The 5 Best Fall Foliage Cruises in New York

What could be more beautiful than marveling at the colorful autumn leaves on board a historic ship? That’s exactly what you can do on these fall foliage tours, which are among the most popular boat tours in autumn.

This year there are several different tours to choose from. What they all have in common is the destination: the Hudson Valley. The Hudson Valley is located north of Manhattan, and on the way there on the Hudson River, you’ll pass through the famous George Washington Bridge and be able to enjoy the view of the impressive rock formations called Palisades.

But which fall foliage tour is the best? You can find out here in 👉 my comparison. And below you’ll find 👉 all the details about the fall foliage cruises.

My tip

As with all boat tours for special events like the Dinner Cruises, Brunch Cruises and Lunch Cruises or Jazz Cruises tickets are very popular and often book up quickly. Therefore: if there are still tickets available, you should book quickly!


The Best Fall Foliage Cruises in NYC

UPDATE November 2021: All Fall Foliage Cruises are sold out! These are the boat tours I can recommend you as an alternative (I have done all of them myself):

  1. 01

    Classic Harbor Line: Architecture Yacht Cruise

    Cruise in Chelsea
    Our Highlight
    Architektur_Tour_Boot_Manhattan_2_New_York_180611163459001
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    The architecture boat tour takes you around Manhattan in 2.5 hours. On a 30 meter long wooden ship in the style of the 1920s you can relax and learn a lot of interesting facts about the many small and large buildings of the city. The tour is super-relaxing and the price includes a drink (vino, soft drinks) and small snacks.

  2. 02

    Bateaux: Dinner Cruise

    Cruise in Chelsea
    bateaux dinner cruise
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    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.

  3. 03

    Spirit: Dinner Cruise with Buffet

    Cruise in Chelsea
    dinner cruise nyc
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    Get a totally different and exciting perspective on New York: from a fun dinner cruise that floats around New York Harbor and Manhattan offering stunning views of the city and some of the world’s most famous landmarks, from the Statue of Liberty to the Brooklyn Bridge to the Empire State Building. Indulge in a delicious buffet dinner and then groove to the onboard DJ’ed music being spun. Add this dinner cruise to your New York itinerary today!

Here are the best fall foliage boat tours along the Hudson River:

Most Popular
My Favorite

Grand Palisades Fall Foliage Yacht Tour

Hudson River Fall Foliage Yacht Tour

Fall Foliage Brunch Cruise

Bear mountain cruise circle Line

Hudson River Fall Foliage Afternoon Sail

Rating

Rating

NEW

Duration

Duration

2.75 hours

2 hours

2.75 hours

5 hours

3.5 hours

Pier

Pier

Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers

Pier 83

Chelsea Piers

Food & Drinks

Food & Drinks

  • 1 complimentary drink
  • 1 complimentary drink
  • Prix fixe brunch menu
  • One alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage
  • not included
  • 1 complimentary drink

What to expect

What to expect

What to expect

What to expect

What to expect

What to expect

What to expect

Hudson River

Hudson River

Palisades
Palisades

Price

Price

$104

$131

$159

$69

$88

Departure

Departure

10 am

12 am

11 am

9 am

11 am

My recommendations

Which Fall Foliage Cruise in New York is the Best?

Personally, I have two favorites: Number 1 is the Grand Palisades Fall Foliage Yacht Tour because it is on board the beautiful yacht “Manhattan”. My 2nd recommendation is the yacht tour.

Fall Foliage Cruises NYC in Detail

  1. 01

    Grand Palisades Fall Foliage Yacht Tour

    Cruise in Chelsea
    Our Highlight
    Grand Palisades Fall Foliage Yacht Tour
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    On this tour you are on board the Manhattan, a beautiful boat in the style of the yachts of the 1920s. Lots of wood and glass await you and you can either enjoy the view of the colorful autumn leaves in the heated salon or go out on the outside deck.

    The cruise starts at Chelsea Piers, not far from Hudson Yards. Afterwards, you can relax and cruise north along the Hudson River. On the way you can enjoy the view of the New York skyline and the ride under the George Washington Bridge.

    On your left and right you will see the forested banks of the Hudson River.You will be surprised how many colorful autumn leaves you will see.  And the best part? The price of the 2.25-hour cruise even includes a free drink!

  2. 02

    Hudson River Fall Foliage Afternoon Sail

    Cruise in Chelsea
    Our Highlight
    Hudson River Fall Foliage Afternoon Sail
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    If you’re looking for a relaxing boat tour where you can experience fall in New York in a very special way, check out this 3.5-hour sailing tour.

    You’ll be aboard the Schooner Adirondack or Schooner America 2.0, which depart from Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers. It’s a leisurely sail from here toward the George Washington Bridge and the famous “Palisades” rock formations. Your destination? The Hudson Valley! 

    On this autumnal sailing cruise you can enjoy the beautiful fall colors and just have a good time on board. I love sailing tours because it feels like a vacation on vacation to me. And in the fall, this one is one of my absolute favorites!

  3. 03

    Hudson River Fall Foliage Yacht Tour

    Cruise in Chelsea
    Hudson River Fall Foliage Yacht Tour
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    The Hudson River Fall Foliage Yacht Tour is very similar to the Grand Palisades Fall Foliage Yacht Tour. The only difference is that you will travel on the elegant yacht “Kingston” and the tour lasts 2.5h. 

    The Kingston is another ship of the fleet, built in the style of the yachts of the 1920s. Therefore, you can expect a very special atmosphere on board, which cannot be compared with the sightseeing cruises. That’s why these fall foliage cruises are so popular around autumn. 

    You start your tour at the Chelsea Piers and then sail along the Hudson River. On the way you will pass the George Washington Bridge, look at the Upper West Side of NYC and then reach the cliffs of Palisades Park.

    By the way: only on weekends in the fall the Kingston leaves for the Hudson Valley. If you are in NYC during the week and want to take a boat tour where you can enjoy the colorful fall foliage, just check out the other tours on my best list!

  4. 04

    Circle Line: Bear Mountain Cruise

    Day Trip in Hell's Kitchen
    Bear mountain cruise circle Line
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    New York City has far more to offer than just shopping, museums and skyscrapers. After this trip you will definitely realise how much nature and beauty New York has to offer as well. The nature surrounding New York City is defintiely something you dont want to miss, especially as it provides the perfect contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city.

  5. 05

    New York City Fall Foliage Brunch Cruise

    Cruise in Chelsea
    Our Highlight
    Fall Foliage Brunch Cruise
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    The New York City Fall Foliage Brunch Cruise is one of the best boat tours you can take in New York in the fall. You’ll see an incredible amount of nature as you make your way up the Hudson River – that was something that really surprised me personally. On top of that, this Fall Foliage Brunch Cruise takes place on a very beautiful 1920’s style ship. The atmosphere is really great!

    The ship takes you from Pier 62 towards Palisades Park and the George Washington Bridge. You will pass the last part of Manhattan on your right with the Upper West Side and Harlem and go under the impressive George Washington Bridge, the only bridge that connects the state of New Jersey with the state of New York. And on your left you will be able to admire Palisades Park in New Jersey. 

What is the Best Cruise in New York for you?

There are over 40 boat and sailing tours in New York and it’s not easy to choose the best one. That’s where our Cruise Finder comes in. It will help you find the best boat tour for you!

FAQ

When is the best time to see the colorful autumn leaves in the Hudson Valley NYC?

From mid/late October to early/mid November the colors are most impressive. Only for this short period you can book these special boat tours.

Which Fall Foliage cruise in NYC is the cheapest?

The cheapest fall foliage cruise start at around $88.

Where do the Fall Foliage cruises depart from in New York?

The departure point depends on the operators. But most of the fall foliage cruises depart from Chelsea Piers on the Hudson River at Pier 61/62.

Is there a dress code?

No – there is no dress code.

About the author
Steffen

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On this blog, I want to share everything I have learned and discovered, so you can have the best time in the greatest city in the world.

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