I’m a firm believer that in order to fully experience the magnitude of New York City you have to take it in from various vantage points: from the streets, from an elevated view, and also from the water.
Cruises, sightseeing tours and ferries operate year-round but summer is the absolute BEST time to be out on the water. A champagne, sunset cruise is at the very top of my list of recommended summer activities.
There are opportunities to get out on the water that fit every budget and can take an hour or less, so don’t let time or money get in your way. The Staten Island Ferry isn’t luxurious but it is FREE! And, it only takes 25 minutes each way. You can leave lower Manhattan, cruise past the Statue of Liberty, arrive on Staten Island and return back to Manhattan in close to an hours time. There’s also The NYC Ferry Service that serves the east side of Manhattan and for $2.75 you can take a quick ferry ride from lower Manhattan over to Astoria, Queens or Brooklyn, under the iconic bridges and back, also within an hours time. These are fast and inexpensive, yet still fun, ways to get out on the water and see the beautiful bridges, landmarks and breathtaking NYC skyline.
If you have the time and the budget, I recommend having a more extensive water-based experience. Whether that’s a leisurely sunset cruise with Classic Harborline (my favorite), a Statue Cruise out to tour the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or a guided Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise there are opportunities to suit a range of budgets and travelers. Prices start at less than $25.
If privacy and luxury are what you’re after, you can also hire out a private or semi-private boat experience with Sea the City. They offer everything from Jet Ski Tours to New York City’s only Hot Tub Boat Tours. My friend Sarah just enjoyed the Hot Tub Boat with a group of friends and said that it was incredible! I can’t wait to check it out myself.