New York, NY
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Best Eco Tours of NY Harbor

NYC Eco Tours Classic Harbor Line hosts a wide variety of tours dedicated to themes of ecology, sea level rise, climate change, bird migration, waterfront resilience and sustainability. Some of these tours are in collaboration with the AIA, city parks or local urban naturalists.

The urban environment, especially the rich waterways of New York Harbor, are teaming with wildlife and ecological history. It is not too hard to immerse yourself in any one of our eco tours to get a sense of what was here before, the environmental pressures of today and of the beauty and wonder that is all around us.

From the glorious untouched Palisades of the Hudson River just north of the George Washington Bridge, to Freshkills Park of Staten Island – the world’s largest land reclamation project, to the abandoned islands of the East River – home to migrating herons and gulls and several other species, join the crew and guides of the Yacht Manhattan for an exploration of NYC’s vibrant ecology, geology and wildlife that rivals all other NY Harbor Eco Tours.

“Embarking on an Urban Naturalist Tour aboard the Yacht Manhattan during peak fall foliage was an experience that transcended the ordinary. Led by the exceptionally knowledgeable Gabriel Willow, the journey through New York City’s waterways was nothing short of mesmerizing.  From the moment Gabriel Willow began his narration, it was evident that we were in for an extraordinary adventure. His passion for the natural world was palpable, and his expertise was immediately apparent as he effortlessly weaved tales of the city’s wildlife amidst the urban landscape.  One of the most captivating moments was learning about the remarkable diving abilities of double-breasted cormorants, which Gabriel informed us can plunge to depths of up to 25 feet in pursuit of prey.  As we glided along the shimmering waters, our attentive host pointed out various landmarks and hidden gems, each accompanied by fascinating insights into their ecological significance. However, the highlight of the tour came when a majestic bald eagle soared into view, its presence a testament to the resilience of nature even in the heart of the bustling metropolis. By the tour’s end, I found myself already planning to return with visiting family next fall, eager to share this incredible journey with them. Thanks to Gabriel Willow’s expertise and enthusiasm, the Urban Naturalist Tour aboard the Yacht Manhattan surpassed all expectations, leaving an indelible mark on our hearts and minds.” ~Born and Raised New Yorker

A blue bird on the branch of a tree

Urban Naturalist Tour: Abandoned Islands of the East River at Sunset

Join us aboard the luxury yacht Manhattan II or Manhattan– our cozy, elegant, 1920s-style yacht — as we travel past abandoned islands rich with history and modern day wildlife! Embark on a journey of discovery aboard our classic yacht, as we navigate the scenic New York Harbor waterways from Chelsea Piers to the hidden gems of Belmont Island, Roosevelt Island, Mill Rock, and North and South Brother Islands. Join us for a captivating 3-hour cruise through the heart of our city, where history and nature converge in breathtaking harmony. On this adventure, our expert guide and renowned Urban Naturalist, Gabriel Willow, will regale you with fascinating tales of these iconic islands, steeped in history and teeming with wildlife. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!

  Duration: 3 hrs   Boat: Yacht Manhattan or Manhattan II   Cost: Adult $142

A tour guide giving a tour on a boat in NYC Harbor

AIANY Climate Change and Architecture Tour

The best way to understand the many facets of climate change in New York City is by traveling along its waterways….Join us aboard Yacht Manhattan or Manhattan II for the *AIANY Climate Change Tour: Resiliency, Sustainable Architecture and the Future of NYC * and learn about how climate change is affecting our city and people, and the actions NYC is taking to mitigate pending threats and reduce its carbon footprint. This tour will address the pressing need for sustainable design and greater resiliency, delving into how New York City is reducing fossil fuel consumption, strengthening its natural habitats, and reimagining its transportation infrastructure. The tour will also explore the importance of the environmental justice movement in New York City. (Offered on Fridays!) Continuing education credits available »

  Duration: 2.75 hrs (offered on Most Fridays)   Boat: Manhattan   Cost: Adult $116 | Student $86

Sightseeing Sail of NY Harbor on Schooner Adirondack | Classic Harbor Line

Day Sail to Statue of Liberty on Adirondack

See New York like you never have on this 2 hour sail aboard the Adirondack, a wooden 80-foot pilot schooner. Within five minutes of leaving the dock, you’ll forget the mayhem and noise of Manhattan street life, and you’ll feel the relaxing breeze of New York Harbor! Sail past the Statue of Liberty and get the best view of the NYC Skyline with the World Trade Center standing tall.  

  Duration: 2 hrs   Boat: Adirondack   Cost: Adult $72 | Child $38 | Infant $14

AIANY Industrial Waterways Tour to Freshkills Park

AIANY Industrial Waterfront Tour into Freshkills Park

Cruise the active, vibrant waterway of the Kill Van Kull and into the heart of Freshkills Park of Staten Island on one of our luxury yachts. The AIANY & planners of the Freshkills Park host this special Classic Harbor Line tour. This is the only water tour available to the public into the Freshkills waterway. Officially closed in 2001, Freshkills has embarked on a 30-year project to be transformed into the largest city park in NYC! Continuing education credits available »


  Duration: 3.25 hrs   Boat: Manhattan   Cost: Adult $116 | Student $86

Sunset Sail aboard Schooner Adirondack

Sunset Sail aboard Schooner Adirondack

See New York City sunset from the water on this evening sightseeing sail of the borough’s waterside landmarks. Climb aboard our beautiful 80-foot schooner, the Adirondack, and join your captain in this peaceful, picturesque sail away from the concrete and noise of the city. (Photo by Tali Blankfeld). 

  Duration: 2 hrs   Boat: Adirondack   Cost: Adult $94

older gentleman speaking on a microphone

Urban Naturalist Tour: Fall Foliage of the Grand Palisades

Admire the Palisades of the Hudson River through the skylights of our ship’s heated and enclosed observatory, or while catching the breeze on her bow. Observe New York’s most dramatic natural wonders and foliage as the seasons change. This is a spectacular season for cruising the Hudson River, north of NYC, will be a true delight for you and your guests. **Narrated Tour – hosted by Urban Naturalist!** Enjoy an exciting narration of the geology and ecology of this epic waterway!

  Duration: 2.25 hrs   Boat: Manhattan or Manhattan II   Cost: Adult $118 | Child $78

Day Sail aboard Schooner America 2.0

Day Sail to Statue of Liberty on America 2.0

Enjoy a day sail on this 105-foot schooner that is perfect for family outings, dates, and entertaining. A sail on America 2.0 is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience. Within five minutes of leaving the dock you’ll feel the relaxing breeze of New York Harbor; forgetting the mayhem and noise of Manhattan. Take in all the iconic sites of this famous city from the perspective of the water.  Sail past Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.  Get the perspective of this famous city skyline from the decks of this stunning schooner. 

  Duration: 2 hrs   Boat: America 2.0   Cost: Adult $72 | Child $38 | Infant $14

group of people cheering with glasses of mimosas

Mimosa Sail aboard Schooner America 2.0

Start your Saturday off with a Mimosa Sail aboard the stunning Schooner America 2.0. Sit with friends and family and enjoy an early afternoon out on the water in NY Harbor. Offering a premium sailing experience, the Schooner America 2.0 is the newest, largest, most elegant sailing ship designed for our fleet. Added to our fleet in 2011, the America 2.0 provides the most exceptional day sailing one can find in New York Harbor.  So sit back and relax for two hours on this classic yacht. 

  Duration: 2 hrs   Boat: America 2.0   Cost: Adult $72 | Child $38 | Infant $14

Sunset Sail on Schooner America 2.0

Sunset Sail aboard Schooner America 2.0

Experience the most stylish means of viewing a New York City sunset; sailing aboard the Schooner America 2.0. While sailing you will be treated to a glass of champagne by our exceptional crew as you watch the vibrant warm rays of the sun sink peacefully into the horizon.  Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city with your favorite companions when you board this 105-foot, 1800s styled vessel, America 2.0. She’s perfect for romantic outings, entertaining friends from out of town, or just relaxing.

  Duration: 2 hrs   Boat: America 2.0   Cost: Adult $94

the Schooner America 2.0 sailing down the river at night near a lit city

City Lights Sail aboard Schooner America 2.0

Board the 105-foot, 1800s styled, Schooner America 2.0 after dusk to take a tour of the unmatched Manhattan skyline. Bring your favorite companion or a group of friends to enjoy the lights as you sip on champagne in the peaceful late-night breezes of the Harbor. The City Lights sail on America 2.0 is an exquisite choice for an after-dinner event or to finish any day in the city. (Photo by Tali Blankfeld). 

  Duration: 1.75 hrs   Boat: America 2.0   Cost: Adult $72

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