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Governors Island

Governors Island: Our most recommended tours and activities

NYC: Statue of Liberty Express Skip-the-Box-Office Cruise

1. NYC: Statue of Liberty Express Skip-the-Box-Office Cruise

Departing from Downtown Manhattan in Battery Park, this 50-minute express cruise is the fastest way to get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty. The best views are definitely from the water and you'll enjoy the insights of your fun, onboard tour guide with live narration. Begin your cruise experience at Battery Park's Slip 6. Get your souvenir photo with Lady Liberty in the background while you wait.  Board the vessel, sit back, and set sail on your round-trip sightseeing cruise. Bask in the panoramic view of downtown New York's celebrated towers, memorials, and Landmarks while you relax on board the state-of-the-art boat.  Cruise right over to see the Statue of Liberty, one of the most iconic symbols in the world. On your way to Lady Liberty, you’ll sail past and learn about Ellis Island, once home to the United States’ busiest immigration station, where approximately 12 million immigrants came through.  You will also see Governors Island, a former military base that has since been redeveloped with a beautiful park for the public to enjoy.

NYC: Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

2. NYC: Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

Experience New York at sunset on a cruise of the harbor, and take in all the sights and lights of Manhattan aboard a climate-controlled boat. Grab your friends, family, and coworkers - or even a random stranger - and embark on an unforgettable journey of the harbor with "Lady Liberty" keeping watch. With a drink in your hand, purchased from the fully stocked bar, feel the breeze on your face and be mesmerized by the shimmering skyline. Get endless photo opportunities to make you an Instagram star as you sail past legendary attractions such as the Statue of Liberty and get perfect views of the Freedom Tower - One World Trade Center, Empire State Building, Pier 54 (Titanic Pier), Battery Park, and more. See where millions of immigrants were processed when they arrived in America at Ellis Island, cruise past Governors Island, the South Street Seaport, and Brooklyn Bridge. Marvel at unrivaled views of the Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, and Chrysler Building, and discover the East Village, United Nations Building, and USS Intrepid Pier from a different perspective. 

NYC: Manhattan Skyline Buffet Dinner Cruise with Live DJ

3. NYC: Manhattan Skyline Buffet Dinner Cruise with Live DJ

Take in New York City's iconic skyline on an evening boat cruise. Marvel at key landmarks, such as Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat dinner with unlimited non-alcoholic drinks and dance on the upper deck to tunes played by the live DJ. Board the boat at Pier 36 and settle in before setting sail under the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. Enjoy views of City Hall, the Woolworth Building, South Street Seaport, the Lower Manhattan Skyline, and Wall Street on your right, and the districts of Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights on your left. Once at the southern tip of Manhattan, pass Governors Island and enjoy panoramic views of the whole of Lower Manhattan, dominated by the Freedom Tower, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Step outside onto the boat's outdoor upper deck to take in these iconic views. Then, head up the Hudson River with the State of New Jersey on one side and Midtown Manhattan on the other. Spot the Empire State Building and Hudson Yards. Next, pass Ellis Island and pause just off Liberty Island at the perfect place to take breathtaking photos of the Statue of Liberty. During the cruise, enjoy a delicious 3-course buffet meal and some light tour narration to ensure you don't miss out on the key attractions. Listen to music played by the live DJ throughout the evening. Take a spin on the dancefloor on the outdoor section of the upper deck after your meal. Sample menu: Garden mixed greens salad Either marinated top round steak or roasted pork loin Chicken Francese Baked tilapia Pasta with tomato and basil Broccoli, carrots, baked potato, and zucchini in a coconut cream sauce (seasonal vegan dish) Mashed potatoes Seasonal vegetables Chocolate mousse or New York cheesecake Non-alcoholic beverages, including juice, soda, or bottled water Tea or coffee

New York City: Sunset Sail Aboard a Schooner

4. New York City: Sunset Sail Aboard a Schooner

Experience the most stylish means of viewing a New York sunset by sailing aboard the Schooner America 2.0. While sailing you will be treated to an alcoholic drink of your choice by an exceptional crew, as you watch the warm rays of the sun sink peacefully into the horizon. Step away from the hustle and bustle of the city with your favorite companions when you board this 105-foot, 1800s-style vessel, America 2.0. She's perfect for romantic outings, entertaining friends from out of town, or just relaxing. This is sure to be an event you’ll want to experience again. Glide peacefully through the waters of the New York Harbor on the most relaxing, beautiful, and romantic excursion in the city. During your trip, take in the majestic colors of the sunset surrounding New York Harbor's skyline and iconic landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island. Heading south from Chelsea Piers and down the Hudson River to Battery Park, the schooner will pass by Ellis Island and sail out to the Statue of Liberty. Wind and time permitting, she will head toward Governors Island and breeze by the Financial District.

Manhattan Holiday Yacht Cruise with Jazz, Cocoa & Carols

5. Manhattan Holiday Yacht Cruise with Jazz, Cocoa & Carols

Celebrate the holiday season in style this Christmas on board a luxury 90-minute yacht cruise of Manhattan Harbor. Step inside the yacht’s toasty solarium, decked out in full holiday décor, and enjoy a warm and cozy tour with your friends, family, and loved ones. Delicious hot cocoa, cookies and treats will be served as you sail past Battery Park, South Street Seaport, the Financial District, Governor's Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. Relax in the heated main observation cabin, join in the caroling, or enjoy the beats of a live jazz trio. Sip on a complimentary glass of champagne, wine or beer, and purchase mixed drinks from the on board bar. Then, watch as the gorgeous views of Manhattan Island sail by, all from the comfort of a heated back-deck salon and glassed-in observatory of the 1920s style yacht.

NYC: Evening Jazz Cruise on the Yacht Manhattan

6. NYC: Evening Jazz Cruise on the Yacht Manhattan

Cruise New York City's harbor aboard the 1920s-style yacht, the Manhattan, while listening to live jazz music on a 1.5-hour cruise. Enjoy a complimentary drink from the teak and mahogany bar within the climate-controlled, sky-lit solarium. Ride indoors or outdoors in absolute luxury and comfort. Sit back and enjoy gorgeous views of the New York skyline while enjoying a live jazz band that will play everything from classic jazz standards by Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington, to new renditions of Motown songs, R&B grooves, and hits from today! The band does take requests, so please ask for your favorite, as they may very well know it! During your cruise, see many famous buildings and sights, including Battery Park, South Street Seaport and the Financial District, Governor's Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. An alcoholic drink is included to enjoy as you soak up the surrounding sights and sounds.

New York City Bus, Boat and Walking Tour

7. New York City Bus, Boat and Walking Tour

See the best of New York City on sightseeing tours by bus and boat. In addition, enjoy a walk through the Financial Center to Wall Street and The New York Stock Exchange. A live tour guide will enhance your experience with commentary on this 6-hour program. The Staten Island ferry ensures breathtaking views of the New York City and New Jersey skylines. Take in views of world-famous landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, Brooklyn Bridge, Governors Island, and more. This tour gives you two options for tour buses - a luxury climate-controlled closed-top bus or a unique small-capacity glass-top or open-top convertible bus that can open when the weather is nice or retract and turn into a glass-top to protect you from the weather elements.

2-Hour Day Sail to Statue of Liberty on America 2.0

8. 2-Hour Day Sail to Statue of Liberty on America 2.0

Offering a premium sailing experience, the Schooner America 2.0 is the newest, largest, most elegant ship designed for the fleet. Added in 2011, the America 2.0 provides the most exceptional day sailing one can find in New York Harbor. Her design is influenced by the style of the late 1800s but incorporates technology of the 21st century, thus connecting the past and present beauty, history, and art of sailing in New York Harbor. A day sail on this 105-foot schooner is perfect for family outings, dates, and entertaining guests from out of town. A sail on America 2.0 is guaranteed to be a memorable experience. Within 5 minutes of leaving the dock, you'll forget the mayhem and noise of Manhattan street life as you feel the relaxing breeze of the harbor. Take in the famous Manhattan skyline as it was meant to be seen — from the water — plus spectacular views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. You'll experience the following on your 2-hour sail: • Heading south from Chelsea Piers and down the Hudson River to Battery Park, the schooner will pass by Ellis Island and sail out to the Statue of Liberty • Wind and time permitting, she will head toward Governors Island, breeze by the Financial District, and sail through the Buttermilk Channel

Manhattan: Statue and Skyline Cruise aboard the Luxury Yacht

9. Manhattan: Statue and Skyline Cruise aboard the Luxury Yacht

Leave the noise of the city behind and see New York in a new light. Sit back and marvel at the famous skyline from the comfort of the solarium on this gorgeous 80-foot 1920s style yacht. Get up close to The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on this sightseeing cruise. As you pass by such important sites at Battery Park, the financial district, and South Street Seaport, your captain will provide an informative narration. Cruise the Hudson River and New York Harbor on the Manhattan. The Manhattan provides a turn-of-the-century elegance and comfort, complete with teak decks and mahogany trim. Settle into the spectacular glassed-in observatory on the back deck, equipped with cushioned seating around conversation-friendly tables. The observatory is heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer, providing panoramic views in the utmost comfort.

New York Harbor Speedboat Tour

10. New York Harbor Speedboat Tour

Take a high-speed boat ride out on the Hudson River professional captains licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard. See famous sites in and around New York Harbor, learn about them from your guide and feel the thrill of being out on the water. At each of the stops, the captain positions the boat so that every guest can get a perfect photo and will help you with any photo requests. Upon your arrival you'll be greeted by your captain and checked in. After a short but mandatory safety briefing, you'll get suited up and board the boat.   Depart from North Cove Marina and head out onto the Hudson River to get spectacular views of downtown and midtown with the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. Travel north along the Manhattan waterfront and see the FDNY Fireboat Station, Chelsea Piers, the VIP Heliport, Hudson Yards, the Highline and the Jacob Javits Convention Center, before stopping at the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier and Cruise Ship Terminal. Listen to narration at every stop and ask your guide questions about the sites.   Then, continue to the New Jersey shoreline and run south for panoramic views of the entire Manhattan skyline. From Hoboken, follow a straight line to the Financial District where you'll get excellent views of the Freedom Tower. Rounding Battery Park, you will enter the East River and see the helicopters take off and land at the helipad before cruising past South Street Seaport. Pass under the Brooklyn Bridge and sail to the Manhattan Bridge for one-of-a-kind photo opportunities.   After taking in the iconic views, you'll see the Brooklyn waterfront, the Red Hook Container Terminal and Governors Island. Crossing the Upper Bay, observe commercial vessels such as tug boats, oil barges, and the Staten Island Ferry.   Reach the climax of the tour at the Statue of Liberty. Stop right outside the security zone to get an up-close and unobstructed view of Lady Liberty. Then, return to Manhattan. With Ellis Island to your left, you'll have a clear view of the entire New York skyline.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Governors Island

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What people are saying about Governors Island

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,891 reviews

The go-to cruise if you want to see the statue of Liberty up close. The cruise was quite nice and informative. The tour guide/commentator Damian was so entertaining as he told the history of places that we passed by. He gave tips on where to eat as well. The rest of the crew were all pleasant!

We really, really enjoyed this cruise, the information throughout was great and getting up close to Lady Liberty was fantastic, she's very beautiful! The journey along the river under all the bridges was so pretty, the city is beautiful at night.

Get your tickets in advance. Be at the meeting point early. Get an open air convertible bus. Request Brooklyn Jim for your guide. Take lots of pictures. You won’t regret it!

Enjoyed the cruise and the guide very much, very informative and that was amazing. A little chilly out on the water but beautiful sites. Lovely time

If you don’t need to get off the boat it is perfect friend is handicapped so was great for us