New York Excursions by Boat

Discover New York as its earliest explorers did—by boat.

boat-excursions-sailboatWhether by steamboat, paddlewheel, sail or motor, New York boat tours allow you to cruise from the ocean through canals, lakes and rivers to most every corner of the Empire State.

New York Sightseeing Cruises let you see the Big Apple skyline, monuments, bridges and boroughs from a new perspective, for a reasonable price. Boating excursion groups like CitySights NY and Circle Line Sightseeing offer hop-on-hop-off outings to popular spots. The palatial OnCruises Paddle Wheel Queen is New York's biggest floating party with dance floors, cocktail lounges and state-of-the-art amenities.

On the wilder side, float up the Hudson to Stony Brook Harbor for a Wetlands Cruise aboard the pontoon boat, Discovery, where a marine science naturalist will point out wetland plants and wildlife. Ride the Rip Van Winkle to grand estates, sleepy vineyards and picturesque villages on Kingston’s Hudson River Cruises, or tour historic lighthouses aboard the Spirit of Hudson with Hudson Cruises. For rollin’ on the river, nothing tops the Captain J.P. II a four-deck cruise ship with three enclosed decks, full-service bars and dance floors. Party down the Hudson from Troy with a brunch or concert cruise, or a New York City junket.

Ever want to crew the legendary Clearwater? Pete Seeger’s Hudson River flagship books seasonal three-hour sails from ports between NYC and Albany. Learn about Hudson River history and ecology as you help hoist sails, steer the tiller and sing along with the crew on an authentic 19th century New York City river cruise adventure.


At the Lake George Steamboat Company, board the paddle wheeler Minne-Ha-Ha, the Mohican or Lake George’s largest cruise ship, The Lac du Saint Sacrement, for historic cruises of the Queen of American Lakes. Clayton Island Tours’ professional tour guides will share the legends and lore of the Thousand Islands region with views of Great Lakes freighters, lighthouses and island mansions like Boldt Castle.

Sail America’s original waterway to the west on the Lil' Diamond II at Erie Canal Cruises in Herkimer, or take a three-day canal excursion aboard the Emita II with Mid-Lakes Navigation Company. The steam-powered stern-wheeler Chautauqua Belle reveals the stunning beauty of the region over cocktails or romantic dinners.

With so many lakes dotting the state, you'll find many communities have marinas available where you can rent a powerboat, kayak or canoe to explore the waterways your way.


And who leaves Niagara Falls without a Maid of the Mist boat excursion to the base of the magnificent Canadian Horseshoe Falls and the thundering power of Niagara’s great waters; raincoats provided.

Related Sites:

NYS Canal System 

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