Anytime I’m visiting a city that’s on the water, I make an effort to take advantage of their ferries and water taxis. Since these modes of transport are often used by the locals, they are usually reasonably priced. In addition, the face of a city that is gazing upon the river, canal, lake, or ocean is often its best side, and gives you a perspective you wouldn’t have otherwise. It also gives you an opportunity to rest your weary feet while still sightseeing.
Recently, I visited Vancouver and enjoyed riding on the False Creek Ferries. You can get a 16 dollar day pass and ride to 9 different stops along the shore as many times as you like. They share 8 of those stops with a competitor named Aquabus.
But upon reflection, I’ve done this type of thing many times throughout the years. Here are some other trips I’ve taken.
In Istanbul, I took a ferry across the Bosporus from Europe to Asia and back. You get some amazing palace views that way. I also took a car ferry from Selçuk to Istanbul and that was kind of a cultural crossroads experience.
Also while in Turkey, I took a boat from the city of Side to Manavgat Falls. It was a lovely, lazy trip on an old teak vessel equipped with hammocks. The water was so turquoise (a color description that originated in Turkey) that it almost made my eyes hurt.
If you ever visit Toronto, Canada, I highly recommend the Central Island Ferry. It gives you some unforgettable views of the city from Lake Ontario. And Central Island is a delight.
One of the first boat trips I took out here was from Edmonds to historic Port Townsend, Washington. What a gorgeous town from the water and on dry land. Highly recommended.
I’ve also been to Vashon Island, Washington a few times now. What a treat!
If you ever get a chance to go to Venice, Italy, and don’t get out on the water somehow, if only by Water taxi, then you haven’t done it right. But I really recommend that you spring for a gondola ride. It’s the trip of a lifetime.
To get to Venice in the first place, I took a ferry from Piran, Slovenia, across the Adriatic Sea. That was an amazing trip.
I’ve also cruised down Rhine River in Germany, and gazed at the many castles along the way. But that trip was so long ago that my photos, alas, aren’t digital, and I’ll probably never get around to scanning them.
I was thrilled to discover that you can take a ferry down the entire coast of Croatia for next to nothing. I actually felt guilty. At the time, it was less than 5 dollars. I hope they’ve wised up since then.
And I took a hydrofoil from Fethiye, Turkey to Rhodes, Greece. That was amazing. (The tiny boat next to the two large cruise ships was our hydrofoil. And that’s me standing in the water.)
If you want to see the very best of Seattle on an amazing vessel, I highly recommend that you charter the Mallory Todd, through the Seattle Locks. Check out my post about that here.
And what better way to experience the Mississippi River than to ride on paddle boat from Hannibal, Missouri, hometown of Mark Twain?
I also recommend checking out the canals in Utrecht and Amsterdam, Holland. There’s nothing quite like that.
Any city on the water should be experienced on the water. You’ll be glad you did.
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