Here are the Best NYC Boat Tours for the Family
These NYC boat tours provide the perfect outdoor activity for the family this summer.
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What you need to know: Until further notice, due to COVID-19, SoundWaters public sails will have a maximum capacity of 25 people. Boarding will be staggered, with groups of five or less boarding at a time. No seating area will have more than 5 people. Passengers are allowed to bring food, but they can only share with people in their designated seating area. Public sails will not offer catering or buffet-style food.
Rides: Explore the Long Island Sound aboard an 80-foot Schooner on a beautiful sunset sail. Bring your dinner and favorite beverage and relax while watching the sun dip below the horizon. Or, experience the warm breezes and light of an afternoon sail. All passengers must be at least 5 years old for both sails.
Hours: Afternoon Sail: Memorial Day weekend through Sept. 30: Saturday-Sunday, typically at 3pm or 2:30pm; check the website for exact dates and times. Sunset Sail: dates vary; Wednesday-Sunday, 2-hour sail departing at either 5pm, 5:30pm, 6pm, or 6:30pm; check the website for exact dates and times.
Cost: Afternoon Sail: $35; $20 children ages 5-12. Sunset Sail: $40 (passengers on all sails must be at least 5 years old).
211 Woodcleft Ave. Nautical Mile, Freeport
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What you need to know: The vessel is operating at 50-percent capacity (14 people maximum). The entire boat will be sanitized after every cruise, and all crew members will wear masks for the duration of the cruise. Guests must wear masks when boarding, departing, and walking around the boat, but masks can be removed when seated. Social distancing guidelines must be followed.
Rides: The One Hour Day Cruise is perfect for families that want to enjoy the bays of the South Shore of Long Island. A variety of other cruises more geared toward adults, special event cruises, fishing excursions, and seal watching cruises (only run from October-April) are also offered.
Hours: One-Hour Day Cruise: Saturday-Sunday, 12pm, 1:30pm, and 3pm (a 4pm cruise will be added in September). Sunset Cruise: Friday-Sunday, 7:15pm (occasional days when the cruise isn’t offered). Seal Watching Cruise: April 17, 24-25: 12pm.
Cost: One-Hour Day Cruise: $20; $15 children ages 5-10; free for children ages 4 and younger. Sunset Cruise: $30 for ages 12 and older. Happy Hour Cruise: $25 for ages 11 and older. Seal Watching Cruise: $30; $20 children ages 5-10; free for children ages 4 and younger.
Cruises are scheduled to begin May 15.
Long Wharf, Sag Harbor
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What you need to know: Passengers are required to wear face masks, and temperatures will be checked prior to boarding using a touchless forehead thermometer. Guests are asked to maintain social distancing. It’s recommended to buy tickets online for a touchless transaction.
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: Schedules 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: $45; $30 children ages 5-12, free for children younger than 5.
Whale-watching cruises are scheduled to begin May 15.
31 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport
What you need to know: The fleet is following safety guidelines provided by the state, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Coast Guard. Capacity is limited onboard vessels, and all vessels are sanitized. Face masks or coverings are required onboard, social distancing must be maintained, and hand sanitizer will be provided.
Rides: Climb aboard the Atlantic Pearl for a Whale Watching Cruise or the Captain Lou VII for a Seal Watching Cruise. The Captains are skilled at finding the best spots to see marine life, so keep your binoculars and cameras at the ready! Humpback whales and bottle-nost dolphins are most commonly seen on these tours, but there’s a chance you might spot other species. On the seal spotting tour, you’re likely to see harbor, harp, hooded, gray, and ringed seals.
Hours: Dates and times vary; see website for schedule
Cost: $66; $56 children ages 12 and younger
Cruises are scheduled to resume in May.
431 E. Main St., Riverhead
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What you need to know: Each boat will be operating at reduced capacity, and guests ages 2 and older must wear facial coverings. Advanced booking is required.
Rides: Add extra aquatic adventure to your visit with an interactive cruise aboard the Atlantis Explorer. Enjoy hands-on exploration including trap pulls, horseshoe crab encounters, and a stroll along a remote beach.
Hours: Cruise schedule not available at press time.
Cost: Check the website for the most up-to-date information.
Starting June 22, only booking charter trips this season; public sailing outings are canceled until further notice.
32 Star Island Road, Montauk
What you need to know: Currently booking private charters only, and there is a limit on the number of guests per boat to allow for social distancing guidelines. Call for more information.
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 younger than 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: Check for official times and dates on the website.
Cost: Check the website for most updated rates.
Captree State Park, Babylon
What you need to know: Tickets must be purchased in advance. Call for more information.
Rides: Great South Bay Excursions feature a live 1½-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: July 9-Sept. 3: Thursdays, 1-2:30pm
Cost: $17; $15 seniors; $13 children 12 and younger (though one child per adult can ride for free)