New York Water Taxi: Best Way to See the City!

New York Water Taxi: Best Way to See the City!

The New York Water Taxi may just be our new favorite thing to do in New York City. Let me start by saying it is such a fabulous way to see the Big Apple, and loads of fun! I ran into a friend recently who told me she had just taken the tour with her family and visitors from out of town, and highly recommended it.

I went onto their website to read more about it, and all I could think of was – how have we not done this before? With 6 different “hop on/hop off” stops throughout the city, and a tour through New York Harbor, it is a sure-fire way to see as much of New York as you can in one day, with spectacular skyline views along the way.

New York Water taxi next to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Kids aboard the New York Water Taxi.

How the New York Water Taxi Works

This is how it works: the water taxi has 6 main ferry pier stops, where you can hop on or hop off. They are: Pier 79 at West 39th Street, Pier 45 at Christopher Street in the West Village, Slip 6 in Battery Park, Pier 11 at Wall Street, Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo, and Fairway Dock in Red Hook, Brooklyn. After Red Hook, the taxi takes you right in front of the Statue of Liberty, where you can gaze at Lady Liberty from a stand still and take those must-have pics. From there, the taxi continues back to the start at Pier 79. (Note, some taxis make two additional stops at South Street Seaport and Ikea in Red Hook – see the website to learn more).

Taxis depart approximately every 20 minutes from each stop, allowing you to get off and explore around the city at the stops you’d like, and get back on to continue the route. Along the way, cruising through the New York Harbor, you get all the iconic views, including the Empire State Building, One World Trade, and the Brooklyn Bridge. You can create your own itinerary and get off at as many or as few stops as you’d like, or simply take the boat ride around the harbor, which is a 90-minute ride.

View of Empire State Building from the New York Water Taxi.

Looking at Brooklyn Bridge from the New York Water Taxi.

What We did and Saw on the New York Water Taxi

This is what we did: we bought an All-Day Access Pass, which at $31 for adults and $19 for Children, is a good deal, considering all that you can see and have access to. We purchased them ahead online and were able to board each taxi by simply showing our tickets on our phone. I highly recommend purchasing ahead to avoid any confusion and unwanted lines.

We boarded the first taxi at Pier 79 at West 39th Street (in a very unassuming spot with not much signage, which we liked…it’s a bit under the radar) and took it to Christopher Street, but did not get off (though had we, we could have seen the Highline, Whitney Museum, Greenwich Village and more), and instead de-boarded at Battery Park. The kids really wanted to go to the SeaGlass Carousel , and from there we headed to the 9/11 Memorial. We ventured back and caught the taxi again and passed through Wall Street so that we could get off in Dumbo and explore around for a while.

We used to live in Brooklyn, so Brooklyn Bridge Park (where the pier is) is our old stomping ground. We went for a ride on the famous Jane’s Carousel, explored the park, ate ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, caught incredible views of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and made our way through Dumbo to one of our favorite hole in the wall Mexican restaurants called Pedros. We eventually got back on the taxi again and did not get off at Red Hook (where next time we said we’d have to go to famed Brooklyn Crab), and then continued into the harbor in front of the Statue of Liberty.

Janes Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

View of Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO.

One thing I have to mention is that the staff on the water taxi are truly great – very informative, fun and funny, with many anecdotal stories to go along with their guided tour. When we pulled up in front of the Statue, Neil Diamond’s “Coming to America” started blasting and it was just really hilarious and made everyone laugh. The water taxi itself has two floors, an upper deck outside from which to see all the phenomenal views, and an indoor downstairs with air conditioning, which turned out to be quite helpful as it was a scorcher the day we did it. All in all, it was a super adventurous way to see the city, great fun for the kids cruising around the harbor, and a totally unique way to see so many of New York’s sites and neighborhoods, both from the boat, and off.

Kids looking at the Statue of Liberty from the New York Water Taxi.

View of the Statue of Liberty from the New York water taxi.

New York Water Taxi. 212.742.1969. For more information, such as current schedule, tickets, etc. see New York Water Taxi’s website here.

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The New York Water Taxi is an adventurous and fun way to explore the Big Apple.

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45 Comments

  1. / 6:06 pm

    Great way to see a city. Scenic and practical. Husband is visiting in October so will pass this on.

    • / 11:49 pm

      That’s right – yes def tell him about it:).

  2. / 6:06 pm

    Sounds amazing Corey, we’ve done the hop on/off bus before but I love the sound of this more!!

    • / 11:51 pm

      Thanks Joy – believe it or not we still have yet to do the double decker. It’s been on the list forever but this sounded too good to pass up!

  3. / 7:55 pm

    What a fun way to see the city, and capture those city skyline views from a different angle. I love that you can get a full day pass and explore each area at your own pace. Thanks for sharing this Corey, great post!

  4. / 7:36 am

    Brilliant! What a fab way to see New York! I’m in!

  5. travelingchristie
    / 9:37 pm

    We need to do this next time we visit NYC we sailed in last time on the QM2 it was incredible x

    • / 4:03 am

      I can imagine – yes, save it for next time;).

  6. / 11:27 am

    LOVE New York and what a great way to see the city. The only time we went on the water was to get to Liberty Island. This reminds me of the waterbus on the Thames in London. It’s way more fun than the tube and you see a lot more.

    • / 9:14 pm

      We’ve been talking about a trip to London and this reminds me we will have to do the waterbus..thanks for reading;).

  7. Anonymous
    / 2:38 am

    Bucket list

  8. Popping over from #MondayEscapes! Thanks for the comment on my blog. Beautiful pictures! I’ll need to frequent your blog since I’m planning a northeastern US road trip for this fall. I won’t be making it to the city, but may go into upstate NY. Don’t have our itinerary planned yet. I know you said you were just in Colorado last week (my state!). Looking forward to seeing your posts on that!

    • / 5:38 pm

      Thanks Emily! Just got back from CO actually – we were in Steamboat – and it was really nice to have the fresh mountain air after the east coast humidity! US road trip sounds fun!! Let me know if you have any q’s..

  9. / 4:46 pm

    great views! one day… 🙂 #mondayescapes

  10. I never considered taking a Water Taxi in NY before! I’ve only been once and we did take a boat out to the Statue of Liberty, but that was it! I’ll keep that in mind for another visit one day! #MondayEscapes

    • / 2:22 am

      I had never considered it either until a friend tipped me off – totally under the radar and well worth it!!

  11. We did the staten island ferry but this way looks great! I love these posts on NYC, really makes me want to visit again! #mondayescapes

    • / 2:24 am

      Thank you! We still have yet to do the Staten Island ferry so there you go – so many things on the list!

  12. / 6:15 pm

    What a brilliant and fun way to get around New York. It feels like a must-do to me. Talking of which, I really must take my kids to New York soon!

    • / 8:30 pm

      If you do you must reach out! My girls are dying to go to London – they have a bunch of friends from the U.K. (who live here) and have heard a lot about it. Maybe our paths will cross some day!

  13. aandj8804
    / 3:57 pm

    That seems like a great way to explore NYC! And cheap too!

    • / 1:22 pm

      Yes – for all that you have access to, the price can’t be beat!

  14. Sounds like a fantastic way to see the city. We had friends who have just been to New York and I believe they had a fab time 🙂

  15. / 8:31 am

    I love the sound of this – I had no idea you could do that in New York but would love to try it with my daughter when we finally make it back. #citytripping

    • / 4:39 pm

      Yes I’m going to have to add it to my Top 10 – a must do when you come!

  16. / 5:28 pm

    I didn’t know there was a water taxi. Maybe I should do that next time.

    • / 2:21 pm

      It’s such a great way to explore the city, can’t recommend it enough.

  17. I love river taxis. Have never been to New York, but when I do this is on the list. I used to love the one in London from Canary Wharf to London Bridge, one of the best ways to see a city is by its river / waterways. Thanks! #citytrippers

    • / 2:22 pm

      I keep hearing that! Will definitely check it out on our next visit!

  18. / 8:30 pm

    What a great way to see New York! I’d definitely be up for doing that next time we go. I still haven’t done any of London’s river boats…I really must! Thanks for linking to #citytripping

    • / 2:20 pm

      Someone else mentioned the London river boats – have earmarked that one for our eventual visit!

  19. / 9:22 pm

    oh this looks so fab, when we visited New York we sailed in on the Queen Mary it was incredible, something I will never forget. But this is such a great way to explore x

    • / 2:22 pm

      Aaah the Queen Mary – will have to do that as well one of these days. Thanks!

    • / 2:23 pm

      Can’t recommend it enough – def try it next time! Thanks!

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