One of the most interesting ways to see Norfolk is by water. Out on the Elizabeth river, you can see not only Norfolk’s shoreline, but you get a closer view of neighboring cities Hampton and Portsmouth, plus you’ll get a view of the Norfolk Navy shipyard that you just can’t get from the land. Sightseeing by boat is a great alternative to land-based tours.
The Spirit of Norfolk combines dinner, dancing, and entertainment with great views of the city. They offer lunch, brunch, dinner, cocktail, and moonlight cruises, plus a variety of special themed cruises throughout the year. The Spirit of Norfolk docks in front of Waterside at the downtown Norfolk waterfront.
The American Rover lets visitors experience what it’s like to sail on a tall ship. The American Rover is a three-masted topsail schooner. Harbor and Sunset cruises depart daily, April through October, from Waterside. Guests can lend a hand with the sails, take a turn at the helm, or just sit back and enjoy the ride.
The Victory Rover offers tours of the Norfolk Naval Base. These 2-hour narrated trips leave daily from Nauticus at downtown Norfolk’s waterfront and cruise past aircraft carriers, submarines, cruisers, and other military ships.
For a short trip across the Elizabeth River, take the passenger ferry that operates between Norfolk and Portsmouth. This paddlewheel ferry makes stops at Norfolk’s Waterside and High Street and the North Landing Dock in Portsmouth. It’s a nice ride and a great way to get over to Portsmouth to visit shops, museums, and restaurants.