Spend Your Summer in the City...and on the Water
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises offer up some of the city’s best sightseeing and entertainment cruises. See it all on the classic 3-hour cruise or take in the highlights on the 1- or 2-hour cruise. You can also try the romantic sunset harbor lights cruise. For the summer, the thrill ride Beast will take you on a 30-minute “wet n’ wild” ride through the New York Harbor, with a stop for a close-up view of the Statue of Liberty (through Oct. 14). A summer party cruise also departs on Aug. 23, with a live DJ and full bar. Pier 83, W. 42nd St. & Twelfth Ave., 212-563-3200; www.circleline42.com
New York Waterway Sightseeing Cruises are a great way to see New York. These cruises run year-round, offering views of the skyline, the waterfront, and much more. Take a night cruise for a more romantic atmosphere, or check out the 2-hour City Lights Party Cruise, where you can take in those city attractions along with a cool breeze as you dance into the night. Every Thursday night (through Sept. 13), their 90-Minute Downtown Happy Hour Cruise takes you out on the water for 2-for-1 drinks, a selection of complimentary snacks, and a live DJ. During the baseball season, the Yankee Clipper departs from East River stops at Pier 11 (Wall St. & South St.), E. 34th St., or E. 90th St. before every Yankee game and departs 30 minutes after the last out. Departs from Pier 78 at W. 38th St. & Twelfth Ave., 800-53-FERRY; www.nywaterway.com
New York Water Taxi (212-742-1969; www.nywatertaxi.com) offers a variety of waterborne tours to suit any visitor’s taste and schedule. A 2-Day Hop-On/Hop-Off pass allows unlimited rides to eleven stops around the city, providing spectacular views and easy access to premier attractions, restaurants, and shopping. The Gateway to America tour brings you up close to the Statue of Liberty, while covering the 400-year history of New York in a one-hour spectacular. The 2-hour Audubon EcoCruise (through Aug. 12) whisks you away to experience the magnificent wildlife of the harbor with your own Audubon guide. All of their yellow-and-black checkered catamarans feature plush air-conditioned cabins and outdoor top deck seating.
Gray Line NY Sightseeing Tours is New York’s oldest and largest sightseeing/transportation company. Be sure to check out their incredible NYC Showbiz Insider Tour: On this informative jaunt you’ll not only go behind the scenes at many of the city’s showbiz institutions and meet a Rockette, you’ll also get an intimate performance by a Broadway star. You can also experience New York Splash Tours, featuring a tour by land and sea on their amphibious “AquaBus.” 777 Eighth Ave. btw. 47th & 48th Sts., call 212-445-0848 for reservations
If you want to see the city from a different angle while enjoying an exquisite meal, don’t miss this boat: Spirit Cruises offers a view of the shimmering skyline to complement their high-end dining experience. Take your choice of three harbor cruise ships: The glass-enclosed Bateaux is known for fine gourmet selections; the Spirit of New Jersey provides a party atmosphere with a buffet and DJ; and the Spirit City has the trendy feel of a chic bistro. Chelsea Piers, Pier 62, W. 23rd St. at the Hudson River, 212-727-2789; www.spiritofnewyork.com
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