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Governors Island Tours

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551 Reviews
Governors Island
Just 800 yards (732 meters) from Lower Manhattan, Governors Island has long been an important historical landmark in New York Harbor. Home to two major military landmarks—Fort Jay and Castle Williams—it was used in defensive campaigns beginning in the 18th century. Today, it’s a popular summer retreat and easily accessible by ferry.

The Basics
Originally settled by the Lenape people, Governors Island was first known as “Nut Island,” thanks to its plenitude of oak, chestnut, and hickory trees. The island was later occupied by the Dutch and then the British; its current name comes from the fact that it was the summer residence for the British royal governor during the colonial period. Also valued for its defensive position during the Revolutionary War, it became one of the longest continually operated military bases in the United States. Technically part of the borough of Manhattan, the island is both home to a National Monument of New York (administered by the National Park Service) and a popular summer day-trip destination for Big Apple denizens after a touch of leafy tranquility.

Governors Island features on numerous New York Harbor cruise itineraries and can also be glimpsed from the air during helicopter tours.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Governors Island is car-free, but bikes offer an accessible way to explore the island’s miles of trails.
  • Leading contemporary artist Rachel Whiteread has a permanent installation on the island: Cabin, located on Discovery Hill.
  • Free, ranger-led tours are available for both Fort Jay and Castle Williams.
  • The island has two food courts: Liggett Terrace Food Court and King Avenue Food Court. Visitors are also welcome to bring picnic meals (but no alcohol).

How to Get There
In season, daily ferries to Governors Island depart from Manhattan’s South Street Seaport; weekend ferries also depart regularly from Brooklyn’s Pier 6. Tickets can be purchased for a small fee from booths near the piers. All ferries are wheelchair-accessible and are free to ride on weekends before 12pm.

When to Get There
Governors Island is open to the public from May 1 to October 31 each year. It hosts a number of popular arts and recreational events, including the Jazz Age Lawn Party (a summertime event that invites participants to dress up in 1920s outfits and dance along to live jazz) and the New York City Poetry Festival (held on the last weekend of July).
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29 Tours and Activities to Experience Governors Island

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Bateaux New York Dinner CruiseDay Cruises

Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise

star-4.5
Forget trying to snag a hard-to-get reservation at New York's hottest restaurants du jour. Instead, indulge in a delicious 3-course dinner during the cruise on an all-glass boat around New York City that offers you an up-close look at the Statue of Liberty and other famed sites. As a live pianist plays relaxing music for you, take in the immense view of one of the world's great cities and enjoy a delicious pre-set dinner by the on-board executive chef. Upgrade to enjoy a romantic or first class VIP experience including a private table and French sparkling wine.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$206.02 
From  
$206.02 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Manhattan Sky Tour: New York Helicopter FlightCity Packages

Manhattan Sky Tour: New York Helicopter Flight

star-4.5
Catch a bird's eye view of the Big Apple during this helicopter ride over Manhattan. Look out over the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, the financial district and more. You’ll also spot top sights like Ellis Island and the Empire State Building during this unique sightseeing flight over one of the world's most iconic cities.
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  • 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$215.00 
From  
$215.00 
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  • 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

NYC Statue of Liberty Tall Ship Sailing CruiseDay Cruises

NYC Statue of Liberty Tall Ship Sailing Cruise

star-4.5
Admire New York City's famous skyline from the water on this afternoon cruise. Choose from two departure times and set sail around New York Harbor on-board a historic sailboat. Enjoy incredible views of Manhattan and spot landmarks such as One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. While on-board, help raise the sails or even take a turn navigating the ship.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$45.00 
From  
$45.00 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

New York Helicopter Flight: Grand IslandCity Packages

New York Helicopter Flight: Grand Island

star-4
Get an aerial view of New York City on this comprehensive helicopter ride. The sightseeing flight reveals all the top landmarks—from Central Park and Times Square to the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge. This enables you to see more in minutes than you could in a day of exploring on foot, making the tour ideal for first-time visitors who want to get acquainted with the city.
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$363.00 
From  
$363.00 
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Spirit of New York City Buffet Lunch CruiseDay Cruises

Spirit of New York City Buffet Lunch Cruise

star-4.5
Relax on a comfortable boat as it cruises around New York Harbor and Manhattan on this relaxing 2-hour afternoon cruise that includes an all-you-can-eat buffet and DJ'ed music. Get great views and a different perspective on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center and the Empire State Building. And indulge in the delicious buffet lunch wile doing it. Upgrade the afternoon to receive a welcome glass of champagne in a souvenir glass, a table for your party size, and access to a platinum open bar.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$92.97 
From  
$92.97 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

New York Manhattan Scenic Helicopter TourCity Packages

New York Manhattan Scenic Helicopter Tour

star-4.5
New York's iconic landmarks, mighty rivers, and islands are even more impressive from the air. On this tour, soar over Manhattan’s most famous sights in a helicopter and enjoy spectacular aerial views of the Big Apple. There's plenty of time time to see Liberty Island, the Empire State Building, and Governor’s Island.
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  • 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$289.00 
From  
$289.00 
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  • 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Statue of Liberty Bateaux Lunch CruiseDay Cruises

Statue of Liberty Bateaux Lunch Cruise

star-4.5
Forget trying to snag a reservation at New York's hot restaurant du jour. Don't wait in line at a popular eatery, either. Instead, indulge in a delicious lunch during this 2-hour cruise on an all-glass boat around New York City that offers you an up-close look at the Statue of Liberty. As a live pianist plays relaxing music for you, take in the immense view of one of the world's great cities and enjoy a delicious pre-set lunch by the on-board executive chef.
...  More
  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$92.97 
From  
$92.97 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Champagne Brunch Sail in New York CityDay Cruises

Champagne Brunch Sail in New York City

star-5
Savor the traditional New York City brunch with a serious twist on this Big Apple champagne sailing cruise. Tuck into a full buffet, complete with coffee, tea and Prosecco. Enjoy homemade muffins, breads and bagels, plus meats, cheese and more. Relax on board as you make your way through the placid waters surrounding the city and take in epic skylines as you enjoy brunch. This cruise is capped at 40 people, which ensures there's plenty of room on deck. Beer, wine, cocktails and soft drinks are available for purchase.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$109.00 
From  
$109.00 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

New York City Sunset SailDay Cruises

New York City Sunset Sail

star-4.5
Enjoy a New York City evening on the water during this 2-hour twilight cruise. Take in views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline while the sun sets, and order drinks from the on-board bar (own expense). This is a great way to start a night out in the Big Apple.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$55.00 
From  
$55.00 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Craft Beer Sailing Cruise in New York CitySailing

Craft Beer Sailing Cruise in New York City

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Embark on a unique sailing adventure on this craft beer cruise of New York Harbor. Take in fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty from aboard a replica of a historic tall ship—one of the largest vessels in the country. As you sail, taste six different New York craft beers served with cheese and charcuterie form a local Brooklyn deli. You can even take a turn at the helm if you like!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$89.52 
From  
$89.52 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

NYC Statue of Liberty CruiseDay Cruises

NYC Statue of Liberty Cruise

star-3.5
See New York City from the water with a sightseeing cruise from a bustling East River Pier. Navigate the New York Harbor for stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, watch for the iconic shape of the World Financial Center, and capture unforgettable images of the city skyline. See Ellis Island and the Brooklyn Bridge, then watch the Big Apple’s shoreline unfurl as you take it in from the deck of a comfortable sightseeing vessel.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
From  
$17.00 
From  
$17.00 
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes

NYC's Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building Tour From NJCity Packages

NYC's Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building Tour From NJ

star-4.5
See New York City from the sky during a scenic helicopter flight that lasts up to 15 minutes. Enjoy incredible photo ops of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, and listen to live commentary from your pilot as you fly past landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Select the optional upgrade to include transfers by private SUV from a central location in Midtown Manhattan.
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  • 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$169.00 
From  
$169.00 
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  • 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Secrets of Governors Island Walking TourCity Packages

Secrets of Governors Island Walking Tour

star-5
Closed to the public for 200 years, Governor’s Island is a fascinating piece of history in the heart of New York Harbor. Explore the island on a walking tour that links up more than 30 sites, and includes war stories, local lore, and a new perspective on New York City’s military history.
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  • 2 hours
From  
$44.00 
From  
$44.00 
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  • 2 hours

New York Sailboat Cruise with Wine Cheese and CharcuterieSailing

New York Sailboat Cruise with Wine Cheese and Charcuterie

star-4
Set sail in the waters of New York City on the only floating designated landmark around on this wine and cheese waterway experience. Float through the New York City Harbor as you sip on top wines and sample local cheese and charcuterie. Cruise alongside the State of Liberty, Ellis Island, Battery Park, Brooklyn Heights and New York City skylines on this relaxing excursion. This tour is the perfect way to unwind on the water and enjoy some of the city's top attractions while sipping wine.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$111.07 
From  
$111.07 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Happy Hour on the HarborDay Cruises

Happy Hour on the Harbor

star-5
Experience a one-of-a-kind happy hour on this early evening cruise. Set sail around New York Harbor on-board a traditional tall ship and enjoy spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline from the water. While on-board, make the most of happy hours discounts on drinks at the bar and sip beer, wine, or other beverages as you cruise past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$45.00 
From  
$45.00 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

New York City Lights CruiseDay Cruises

New York City Lights Cruise

Get a sparkling new perspective on the famous Manhattan skyline during a 1.5-hour cruise through the New York City Harbor. Recall historic voyages of the past as you sail aboard the Clipper City Tall Ship, one of the largest vessels to cruise the harbor. Take in famous sites like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Empire State Building, illuminated against the night sky, and enjoy onboard amenities including a full bar.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$45.00 
From  
$45.00 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

New York City Lights SailNight Cruises

New York City Lights Sail

star-3
Discover the world’s most famous skyline on an evening boat ride. Sail along the Hudson River and take in the stunning New York City skyline just when the city starts to come alive. See key landmarks such as the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center and their illuminations on the water.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$45.00 
From  
$45.00 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Private Statue of Liberty Sailing TourSailing

Private Statue of Liberty Sailing Tour

star-5
If you're looking for a touch of luxury while sightseeing in the Big Apple, don't miss this private sailing excursion complete with panoramic views of the NYC skyline. As you set sail from Chelsea Piers, you can sit back as the Hudson River breezes guide your ship along Manhattan's West Side. While you cruise, you can enjoy views of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Lower Manhattan landmarks including One World Trade.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$650.00 
per group
From  
$650.00 
per group
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

New York City Shearwater Daytime Statue SailDay Cruises

New York City Shearwater Daytime Statue Sail

star-4
See some of New York’s top attractions away from the mobs of people on land during this daytime Statue of Liberty sail aboard a historical sailing ship. Cruise around New York Harbor, and enjoy views of the Manhattan skyline, plus landmarks like One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.
...  More
  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$45.00 
From  
$45.00 
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

New York Harbor Evening Sail with Live JazzCity Packages

New York Harbor Evening Sail with Live Jazz

star-4.5
Get a glimpse of New York City from a different perspective: from a boat sailing around New York Harbor. This tour of the waters around New York features incredible views of the Manhattan skyline and live music from a jazz quintet. Bring some food to eat while sailing around and sip cocktails from the cash bar.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$79.00 
From  
$79.00 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

New York Harbor Jet Ski TourHalf-day Tours

New York Harbor Jet Ski Tour

star-4.5
New York City’s streets can be overrun with city dwellers and travelers alike, making it hard to catch views of top attractions such as the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge. This New York Harbor Jet Ski tour makes seeing these sights (and others) easier than ever by taking you on the water from Rockaway Beach to Manhattan. Plus, your guide knows the massive harbor well, so you won’t get lost.
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  • 4 hours
From  
$391.03 
per group
From  
$391.03 
per group
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  • 4 hours

New York City Easy Sunday Cocktail & Jazz Sail Day Cruises

New York City Easy Sunday Cocktail & Jazz Sail

If you're looking for a relaxing Sunday morning excursion, without the hassle of busy brunch lines, try this scenic cocktail cruise on New York Harbor. After you hop aboard the sailboat, grab an included cocktail and sit back to let the harbor breeze blow your hair. Along the way, take in views of the city skyline, and see top sights including the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$89.54 
From  
$89.54 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

New York City Sightseeing Cruise on Yacht Kingston from North CoveDay Cruises

New York City Sightseeing Cruise on Yacht Kingston from North Cove

star-5
Set sail around Manhattan in a bespoke, 1920s inspired yacht during this boutique boat cruise that. Take your spot on the inviting, wood interior and float past the iconic sights of Lower Manhattan before sailing on to the Statue of Liberty. Compare the skylines of Brooklyn and Queens while sipping a drink from the onboard luxury bar.  
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$46.00 
From  
$46.00 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures

Romantic Statue of Liberty Sailing Tour, Just for TwoSailing

Romantic Statue of Liberty Sailing Tour, Just for Two

star-5
Slip away together aboard a private yacht. Just the wind, water, and a breathtaking skyline opening before you. Lounge on deck in private luxury while sailing across the harbor. Experience a unique and intimate moment. It’s the perfect setting just for two. Catch Statue of Liberty close-ups and panoramic views of Ellis Island, Governors Island, World Trade Center, Financial District. Keep an eye out for natural wonders. Seals are back, fish are jumping. Let the ever-expanding sky open up a whole new perspective. Explore. Dream. Discover. Sightseeing: Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Governors Island, World Trade Center, Financial District and city skyline. Accommodations: Spacious deck lounge, interior lounge, bluetooth sound system for your private playlist, lavatory, bottled water are all included. Captain Martin holds a USCG 100 Ton Master Captain’s License. Sailor of the New York Harbor for 25 years, he is an expert guide to NYC’s waterways.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$600.00 
per group
From  
$600.00 
per group
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Governors Island?