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8 of the Best Boating Experiences in Newport Beach

April 6, 2023

With warmer days ahead, it’s time to set sail! Spring in Newport Beach is the perfect season to get out on the water and soak up the sun. Whether it’s kayaking through the calm Back Bay or embarking on a romantic gondola cruise at sunset, the options are endless. So throw on your shades, pack a cooler and don’t forget the SPF—we’ve rounded up seven of the best boating experiences in Newport Beach!

Electric Boat Rentals

Celebrate the season with an electric boat ride around the harbor! Newport Beach is home to a variety of rental companies like Duffy Electric Boat Rentals, Vision Electric Boat Rental, Newport Beach Boat Rentals and more. Gather your friends, make a reservation and choose from a dynamic fleet of electric vessels! Renting a boat is a great way to kick off a fun weekend or celebrate special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries. Cruise the sparkling harbor and end your excursion by docking and dining at one of Newport’s seaside restaurants.

Catalina Flyer

Itchin’ for some adventure? Plan a trip to the beautiful island of Catalina—just a 90-minute ride from Newport Beach! The Catalina Flyer is the largest passenger-carrying catamaran on the West Coast, offering travelers comfortable, hassle-free transportation. The vessel features everything from sweeping sun decks and full-service cocktail lounges to stately viewing windows and innovative technology like Ride Control. So if you’re looking for comfort, exceptional service and a friendly crew, the Catalina Flyer is the best way to reach your island destination.

Whale Watching

Ranked as one of the top activities in Southern California, whale watching in Newport Beach is a great way to see these majestic mammals up close! During the months of May through November, warmer waters bring blue whales close to shore, but animals like dolphins and seals can be seen year-round. Eager to see these incredible creatures at play? Book your whale watching tour today through one of the city’s local companies, such as Newport Landing, Newport Coastal Adventure or Davey’s Locker. Each of these local businesses offers daily excursions guided by experienced professionals.

Kayaks and Paddleboards

Looking for an affordable way to explore the bay? Head to Pirate Coast Paddle Company! This local rental business on the Back Bay leases kayaks (and paddleboards) for reasonable hourly rates. Single kayaks start at just $20 per hour, while double kayaks start at $30 per hour. However, if you prefer to stand up and paddle, Pirate Coast offers a screamin’ deal with its waterproof punch pass. The SUP Pass costs $140 and has a total of 10 punches (each punch is 1 hour). No credit cards or cash needed; just bring your pass and paddle!

Gondola Rides

As the weather heats up, so should your date nights! Add some magic to your weekend evenings with a dreamy gondola ride around the harbor. Gondola Adventures, Inc. will take your date night to the next level with a customizable ride, including options like dinner cruises and dessert cruises. Pop open a bottle of bubbly, enjoy a four-course meal and snuggle up as your gondolier navigates the glistening water of the bay.

Tiki Boats

Ever dreamed of having your very own private island? Cruisin’ Tikis is here to make your tropical daydreams a reality! This one-of-a-kind, two-hour tiki cruise experience features a circular boat with a central bar that can seat up to six people. Sip the day away as your Coast Guard-certified captain transports you around the beautiful harbor. And if you’re someone who plans ahead, book the “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere Cruise,” and enjoy a 1.5-hour cruise with friends from the comfort of a Cruisin’ Tiki!

City Experiences

Add some family fun to your calendar this spring with one of City Experiences’ festive ocean excursions. This vessel/event company offers a ton of boating experiences for people of all ages. From their Newport Beach Premier Brunch Cruise to their Mother’s Day Premier Dinner Cruise and Newport Beach John Wayne Celebration Premier Dinner Cruise, the fun never stops with City Experiences! To reserve your seats today, visit

Newport Sailing Charters

Embark on an unforgettable adventure this spring by setting sail on your very own sailboat! Newport Sailing Charters is a local provider of exceptional sailing experiences, offering a wide range of sail durations from 3 to 8 hours, complete with a skilled captain to guide you on your journey. Each boat boasts a spacious cockpit area that allows you to bask in the magnificent scenery while enjoying a sea breeze and warm sunshine. Newport Sailing Charters offers a diverse selection of sailboats for you to choose from, ensuring that you find the perfect vessel that suits your needs and budget.

Written By: Kaylin Waizinger

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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