Don’t Miss Taking a Cinque Terre Boat Tour: 9 Incredible Options

Welcome to the breathtaking Cinque Terre! A picturesque region nestled along the stunning Italian Riviera coastline.

Have you been thinking about whether a Cinque Terre boat tour is worth it? The answer is YES!

If you’re seeking an unforgettable adventure that combines pristine beaches, colourful cliffside villages, and crystal-clear waters, then look no further than a boat tour in Cinque Terre.

A boat tour of Cinque Terre is an absolute must for any traveller looking to experience the enchanting beauty of this coastal paradise. Whether you’re exploring the colourful villages from a different perspective or marvelling at the rugged cliffs and crystal-clear waters, the Cinque Terre boat trip offers an unforgettable adventure.

This curated list will help you navigate the best boat tours in Cinque Terre. From sunset cruises to all-day excursions, are you ready to set sail on an experience of a lifetime?

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Best 9 Cinque Terre Boat Trips

sea with cliff on cinque terre boat tour

1. Cinque Terre Sunset Boat Tour with Appetizers & Drinks

⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours LOCATION: La Spezia

Experience the magic of the enchanting golden hour casting a warm glow over the iconic five Cinque Terre towns. Revel in panoramic vistas as you glide along the coastline with a traditional aperitivo in hand.

To complete the adventure, you’ll anchor at secluded coves or private beaches, inviting you to dive into the crystal-clear waters for a refreshing swim.

My experience: This was the boat tour we booked for our first night in Cinque Terre, but unfortunately due to the weather, it was cancelled. We got a refund.

Boat Tour Cinque Terre Details:

  • Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • English-speaking captain and host
  • Drinks and snacks served on board
  • Don’t forget to bring: a swimsuit, towel, comfortable shoes, and your camera

“This was amazing experience. From the moment we arrived the staff was friendly and welcoming. During our cruise, Alessandro, Luka, and Julia were fantastic hosts and the sights were picture perfect. Alessandro did a magnificent job captaining the boat and had many interesting details about the scenes as we cruised along the coast.

Swimming outside of Manarola was very refreshing and the food and drinks provided were delicious! Seeing the sunset on the Mediterranean was unforgettable. If you want to see a different view of Cinque Terre, I would recommend this company /tour without hesitation.”

Terry from USA

Best Sunset Boat Tour: Check Prices and Availability!

2. Cinque Terre Private Boat Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours LOCATION: Riomaggiore

Embark on our private group boat tour, tailor-made for families and friends seeking an intimate Cinque Terre experience. Led by a knowledgeable local guide, delve into the stories of these five charming towns as you sail along the coastline.

Immerse yourself in the unique perspective of the region, getting up close to each village from the tranquil waters. This exclusive journey promises a personal connection to Cinque Terre, making cherished memories with your loved ones against the backdrop of Italy’s coastal wonders.

Boat Tour Cinque Terre Details:

  • Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
  • English-speaking host and local guide
  • Private group tour
  • Price is based on per group, up to 6 people

“This cruise was a highlight of a twelve-day adventure — our guide Pepe was warm, charming, knowledgeable, and so much fun! He taught us about the history and culture of Cinque Terre, played beautiful music and found a perfect balance between engaging us and leaving us to enjoy the experience. Everything about this cruise was right — romantic, exhilarating, a total winner. We loved it!”

Dennis from USA

Best for Groups: Check Prices and Availability!

3. Riomaggiore, Monterosso, Vernazza Boat Cruise

⭐️ RATING: 4.3/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  8 hours LOCATION: La Spezia

Take a captivating full-day boat to Cinque Terre setting sail from La Spezia. This journey grants you the freedom to explore Riomaggiore and Monterosso at your leisure.

Discover the hidden gem of Riomaggiore, the southernmost of the five UNESCO-listed towns. Then bask in the charm of Monterosso the largest of the five Cinque Terre villages known for its beautiful beaches.

Boat Tours Cinque Terre Details:

  • Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
  • English-speaking guide (who may also speak French)
  • 2 stops in Riomaggiore, Monterosso (may also include Vernazza)
  • Due to changes in weather, this itinerary may change
  • Dogs are permitted on board
  • Food and drinks are not included
  • Don’t forget: swimsuit, towel, camera, sunscreen, and comfortable walking shoes

“The sailing was beautiful and the commentary on the boat was informative. There was not much guiding in the towns but that was just fine for us. The biggest plus to this was not dealing with the general ferries.

We had our specified times in the ports with no waits and no crowds to deal with getting on or off the boat and while sailing. Definitely worth it as we watched thousands of people independently dealing with trains and ferries.”

Annette from USA

Most Cost-Effective Boat Tour: Check Prices and Availability!

4. Cinque Terre Speedboat Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours LOCATION: La Spezia

This La Spezia boat tour glides along the Gulf of Poets’ enchanting coastline, you’ll journey towards Portovenere. Here, an unforgettable passage awaits as you navigate Le Bocche, the strait between Portovenere and the untamed Palmaria Island.

Along the way, take in the untouched beauty of coves like Le Rosse, Monesteroli, and Punta Pineda that adorn the shoreline. Immerse yourself in the crystalline waters of the Cinque Terre National Park, indulging in a refreshing dip amidst the backdrop of Monterosso al Mare village.

Boat Tour Cinque Terre Details:

  • Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
  • English-speaking guide (who may also speak French and Spanish)
  • Small boat, limit is 12 people
  • The speed boat includes a ladder into the water making it accessible for swimming
  • This tour may change itinerary based on weather and water conditions
  • Food and drinks are not included
  • Don’t forget: swimsuit, towel, camera, sunscreen, and comfortable walking shoes

“Due to a bit of bad weather, we didn’t get on the correct trip as planned, but got on a 4 hour trip around where it could still be done. Although there were changes, it was an incredibly pleasant trip, with beautiful surroundings and a sweet guide.

We were even refunded quite a bit of money due to the changes. HopHop Boat is a professional company that is friendly and provides a really good experience. This trip was still one of the highlights of our vacation. :)”

Amanda from Denmark

Best for water enthusiasts: Check Prices and Availability!

5. Porto Venere & Islands Sunset Boat Tour with Dinner

⭐️ RATING: 4.6/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3.5 hours LOCATION: La Spezia

Experience a boat tour encompassing the trio of Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto Islands. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the azure waters surrounding these picturesque islands.

As the sun begins to set, savour a delightful light dinner served onboard, adding a touch of enchantment to the evening.

Boat Tour Cinque Terre Details:

  • Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
  • English-speaking Captain and Skipper
  • Small boat, limit is 13 people
  • Dinner and drinks
  • Mask and snorkel
  • Don’t forget: swimsuit, towel, and camera

“Amazing. We’ve been on a ton of boat cruises but this one has been the best by far! Congrats to Captain Mark and Mr Luigi.”

Adam from UK

Best for romantics: Check Prices and Availability!

6. Cinque Terre Sailing Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.2/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  7 hours LOCATION: La Spezia

This sailboat tour traces the shores of Portovenere and Lerici’s villages. Admire the quaint charm of the Cinque Terre 5 villages as you glide past, with the Palmaria and Tino islands adding to the allure.

Pause before Vernazza for a photo op, then dive into the rejuvenating waters of an immaculate marine protected area.

Boat Tour Cinque Terre Details:

  • Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
  • English-speaking Skipper (who may also speak French)
  • Small boat, limit is 10 people
  • Drinks
  • Insurance
  • This itinerary may change (or cancel) due to weather and water conditions. If altered there is no refund or cancellation (unless greater than 24 hours)
  • Don’t forget: swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, sun hat and camera

“This was an amazing way to see Cinque Terre. We really thought that 7 hours seemed like a really long time, but it absolutely flew by because we were having such a blast. The boat was roomy and comfortable, our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable, the food and drinks provided were wonderful.

We got to stop and swim and just couldn’t get enough of it. I wish we could have stayed longer! I went with my husband and our two kids and our two friends. Our 4 y.o. daughter had a great experience. My friend and I were talking all the rest of our trip about how much we’re going to remember that experience forever and just wish it had lasted longer! It was without a doubt an incredible experience for the cost. We cannot recommend this enough!”

Linly from Italy

Best for sailing enthusiasts: Check Prices and Availability!

7. Cinque Terre & Portovenere Boat Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  8 hours LOCATION: La Spezia

This once-in-a-lifetime boat tour takes you along the picturesque coastline from La Spezia to Portovenere, passing by charming villages. Marvel at Torre Scola, a historic military fortress, from the water. Sail through the island trio of Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto before reaching the romantic Portovenere.

Opt to explore the town and San Pietro Church or enjoy the turquoise waters near Palmaria. Cruise past the iconic Cinque Terre villages, capturing their beauty on camera. You can even choose to visit Vernazza or Monterosso ashore. Discover Lerici and Tellaro’s charm and take a swim at Caletta.

My experience: After we got notice that our boat tour was cancelled due to bad weather (#1 Cinque Terre Sunset Boat Tour with Appetizers & Drinks) we tried to immediately book this boat tour but it was full for the 3 days we were in Cinque Terre.

Boat Tour Cinque Terre Details:

  • Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
  • In case of cancellation due to bad weather, you will be fully refunded
  • The itinerary may be adjusted due to weather and water conditions
  • English-speaking Captain
  • Small group, limit is 11 people
  • Non-alcoholic beverages are included
  • No food or snacks included
  • Snorkelling equipment, buoys for swimming from the boat
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Don’t forget: swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, sun hat and camera

“We had the most amazing time with Simone last week! When our hotel concierge realized we needed to pick the boat up in La Speiza, he called Simone and he picked us up in Portovenere, which was on the way! He was an amazing and informative tour guide. His boat is lovely and has a bathroom on board. We swam twice on our voyage and had the best time!!!! I would recommend this tour to anyone. Our kids also loved it!”

Melissa from USA

Hidden gem seekers: Check Prices and Availability!

8. Kayaking Tour in Vernazza Bay with Snorkeling

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours LOCATION: Monterosso

Get out on the water and kayak toward Vernazza to enjoy some snorkelling and return back to Monterosso.

Boat Tour Cinque Terre Details:

  • Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Not suitable for children under the age of 7, non-swimmers, people over 120kg (265 lbs)
  • Includes: kayak, scuba mask and snorkel, life vest, waterproof bag
  • Wetsuit and lycra t-shirt available upon request
  • Arrive 15 minutes early to get ready
  • Drinks and snacks not included
  • The tour will be postponed due to weather conditions
  • Don’t forget: swimsuit, towel, sunscreen

“Had so much fun! Highly recommend this one. I will warn, if you’re doing it solo, the kayak is a little unsteady. It was pretty choppy in the water , which made for a sort of tough, but fun ride! The snorkeling was really cool too. Guides were great and very helpful.”

Alli from USA

Made for adventurous: Check Prices and Availability!

9. Cinque Terre Boat Tour with Lunch

⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4.5 hours LOCATION: Monterosso

Set sail on an unforgettable boat tour starting in Monterosso. Navigate the breathtaking Cinque Terre coastline, pausing at 2-3 idyllic photogenic spots for invigorating swims and snorkelling.

Indulge in a delectable seafood lunch, expertly prepared and served onboard.

Boat Tour Cinque Terre Details:

  • Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Snorkelling gear
  • Seafood lunch (advise if any allergies)
  • Not suitable for wheelchair users, mobility issues or prone to seasickness
  • Don’t forget: swimsuit, towel, sunscreen

“Fantastic boat trip. The staff were so lovely and knowledgeable about the area. The lunch which is cooked on board was delicious! Small numbers made it more intimate.”

Samantha from Australia

Made for foodies: Check Prices and Availability!

Cinque Terre Ferry Boat vs Cinque Terre Boat Tours

colourful boats on boat tour of cinque terre

Both the Cinque Terre Ferry and Boat Tours offer you a leisurely and picturesque mode of transportation, allowing you to relish the stunning views of the towns from the water. However, there are differences between the two options.

About Cinque Terry Ferry

The Cinque Terre Ferries run between the Cinque Terre villages from March 25 to November 1, 2023.

Frequent ferry services operate between the ports of Levanto, La Spezia, and Portovenere, connecting to the picturesque villages of Cinque Terre. The ferries make stops at Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, offering an easy and scenic way to explore these charming coastal towns. It’s important to note that the ferry route doesn’t include Corniglia, as this particular village lacks direct water access, setting it apart from the others.

Cinque Terre Ferry Prices 2023

  • One-day roundtrip Cinque Terre €39 (adults): €15 (child 6-11)
  • Afternoon roundtrip Cinque Terre (from 2 pm): €28 (adults) €15 (child 6-11)
  • One-way ticket with intermediate stops: €30 (adults) €15 (child 6-11)
  • A one-way ticket from/to 4 of the 5 towns: €5

For the Cinque Terre Ferry timetable 2023 and other details, like a kayak tour, visit the Cinque Terre by boat website.

Pro & Cons

Although Ferries might be the most cost-effective option, they do have a lot of disadvantages and an overall lack of experience. If you simply want to get from village to village, the best option is by train or hike. The Ferries cause long wait times (to board) and when you do get on they are crowded.

On the other hand, Cinque Terre Boat Tours provide an immersive and personalized experience. With the guidance of knowledgeable local experts, you gain insight into the history and culture of each town. Boat tours often offer stops at secluded coves for swimming and more intimate access to the villages. The trade-off is that tours may have a set itinerary and come at a higher cost.

FAQs About Cinque Terre Boat Tour

What will I see during a Cinque Terre boat tour?

During a Cinque Terre boat tour, you’ll sail along the dramatic cliffs, see the vibrant villages from the sea, and discover hidden spots inaccessible by land. Some tours offer stops for swimming and snorkelling.

Do I need to book a Cinque Terre boat tour in advance?

Yes, you need to book a Cinque Terre boat tour in advance due to the limited number of people on boats and the popularity of this top thing to do in Cinque Terre. Especially during peak tourist seasons.

What should I bring on a Cinque Terre boat tour?

Bring essentials like sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, a camera, a swimsuit, and a towel. It’s also advisable to have a light jacket, as sea breezes can be cooler than on land.

Are there different types of Cinque Terre boat tours?

Yes, there are various types of boat tours, including group tours, private tours, and tours that combine boat trips with stops in the villages. Choose one that matches your preferences and schedule.

How long do Cinque Terre boat tours last?

The duration of Cinque Terre boat tours varies. Some last a couple of hours, while others may extend to a full day, offering more time for exploration, swimming, and relaxing.

Do Cinque Terre boat tours operate year-round?

Yes, a few Cinque Terre boat tours operate year-round, but availability is limited due to weather and water conditions. Boat tours put the safety of its passengers as their first priority.

Are Cinque Terre boat tours affected by weather conditions?

Yes, boat tours can be affected by weather conditions, especially during rough seas or adverse weather. Operators prioritize safety and may cancel or reschedule tours if necessary.

Where to buy Cinque Terre ferry tickets?

Cinque Terre ferry tickets can be purchased at the local ferry terminals in each village, directly from ticket booths except for in Corneliga as the only village that doesn’t have water access.

As a Holidaymaker

Soak up the sun, breathe in the salty air, and let yourself be carried away by the magic of this UNESCO World Heritage site by BOAT! Hop aboard and embark on a journey like no other – your boat tour awaits!

If you’re eager to explore more of Italy’s hidden treasures and uncover travel tips that will enhance your next voyage, be sure to dive into my collection of articles dedicated to this captivating country. Head to my Italy Travel Page and look for Italy!

And, if you are still amidst trip planning details check out my one-stop shop for travel planning resources for accommodations, car rental and flight in one convenient spot.

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