How to Spend a Day on the Water in New York City

Much of the New York City skyline is dominated by the concrete, steel, and glass of the city’s skyscrapers, but the landscape features an abundance of water as well. Actually one of the best ways to view New York and appreciate its unique geography is by taking to the water. There are a few great options that both locals and tourists alike can take advantage of. Learn a bit more about taking a New York harbor cruise by reading below and start planning your next adventure.

Cruises and Tours

There are no shortage of options when it comes to Harbor, East River, and Hudson River cruises. Those new to the city will enjoy visiting the Statue of Liberty or learning about the architecture of Lower Manhattan, while lifelong New Yorkers can appreciate a whale watching excursion by Coney Island or a cruise up the scenic Hudson River. Sunset sailing, brunch cruises, party boats, and luxurious dinner packages can all be arranged in the area. 

View of downtown Manhattan.


If you prefer something a bit more private, the city offers a wide variety of rental options. Of course, you can go all out with a private yacht or sailboat rental — perfect for parties and celebrations. But for something a bit more low-key, rent a jet ski, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard and explore New York’s waterways on your own. Manhattan Kayak + SUP and Rockaway Jet Ski are both good options.


If you’re not quite ready to rent a private yacht, New York City’s ferry operators provide a fantastic way to enjoy some time on the water. The ferry system service connects Astoria, Williamsburg, Rockaway Beach, Coney Island, Dumbo, Governor’s Island, and other popular destinations with multiple locations in Manhattan. Not only is it an efficient way to get to wherever you’re going, but many of the ferry boats have been recently renovated and sell snacks and beverages. If it’s sunny, grab a seat on the roof with a beer or wine in hand and appreciate the most affordable harbor cruise in New York.

Ready to take a New York harbor cruise?

Whether you’re looking for a fun activity while visiting the city or trying out a new morning commute, these excellent options mean you have no excuse not to hit the water. When you’re ready to rest your head, treat yourself to an elegant extended stay at Sutton Court Hotel.

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