8 Incredible Floating Bars Around the World

Sep 4, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Bars can be great places of relaxation, especially when they float. Whether they’re on lakes and rivers or at the edges of the sea, these establishments combine the pleasures of the drink and being on the water. We’ve already outlined some of the best bars we know of, whether they’re underwater or underground, have incredible views or sport the coolest rooftop scene in America or around the world. Now, we’ve chosen eight floating bars — from New York to Fiji — each unique in its atmosphere and setting, each providing a different experience and every one worth a dip.

1. Cloud 9

Location: Ro Ro Reef off Port Denarau, Fiji.

Atmosphere: A two-deck floating platform with mostly open sides.

Dress Code: Swimsuit casual.

Why Go? It’s the ultimate day trip, ideal with vacationing friends and full of swimming, snorkeling, drinking, eating and relaxing. Take a 45-minute boat ride in the morning from Port Denarau and return mid-afternoon. Cloud 9 is outfitted with fully stocked bar, pizza oven, sunning deck, hanging chairs, daybeds and toilets. The bar also works with the Mamanuca Environmental Society to catalog and save the reefs off which it is anchored.

Image courtesy of Cloud Nine.
Image courtesy of Cloud 9.

2. Brooklyn Barge

Location: 3 Milton Street, just off Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn, New York.

Atmosphere: A smooth-decked, open barge outfitted with cable-spool tables and folding chairs.

Dress Code: Casual.

Why Go? This easily accessible barge in the East River is great for watching the setting sun over the fabulous NYC skyline. Plus, it’s got 10 beers on tap, tacos and burgers as well as other diet-friendly options. Brooklyn Barge is also involved in promoting the surrounding community, including working with an oyster restoration program and running several educational activities.

Image courtesy of Brooklyn Barge/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/thebrooklynbarge/photos/">Facebook</a>.
Image courtesy of Brooklyn Barge/Facebook.

3. Badeschiff

Location: At Eichenstrasse 4 on the Spree River, adjacent to Arena Berlin in Germany. 

Atmosphere: A three-part floating beach and swimming pool, with full bar facilities at the entrance.

Dress Code: Smart swimming attire.

Why Go? This is as close as you’ll get to a sophisticated, urban beach crowd — the admission price is unbelievably reasonable and it’s within walking distance of most downtown hotels. Plus, Badeschiff (“bathing ship” in German) was created in 2004 as an art project to help bring urban life to Spree-side. Its swimming pool, which is 26 x 105 feet, was created out of a ship’s hull.

Image courtesy of Badeschiff/Facebook.
Image courtesy of Badeschiff/Facebook.

4. The Houseboat Grill

Location: Alice Eldemire Drive on the Freeport Peninsula in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Atmosphere: Located just a few feet offshore, The Houseboat Grill has fine international fusion dining on two levels, with a closed dining room below and an open deck and separate bar above.

Dress Code: Casually elegant, although heels not recommended.

Why Go? For the food, the sunsets and especially the bar’s happy hour, which opens earlier than the dining room. Additionally, its location is close for travelers staying in town. The Houseboat started as a 1970’s nightclub and served as Steve McQueen’s unofficial HQ during the filming of Papillon. It also attracted a host of musical stars when it was used as the staging room for the Grateful Dead, The Beach Boys, Sting and Aretha Franklin during a local music festival.

Image courtesy of The Houseboat Grill/Facebook.

5. Willy T

Location: Anchored in the Bight at Norman Island, British Virgin Islands.

Atmosphere: Accessible by water taxi, Willy T is a small, steel-hulled vessel converted into a self-described “bistro on the briny” with a main and upper deck — both of which are open. There’s a full bar and a menu that leans toward burgers and BBQ, complete with seating at picnic tables.

Dress Code: Casual beach wear.

Why Go? If you like a rowdy, fun-loving party bar, your ship has come in — and as the day wears on, diving into the bay from the top deck has been known to happen. The Willy T — officially the William Thornton — was originally a wooden bar turned-restaurant, but one night it sprang a leak and sank into the sea. In 1996, the owners found a 100-foot replacement in Florida — this one with a steel hull — and the Willy T was recommissioned.

Image courtesy of Willy T/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/WillyTBVI/photos/">Facebook</a>.
Image courtesy of Willy T/Facebook.

6. Jicoo

Location: Between the Hinode Pier and Odaiba in Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Atmosphere: A very futuristic, sleek, enclosed vessel with lots of spaceship windows, Jicoo begins the evening at Hinode Pier and shuttles back and forth between the two docks for the rest of the evening for one admission fee, so stay on as long as you like and get off at either place. Expect a club-like atmosphere with a dance floor, beer, wine and cocktails.

Dress Code: Smart.

Why Go? Jicoo is like a nightclub on the water, so it’s a great place to go for a slice of urban Tokyo life on those nights when you don’t just want to sit on a bar stool. Another fascinating tidbit: the bar takes its name from the Japanese word jiku, which means “space time.”

Image courtesy of Jicoo/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/jicoofloatingbar/">Facebook</a>.
Image courtesy of Jicoo/Facebook.

7. Lagoon Bar at Blue Lagoon

Location: About 15 miles from Keflavik International Airport (KEF), or roughly 30 miles from downtown Reykjavik, Iceland.

Atmosphere: Blue Lagoon is a spa, eating and lodging complex constructed around a geothermal seawater pond. The large basin is chest deep and those who take to its curative waters are serviced by a float-up-to-it bar that serves wine, beer and other drinks. Think of it as a hot tub on steroids.

Dress Code: Spa casual.

Why Go? Because it feels like a healthy place to be even when you’re drinking wine or cocktails. In fact, some pool denizens cover their faces with the site’s therapeutic silica mud as they wade or float with companions — where else can you float and drink with mud on your face? The Blue Lagoon was created in 1976 when a geothermal energy plant was built on the site, and the owners of the recreational and health complex took advantage of what nature — and industry — had given them.

Image courtesy of Blue Lagoon/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/BlueLagoonIceland/photos/">Facebook</a>.
Image courtesy of Blue Lagoon/Facebook.

8.  Floyd’s Pelican Bar

Location: Parottee Point, Jamaica

Atmosphere: The Pelican is a humble, thatch-roof hut resting on stilts in a sandbar less than a mile off the southern coast of Jamaica — the closest boat ride is from Parottee Point. In spite of its rustic appearance, it serves fish and lobster meals and the bar is heavy on cold beer.

Dress Code: Come as you are.

Why Go? Simply to chill out; channel your inner Rasta and drink lots of Red Stripe beer. The owner, Floyd Forbes, is said to have had a dream of a bar on stilts somewhere out in the ocean. Build it, Forbes thought, and they will come — he did, and they did. But the first bar was wiped out by a hurricane in 2001, so the current one is Floyd’s 2.0.

What are some of your favorite floating bars around the world? Tell us about them, below.

Featured image courtesy of Cloud 9.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.