The 4 Best San Antonio River Walk Cruise Tours [2024 Reviews]

When you think of Texas, images of mouthwatering BBQ, cowboy hats, and tumbleweeds may come to mind. However, if you find yourself in the enchanting city of San Antonio, there’s no better journey out there than through the vibrant heart of the River Walk.

It’s here, where the heart and soul of Texan culture comes alive in a melting pot of flavors, colors, and history. Just like a well-aged whiskey, the top San Antonio River Walk cruises are smooth, rich, and unforgettable.

I’ve carefully curated the top 4 that are well worth your time and money, so let’s jump right in!

Best San Antonio River Walk Cruise Tours

San Antonio River Walk Cruise, Hop-On Hop-Off Tour & Tower of AmericasBest of San Antonio Small Group Tour with Boat + Tower + AlamoSan Antonio River Walk Cruise and Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Best Value Tour

Best Combination Tour

Best Hop-on Hop-off Tour

editors choice
Departure:111 Alamo Plaza, San AntonioHotel pickup and drop-off included111 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio
Start:Hop-on Hop-off all day8:30 AM or 2:00 PMHop-on Hop-off all day
Duration:1 day4 hours1 day
Includes:River Walk Boat Cruise Choice of 24,48 or 72 hour, Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour pass, Tower of the Americas admission, free Oyster Sampler at the River Walk 'On The Bend' Oyster Bar & Lounge, with purchase of two drinksDriving tour of San Antonio, 35-minute relaxing River Cruise Tour of the Alamo, admission to the Tower of the Americas, admission to the San Antonio Missions, pick up and drop off at any downtown San Antonio location, intimate, small-group tour size with 7 guest limitRiver Walk Sightseeing Boat Cruise, Official City Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour, Live Guide, Fantastic Views, FREE Appetizer at Mad Dogs River Walk British Pub

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking


Quick Answer: The 4 Best Rated San Antonio River Walk Cruises For 2024

  1. San Antonio River Walk Cruise, Hop-On Hop-Off Tour & Tower of Americas
  2. Best of San Antonio Small Group Tour with Boat + Tower + Alamo
  3. San Antonio River Walk Cruise and Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
  4. San Antonio River Cruise & Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

San Antonio River Walk Cruise Tour Reviews

1. San Antonio River Walk Cruise, Hop-On Hop-Off Tour & Tower of Americas

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 1 day
  • Departure: 111 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio
  • Departure Time: Hop-on Hop-off all day
  • Includes: River Walk Boat Cruise Choice of 24,48 or 72 hour, Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour pass, Tower of the Americas admission, free Oyster Sampler at the River Walk ‘On The Bend’ Oyster Bar & Lounge, with purchase of two drinks

If you really want to get to know San Antonio the way it deserves, you must explore the gem by both land and water.

Our next tour seamlessly combines both modes of transportation, offering a different perspective in an expedition filled with historical landmarks, cultural treasures, and some classic Texas charm throughout.

The San Antonio River Walk Cruise, Hop-On Hop-Off Tour & Tower of Americas is one I suggest everyone experience at least once!

The first stop of the day is typically the VFW Post 76, known as “The Oldest Post in Texas”, where countless veterans’ stories resonate through these halls. You’ll learn all about the brave souls who served their country all the way around the world.

On a less somber note, you’ll then fuel up at the legendary Augie’s Alamo City BBQ Steakhouse where the air is filled with the scent of barbecue and the twang of live country music.

Museum Reach is up next, where you’ll get to soak in the gorgeous landscapes, explore the biking trails, and of course, see some other restaurants.

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If you’re into the arts at all, you’ll love the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts where both local and touring acts put on shows. You’ll then see the Veterans Memorial Park, where both the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials stand, serving as a tribute to these honored heroes.

If you aren’t staying here, you’ll have to see the iconic St. Anthony, A Luxury Collection Hotel, where everyone from presidents to celebrities have stayed.

Going back to a more “Texan” note, you’ll then make your way to my personal favorite: The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum. This immersive experience lets you see countless types of animals, and learn more about the rugged and wild tales of the Texas Rangers.

We can’t forget a visit back to the Spanish colonial times at San Fernando Cathedral and the Spanish Governor’s Palace, which helped shape San Antonio.

Explore the nearby Historic Market Square filled with authentic Mexican culture, then the King William neighborhood with its beautiful Victorian-era homes.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


2. Best of San Antonio Small Group Tour with Boat + Tower + Alamo

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Departure: Hotel pickup and drop-off included
  • Departure Time: 8:30 AM or 2:00 PM
  • Includes: Driving tour of San Antonio, 35-minute relaxing River Cruise Tour of the Alamo, admission to the Tower of the Americas, admission to the San Antonio Missions, pick up and drop off at any downtown San Antonio location, intimate, small-group tour size with 7 guest limit

For me, this is yet another tour that I felt perfectly encapsulated the rich culture here in San Antonio. It’s also one of the more convenient tours, offering a hotel pickup and drop-off so you don’t have to do any of the legwork.

The Best of San Antonio Small Group Tour with Boat + Tower + Alamo is an all-around incredible experience that also combines a driving tour and river cruise!

With a maximum of 7 participants allowed, this is a very intimate group tour that allows you full access to your guide and a bit more of a personalized experience.

You’ll set off to the iconic Alamo, where you’ll get to tour through the grounds and the Alamo itself while learning about the infamous 1836 battle. I highly recommend checking out that massive, 16-pounder cannon and the barracks.

After, head over to the Tower of the Americas which soars over a whopping 600 feet above the ground! This place offers some of the best panoramic views of the city, and if you aren’t afraid of heights, it’s one that can’t be missed.

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After that exhilarating experience, head down for a relaxing 35-minute River Walk cruise along the fun 15-mile urban waterway. As you sail through, you’ll be thrown into San Antonio’s rich culture, history, and amazing architecture.

Along the way, you’re guide will offer up an educational commentary as well as some interesting anecdotes to spice up the journey. There’s no having to deal with crowds or trying to see over the heads over your group – just a relaxed way to see the city and its stories.

Oh, and we can’t forget a trip to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which tells the stories of the area’s history and the people who walked these lands for hundreds of years.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


3. San Antonio River Walk Cruise and Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 1 day
  • Departure: 111 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio
  • Departure Time: Hop-on Hop-off all day
  • Includes: River Walk Sightseeing Boat Cruise, Official City Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour, Live Guide, Fantastic Views, FREE Appetizer at Mad Dogs River Walk British Pub

Get ready to embark on another lively ride of a lifetime with this ultimate exploration combining both a river cruise and a hop-on hop-off tour. This one stood out to me because none of us were hurried and got to set the pace at each landmark.

With the San Antonio River Walk Cruise and Hop-On Hop-Off Tour, you get to choose how long you spend at each, ensuring everyone is happy.

Start out with an enriching 35-minute River Walk boat cruise, which is honestly one of my favorite things to do every time I’m in this city.

The energy and vibrant culture is concentrated around the waterway, and you’ll get a glimpse into the zest for life and charm that it seems like everyone has here.

As you glide through the waters, your guide will offer interesting stories, historical accounts, and much more to add more context to what you’re seeing.

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Then, it’s time to board the double-decker tour bus, where you get to choose if you want to hang out inside on the first deck, or have the breeze blowing through your hair on the second.

You’ll see the legendary Alamo and get time to tour through the old building while learning all about the famous battle that changed Texas forever. The Pearl Brewery was another fun stop, and was perfectly followed up by a juicy trip to Augie’s Alamo City BBQ Steakhouse!

The bus does come with live, onboard narration so you don’t have to worry about boring, pre-recorded sets that sound like someone is reading from a script.

You’ll pay visits to the historic San Fernando Cathedral, the lively Historic Market Square, and the interesting Blue Star Arts Complex. These are all contained in the beautiful King William Historic District known for the art galleries, Victorian homes, and just a generally pretty environment.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


4. San Antonio River Cruise & Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Departure: 111 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio
  • Departure Time: Hop-on Hop-off all day
  • Includes: 3 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Bus Tour, River Walk Boat Cruise, Live Guide, Fantastic Views

This is one of my favorite combo packages that let you unwind, have some fun, and learn about this magical Texan city.

The San Antonio River Cruise & Hop-On Hop-Off Tour is ideal if it’s your first time here and really want to get a glimpse into the vibrant culture that keeps it running. All I can say is, prepare to be enchanted by the city’s beauty, its people, and its history.

First things first: we’ll take on a leisurely, 40-minute ride down the River Cruise, which lets you unwind and soak in the sights around you. Here, you’ll find all kinds of delicious restaurants, stores, and beautiful natural landscapes.

No matter what you do, you simply have to experience this part of San Antonio. Now it’s time for the hop-on, hop-off part of the tour, which takes place on a spacious, double-decker tour bus to allow for some unobstructed views of the city.

You get to choose how long you spend at each location, ensuring everyone gets to see as much or as little as they want. The first stop is usually The Alamo, which makes sense, considering it’s one of the most important when it comes to Texan history.

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After that, check out the San Antonio Museum of Art, which holds the most expansive collection of ancient art in the entire Southern United States! Continue on to the refreshing Pearl Brewery, where you’ll learn all about the local culinary and brew scene (and potentially get to do some tastings).

There are plenty of amazing restaurants, cafes, and bars here, and you’ll get to stop at one of the most popular: Augie’s Alamo City BBQ Steakhouse.

If you’re in any way interested in juicy BBQ and live country music, this is the place to be. Next, brush up on your history at the Veterans Memorial Park, which allows you to take some time and pay respects to the Korean and Vietnam War veterans.

Don’t forget a more lighthearted trip to the opulent St. Anthony, a Luxury Collection Hotel, the Southtown neighborhood, and the soaring Tower of the Americas.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


FAQs About The San Antonio River Walk River Cruises

What will I see on a River Walk tour?

The Alamo: No doubt you have heard of the Alamo. This famous fort and museum was the site of a famous battle for Texas’ independence in 1836. Your guide will give you the inside information about the defenders who fought against the Mexican arm.

The Arneson River Theater: This outdoor amphitheater hosts concerts, festivals and events year-round. You can see the stage and the audience on both sides of the river. The colorful mosaic tiles that decorate the theater make it very unique.

The Museum Reach: This section of the River Walk has several museums and attractions, like the San Antonio Zoo, the DOSeum plus the Pearl Brewery. You can see the art installations, sculptures, and murals that adorn the river banks and bridges.

The Restaurants and Shops: The San Antonio River Walk is famous for its wide variety of restaurants and shops. There is a diverse food selection of Tex-Mex, barbecue, seafood. You can even smell the food from your river boat as well as see the displays of souvenirs, crafts, and artwork.

Are the boats handicap accessible and pet-friendly?

Yes, most all of the boats are wheelchair accessible however, to be safe you should check with the tour operator before booking to confirm. Pets are also allowed on the boats as long as they are leashed or in a carrier.

Where can I board the boats and what are the hours?

There are several boarding locations at various spots on the River Walk. A few of the more popular locations are under the Market Street Bridge and Alamo Street, the Shops at Rivercenter, and the Aztec Theatre. You can ride the boats from 10am to 10pm.

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The San Antonio River Walk Cruise, Hop-On Hop-Off Tour & Tower of Americas is our Editors Choice for the best San Antonio river walk cruise tour

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