7 scenic boat rides for groups

Date Posted: 18/07/2013

The Star Ferry Crossing Victoria Harbor

Pictured: Sailing from Hong Kong to the Kowloon Peninsula on the Star Ferry. (Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board).

From Hong Kong’s Star Ferry to cruising Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, you and your group can enjoy a new perspective of the world by exploring some of these scenic destinations by boat.

Board a cruise ship; take a kayak; or even catch a vaporetto; groups have plenty of ways to take the plunge and experience these seven destinations from the water.

Golden Gate Ferry
San Francisco to Sausalito, CA

The San Francisco Bay offers some picturesque views on the west coast, and experiencing it by ferry is both affordable and a great way to explore the beautiful towns north of the city’s peninsula.

Start at the San Francisco Ferry Building, where you’ll find a farmers market and a selection of shops. Jump on the ferry to Sausalito for a 30-minute ride and enjoy views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay.

Enhance your San Francisco experience by renting a bike so you can tour Sausalito’s quaint town before returning to the big city.

Star Ferry
Hong Kong

If you’re heading to Hong Kong don’t miss out on boarding the Star Ferry which leaves from both the central and Wan Chai areas of Hong Kong, arriving at Tsim Sha Tsui’s Star Ferry Pier on the Kowloon Peninsula.

It’s a fantastic way to take in Hong Kong’s skyline during the day, and with ferries departing as late as 10.30pm it’s also a great way to see the city’s nightly light display, ‘A Symphony of Lights’.

The Star Ferry has a harbour tour option which circles Victoria Harbour and lasts an hour. It also offers a single ride round-trip ticket during the day and at night.

Venice Vaporetto
Venice, Italy

While the most famous boats in this region may be gondolas, group travel organisers can opt instead for a Venice tour on a vaporetto.

Equivalent to a water taxi, these boats are an easy way to admire the mansions and buildings that overlook the Grand Canal and the lagoon, while also being helpful for gaining your bearings when first arriving to the canalled city.

Viking Freya on the Rhine Courtesy of Viking River Cruises

Pictured: Viking River Cruises offer a variety of options for European boat trips, including the Rhine. (Photo credit: Viking River Cruises).

Cruising Milford Sound
South Island, New Zealand

Milford Sound in New Zealand boasts majestic landscapes which can be experienced from the waterway.

The Sound is bounded by steep cliffs and dense rainforest on either side, with Mitre Peak towering over 1,692-metres above sea level and offering great photography opportunities.

Groups can choose from a number of day cruises as well as tours with kayaking nature guides.

Circular Quay to Manly, Australia
Sydney, Australia

Similar to the Star Ferry in Hong Kong, the ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly is a top tourist attraction for visitors to Sydney.

Highlights include views of Sydney Harbour, particularly the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, and the seaside destination of Manly which offers kayaking, biking and water sports.

Cruising Ha Long Bay
Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam

If you’re planning a group trip to south-east Asia and want to enjoy a few days on the water, make a stop at Ha Long Bay in Vietnam.

The bay and its islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its jade waters and limestone pillars rising from beneath the water level.

Groups can opt to spend as much time as you like there - with over 1,600 islands and islets, there’s plenty to visit in the area.

Don’t miss exploring by kayak to see natural caves and floating villages around the bay.

Rhine River Cruises
Europe

If you’re not a fan of ocean cruising, opt for a river cruise holiday instead, and experience some European cities by coming into port.

At 820-miles long, the Rhine river boasts views that include cliff-top castles, vineyards, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Viking River Cruises offers a variety of options from seven-day trips based solely in Germany or an eight-day trip that includes four countries: the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland.

For those looking for a longer group trip, the European Sojourn tour from Amsterdam to Bucharest is 23 days long.

This list was compiled by the team at VirtualTourist.com, which is a resource for travellers seeking an insider’s perspective.

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