California
Boat Tours & River Cruises

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Our most recommended California Cruises & Boat Tours

  • San Diego: Harbor Cruise

    1. San Diego: Harbor Cruise

    Embark on an adventure and see San Diego's best sights. Learn about the city and enjoy a cruise on the bay. Depending on the option booked, this professionally-narrated tour takes you under the Coronado Bridge, past military ships, waterfront landmarks, and marine life for an up-close, in-depth look at San Diego's scenic beauty and fascinating history. This tour’s luxury ships offer three levels with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, 360-degree views, and an on-board snack bar serving snacks, soda, beer, wine and cocktails (available for purchase). This is a great way to experience San Diego from the water.

    Took the 2 hour tour that we were looking too take after our last visit. It was just way at we expected and more! The narrator was so full of information that we had to ask him how he did it. He said a lot of experience and we agreed that must have been the answer. He was really impressive. Don’t miss it.

  • San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

    2. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

    Launched in 1939 as part of the Golden Gate International Exposition, this 1-hour cruise has been a highlight of any visit to San Francisco for over 75 years. With 8-14 departures daily from 10:00, you will sail along San Francisco's breathtaking waterfront, under the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, and close to the notorious Alcatraz Island. Discover San Francisco's fascinating history, brought to life through audio commentary broadcast in 16 languages via personal headphones. Look out for wildlife along the way, including pelicans, sea lions, and even dolphins and whales. Sail past the lively neighborhood of North Beach, the famous swimming clubs of Aquatic Park, the historic vessels at Hyde Street Pier, and San Francisco Maritime National Park, before heading west towards Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy views of Crissy Field and the lush hillsides of the Presidio, before cruising under Golde...

    Great experience. There are restrooms and a bar with snacks on board. It was a nice relaxing and educational tour to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz island. Everyone was friendly. I would recommend 100%!!

  • Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

    3. Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

    The tour departs from Monterey Old Fisherman’s Wharf, where the boat sets sail into the harbor, home to breathtaking sea views. As the tour leaves the dock, catch a glimpse of the hundreds of Californian Sea Lions inside the harbor. Take advantage of the view and snap a photo to capture the memory. Upon leaving the harbor, the boat passes the historic Cannery Row and then enters the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Monterey is one of the world’s best locations for whale watching due to the deep submarine canyon close to shore. This is where the search for the wonders of the bay’s marine life begins. With whales spotted almost every day, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Keep your eyes peeled as you scan the water for the abundance of marine life that lives here. Search for feeding humpback whales, a variety of dolphin species, porpoises, blue whales, fin whales and more....

    From the very beginning of the trip, to the last second, this trip was PHENOMENAL! We had amazing crew and a whale that literally breached out in front of our boat... UNREAL! I've been on numerous whale watches in the past and this one is by far the BEST! Thank you for so much for an unforgettable adventure! ❤️

  • South Lake Tahoe: Sightseeing Cruise of Emerald Bay

    4. South Lake Tahoe: Sightseeing Cruise of Emerald Bay

    Embark on a 2-hour sightseeing cruise starting in South Lake Tahoe either at sunset or during the day. Enjoy the scenic beauty while cruising 7 miles (11 kilometers) across the lake to the breathtaking Emerald Bay, known as one of the top ten most photographed places in the world. See the majestic mountains of South Lake Tahoe while onboard the world-class Tahoe Bleu Wave yacht. As you cruise, you will find indoor and outdoor seating with 360-degree panoramic views of Lake Tahoe, the snow-capped mountains, Fannette Island, Vikingsholm Castle, Eagle Waterfall, and the Rubicon. Enjoy the company of your captain as he navigates the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe and gives a personal narration of the facts and figures of this lake. If you’re lucky, you may even get the chance to see a variety of wildlife such as the bald eagle, black bears, and wild geese. if you've chosen the sunset option...

    The boat ride was absolutely worth the $100! The captain had tons of super interesting facts and book excerpts. It doesn't get much better that Emerald Bay, anywhere! Get there early so you can get yourself a great seat in on the front of the boat. I will do it again when I visit.

  • San Francisco: 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

    5. San Francisco: 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

    Enjoy a 1-hour journey along San Francisco's historic waterfront and experience the thrilling history of the San Francisco Bay, with all the sound and glory it deserves. The 1-hour Bay Cruise takes you past the famous PIER 39 sea lions and along San Francisco’s historic waterfront, revealing the city’s fascinating skyline. Relax in comfort, with both indoor and outdoor seating, and enjoy a full narration describing major landmarks as you sail by. Whether it’s your first time to San Francisco, or your 10th visit, the Bay Cruise is something you simply must experience at least once in your life. You will get a complimentary souvenir map, which is available in nine languages, and if you get hungry, there’s a full-service snack bar on board.

    Exactly what I expected. We were late getting to our schedule time and was graciously accommodated at a new time slot.

  • 90-Minute San Diego SEAL Tour

    6. 90-Minute San Diego SEAL Tour

    Splash into San Diego’s most unique sightseeing tour. See the best of San Diego on land and in the water. Take a seat on the San Diego SEAL tour, an adventure that takes you through the most interesting sights in the city before heading out into the harbor of San Diego. Your 90-minute fully-narrated tour will wind through picturesque San Diego streets before splashing into the water for a cruise of San Diego Bay. On land, you will pass the Embarcadero and San Diego International Airport. You will learn about the importance of the military in San Diego and other San Diego icons as you travel along the scenic coast. Once you splash into the Big Bay, you will glide by Navy ships, tugboats and fishing vessels throughout the harbor as you listen to stories of early sailors. Experience the history and ecological wonders of San Diego in the comfort and security of a virtually unsinkable Hydra...

    The tour guide was knowledgeable about the history and made it very interesting.

  • San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

    7. San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

    See both the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 1 cruise with personal headphone audio included. Explore San Francisco's famous landmarks, history, natural history, architecture, and Native American culture on board this unique bay cruise. During the 90-minute cruise you'll depart from Fisherman's Wharf, one of the city's busiest tourist attractions. From there, sail under the Golden Gate Bridge. Completed in 1937, the Golden Gate is one of the world's most famous and beautiful bridges, and was at one point the largest suspension bridge in the world. Cruise past Alcatraz Island, once home of one of the world's most infamous prisons, and take the chance to enjoy the stunning San Francisco waterfront. The boat will pass along the harbor before heading under the colossal San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Then it's time to head back to the charming city of San F...

    The crew was very helpful getting my husband on and off the boat. He is in a wheelchair. I wish he could have give up too, more to set up there. We enjoyed the audio tour which was broadcast over the ship. I learned a lot about the bridges and the surrounding areas.

  • San Diego: Dinner Cruise

    8. San Diego: Dinner Cruise

    The three-hour Dinner Cruise combines culinary excellence – think crisp salads, braised ribs and over roasted salmon entrees, and luscious desserts – with unforgettable scenery and ambient music.  This Nightly Dinner cruise is famous around the world and is compared to the dinner cruises in New York and in Paris. San Diego’s dinner cruise combines breathtaking city views, great food, and drinks.  Stroll the spacious decks, watch the sunset before dinner. Dinner is buffet-style with an elaborate wine list, upgrades and additions, and vegetarian option. After dinner, listen to relaxing music, as you enjoy your dessert and coffee. Photos are taken at beginning of the cruise, can be purchased at the end! You’ll be thrilled to know that your dining experience does not have cruise-style seating, you’ll have privacy at your table and not be seated with strangers.

    The food was really good. There was a variety to choose from I.e. chicken, salmon, and/or beef. There were veggies, bread, salad, and garlic potatoes (which I had a nice serving of) the food was made perfectly. Not overly or under seasoned. Though the salad had cheese, a friend of mine was able to get a serving of salad in the side without cheese. The DJ played a variety of music and even played requests. The only thing, the cruise was suppose to be for three hours but we were only out for 2 hours.

  • La Jolla: 2-Hour Kayak Tour of the 7 Caves

    9. La Jolla: 2-Hour Kayak Tour of the 7 Caves

    Take a lesson before the tour begins and grab all the necessary kayak equipment. The tour takes place in the La Jolla Ecological Reserve. There are 3 different habitats in the reserve, and on your tour you will have the chance paddle to all three - the rocky reefs, sandy flats, and kelp beds. Paddle to the seven caves of La Jolla and go into the Clam’s cave, which is the largest cave on the tour. See the local marine life on the tour including sea lions, harbor seals, Garibaldi, leopard sharks, and the occasional dolphin.

    George & Randy were the coolest & most knowledgeable guides! They made our experience enjoyably memorable!

  • Newport Beach: 2-Hour Whale Watching Tour

    10. Newport Beach: 2-Hour Whale Watching Tour

    On these year-round cruises off Newport Beach, many whale varieties are regularly seen including the giant blue whale (summer and fall), finback whale, grey whale (winter and spring), minke whale, and humpback whale. Several types of dolphin, seals, and all sorts of other marine life are typically spotted on the excursions as well. The cruises depart from Newport Harbor, located in the heart of Orange County, which is just a short drive from both Los Angeles and San Diego. Each cruise is a unique experience as you may never know what you might encounter. A recent cruise encountered a pod of more than 30 killer whales, including adults and their young, making for a whale watching adventure of a lifetime. The cruises enjoy a 96 percent success rate viewing whales and/or dolphin.

    everythings was ok. Host was kind and very knowleadgable.May be drinks are litle bit too expensive. Beside everything was fine.

Other Sightseeing Options in California

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What people are saying about California

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,330 reviews

Such a unique experience. My husband and I travel often and have never done anything like this! They take you to three different spots and you can see the kelp and different fish. Although you do see the same fish and kelp at each spot, it was still pretty awesome to see the fish up that close. I don't foresee myself ever snorkeling or scuba diving, so it was amazing to see the oceanlife. The guide was informative but he was not required to wear a mask, so him coming up to talk to us was a bit unsettling. Also, if you order mobile tickets you are still required to checkin and get your tickets printed. Overall excellent experience and highly recommend if visiting Catalina island!

Took the 2 hour tour that we were looking too take after our last visit. It was just way at we expected and more! The narrator was so full of information that we had to ask him how he did it. He said a lot of experience and we agreed that must have been the answer. He was really impressive. Don’t miss it.

George & Randy were the coolest & most knowledgeable guides! They made our experience enjoyably memorable!

All the staff was so friendly and professional. The guides were very knowledgeable. We had a great time.

It was excellent. Truly enjoyed everything about it.