Savannah Boat Tours

Savannah is located between a river of the same name and the Atlantic Ocean. That's why boat rides are one of the best activities you can do in this beautiful place.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

9 min read

Savannah Boat Tours

Georgia Queen Riverboat, |©dianp

The best things to do in Savannah are very different, however, an activity that is interesting for most people are the boat rides along the Savannah River, which marks the boundary between the state of Georgia and the state of South Carolina and that, for centuries, has given great historical importance to this beautiful city.

I invite you to read on to learn how this type of boat ride works, to keep in mind the budget and the duration of this tourist experience.

The best option

Savannah Cruise

A boat ride of about 90 minutes with live narration

Enjoy one of the best boat rides on the Savannah River while you relax listening to the guide's stories and admiring the city's skyline.

Recommended if you are interested in the idea of navigating one of the most beautiful rivers in the southern United States and if you want to live one of the most typical tourism experiences in Savannah. It is also a good plan if you like to experience nature and appreciate its beauty from the comfort of your own home.

What are the Savannah River tours like?

Boating in Savannah|©Simon Heseltine
Boating in Savannah|©Simon Heseltine

A boat ride on the Savannah River is an experience that can be lived in different ways even though in theory it is always the same event:

  • Savannah Cruise, which is a short ride for 100 to 200 people who enter a steamboat in the best style of those of the last century. This tour is intended to give participants a privileged view of the natural environment.
  • Savannah Sunset Cruise, which is a boat ride focused on offering a more exclusive experience.
  • Savannah Dinner Cruise, where participants can enjoy a three-course dinner accompanied by live music and entertainment.

All three types are among the best things to do in Savannah and are ideal alternatives if you are looking to tour the city from a unique and different perspective. Especially if you've never had the opportunity to ride on a boat with this particular design.

Details of interest

  • Price: The rates for boat rides depend on the experience offered. Those that include dinner and live entertainment usually cost from 84 euros per person, while tours that only give you a ride on the river usually cost around 39 euros per person.
  • Duration: the average duration of these types of tours is always quite similar. Tours without food included usually last 1 hour and 30 minutes, while tours that are geared towards dinner or lunch usually last 2 hours at the most.
  • Means of transport: it is usually a mechanized propulsion boat that tries to resemble the steamboats with wooden paddles that were so abundant in the American South during the 18th century.
  • Advantages of this option: This sightseeing experience is an excellent way to enjoy the beauty of the Savannah River.
  • Disadvantages of this option: Some people find that two hours is not enough time and would prefer a boat ride that includes a visit to another nearby destination in the state of Georgia.

Book a sunset cruise on the Savannah River

How to book a Savannah river cruise?

Woman with laptop in hand|©cottonbro studio
Woman with laptop in hand|©cottonbro studio

There are different ways to book a Savannah river cruise and it is up to you and your interests to choose one of them:

  • Wait until you arrive in the city to go to a tour service agency and there opt for the option that seems most convincing to you. The problem is that there is no guarantee that you will have availability for the date and time of your interest nor that the prices are really competitive.
  • A better bet is to book a Savannah cruise online. The first reason why this is a more favorable option is that you can pay for it with your credit card from the comfort of your home. The second reason is that you can make a fairer comparison between all the alternatives that exist on the Internet.

With an online reservation you can also usually count on a free cancellation of your purchase if you notify them well in advance and you even have the possibility to see the references of other people who have already enjoyed the best ride you are interested in buying.

That is very important, since you can know if it is one of the best activities to do in Savannah with kids. All thanks to being able to know the testimonials of other families who, like you, wanted to join the tour with the little ones of the house and were not so sure if they were making the right decision for them.

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How long are the Savannah river cruises?

Port of Savannah|©P. Wayne Nalbandian
Port of Savannah|©P. Wayne Nalbandian

The duration of Savannah river tours is fairly predictable, as on average they always tend to last between 1.5 and 2 hours. Occasionally, rides that include dinner and live entertainment may extend to 2.5 hours, but it is very rare for them to go up to three hours because logistics don't usually allow for that.

Either way, keep in mind that an hour is already more than enough time to enjoy the experience of boarding this vessel and appreciating the scenery and even hearing enough information about the history of sailing in the case of an experience that includes the accompaniment of a guide.

Thus, if you book a Savannah cruise, this activity can take up a small part of your day. Therefore, you can devote the early afternoon to participate in other sightseeing tours, while the rest of your evening can be geared towards entertaining activities such as the best ghost tours in Savannah, which are truly entertaining for true history buffs with a spooky approach that is quite close to the paranormal world.

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What will I see on these types of tours?

Savannah River Cruise|©Abigail Dadswell
Savannah River Cruise|©Abigail Dadswell

If you book a Savannah dinner cruise you will see:

  • Savannah's historic downtown known as the Riverfront. Since its founding it has been one of the city's main piers and today it has become an extremely touristy and commercial area.
  • Hutchinson Island, a stretch of land just across from Savannah that separates the state of Georgia from the territory of the state of South Carolina.
  • If the walk goes towards the mouth you will find sites such as Old Fort Jackson, which is a construction dating from the Civil War. The landscape that you will also appreciate is that of a delta that is opening its way to a point where it blends completely with the Atlantic Ocean.
  • If the walk is in the opposite direction, you can appreciate the natural landscape of the forests closer to the outskirts of the city and see some of the industrial buildings that are located to the northeast of the Savannah.

In any case, if you are looking to be impressed by historic buildings, it is preferable to visit one of the best museums in Savannah. And you have to keep in mind that it is a city that did not really grow along the river, but many of its most important buildings are located inland occupied by the city for more than 200 years.

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Tips for a boat ride in Savannah

Savannah ferry boat|©Jim Phillips
Savannah ferry boat|©Jim Phillips

On the other hand, if you want to get the most out of your Savannah cruise, keep the following tips in mind:

  • If you get seasick, take a special medication for seasickness. This type of boat is characterized by less stability than other types of boats.
  • Take snacks and drinks in case it is a sightseeing tour without dinner. A recommendation that will also be useful if you want to participate in one of the best trolley tours in Savannah. And is that throughout the experience you may work up an appetite and it is quite uncomfortable to have to wait until you can visit a restaurant to satiate the craving.
  • Go with the willingness to enjoy the experience to make the journey enjoyable. Although this is something that can be applied to all the best Savannah tours. For the idea is that you do your part to make the event fun, even if it's not living up to all your expectations.
  • Don't forget the sunscreen, as Savannah is a city that is known for being quite sunny most of the year. In fact, I advise you to wear breathable clothing, as humidity is another big feature of Savannah's weather during the summer, spring and even fall.

Book a Savannah dinner cruise

How much does a boat ride in Savannah cost?

Person holding wallet|©EVG Kowalievska
Person holding wallet|©EVG Kowalievska

The average rate for a boat ride in Savannah always depends on what is being offered. If it is just a sightseeing tour of the river waters then they usually cost between €39 and €50 per person. On the other hand, if it is a ride that includes dinner or lunch with live entertainment then the price is likely to rise to around €84. Any other rate below that price is convenient in every way.

You have to keep in mind that, either way, these prices are quite favorable when compared to what a boat ride costs in other tourist cities in the same United States. For this reason, booking a Savannah cruise has become a must-do plan for those visiting the city.

So if you are going to Savannah for three days or are staying for a long period of time, it is recommended that you participate in this type of tour. The river is one of the most special places in this part of Georgia and the boat itself is a sight to behold.

Book a Savannah River Cruise

What are the must-see sites on a Savannah boat tour?

Savannah Harbor|©Kelly Ziel
Savannah Harbor|©Kelly Ziel

For better or worse, if you book a Savannah cruise you don't get to choose which places to visit. In fact, it's a linear tour where you depart and return to the same pier.

Either way, I suggest you pay close attention to your surroundings, as you have the chance to see the city from the perspective of the river that for many centuries was one of the most important for trade in the entire region.

In turn, this tour is one of the best things to do in Savannah during Christmas because of the opportunity to see the Riverfront area decorated in the best holiday style.

Book a Savannah Dinner Cruise

Why is it recommended to take a boat tour in Savannah?

Ferry, Savannah, Georgia|©Al Carey
Ferry, Savannah, Georgia|©Al Carey

Booking a Savannah dinner cruise is advisable for the simple fact that it allows you to explore an area of the city or at least its surroundings, at a low cost and in a completely safe way.

At the same time, it is an activity that does not take up your whole day and allows you to combine it with other events that are just as interesting so that you can complete the list of places you want to see in the city. Therefore, a tour is something you could do after participating in one of the best food tours in Savannah, or even before them, in case it is an evening tour focused on dining.

And if it is a boat ride that also includes the possibility of eating with live entertainment then you would be living a completely unique experience for a totally convenient rate.

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What are the advantages of taking a guided tour vs. visiting Savannah on my own?

Silver Riverboat on the river|©Bart Koop
Silver Riverboat on the river|©Bart Koop

Booking a Savannah cruise will always be a better alternative than going out on a boat on your own for several reasons. Want to know them?

  • On such a boat you will never have to worry about hiring a deckhand, let alone planning a sailing route. Which you would have to do if you were paying for an individual boat for your family group.
  • The budget is another reason to take into account, since if you rent a boat for your group of companions the rates would double or even triple. Which is logical, since renting a boat for a group of people is not at all economical, especially knowing that you have to pay for a sailor to be in charge of driving the boat.
  • You will learn more, since with a self-guided tour you could miss many details about the past of this community, since in many of the guided tours there is a specialist who gives a talk that even has the same quality of some of the best history tours of Savannah.

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