About Circle Line Sightseeing - Full Island Cruise
Did you know you can circle the entire island of Manhattan, take in views of the five boroughs (not to mention New Jersey), and learn fun New York City facts all in the course of a single afternoon? And you won't be stuck in traffic or pushing through crowded sidewalks to do it. Circle Line Sightseeing's Full Island Cruise takes its guests out on the water for a relaxing, three-hour tour of New York City. And the views! The Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn waterfront, Queens, Governor's Island and the New Jersey coast will be front and center.
The cruise begins with individual photographs taken of guests boarding the ship, which you'll be able to buy at the end of the trip. You'll then pick your own seat, either inside the boat or outside on the deck. During the first part of the cruise, you'll sail down the Hudson River; seating at the left side of the boat looks out onto the Manhattan skyline, while the right side offers a view of New Jersey. You'll follow the Hudson to Lower Manhattan, where you'll sail right past Downtown Manhattan, with the Freedom Tower rising dramatically in the background.
A jog around the Statue of Liberty—a must-see for every New York City visitor—sends the cruise north up the East River, with Manhattan on the left and Brooklyn and Queens to the right. As this cruise proves, it's one thing to drive over the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges, and quite another thing to sail underneath them in quick succession.
As the cruise reaches the northern tip of Manhattan and turns onto the Harlem River, forested parkland comes into view. The bucolic scenery surrounding Columbia University, the Cloisters and Riverbank State Park is a picture-perfect way to wrap up the tour before the boat sails back onto the Hudson River and docks at its starting point.
Circle Line's knowledgeable and charming tour guides narrate the entire three-hour trip. The guides do not stick to the same script, so while the route for every three-hour tour is the same, the facts you'll learn and anecdotes you'll hear vary with each guide. This makes the tour a fun repeat adventure and gives cruisers the chance to impress friends with facts learned on previous trips.
Did You Know?
Before the cruise turns onto the East River, it passes Governor's Island, now a seasonal park accessible by ferry. From 1783 to 1966 the island was used as a U.S. Army post, and then a United States Coast Guard base until 1996. Many historic homes, fortifications and old barracks still exist on the island.
The cruise passes Wards Island Bridge, a pedestrian-only bridge that connects East Harlem to Ward's Island. The vertical lift bridge rises to allow river traffic, and lowers back down to allow for crossing.
As you sail south down the Hudson River, past Fort Washington Park, keep an eye out for a little red lighthouse along the waterfront. It's been in that spot for since 1921 and is Manhattan's only lighthouse.
The chance to see New York City by boat is as engaging the first time as it the 500th. Visitors will appreciate the “best of” aspect of taking in all the famous sights on one trip, while residents can learn new things about their city from the entertaining guides.
Good for kids?
Children ages 3 to 12 can ride on a reduced ticket and those younger are free. Whatever their age, they'll need to be OK spending three hours in a confined space with views and the voice of the tour guide as the only real distraction.
Circle Line Sightseeing Location Information:
Pier 83, West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
A, C, E, 1, 2, 3 to 42nd St./Port Authority (Eighth Ave.); N, Q, R to 42nd St./Times Sq. (Broadway); walk or take the M42 or M50 bus to the last stop at 12th Ave.