Several organizations conduct tours of the mansions and the downtown historic district. Between May 15 and October 15, the Newport Historical Society, 82 Touro St. (tel. 401/846-0813; www.newporthistorical.org), offers a few different itineraries of considerable variety and length. Tickets cost as little as $4 and as much as $12. They can be purchased at the Society or at the Gateway Visitor Center.
Viking Tours, based at the Gateway Visitor Center, 23 America's Cup Ave. (tel. 401/847-6921; www.vikingtoursnewport.com), has narrated bus tours of the mansions and harbor cruises on the excursion boat Viking Queen. Bus tours -- daily in summer, Saturday from November to April -- are 1 1/2 to 4 hours and cost $23 to $49 for adults, $14 to $21 for children 5 to 11. Boat tours, from mid-May to mid-October, are 1 hour in length and cost $13 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $6 for kids. In July and August, the cruise can be extended to include a stop and tour of Fort Adams; $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $9 for children.
Classic Cruises of Newport, Bannister's Wharf, schedules narrated cruises on its 72-foot schooner Madeleine (tel. 401/847-0298; www.cruisenewport.com). There are daily departures from spring to late fall; fares are $27 or $35 (children under 12 $5 off). The company's classic powerboat RumRunner II (tel. 401/847-0299; same website) offers cruises daily over the same period. Rates are $18 per person for most outings, $25 for the cocktail cruise.
The Spirit of Newport, 2 Bowen's Wharf (tel. 401/849-3575), offers daily 1 1/2-hour cruises of the bay and harbor from May 1 to Columbus Day; fares are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, $7 for children ages 4 to 12. Another possibility is the Adirondack, a 78-foot schooner that makes 2-hour cruises from the Newport Yachting Center (tel. 401/846-3018; www.sail-newport.com). Its ticket booth is on America's Cup Avenue at Commercial Wharf; reservations must be made in advance. Daily departures cost $27 to $35, depending on the time of day.
The Newport Touring Company, 19 America's Cup Ave. (tel. 800/398-7427 or 401/841-8700; www.newportdinnertrain.com), features 90-minute round-trip excursions in vintage railroad trains along the edge of the bay. Fares are $13 for adults, $11 for seniors; kids 10 and under are free, but only one per paying adult; additional kids are charged $8.95. The company also has a dinner train that operates Thursday through Saturday mid-April to mid-December. Variations include a rail-and-cruise luncheon, and cabaret and murder mystery dinners, with prices per person from $44 to $55. In addition, the company offers a combined train/cruise package at $22 for adults, $19 for seniors, and $15 for additional children.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.