20 Ways to Get On the Water Right Now in WNY

City Guide


Written by Step Out Staff

Published on June 12, 2020

Photo courtesy of Buffalo River History Cruises

We’ve done many iterations of this guide before now, but with everything Covid-related still in the mix, an updated list is in order. Here are your options for getting on the water at this moment in time – from kayaking and water bikes to grand cruises and renting boats. We’ll update this list as things open so you know exactly how to go about enjoying our gem of a great lake while you can.

Did we miss one? Email us at!


Collins Marine

Photo courtesy of Collins Marine

1. Rent a Pontoon Boat from Collins Marine

Owning your own boat is not the only way to hit the Niagara River this summer. Rent a pontoon from Collins Marine, available for a variety of durations including 5 hours or an entire week. All of their pontoon boats come equipped with Bimini shade tops, front and rear benches, 3 doors, boarding ladders, a cooler, table, and AM/FM Radio. Plus all necessary US Coast Guard Safety gear is included, including life jackets for adults and children of all ages and sizes. Get more info here.


Photo courtesy of Bflo Harbor Kayak

2. Go Kayaking – Launch, Rent, Tour

Whether you have your own or need to rent, there are several places to do it in the Western New York area. Check out our complete guide to renting, launching, and touring kayaks here.


3. Take a Niagara River Cruise

Open for the season starting June 12, Niagara River Cruises is offering a special events calendar as well as private cruise options. Get more info here.


4. Set Out on a Buffalo River History Cruise

In addition to narrated Buffalo River History Tours this company offers a variety of other options including a Caribbean Cruise, Cocktail Cruise, and Silo City Tour where the boat transports you to Silo City via the Buffalo River. you’ll walk through Silo City and see and hear what made Buffalo the largest grain port in the world for 100 years. Learn more here.


Photo courtesy of Buffalo Harbor Cruises

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Harbor Cruises

5. Hit the Miss Buffalo for a Buffalo Harbor Cruise

Whether you’re looking to cruise publicly or privately, check out the Miss Buffalo launching from the Erie Basin Marina. Starting June 16, 2020, Buffalo Harbor Cruises will resume and they’re even offering free passage to Frontline Workers and First Responders. Bar and Snack and Catering services will resume with some restrictions. Learn more here.


6. Enjoy a Grand Lady Cruise

Grand Lady Cruises announced they will officially launch their 2020 sailing season starting June 19 with some capacity restrictions and several safety measures in place. Crusies offered in addition to private tours include Dinner Cruises, Bubbly Brunch Cruises, a Murder Mystery Dinner Cruise, and more. Get more info here.


7. Go Sailing with Make Sail Time

If you’re looking for a unique way to enjoy Buffalo’s killer sunsets, Make Sail Time is currently offering their evening and weekend sails – complete with plenty of social distancing! For more info click here.


8. Water Bikes of Buffalo at Canalside

The water bikes available for rent at Canalside are officially open. No reservations are needed at this time. Learn more here.


Photo courtesy of Buffalo Pedal Tours

9. Hit the Water On a Pedal Boat Tour

It all started with group pedal tours on land, but now you can group pedal on water too. Check out Buffalo Pedal Tours or Buffalo Cycle Boats for two great options to party with a private group on Buffalo’s gorgeous waterways. Bring your own food and drinks, they do the rest.


10. Enjoy a Fishing Charter with Brookdog Fishing Company

Are you interested in getting into fishing? Or maybe you already are and are looking for a chance to get out on the water, fishing pole in hand? Check out Brookdog Fishing Company. You’ll get to fish while “exchanging ideas, trading stories, and making plans for charters & trips to come”. Learn more about fishing charters in Buffalo Niagara here.


11. Boat Rentals at Chautauqua Marina

Chautauqua Marina offers power and pontoon boat rentals. They are now accepting reservations for half day, full day and multiple day boat rentals. Contact Chautauqua Marina at 716-753-3913 to book your boat rental. Learn more here.


12. Rent a Sail Boat or Set Sail with Seven Seas Sailing Center of Buffalo

If you know how to sail, you might consider this exciting option to rent a sail boat. Or if you don’t, plan a charter or take an intro to sailing lesson. Seven Seas Sailing Center of Buffalo offers an Unlimited Season Sailing Pass for $650. Learn more here.


13. Rent SUP Boards

There are a couple options to rent SUP boards in WNY including SUP Erie Adventures at Sunset Beach (FYI they also offer kiteboarding) and Longboards Paddle Co. out of Hamburg Beach.


Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises Photo x Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises Facebook

14. Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises

Cruises officially resumed on June 8th, which means you are now able to cruise the Erie Canal and Lockport Locks once again. Remember, tickets must be purchased online in advance and cash will not be accepted for safety reasons. Learn more here.


15. Up Close at The Falls With Maid of the Mist

Get a close view of the Niagara Falls with Maid of the Mist boat tours. Not officially open for the 2020 summer season, the Maid of the Mist is open daily from 10am-4pm with tours running every 30 minutes. Learn more here.


FLOATmingo Paddle Boat at Hoyt Lake

FLOATmingo Paddle Boat at Hoyt Lake / Photo courtesy of

16. Rent a “Floatmingo” Paddle Boat or a Row Boat at Hoyt Lake

What could be more fun than spending the day out on Hoyt Lake in a giant flamingo shaped paddle boat? The Boats are available for rent at $15 per half hour and can be rented in front of The Terrace in Delaware Park. The rentals are run by the Buffalo Maritime Center and run from 12 – 8 pm every day. Row boats are available for rental for $10 per half hour Monday through Friday, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Learn more here.


Photo courtesy of Spirit of Buffalo

17. Go Sailing With Spirit of Buffalo

Spirit of Buffalo has cruises for all ages and are now open for bookings. Some of their options include an Evening Sail, Wine in the Wind, and Dinner & a Sail. Learn more about the Spirt of Buffalo sails here.


18. Hit the Beach

Beaches all around WNY are open with Covid measures in place. This is a great and super accessible way to enjoy the water in our area. For a list of beaches to head to, you can check them out here.


Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours

Photo courtesy of Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours

19. Enjoy the Niagara Region on a Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour

Opening July 1, Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours offers 3 different boat tours that take you on a high speed, drenching tour of the Niagara region. For adventure seekers wanting to experience WNY water ways, you can get all the info here.


20. Get Tropical on a New Big Kahuna Tiki Boat Tour

Starting July 10, Spirit of Buffalo and Buffalo River History Tours announced they are launching Big Kahuna Tiki Tours, a tiki tour boat docked at Canalside. The boat is the latest to be added to the fleet of Buffalo River History Tours and will carry passengers on daily fun-filled 90 or 60-minute tours on the Buffalo River, Buffalo Harbor and Lake Erie with Caribbean style music and drinks while maintaining social distancing rules.


Did we miss one? Email us at!

Written by <a href="" target="_self">Step Out Staff</a>

Written by Step Out Staff

A group of Step Out Buffalo team members worked together to create this post from research and writing to editing and imagery. Thanks for reading!

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