Explore New York City

On the Water in New York City

The best ways to enjoy the coast in New York City.

New York City is surrounded by water thanks to the Hudson and East Rivers on each side. They're perfect for boats and other water fans such as jet skiers and kayakers to ride through on a sunny day. Want to get a glimpse of famous landmarks on the water? Take a boat tour!

You'll find a variety of tours waiting for you to step onboard and see city highlights on the open sea. Whether you want to speed through the waves or have a calm day in the sun, you'll be able to have a perfect aquatic tour of the city like you've never had before.

New York City’s Best Boat Tours & Watersports

New York Media Boat

If you're looking for a way to see the best of the city in an hour and a half, take a ride on New York Media Boat. This boat tour leaves out of North Cove Marina in Tribeca and showcases over 40 classic city landmarks during your ride on the Hudson River. You'll get views of highlights such as the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building to make them seem larger than life.

The most popular tour you can find is the "Adventure Sightseeing Tour," where you can step onto a speedboat and ride through the Harbor at top speed. If you're looking for a more intimate tour, consider one of their private speedboat or yacht cruises to take in city sights at your pace.

New York Media Boat | WhereTraveler
New York Media Boat (©Bjoern Kils/New York Media Boat)

Empire City Watersports

Boats are what you'll typically see riding through city waters, but have you ever considered a jet ski? You're in luck! Empire City Watersports can make that dream come true.

This water sports rental group in Brooklyn specializes in jet skis you can ride through the Harbor. They're perfect for every level, so you can rent one if you're a beginner or an expert rider. Experts can rent a jet ski of their own and take it out on the water, while beginners can take a tour of the city with a tour guide on their side.

For tours, you can ride up close to the Statue of Liberty or go to the landmarks you've always wanted to visit on a customized tour. If you want a new way of exploring New York City, hop on a jet ski at Empire City Watersports and see what's in store for you. 

Jet Ski Tour With Empire Water Sports New York | WhereTraveler
Jet Ski Tour With Empire Water Sports (©Debbie Oshea)

Tribeca Sailing

Thrills may not be for every sailor, but you don't have to worry. Tribeca Sailing is the boat tour you're hoping to find. Like New York Media Boat, this boat tour leaves out of North Cove Marina and takes passengers through the New York Harbor.

What makes this tour unique is that you'll be riding on a sailboat that allows you to see the city and take in the view at your own pace. It can fit up to six people, and you can bring your own food and drink onboard to make your experience your own.

You also can hop on board at any time of day. Whether you want to see the city skyline in the daytime, at sunset or shining with lights at night, nothing will beat seeing it up close on a sailboat cruise. 

On the Water With Tribeca Sailing New York | WhereTraveler
On the Water With Tribeca Sailing (Courtesy David Caporale)

Manhattan Kayak

For a perfect afternoon on the Hudson River, visit Pier 84 in Hudson River Park and Manhattan Kayak. This water sports company offers kayaks and stand-up paddleboards that visitors can take out on the water. Beginners and experts alike can join in on the fun, and you'll always have someone by your side to show you the ropes when learning how to ride.

No matter your level, they have various options you can take part in on the water. You can have private lessons, sightseeing tours around the Hudson or rentals so you can take a kayak out on the water yourself. They even have options for taking your dog on the water with you! Whatever your sailing style is, Manhattan Kayak can give you a swim around the city. 

Kayak Tours With Manhattan Kayak New York | WhereTraveler
Kayak Tours (Courtesy Manhattan Kayak/@manhattankayak)

New York Harbor Tours

If you want a boat tour filled with city style, New York Harbor Tours is for you. This boat tour leaves out of Pier 25 at Hudson River Park and takes you through the Harbor on a lavish open boat deck. It holds up to six passengers and allows you to have a private afternoon on the water, thanks to its shaded cabin and galley perfect for storing any food and drinks you bring on board.

You can head out any time throughout the day to see the best sights of Manhattan on the water, and they also offer cruises for special occasions such as fall foliage and fireworks. If you're looking for the best of New York City on a boat, you'll find it on New York Harbor Tours.

Cruising With New York Harbor Tours | WhereTraveler
Cruising (Courtesy New York Harbor Tours)

New York Kiteboarding

Have you ever wanted to try a new way to hit the water? New York Kiteboarding may be the place for you. This school can be found at either Plumb Beach in Brooklyn or Breezy Point in Queens, and they offer private kiteboarding lessons for students of all levels. You'll learn basic skills of the sport such as how to measure the wind when you ride, how to set up a board in the water and how to use your body during your ride.

You also have the option of having your lesson on land or in the water to hit the waves at your own pace. New York Kiteboarding is open all year round, making them always ready to teach you how to ride the wind. 

Kiteboarding | WhereTraveler
Kiteboarding (©Israel Gil)