6 Fun (and Dog-Friendly!) Day Cruises Around the Country
If you're hoping to bring Rover along when you sail the high seas on a cruise vacation this summer, you’re barking up the wrong tree. With the exception of service dogs, pets aren’t allowed on big ocean liners because of strict health codes.
But you can opt for one of these six dog-friendly day cruises, which cater to ocean-loving canine passengers throughout the United States. Just be sure to bring along your own pet life vest that's fitted to your dog. On larger boats, a harness seat belt can also keep your dog safe.
Newport Beach, Calif.
Every dog has his day, but for pooches and owners who crave a bit more than their 15 minutes of fame, Fun Zone Boat Tours offer a 45-minute Newport Beach Harbor Celebrity Home & Yacht Tour. You'll find out who's who in Orange County as you and your dog circle past enormous mansions — while getting the dirt on local movie star escapades.
Outfit Fido in one of the doggy life vests available aboard the Moondance II, then sail with Dog Gone Sailing Charters’ crew — including owner Captain Rory and her Beagle named Mate — to Long Point, the site of the original Provincetown settlement, for a picnic lunch. You can also sign up for half- or full-day sails of Cape Cod Bay and Truro to spot humpback, minke and finback whales and sometimes dolphins, too.
Potomac Riverboat Company's 40-minute Canine Cruises depart on the Admiral Tilp every Thursday night throughout the summer. Pup and human passengers loop around Alexandria’s historic seaport, past the Torpedo Factory Art Center, Founders Park and Oxon Cove, while learning about the dog days of yore.
Dogs are the main event during Mercury Chicago Skyline Cruiseline’s Canine Cruise, which departs every Sunday at 10 a.m. in the summer. The tour not only shepherds you through Chicago’s waterways, but the guide highlights dog-friendly hotels, restaurants and parks along the way. There’s even a doggy restroom!
Hells Canyon, Idaho
Venture into North America's deepest gorge with your canine companion on a Bentz Wild River jet boat tour with Killgore Adventures in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. You'll coast through rapids and past a wilderness preserve, where visitors often catch sight of big horn sheep, bear, elk, bald eagles, otters and even cougars.
Monterey Bay, Calif.
Established in 1949, Randy’s Fishing Trips offer sport fishing experiences aboard one of two eco-friendly boats. Depending on the season, you can reel in albacore, crab, halibut, Humboldt squid, rock cod and salmon — and then share your cooked catch with your canine for supper.
Before you board any of these boats, consider a few tips for staving off possible canine nausea: Avoid feeding your dog food or treats right before you board, and keep your pooch facing forward in the direction that the boat is moving. If your pup is prone to motion sickness, you can also consult with your vet about possible motion sickness medications or other ways to help your pet.