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Best Boat Tour (2022)

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From whale watching excursions and sunset sails to scenic cruises past waterfalls and cliff-backed shores, there are so many water-based tours to choose from in North America.

  • Holo Holo Charters

    Holo Holo Charters
    Kauai, Hawaii

    With Holo Holo Charters, visitors to Kauai can sail to the forbidden island of Niihau or cruise along the spectacular Na Pali Coast to see its waterfalls, lush valleys and hidden sea caves from a new perspective.
    Photo courtesy of Holo Holo Charters

  • Chicago Architecture Foundation Center

    Chicago Architecture Foundation Center
    Chicago, Illinois

    The Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady is led by highly trained expert docents. On this ninety-minute cruise, you will hear fascinating details about Chicago, including stories about the people who designed the buildings along the Chicago River. Options include both daylight tours and evening cocktail cruises.
    Photo courtesy of Getty Images

  • Redline Rafting

    Redline Rafting
    Maui, Hawaii

    Redline Rafting’s motto is “half the crowds, twice the adventure.” That’s what you can expect, whether you’re cruising Maui’s Forbidden Coast, snorkeling in Molokini Crater or looking for North Pacific humpback whales who make Maui their winter home.
    Photo courtesy of Redline Rafting

  • Waco Tours River Cruise

    Waco Tours River Cruise
    Waco, Texas

    A river cruise with Waco Tours comprises 2.5 hours along the serene Brazos River in the heart of Texas. Learn about the history and people of Waco as you see the city from the water and spot local wildlife on the riverbanks.
    Photo courtesy of Waco Tours

  • Red Boat Tours

    Red Boat Tours
    St. Augustine, Florida

    Instead of fighting the crowds of downtown St. Augustine, step aboard the White Pelican for a boat tour of the intracoastal waterway. Red Boat Tours offer a variety of sightseeing cruises, including dolphin watching excursions, BYOB sunset sails and full moon cruises.
    Photo courtesy of Turning Tide Photography

  • Blue Ocean Adventure Tours

    Blue Ocean Adventure Tours
    Kekaha, Hawaii

    Blue Ocean Adventure Tours unlock the spectacular scenery of Kauai’s Na Pali coast with tours ranging from whale watching excursions to beach landings. Guests get to see the 3,500-foot sea cliffs from the water, visit the Hawaiian fishing village of Nualolo Kai and spot Hawaiian green sea turtles while snorkeling.
    Photo courtesy of Evan Asato

  • CanderĂ© Cruising

    Canderé Cruising
    Seattle, Washington

    Boat tours with Canderé Cruising let visitors see seaplane take offs and landings up close, with views from the water of Seattle landmarks like the Space Needle and Fremont Bridge. Options range from an hour long cocktail cruise to a three-hour sunset sail or four-hour tour to see Seattle’s lakefront mansions. This family business offers one of the best ways to experience Seattle's waterways in a unique and affordable way.
    Photo courtesy of Canderé Cruising

  • Hubbard's Marina

    Hubbard's Marina
    Madeira Beach, Florida

    Hubbard’s Marina has been in the fishing and cruising business since 1928 and has been family owned and operated for four generations. Tour options vary, from daily dolphin watching and eco tours to fishing trips lasting anywhere from five to 44 hours.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / stammphoto

  • Island Express Ferry Service

    Island Express Ferry Service
    Beaufort, North Carolina

    Island Express Ferry Service is the only ferry authorized by the National Park Service to drop off passengers from Beaufort and Harkers Island to Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Shackleford Banks in North Carolina. Guests experience the beauty of the North Carolina coast while riding in comfortable ferries. Treasure hunt for shells, watch the wild horse of Shackleford Banks, go fishing or swimming, and leave the stress of the mainland behind!
    Photo courtesy of Island Express Ferry Service

  • Glimmerglass Queen Tour Boat Company

    Glimmerglass Queen Tour Boat Company
    Cooperstown, New York

    Cooperstown’s Lake Front Hotel offers the town’s only boat tours of beautiful Ostego Lake. These narrated one-hour tours, aboard the elegant Glimmerglass Queen, provide a glimpse into the history of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, many of which were set around and inspired by the lake. Guests can enjoy a cool drink at the bar during the tour, and both indoor and outdoor seating is available.
    Photo courtesy of Jonathan W. Cohen / Getty Images

  1. Holo Holo Charters - Kauai, Hawaii
  2. Chicago Architecture Foundation Center - Chicago, Illinois
  3. Redline Rafting - Maui, Hawaii
  4. Waco Tours River Cruise - Waco, Texas
  5. Red Boat Tours - St. Augustine, Florida
  6. Blue Ocean Adventure Tours - Kekaha, Hawaii
  7. Canderé Cruising - Seattle, Washington
  8. Hubbard's Marina - Madeira Beach, Florida
  9. Island Express Ferry Service - Beaufort, North Carolina
  10. Glimmerglass Queen Tour Boat Company - Cooperstown, New York


A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning boat tours!

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AlertThe Experts

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

Chez Chesak

Chez Chesak

Chez Chesak

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy

Lauren Gay

Lauren Gay

Lauren Gay

Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor
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