From a ferry that crosses the Mersey to a vaporetto in Venice, watercraft offer a unique perspective of cities that you just can’t get from any other vantage point. River cruises, barges, and ferry boats are a great way to see the sights. No matter where in the world you happen to go, you’re bound to find a ferry captain who’s ready and willing to show you around.
To get a super special look at Liverpool, hop aboard a red-and-black ferry for an hour-long ride across the Mersey River. The oldest ferry service in Europe, the Liverpool ferry was established in the 12th century. Today, Mersey ferries offer a sailor’s eye view of the town made famous by a 20th-century rock band called the Beatles.
For a less-touristy view of Venice, embark on a vaporetto. Although not as renowned as the city’s famous gondolas, vaporettos provide scenic water travel to Murano, the Lido, St. Mark’s Square, and other notable Venetian landmarks.
Another Italian city that boasts beautiful boat tours is Naples. Here you can catch a boat ride across azure waters to explore the celebrated Blue Grotto on the Isle of Capri. Time it right, and you can lunch in Capri before heading back to Naples.
Folks down under zip around the Brisbane River aboard superfast CityCats. A great idea, if you’re up for an exhilarating ride. If you prefer a slower sightseeing experience, opt to take a leisurely open-air City Ferry, advise travel gurus at National Geographic magazine.
Turkish traveling is even more scenic aboard a Bosphorus ferry. For a most memorable waterborne excursion, catch a glimpse of ancient Ottoman palaces and the sights of Istanbul as you sip tea on the top deck.
If you don’t think that Washington, DC is a fine town for ferry travel, please think again. In fact, ferries on the Potomac offer some of the best capital sightseeing around. Best enjoyed during warm seasons, ferry boat cruises provide a spectacular view of the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, Kennedy Center, Washington Navy Yard, and other must-see DC locales.
If your vacation headquarters is at the Marriott Washington DC, you could hop aboard a fine ferry in Georgetown, Alexandria, Mount Vernon, or National Harbor within minutes, explains TripSavvy magazine.
Traveling to The Big Easy? Be sure to take a free ferry across the Mississippi to the historical city of Algiers Point. In San Francisco, embark on a half-hour ferry ride to Sausalito. As long as the fog’s not too dense, you’ll be able to see the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Angels island, and other fascinating Bay Area sights.
This is a big beautiful world with plentiful places to visit. Next time you travel, work at least one fine ferry ride into your itinerary. You’ll gain a new understanding of your destination in a way you simply cannot do on land.