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6 best Lake Tahoe Boat Tours to book in 2023

Lake Tahoe, California

by Coco Tran On September 9, 2023

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

Are you looking for the best Lake Tahoe boat tours? As one of the most beautiful lakes in California, the best time to visit Lake Tahoe is in the summer. Lake Tahoe is known for its stunning natural beauty, crystal clear waters, and a wide range of recreational activities. One of the best ways to experience the lake is by taking a boat tour. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing sunset cruise or an adventurous speedboat ride, there are plenty of options to choose from. In this article I’ll share the best 5 tours Lake Tahoe has to offer! 

Don’t have Time To Read The Full Article?

my pick: Best Boat Tour of Lake Tahoe

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

Private Luxury Yacht Lake Tahoe Boat Tour

  • luxury speed boat
  • private tour with your own captain
  • tailored itinerary see hidden beaches

If that’s not the one for you, there are 6 more options in this article. In it, I gathered together the most important information to make your decision.

Ready to Book the Best Lake Tahoe Boat Tour ?

You’re in the right place because the 5 best boat tours in Lake Como are featured here. How do I know they’re the best? I’ve traveled to Lake Tahoe many times and have done tons of research before my trips, so I know my stuff when it comes to the best tours in Lake Tahoe.

With tons of Lake Tahoe boat tours, it’s hard to know which are worth the money. That’s why I’m here to help! I have been on several boat ours throughout the years, and vetted all the tours in this article to make sure they’re highly-rated and well-reviewed — so all you have to do is book a boat tour, and enjoy!

Below, you’ll find the 5 top-rated Lake Tahoe Boat tours, so you know you’re making the right choice when booking your tour.

Lake Tahoe boat tours offer a unique perspective of the lake and its surroundings. You can explore the shoreline, visit historic landmarks, and enjoy breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Several boat tour companies offer different types of tours, including group tours, private tours, and dinner cruises. You can also rent a boat with a licensed captain and customize your itinerary based on your preferences.

Don’t have time to read the full article?

 Book this Amazing Lake Tahoe Boat Tour — a Luxurious experience with a near-perfect 5 Star rating.

My Top 2 Picks: Best private Lake Tahoe Boat Tours

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Best Private Boat Tour Of Lake Tahoe

  • Private Tour
  • See hidden coves and beaches
  • Luxury speed boat
  • Free cancelations

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Best Boat Tour Of Lake Tahoe

  • 2 hours
  • 5 star reviews
  • scenic boat tour
  • Free cancelations

Choosing the Perfect lake tahoe Boat Tour: What to Consider

Selecting the ideal boat tour requires thoughtful consideration. Determine whether you crave adventure or relaxation, prefer a private charter or a group experience, and whether historical insights or panoramic views align with your interests. Tailor your choice to create an experience that resonates with you.

What Type of Boat Tours does Lake Tahoe Offer? all Different Types of Boat Tours

 In this section, we will discuss the different types of boat tours you can take in Lake Tahoe.

South Lake Tahoe Cruises and Sightseeing Tours

Sightseeing tours are perfect for those who want to explore the beauty of Lake Tahoe. These tours take you around the lake and show you the stunning scenery, including the crystal-clear water, towering mountains, and lush forests. You can choose from different types of boats, such as large cruise ships, small motorboats, and sailboats. Some tours also provide guided commentary, so you can learn about the history and geology of the area.  Two of the most popular and well-rated are Emerald bay cruise, Keep on reading to read more details. 

lake tahoe boat tours

Lake Tahoe Speed Boat Private Boat Tours 

Fishing Tours

If you are an avid angler, you should consider taking a fishing tour in Lake Tahoe. These tours take you to the best fishing spots in the lake, where you can catch different types of fish, such as trout, salmon, and bass. You can choose from different types of fishing tours, such as half-day or full-day tours, private or group tours, and guided or unguided tours. Some tours also provide fishing gear, so you don’t have to bring your own.

South Lake Tahoe Sunset Bout Tours

Sunset tours are perfect for those who want to enjoy the romantic and peaceful atmosphere of Lake Tahoe. These tours take you around the lake during the golden hour, when the sun is setting and the sky is painted with warm colors. You can choose from different types of boats, such as sailboats, motorboats, and catamarans. Some tours also provide drinks and snacks, so you can enjoy the sunset in style.

5 Best Lake Tahoe Boat Tours

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience Lake Tahoe, a boat tour is a great option. Here are five of the best Lake Tahoe boat tours that you should consider booking:

Emerald Bay – A Private Boat Charter for 5 Guests

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

Experience the allure of Emerald Bay aboard a private boat charter tailored for you and up to 5 guests. Water and soda as well as light snacks is provided. Cruise along the pristine waters while your knowledgeable captain regales you with tales of the bay’s history and significance. This intimate tour allows you to bask in the beauty of Fannette Island and the iconic Tea House.

Pick-Up Point: Tahoe Keys Marina Lake Tahoe
Duration: Approximately 2 hours
Reviews: 5 Stars of 35 Reviews

Guests rave about the personalized experience and stunning views. One reviewer said, “The private charter was a highlight of our trip. The captain’s stories made the experience even more enjoyable!”
Check Price

South Lake Tahoe Sightseeing Cruise of Emerald Bay

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

Embark on a sightseeing Lake Tahoe cruise of Emerald Bay, where each wave unveils a new facet of its splendor. Gaze upon the Scandinavian-style Vikingsholm Castle nestled amidst the verdant surroundings. With a professional guide enriching your journey, this tour offers both relaxation and exploration.

Pick-Up Point: Departs from South Lake Tahoe
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Reviews: Travelers love the knowledgeable guides and the opportunity to learn about the history of Emerald Bay. A guest shared, “The Vikingsholm Castle was amazing to see up close!”
Average Price: Check Price

south lake tahoe boat tours Private Double-Decker Pontoon

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

Elevate your experience with a private double-decker pontoon boat in Lake Tahoe. As you cruise along the lake, marvel at the panoramic views from the upper deck or unwind on the comfortable lower deck with a fun slide!  You can explore Lake Tahoe at your own pace and see its hidden beach coves and enjoy food and a great time with your party.

Pick-Up Point: Multiple pick-up points available
Duration: Flexible, typically 3 – 4 hours
Reviews: Guests appreciate the freedom to explore at their own pace. A review reads, “Having the double-decker pontoon allowed us to enjoy different views from the upper deck. A memorable experience!”
Average Price: Check Price

Private south lake tahoe boat tours

best lake tahoe boat tours

Step aboard a private boat charter guided by a licensed captain who knows Lake Tahoe like the back of their hand. Whether you seek adventurous water activities or serene relaxation, this tour caters to your personalized itinerary. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding mountains and azure waters. Relax on the clearest lake in North America!

Pick-Up Point: Various marinas around Lake Tahoe
Duration: Varies based on your preferences
Reviews: Travelers praise the knowledgeable captains and the ability to tailor the tour to their interests. One guest shared, “Our captain took us to secluded coves we would’ve never found on our own!”
Average Price: Customizable based on tour length and activities

2-Hour south lake tahoe boat tours

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

Set sail on the speed boat for a 2-hour tour that promises exhilarating moments and breathtaking vistas. This thrilling adventure offers an adrenaline rush as you glide across the lake’s pristine expanse. Capture picture-perfect moments against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada’s stunning peaks.You’ll have an amazing time gliding across the lake and capturing stunning photos.

Pick-Up Point: Departure from Incline Village
Duration: 2 hours
Reviews: Adventurous souls enjoy the exhilarating speed of the White Lightning. A reviewer stated, “The 2-hour tour was packed with excitement, and the captain’s skill was impressive!”
Average Price: $100 – $120 per person

South Lake Tahoe Sailing Cruise

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

Unwind on a daily sailing cruise that allows you to experience the serenity of Lake Tahoe’s waters. Let the gentle breeze carry you across the lake as you relax on deck. This tour is perfect for those seeking a tranquil escape and a chance to connect with nature.

Pick-Up Point: Departure from South Lake Tahoe
Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours
Reviews: Guests value the peacefulness of the sailing experience and the opportunity to disconnect. A reviewer noted, “The gentle sailing was the perfect way to unwind and take in the beauty of Lake Tahoe.”
Average Price: see rates

No matter which boat tour you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience on Lake Tahoe. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing sunset sail or an active day on the water, there’s a tour that’s perfect for you. So why not book your Lake Tahoe boat tour today?

What to Expect on a Boat Tour in Lake Tahoe

When you embark on a boat tour of Lake Tahoe, you can expect to be treated to stunning views of the lake’s crystal-clear waters and surrounding mountains. Most boat tours are led by knowledgeable and friendly guides who can provide interesting facts and stories about the lake’s history, geology, and wildlife.

Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing for your boat tour:

  • What To Wear: Besides a bathing suit you should plan on windy weather. Even on sunny days, it can be chilly on the water. Bring a light jacket or sweater to stay warm, and wear water shoes with good traction to prevent slipping on the boat. 
  • Bring sunscreen and sunglasses: The sun’s rays can be intense on the water, so it’s important to protect your skin and eyes. Apply sunscreen before boarding the boat, and bring sunglasses to reduce glare.
  • Pack a camera: You won’t want to miss the photo opportunities on your boat tour. Bring a camera or smartphone to capture the stunning scenery and wildlife.
  • Check the tour schedule: Boat tours are offered at different times throughout the day, so be sure to check the schedule and book your tour in advance.

During the tour, you will have the opportunity to see some of Lake Tahoe’s most famous landmarks, such as Emerald Bay, Fannette Island, and Vikingsholm Castle. You may also spot some of the lake’s wildlife, including bald eagles, osprey, and mule deer.

Overall, a boat tour of Lake Tahoe is a must-do activity for anyone visiting the area. With breathtaking views, knowledgeable guides, and plenty of photo opportunities, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

Seasonal Considerations for Lake Tahoe Boat Tours

When planning your Lake Tahoe boat tour, be sure to consider the season. Each season offers unique experiences and considerations to keep in mind.

Lake Tahoe Summer Boat Tours

Summer is the most popular time for boat tours on Lake Tahoe. The weather is warm and sunny, and the water is perfect for swimming and water sports. However, summer can also be crowded and busy. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider booking your tour early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

During the summer, many boat tours offer sunset cruises and dinner cruises. These tours are a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Lake Tahoe while enjoying a delicious meal. Be sure to book these tours in advance, as they tend to fill up quickly.

Lake Tahoe Winter Boat Tours

Winter boat tours on Lake Tahoe offer a completely different experience than summer tours. While the weather is colder, the snow-capped mountains and frozen lake create a stunning winter wonderland. Many boat tours offer heated cabins and blankets to keep you warm during your tour.

One of the most popular winter boat tours is the Emerald Bay sightseeing tour. This tour takes you to the iconic Emerald Bay, which is even more beautiful in the winter months. Be sure to dress warmly and bring a camera to capture the stunning views.

It’s important to note that not all boat tours operate during the winter months. Be sure to check with the tour company before booking to ensure that they are operating during the time of your visit.

Tips for a Successful Lake Tahoe Boat Tour

If you’re planning a boat tour in Lake Tahoe, here are some tips to help you have a successful and enjoyable experience:

  • Book in Advance: To avoid disappointment, it’s always a good idea to book your boat tour in advance. Some tours may fill up quickly, especially during peak season, so make sure to plan ahead and secure your spot.
  • Dress in Layers: Lake Tahoe can be chilly, even during the summer months. Make sure to bring layers of clothing, such as a light jacket or sweater, to stay warm on the water.
  • Pack Sunscreen and Sunglasses: Even on cloudy days, the sun can still be strong on the water. Protect your skin and eyes by packing sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Bring Snacks and Drinks: Many boat tours offer snacks and drinks on board, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own as well. Make sure to check with the tour company beforehand to see what is allowed on board.
  • Be Prepared for Motion Sickness: If you’re prone to motion sickness, make sure to take medication or bring remedies with you. The water can be choppy at times, so it’s best to be prepared.
  • Respect the Environment: Lake Tahoe is a beautiful and fragile ecosystem. Make sure to follow all rules and regulations, such as not littering or disturbing wildlife. Leave the environment as you found it, so others can enjoy it too.

The Lake Tahoe Travel Guide

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most popular Lake Tahoe boat tours?

Lake Tahoe offers a variety of boat tours that cater to different interests and preferences. Some of the most popular tours include the Tahoe Tastings Wine Cruise, the M.S. Dixie II Sightseeing Cruise, and the Tahoe Gal Sunset Dinner Cruise.

Are there any private boat tours available on Lake Tahoe?

Yes, there are several companies that offer private boat tours on Lake Tahoe. These tours are perfect for those who want a more personalized experience or have a specific itinerary in mind. Some of the companies that offer private boat tours include Boat Tahoe and Lake Tahoe Boat Rides Charters.

What is the MS Dixie Lake Tahoe and what type of tours does it offer?

The M.S. Dixie II is a paddle-wheel boat that offers a variety of tours on Lake Tahoe. Some of the tours include the Emerald Bay Sightseeing Cruise, the Sunset Dinner Dance Cruise, and the Champagne Brunch Cruise.

Is there a ferry schedule for Lake Tahoe?

Yes, there is a ferry service that operates on Lake Tahoe. The Tahoe Transportation District offers a ferry that runs between South Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City. The ferry schedule varies depending on the season, so it’s best to check their website for the most up-to-date information.

Are there any Lake Tahoe boat tours available during the winter?

Yes, there are some boat tours that operate during the winter months. However, the availability and schedule of these tours may vary depending on the weather conditions. It’s best to check with the individual tour companies for more information.

Where can I find information about Lake Tahoe boat tours in Incline Village?

The Incline Village Visitor Center is a great resource for information about boat tours in the area. They can provide you with brochures, maps, and other helpful information to help you plan your trip. You can also check out the Boat Tours section on for more information about boat tours in Incline Village.

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