8 Ferry Rides That Are Basically Cruises Through Your Favorite Cities


Here’s one of our favorite budget travel tips: Ferry boats are basically cruises that double as transportation to and from amazing destinations. And a ferry ride is insanely less expensive than a cruise (and often just a few dollars total).

These seven ferry routes are some of the best in the world, where you can get out on the water and see amazing scenery for a fraction of the cost of an ocean or river cruise.

1. State Ferry — Hong Kong

Views of Hong Kong’s skyline are a clear highlight on the ferry crossing the harbor. Hint: Try taking the pseudo-cruise at night for the best experience.

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2. Golden Horn Ferry — Istanbul, Turkey

Besides glimpses of mosques and palaces, the Istanbul ferry route also brings passengers across the divide between Europe and Asia.

3. Washington State Ferry — Seattle, Washington, U.S.

As “Grey’s Anatomy” fans know, the Seattle ferry is lovely. It’s one of the biggest systems in the U.S. and includes both the city and Puget Sound.

4. Sydney Ferries — Sydney, Australia

Sydney’s coastline is best seen on the water, from the famous Opera House to the Harbor Bridge. As an added bonus, it’s actually one of the oldest ferry lines in the world.

5. BC Ferries — Vancouver, Canada

Whether you want to stay around Vancouver or ride all the way to Vancouver Island to Victoria, the BC ferry system passes mountains and offers stunning Pacific Northwest views.

6. Jadroilinija — Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

The Croatian islands are overwhelmed by cruise ships, but skip the big boats and go by ferry. There are ferry routes to Dubrovnik, Split and the gorgeous islands.

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7. Golden Gate Ferry — San Francisco, California, U.S.

The Golden Gate is striking from any angle, but we’re partial to the one below. San Fran ferries also go to the other Bay Area bridges and Alcatraz.

8. Venice Ferries — Venice, Italy

Water taxis and gondola rides will cost you dearly in Venice, but a ride on the ferry will get you on the water of the Grand Canal and out to the colorful Venetian islands.

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