Hoist the sails and raise the anchor, we’re setting sail to find the ultimate nautical-themed board games.
Maritime, marine, and seafaring — our list includes all things nautical. You could set out on expeditions, come face to face with pirates, or build a shipping empire. But if you’re not careful, you’ll be swimming with the fishes.
Let’s take to the high seas and explore the best nautical board games.
🏆 Our Top Picks for Best Nautical Board Games
In a hurry? Take a quick peek before you go.
Endeavor: Age of Sail
Playing time: 60-90mins
Endeavor: Age of the Sail transports you to the era of unprecedented expansion across the oceans. Maritime empires build major fleets to set sail to the distant regions of the world.
A rich strategy game, you’ll work to grow naval power striving to make the wisest connections as the map unfolds. A new edition of the much-loved Endeavor, Age of Sail keeps all the modern classic gameplay while adding a few simple enhancements.
To conquer the new lands, players leverage their growing industry by acquiring asset cards, giving you powerful boosts and game points. Building shipping routes and constructing buildings will help you further your expansion and powers over the sea.
Playing time: 80-150mins
Can you save Earth from overpopulation?
The most powerful brains in the world have come together to solve overpopulation by building the best and most livable underwater cities possible. In Underwater Cities, players build and develop underwater metropolises by creating desalinization plants, constructing kelp farms, and connecting laboratories and tunnels.
Players take on the roles of these bright and brilliant brains, founding their own underwater nations. They work to gain resources, and build transportation, and various facilities needed to support life.
By playing cards, you’ll decide which actions are needed to move forward. You’ll need to make the right decisions so your underwater habitat can survive!
Playing time: 120-240mins
Ahoy matey! Who doesn’t enjoy a pirate adventure game?
Forgotten Waters is set in a fantastical world where players become pirates, sailing together to complete one common goal, while still seeking to further their own personal stories.
In this cooperative strategy game of survival, you’ll be faced with desperate struggles and must fight to stay alive. Each choice a player makes impacts the storyline keeping the game interesting and ever-changing.
An immersive story-driven game, Forgotten Waters is designed to encourage players to explore and laugh as they create silly and magical stories. The board game comes with five scenarios as well as a free web app that only helps you delve further into scenarios and crossroads.
Raiders of the North Sea
Playing time: 60-90mins
Viking warriors unite!
Raiders of the North Sea takes you into the world of Vikings looking to raid and plunder their way to victory. As a Viking warrior, you’ll be plundering, raiding settlements, and making your offerings to the Chieftan to gain his trust.
A worker placement game, Raiders of the North Seas has players recruit their crews and gather supplies to be prepared for the raiding season. Settlements are yours for the taking so be sure to be fully prepared to gain precious rewards and resources.
Have the most victory points at the end of the game and be the one to impress the Chieftain!
Playing time: 60-120mins
Can you survive and find your way home?
It’s 1929 and you as the captain, along with your crew, are lost at sea in a strange and mysterious world. It’ll take teamwork to explore and survive the exotic islands you visit. From fighting creatures to meeting the world’s inhabitants, it’ll take everything you’ve got to return home.
Finding the totems of the gods is the key to waking the gods and leaving the curious and mysterious world. The map is a massive open world of connecting maps where players use a combat system to execute their campaign. What’s great about Sleeping Gods is that it’s also fantastic played solo!
Sleeping Gods has a gorgeously illustrated map and each character’s card is detailed.
Playing time: 30-150mins
Le Havre is all about what it takes to manage a harbor by building ships and constructing buildings. With each turn, players decide which action to take. You’ll need to balance your resources, such as wood, fish, grain, and dock workers. Using currency, you can buy ships and buildings with cash, no resource collections are needed.
It’ll help to have some experience with games like Viticulture, as the game can be challenging. But if you’ve got a bit of board gaming experience, Le Havre is a brilliant board game to test your strategy and gaming abilities.
Tsuro of the Seas
Playing time: 20-40mins
Can you guide your ship through the treacherous waves?
A fun nautical board game for the whole family, Tsuro of the Seas takes you sailing on the mystic seas. Guide your ships and avoid powerful sea monsters. Moving along the board, you’ll need strategy and a little luck to be the last player standing to win!
The game is great for kids as its simple to learn, rolling the dice to move the monsters and placing tiles to sail your ship along the board. The game is never the same game twice as you place tiles and create fun experiences as you try to escape terrifying monsters.
Succeed the mighty quest and you’ll be forever in the Emperor’s favor.
Playing time: 90mins
The ever-popular game, Catan, takes sail on the high seas to discover and settle in the Isles of Catan.
In Catan: Seafarers, you control a group of brave seafaring settlers looking to explore and tame the wild. With each game, you’ll experience new seas and new lands, looking to discover precious goldfields.
Catan’s Seafarers edition is unique and full of fun as you embark on epic quests to build a new life. By building ships, trading, and charting nearby waters, you’ll guide your settlers to victory. Catan is all about strategy as you navigate new scenarios and seek to become the undisputed ruler of the rich Isles of Catan!
Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails
Playing time: 60-120mins
All aboard, get ready for an unforgettable journey!
Ticket to Ride is taking to the seas as the world is changing fast. Trips that would previously take months are now possible in days with huge steamers carrying hundreds of passengers across the oceans.
From Los Angeles to Sydney, Dar Es Salaam to Murmansk, Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails is another adventure story where players work to claim rail or sea routes, connecting the world.
Network and route-building games require a lot of strategy and Ticket to Ride is no exception. Players collect cards of various types, including trains and ships, to claim the best routes and gain the most points.
Whether you are a fan of Ticket to Ride or are new to the series, it’s easy to learn and a fun edition for a nautical game night.
Survive! Escape from Atlantis
Playing time: 45-60mins
Thrills, adventure, suspense, survive! Escape from Atlantis will keep you on your toes as you try to reach dry land.
It’s the 20th century and Atlantis has finally been discovered in the middle of the sea, rumored to be full of gold and riches. Luckily, you’ve reached the treasure and are ready to return home. But, Atlantis has begun to sink! Panic ensues as explorers try to escape.
Survive! Escape from Atlantis is a strategy game for any level of board gamer. Players try to lead explorers from the sinking isle of Atlantis to the safety of a nearby island.
Avoid sea serpents, whales, and sharks and you might just have a chance to reach safety!
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best nautical board games! We hope you’ve found the perfect board game for your nautical explorations! Let us know which game on the list is your favorite. Drop a comment below! We’d love to hear from you.
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Ready Player Christine. Since my first D&D game, which took a turn for the weird and wacky (probably my influence), the world of board and tabletop games came alive. Now today, I get to write about these fantastical, fictional, and downright fun worlds.