Explore Newport Harbor Up Close and Personal, in a Duffy Boat

Explore Newport Harbor in a Duffy Boat


Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, California, enjoys a distinctive waterfront location. Want to explore the beauty of Newport Harbor up close and personal? Guests of the resort can take full advantage of this prime spot by renting an electric Duffy boat.

“Duffy boats are unique to our property, being the only waterfront hotel in Newport Harbor,” explains Concierge Emily Ripley. “It’s a special experience to be on a boat for many people and provides a way of seeing the area in a new way versus walking or driving. It’s a great option for sunset cocktail hours or a morning Champagne brunch.”

Area restaurants even offer dock-and-dine options, meaning you can pull your boat right up to the restaurant’s dock, enjoy a meal, and then head back out on the water. Boats are available for rental right at the resort.

“Balboa Bay Resort has two Duffy boats that are rented for $95 an hour for guests ($85 for members of the club),” Ripley says. “Reservations are made through our club’s Member Relations Desk. This is a popular activity, and it is recommended that guests book early, preferably when they place room reservations during our busy seasons (summer, holidays and weekends).”

If the resort’s boats are already booked, guests are directed to original Duffy Electric Boat Co. down the street, which has a large fleet. There are also companies in the harbor that rent Duffy boats, and resort guests can use the courtesy dock to come back to pick up others in the party or visit the property.

The boats are a great way to explore this one-of-a-kind location. Ripley says: “Scavenger hunts are sometimes created using local historic landmarks—the Balboa Pavilion and Fun Zone; John Wayne’s home and other celebrities’ homes and yachts; sea lions; Christmas boat parade and decorated homes at the holidays.”

The rented boats—which can sit 10 to 12 passengers—do not have lights, so they are rented during daylight hours only. Guests who wish to bring food or drinks aboard can order using the in-room dining or “yacht” menu. “Bottles of wine for toasting with party platters can be purchased on property or off-property from local gourmet markets,” Ripley says.

“It is a personal favorite of the concierge desk to help create romantic dates and surprises utilizing the Duffy boats,” she continues. “People get engaged on the boats, have small birthday parties, toast an anniversary, or use the boats as a way to transport to a perfect restaurant or event location. Also, our corporate guests will use the Duffy boats for team-building exercises (like the scavenger hunt) or casual meetings.”