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Where Do I Go For The NYC Sightseeing Cruise


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Berry Brett



Welcome to the vibrant and bustling city of New York! Known as the “Big Apple” and one of the most iconic destinations in the world, New York City offers a plethora of attractions and experiences for visitors. From towering skyscrapers to historical landmarks, there is something for everyone in this cosmopolitan metropolis.


One of the best ways to explore the beauty and grandeur of New York City is through a sightseeing cruise. Taking a cruise along the iconic waterways offers a unique perspective of the city, allowing you to see famous landmarks from a different angle and experience the hustle and bustle of the city from the tranquility of the water.


Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned New York enthusiast, a sightseeing cruise is a must-do activity to add to your itinerary. With various cruise options available, you can choose the one that suits your preferences and interests, giving you the opportunity to uncover the hidden gems and iconic sights that make New York City so special.


From the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline, a sightseeing cruise will take you on a journey through the heart of New York City, offering breathtaking views and unforgettable memories.


In this article, we will delve into the world of NYC sightseeing cruises, exploring the top sightseeing spots covered in these cruises, the different types of cruises available, the best time to embark on a cruise, and how to book your tickets. So, put on your maritime hat, grab your camera, and get ready to set sail on an unforgettable adventure through the stunning cityscape of New York City.


Overview of NYC Sightseeing Cruise

A NYC sightseeing cruise offers an immersive and unique way to explore the city’s stunning waterfront and iconic landmarks. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking a memorable experience, a sightseeing cruise in NYC has something to offer for everyone.


These cruises typically take place on the Hudson River or the East River, providing panoramic views of the city’s skyline and waterfront attractions. The duration of a sightseeing cruise can range from one to three hours, depending on the chosen route and package.


As you embark on your voyage, you’ll be treated to stunning views of world-famous landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade Center, and the Empire State Building. The experienced guides on board will provide fascinating commentary, sharing interesting facts and stories about the history, architecture, and culture of these iconic sites.


One of the highlights of a NYC sightseeing cruise is the opportunity to see the Statue of Liberty up close. The sight of this monumental symbol of freedom and democracy is truly awe-inspiring. Most cruises will take you within a close range of the statue, allowing you to snap some incredible photographs and create lasting memories.


In addition to the well-known landmarks, a sightseeing cruise also offers breathtaking views of the city skyline. You’ll be able to admire the towering skyscrapers, such as the Chrysler Building and the Flatiron Building, that define the city’s iconic skyline. The juxtaposition of modern architecture and historic landmarks creates a captivating visual experience.


Another aspect that sets NYC sightseeing cruises apart is the onboard amenities and entertainment. Many cruises offer options like live music, dining, and even themed experiences. Enjoy a delicious meal while gliding along the river or dance the night away under the illuminated cityscape.


Whether you’re visiting New York City for the first time or are a seasoned traveler, a sightseeing cruise provides a fresh and unforgettable perspective of the city. It’s a leisurely and relaxing way to take in the sights, soak up the vibrant atmosphere, and create lasting memories.


Top Sightseeing Spots covered in the Cruise

A NYC sightseeing cruise takes you on a journey to some of the most iconic and picturesque spots in the city. Here are some of the top sights you can expect to see during your cruise:

  1. Statue of Liberty:

    No trip to New York City is complete without a visit to the Statue of Liberty. As you cruise along, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with this legendary symbol of freedom. Capture stunning photos of Lady Liberty and learn about her rich history and significance.

  2. Ellis Island:

    Located right next to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island is an integral part of the immigration history of the United States. During your cruise, you’ll have a chance to see this historic landmark and delve into the stories of the millions of immigrants who passed through its gates.

  3. Brooklyn Bridge:

    As you sail under the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, you’ll be amazed by its magnificent architecture and engineering prowess. Built in 1883, this historic bridge connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn and offers breathtaking views of the cityscape.

  4. Manhattan skyline:

    The sight of the Manhattan skyline from the water is truly awe-inspiring. Admire the towering skyscrapers that dominate the skyline, including the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and the Chrysler Building. The glistening lights and architectural marvels create a mesmerizing backdrop.

  5. Governors Island:

    Cruising past Governors Island allows you to glimpse a piece of New York City’s history. Once a military hub, this 172-acre island is now a public park with stunning landscapes and historic buildings. Enjoy the views of the island from the water and learn about its fascinating past.

  6. South Street Seaport:

    A sightseeing cruise often includes a view of the South Street Seaport, a historic district that showcases New York City’s maritime heritage. Marvel at the beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this waterfront destination.

These are just a few of the many spectacular sights you’ll encounter during your NYC sightseeing cruise. Each spot has its own unique charm and story, and the cruise offers the perfect vantage point to appreciate their beauty and significance. So sit back, relax, and get ready to be captivated by the stunning sights that await you.


Different Types of Sightseeing Cruises available

When it comes to sightseeing cruises in NYC, there are various options available to cater to different preferences and interests. Here are some of the different types of sightseeing cruises you can choose from:

  1. Classic Sightseeing Cruise:

    This is the most common type of sightseeing cruise in NYC. It covers the major landmarks and attractions, such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Typically, these cruises provide informative commentary and offer both indoor and outdoor seating options for your comfort.

  2. Evening Sunset Cruise:

    For a romantic and picturesque experience, an evening sunset cruise is the perfect choice. As the sun sets over the Manhattan skyline, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views and the chance to capture stunning photographs. Many of these cruises also offer onboard entertainment, such as live music or DJs.

  3. Architecture Cruise:

    If you’re interested in the architectural wonders of New York City, an architecture cruise is a great option. These cruises focus on the stunning buildings and skyscrapers that define the city’s skyline. Knowledgeable guides provide insights into the history and design of these architectural marvels.

  4. Harbor Lights Cruise:

    For a magical nighttime experience, a harbor lights cruise showcases the city illuminated against the night sky. Admire the twinkling lights of the skyline, bridges, and monuments while experiencing the enchanting ambiance of New York City’s waterfront after dark.

  5. Food and Wine Cruise:

    If you’re a foodie or wine enthusiast, a food and wine cruise offers a delightful combination of sightseeing and gastronomic experiences. Indulge in a delicious meal or sample a variety of wines while cruising along the scenic waterways, adding a touch of luxury to your sightseeing adventure.

  6. Holiday and Seasonal Cruises:

    During special occasions and holidays, such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or July 4th, many sightseeing cruises offer themed experiences. These cruises provide a unique way to celebrate and enjoy the festive spirit while taking in the dazzling fireworks or holiday decorations.

These are just a few examples of the different types of sightseeing cruises available in NYC. Each type offers a distinct experience and allows you to tailor your cruise to your specific interests. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely daytime tour, a memorable evening adventure, or a themed experience, there’s a sightseeing cruise option that will suit your preferences and make your visit to NYC unforgettable.


Best Time to go for a Sightseeing Cruise in NYC

Choosing the best time to embark on a sightseeing cruise in NYC can greatly enhance your overall experience. Consider the following factors when planning your cruise:

  1. Weather:

    The weather plays a crucial role in determining the ideal time for a sightseeing cruise. While NYC can be visited year-round, the best weather conditions are often found during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) seasons. During these months, the temperatures are mild, and there is less humidity, making it comfortable to enjoy the outdoor decks of the cruise ship.

  2. Visibility:

    Clear skies and good visibility are essential for a sightseeing cruise. If you’re looking to capture stunning photographs and enjoy unobstructed views of the city skyline, consider going on a cruise during a time when the weather is generally clear and the visibility is high.

  3. Sunset and Evening Cruises:

    For a more romantic and captivating experience, consider going on a sunset or evening cruise. These cruises offer breathtaking views of the cityscape as it is lit up against the darkening sky. The twinkling lights and the magical ambiance make for a truly memorable sightseeing experience.

  4. Special Events and Holidays:

    If you’re interested in unique experiences and celebrations, consider scheduling your sightseeing cruise during special events or holidays. For example, during July 4th, many cruises offer front-row seats to the spectacular fireworks display. Similarly, holiday-themed cruises during Christmas or New Year’s Eve can be a great way to celebrate in style.

  5. Weekday vs. Weekend:

    Consider the crowd factor when choosing the timing of your sightseeing cruise. Weekdays are typically less crowded compared to weekends, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, consider setting sail during the weekdays.

Ultimately, the best time to go for a sightseeing cruise in NYC depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Whether you’re seeking perfect weather conditions, stunning sunsets, or festive celebrations, there are options available throughout the year to cater to your desires. Plan ahead, check the weather forecast, and consider any specific events or holidays that may enhance your experience.


By choosing the ideal time for your sightseeing cruise, you’ll be able to fully appreciate the beauty and grandeur of New York City from the unique vantage point of the water.


How to Book a NYC Sightseeing Cruise

Booking a NYC sightseeing cruise is a relatively straightforward process. Follow these steps to secure your spot and embark on an unforgettable adventure:

  1. Research and Compare:

    Start by researching different sightseeing cruise companies in NYC. Look for reputable companies that offer the type of cruise experience you’re looking for, whether it’s a classic tour or a specialized themed cruise. Compare prices, schedules, and customer reviews to find the best option for you.

  2. Choose a Date and Time:

    Decide on the date and time that works best for you. Consider factors such as weather, sunset timings, and any special events or holidays that may enhance your experience.

  3. Book Online or Call:

    Most sightseeing cruise companies allow you to book your tickets online. Visit their official website and navigate to the booking section. Select your preferred date, time, and type of cruise. Provide the required information, such as the number of passengers, and proceed to the payment page to complete your booking.


    If you prefer to book over the phone or have any specific questions or requirements, you can also call the cruise company’s customer service. They will assist you with the booking process and provide any necessary information.

  4. Print or Save Your Tickets:

    After confirming your booking, you will typically receive an email with your tickets or a confirmation number. Print out your tickets or save them on your mobile device for easy access on the day of the cruise.

  5. Arrive Early:

    To ensure a smooth boarding process, plan to arrive at the designated cruise departure point at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. This will allow you to check-in, collect any necessary boarding passes or wristbands, and find your way to the correct boarding area.

  6. Enjoy Your Sightseeing Cruise:

    Once you’re on board, sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights and commentary provided by the knowledgeable guides. Take in the breathtaking views, capture memorable photos, and immerse yourself in the beauty and grandeur of New York City.

Booking a NYC sightseeing cruise ahead of time is highly recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons or for popular cruises. By following these steps, you can secure your spot and ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience exploring the iconic landmarks and stunning waterfront of the city.


Tips for a Memorable Sightseeing Experience

To get the most out of your NYC sightseeing cruise and create lasting memories, consider the following tips:

  1. Dress Comfortably:

    Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that allow you to move freely and enjoy the cruise. Consider bringing a light jacket or sweater, as it can get breezy on the water, even during the warmer months.

  2. Bring a Camera:

    Don’t forget to bring a camera or have your phone ready to capture the stunning sights along the way. From the Statue of Liberty to the iconic skyline, you’ll want to capture those unforgettable moments.

  3. Bring Snacks and Water:

    While many sightseeing cruises offer snacks and beverages on board, it’s always a good idea to bring some of your own as well. Pack some light snacks and a bottle of water to stay hydrated and energized during the cruise.

  4. Listen to the Commentary:

    Take advantage of the knowledgeable guides on board who provide commentary about the landmarks and history of NYC. Listen attentively to learn interesting facts and stories that will enrich your sightseeing experience.

  5. Explore Various Decks:

    Many sightseeing cruises have multiple decks or viewing areas. Explore different levels to find the best vantage points and angles for capturing photos and enjoying the views. Move around the ship to get different perspectives of the landmarks.

  6. Be Respectful of Other Passengers:

    Be mindful of other passengers on the cruise and respect their space. Avoid blocking their views or overcrowding certain areas. Remember to maintain a safe distance from the edges of the ship for your own safety.

  7. Engage with the Crew:

    The crew members on the sightseeing cruise are there to ensure your safety and enhance your experience. Feel free to engage with them, ask questions, and seek their recommendations or assistance. They are happy to help make your cruise more enjoyable.

  8. Stay Alert for Wildlife:

    Keep your eyes peeled for any wildlife that may make an appearance during the cruise, such as birds, dolphins, or seals. These unexpected encounters can add an extra layer of excitement and natural beauty to your sightseeing experience.

  9. Relax and Enjoy the Moment:

    Finally, remember to relax and enjoy the moment. Take in the stunning sights, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate the unique perspective that a sightseeing cruise offers. Let go of any stress or worries and fully immerse yourself in the beauty of New York City.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to have a memorable and enjoyable sightseeing experience in NYC. Embrace the adventure, soak up the atmosphere, and create lasting memories as you cruise along the iconic waterways of the “Big Apple”.



A NYC sightseeing cruise is an incredible way to explore the vibrant cityscape of New York City. From the majestic Statue of Liberty to the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, these cruises offer a unique perspective of the city’s landmarks and breathtaking views of the skyline.


By choosing the right type of cruise, selecting the ideal time to go, and following the tips for a memorable sightseeing experience, you can make the most of your journey. Whether you’re on a classic tour, an evening sunset cruise, or a specialized themed experience, each cruise offers its own charm and reveals different aspects of the city’s rich history and vibrant culture.


Booking your sightseeing cruise ahead of time is highly recommended to secure your spot and ensure a seamless experience. Research different cruise companies, compare prices, and choose a date and time that suits your preferences. Whether enjoying a leisurely sail on a sunny afternoon or marveling at the city’s twinkling lights after dark, every moment on the cruise is sure to be magical.


As you embark on your sightseeing cruise, remember to dress comfortably, bring a camera, and take advantage of the knowledgeable guides who provide fascinating commentary. Explore the different decks, be respectful of other passengers, and stay alert for any wildlife that may appear along the way.


So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned New York enthusiast, don’t miss the opportunity to embark on a sightseeing cruise in NYC. Immerse yourself in the beauty, history, and grandeur of the “Big Apple” from the unique vantage point of the water. Let the iconic landmarks, the mesmerizing skyline, and the stories shared onboard create memories that will last a lifetime.


Set sail and experience the magic of New York City from a whole new perspective. Bon voyage!