Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises are one of the most popular adventures available in New York City. The name comes from the company's first boat tours that circled Manhattan Island. Today, the 70-year-old company offers many adventures in the New York Harbor.

What Are Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises?

Circle Line Cruises are an opportunity to explore Manhattan Island from the New York Harbor. Circle Line has been operating since 1945. It offers tours and entertainment during the day and evening hours. You can view historical landmarks during sunlight or starlight hours. Weekend adventures include trips that ride the river for your sightseeing pleasure.

Features include a modern-day fleet that operates seven ships in New York. Built from 2014 to 2018, the Bronx class boats feature large windows and three spacious decks. No need to worry about the season. All decks are equipped with heating and air conditioning. No matter what the weather you will be comfortable and warm.

If you prefer luxury then you may prefer the Circle Line XVI built in 2008. The following year Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises were proud to announce the Circle Line Brooklyn and the Circle Line Queens. These ships circumnavigate the entire island of Manhattan.

If nostalgia and history are fascinating to you, then you want to travel on the Circle Line XVII They commissioned this boat in 1934 which was originally a United States Coast Guard cutter. Named Triton, the cutter was a patrol craft during World War II. It operated out of Key West, Florida. The Triton took part in submarine warfare during the 1940s but was decommissioned in 1967. Circle Line bought the boat and converted into a passenger cruise ship.

When you think of cruise ships, you probably think of multi-level boats that fit hundreds or even thousands. The ride is slow and steady. But in 1998, Circle Line unleashed The Beast, a custom built, 70-foot offshore racing boat taking its passengers on a wild ride through New York Harbor. This one is fun and fast!
With such a large fleet, Circle Line Cruises allow the traveler to view over 130 landmarks.

A Variety of Events

You also have to option to charter their boats for private and semi-private events. Whether you rent the boats or go on a public sightseeing tour, you will have the best guides imaginable. All Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises are narrated by an entertaining and a knowledgeable staff. The New York Historical Society provides information and data that only an insider would know. But you need not be overly serious during their tours. All the tour guides have a great sense of humor and will have you laughing as you explore historical landmarks.

If you know New York, then you've definitely have heard of The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and now The One World Tower that stands where the Twin Towers once soared. But there are so many surprises among the famed monuments. Going under the Brooklyn Bridge and hearing the story of the men who built it will bring your mind quickly to the past. There is a sense of appreciation when you understand the sacrifices made to create this magnificent passageway.

Circle Line Fleet

The Circle Line fleet was built to go under all the bridges that surround Manhattan, making it one of the best cruises to take. Seeing the bridges during the evening hours is far more exciting. The flashing lights of the vehicles and the still, steady beams that line the bridge create a vision of strength and power.

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises offer many trips at night. The temperature is always cooler when the sun goes down, so they are ideal during the hot summer months.

But maybe you aren't interested in the sites, landmarks, and history. Maybe partying is your thing. That's great because you can cruise the river while listening to some of the best bands Manhattan offers. The Circle Line Cruise schedules tribute bands that play bands like Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, and The Rolling Stones. These fantastic concerts are only performed during the summer months. On board during these events, a full bar is available to order tall cocktails or a cold, crisp brew. Listening to Led Zeppelin with a smooth scotch on the rocks might be your thing.

The younger generation is more of a dance crowd and Circle Line satisfies them too. Some of the most popular DJ's from the great city do their magic on board the big boats.

The Cruise Fit

After an evening of drinking and dancing, you may want to hit the gym. Circle Line now offers Cruise Fit. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. passengers board and find their spot to stretch on the open deck. For a half an hour they mingle with others, stretch or just relax. At 7:00 pm the classes start. These are not low key exercises. These are heart-pumping Zumba classes and Hard Knocks mashups. You will work up a sweat but the breezes will help cool you down. Exercising outdoors is so much better than a smelly, sweaty and hot gym. If you get too tired, you can skip out for the remainder class and watch the boats go by.

What is cool about Cruise Fit is that they offer specialty drinks and snacks for the health nut. You can find green juices and avocado toast in the concession area.

Food is always important and although you won't find fine dining or an extensive menu, their concessions do have some of the best sandwiches and salads. New York Delis are famous for their fare and on Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises you will get to taste the best of the best.

But you will need a drink too. On Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises you can get sparkling waters, juices, sodas or a refreshing alcoholic beverage to help you unwind and enjoy the ride. Hot beverages are also available for those who like to stay warm and cozy.

Pricing of Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

Pricing will depend on the boat and event you choose. Public cruises run between $30.00 and 40.00.
Charter a ship and you will be spending thousands for a three-hour tour. But the boat is all yours. Have a cocktail party, buffet dinner or hire a band. Prices start at $2,900.00

They base the prices of a semi-private party on the number of guests you have. This runs around $100.00 per person.

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: How it Compares

We picked similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

New York City Harbor Lights Cruise

Hudson's by World Yacht New York Dinner Cruise

New York City Skyline Cruise

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises are of high quality and that makes them the most popular fleet in New York. We give them a 5-star rating on average but let's compare them with some of the most famous tours.




New York City Harbor Lights Cruise

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Great setting for a romantic evening
  • Upper deck
  • Premier seating available to avoid long lines

CONS

  • Midtown boarding can be heavily congested
  • Popular cruise makes it crowded during peak season


New York City Harbor Lights Cruise

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

Excellent

$$

Start your evening off with a gorgeous sunset. As the big star in the sky goes down, the night lights go on. Nothing beats the New York skyline during a crisp summer night.

This relaxing cruise takes you past the Empire State Building, The One World Tower, and the Chrysler Building. Plus sights not too many people know about, like the High Line--an extraordinary 1.45 mile-long park built on an abandoned section of a railroad. The park is elevated to be seen from the river.

Additional Perks & Features

This tour takes a stop at the Statue of Liberty for some photo shots or selfies with the glorious lady.






Hudson's by World Yacht New York Dinner Cruise

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • A four-course meal
  • Great value

CONS

  • Only runs on weekends during the winter
  • V. I P. upgrade needed for best seats.


Hudson's by World Yacht New York Dinner Cruise

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

Great

$$

This cruise is top rated. You begin your evening at 6:00 pm with hors d'ouvres and champagne. This is the perfect way to start a special night with a special someone. The romantic ambiance of this ship is exquisite. Reserve a table for two along the windows. The lighting is dim so you may experience the brilliance of the skyline. What a spectacular setting to pop the question or to celebrate many years of marriage with your best friend.

If you want to impress your clients, the Hudson's by the World Yacht Dinner Cruise will do the trick. With many clients coming from all over the world, cruising the New York Harbor will give them something to remember.

Upgrade options are available that include an open bar and window seat. The menu is as elegant as the view. Appetizers include delicacies such as shrimp, mussels and goat cheeses. The entrees are just as nice with superb fish and steak options. Desserts are all made fresh from the best quality bakers in New York. If first-class dining is what you are seeking, you have found the perfect cruise line.

Price

Approximately  $160.00

Additional Perks & Features

Live music and dancing
Special Events and parties throughout the year.




New York City Skyline Cruise

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Adequately priced
  • Professional Staff

CONS

  • Obstructed views
  • Leaves from Queens, N.Y.


New York City Skyline Cruise

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

Great

$$

The Skyline Princess is gorgeous. This is not a typical cruise ship or sightseeing boat. This is an elegant yacht. All three decks are enclosed which is wonderful for those cold, windy days. If you charter a boat, you want to be sure your guests are comfortable and warm, and not every cruise line can offer this.
Because of the enclosed areas, this is not a great boat for the sightseer who wishes to have fabulous views from every angle. The New York City Skyline Cruise is the boat you want to cater your private event. What a fabulous place to have a wedding or an anniversary.

Reunions and Corporate meetings are excellent for this venue. People will be more interested in the fine food, cocktails and company then they will the history of New York.

New York City Skyline also offers dinner cruises. If you are looking for a superb menu, in a beautiful setting while floating on the river then I highly suggest the Skyline Princess.

For the price of a ticket, the meal alone is worth the money. Where in New York can you get high-quality food, with excellent service for around $30.00?
Add a smooth sail in the harbor of the best city in the world and the value is outstanding.

Price

Dinner Cruise is approximately $30.00
Private Charters range in the thousands

Additional Perks & Features:

Departs from Pier 81. This famous pier is a must visit. Give yourself plenty of time to learn the history and see how the fishing industry of bustling city functions. Visit great restaurants and shops along the pier.

Conclusion

If you are looking for fine dining and spectacular views of New York, the Hudson's by World Yacht Dinner Cruise is the best deal. The ticket price may be high, but your meal and experience will be well worth it.

If sightseeing, landmarks and historical facts are what you prefer, book a Circle Line Cruise. They never disappoint. The company has been in the business longer than any other. The quality staff is dedicated to the city of New York and its passengers. New Yorkers have great pride and they show that during their tours.

The Circle Line Sightseeing cruises were there on that dreaded day in September helping the citizens of New York get off the island. Their large fleet and passionate staff spent hours and hours driving back and forth to assist. They were also on site when U.S. Airway flight #1549 crashed into the Hudson. The Circle Line Cruise ships and the Coast Guard were among the first responders. This is not just a job for the employees of Circle Line Cruise, this is their life. You can tell when you talk to the many members of the friendly crew.

If you want to experience the shorelines of Manhattan Island and the New York skyline on a low budget, go with Circle Line.


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