check the website for exact dates and times. Sunset Sail: dates vary; Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays for two hours departing at either 5pm, 5:30pm, 6pm, or 6:30pm. Check website for exact dates and times.
Cost: Afternoon Sail: $30; $20 seniors; $15 children. Sunset Sail: $40.

RELATED: Top Family Activities in June in NYC Area

Boat Rides in Nassau County, Long Island

The WaterFront Center
1 W. End Ave., Oyster Bay

Rides: The WaterFront Center offers Harbor Tours, Sunset Cruises, and Marine Discovery Sails aboard the Christeen Oyster Sloop. The Sunset Sail is a two-hour long evening cruise around Oyster Bay. The Harbor Tour is a sail around West Harbor, Oyster Bay, and Cold Spring Harbor. The Marine Discovery Sail is best for children as it offers fun and educational activities for the whole family. Children ages 3 and older with an accompanying adult are permitted on all three sails.
Hours: Sunset Sails: 6pm-7:45pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from June 19 to Aug. 30. Harbor Tour: 10am-12pm select Saturdays and Sundays from June 16 to Oct. 6. Discovery Sails: 10am-12pm select Saturdays and Sundays from June 9 to Sept. 1.
Cost: Harbor Tour and Discovery Cruise: $25. Sunset Cruise: $30.  

Freeport Water Taxi and Tours
211 Woodcleft Ave. Nautical Mile, Freeport

Rides: The One Hour Day Cruise is perfect for families that want to enjoy the bays of South Shore of Long Island. A variety of other cruises more geared towards adults, special event cruises, fishing excursions, and seal watching cruises (only run from October through April) are also offered.
Hours: 12pm, 1:30pm and 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays from June through September.
Cost:  $15 adult; $10 child; free for children 5 and younger.

Captain Lou Fleet
31 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport

Rides: Climb aboard the110 foot Starstream VIII, a Modern Super cruiser for half day fishing trips. Bait and tackle are provided while there is a rod rental fee. A full snack bar is provided in the climate controlled cabin, though passengers are welcome to bring aboard their own food and beverages. The experienced Captain and crew offer assistance and clean your catches for free.
Hours: 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm daily during summer and fall season.
Cost:  Half Day Fluke Trips: $44 adult; $32 children 4-12; free for children 3 and younger; $25 children on Tuesdays from June to September.

Boat Rides in Suffolk County, Long Island

American Beauty II
Sag Harbor

Rides: Guests can choose either a 90 minute Nature Cruise or 2 hour Sunset Cruise. The Nature Cruise explores the Peconic Estuary System. Learn about the history of Sag Harbor, view the historic whaling village, and see Barcelona Point, Cedar Point Lighthouse and Mashomack Nature Preserve with full osprey nests on Shelter Island.
Hours: The Nature Cruise departs daily at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm from June to September. The Sunset Cruise departs Thursday through Monday from June 23 through Sept. 2 at varying afternoon times. Cruises also available on select weekends during spring and fall. Schedule may vary due to charters and weather. Call for updates.
Cost: Nature Cruise: $30; $20 children ages 5-12; free for children younger than 5. Sunset Cruise: $42; $29 children.

Long Island Aquarium
431 E. Main St., Riverhead

Rides: Add extra aquatic adventure to your visit with an interactive cruise aboard the Atlantis Explorer Tour Boat. Enjoy hands-on exploration including trap pulls, horseshoe crab encounters, and a stroll along a remote beach.
Hours: Departs weekends at 12pm and 2pm during May; Saturday-Sunday 12pm and 2pm in June; Daily at 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm from July through Labor Day; Weekends at 12pm and 2pm in September.
Cost: Tour boat only: $20 adult and child; $5 for children ages 2 and under. Combo Aquarium Admission: $42.50; $35.50 children ages 3-12; Discounts for aquarium members and Suffolk County green key cardholders.

Discovery Wetlands Cruise
Stony Brook Marine Services

Rides: The 27-passenger pontoon boat “Discovery” cruises through The Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s 88-acre wetlands preserve for a 1.5 hour tour. A naturalist is onboard to describe the wildlife and flora.
Hours: Scheduled by tide table through Oct. 20. Check site for full schedule.
Cost: Advance registration: $28; $25 seniors and students; $18 for children 6 and younger. Walk-ons (cash only): $35; $30 seniors and students; $20 children.

The Moon Chaser
Captree State Park, Babylon

Rides: Great South Bay Excursions feature a live 1.5 hour narrated tour of the wildlife, history, scenery of the Great South Bay and Fire Island coastline. Boxed lunches are allowed. The Moon Chaser is a 65 foot vessel with an enclosed main deck, comfortable seating, fully equipped nautical bar, and upper canopied sun deck. Special packages for groups of 30 or more or private excursions for day camps and schools are also offered from June through September.
Hours: Wednesday-Thursday 1-2:30pm from July 7-Sept. 1.
Cost: $15; $13 seniors; $11 for children 12 and younger; free for children every Wednesday (1 child per adult)

Sailing Montauk/Mon Tiki
32 Star Island Road, Montauk

Rides: Mon Tiki is a US Coast Guard Certified 40-foot eco-conscious catamaran inspired by traditional Polynesian double-canoe designs. Come aboard for scheduled sailing trips such as the Sunset Cruise, Discover Montauk Sail, and Three Hour Sail and Swim. Children under the age of 5 may not board the Sunset Cruise. All ages are welcome on daytime cruises. The Three Hour Sail and Swim only runs during the summer.
Hours: Sunset Cruise: 6:30-8:30 most days of the week until July 15. Discover Montauk Sail: 12-2pm on varying days. Check for official times and dates on the website.
Cost: Sunset Cruise: $60. Discover Montauk Sail: $65; $45 for children 11 and younger. Three Hour Sail & Swim: $95; $65 for children 11 and younger.

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Lauren Diaz

Author: Lauren Diaz, a 2016 summer editorial intern for NYMetroParents, is a creative writing major at Columbia University. She is also an avid reader, aspiring writer, music enthusiast, and lover of animals. See More

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