75 Years of Circle Line Cruise New York

August 3, 2022

Towering skyscrapers, awe inspiring architecture, and endless historic monuments all call the Big Apple home. While it can be overwhelming to conquer every last New York City attraction and landmark, Circle Line Cruises makes it easy.

Follow along as we explore 75 years of excellence with Circle Line Cruise NYC. 

Sail through the sparkling Hudson River, glimpse at the iconic Empire State Building, or capture the quiet confidence of Lady Liberty.

From romantic Harbor Light Cruises that feature evening lights and unparalleled views to comprehensive tours that cover over a hundred iconic landmarks, there are options for every traveler. 

For 75 years, Circle Line Cruises has entertained and informed guests from all over the world.

Whether you have 24 hours in NYC or are hitting the pavement for over a week, there's no better way to see the City that Never Sleeps than a Circle Line Cruise.

About Circle Line Cruises

Wondering just what makes a Circle Line Cruise so special? Since 1945, this renowned company has been delighting tourists and locals alike with their top-rated boat tours. Thanks to decades of collective experience and insider information provided by the New York Historical Society, Circle Line's tour guides are considered the best in the business.

Marvel at the Manhattan Skyline as you relax onboard one of their modern, luxurious vessels. Whether you wish to circumvent Manhattan or sail under the Brooklyn Bridge, Circle Line Cruise's dedicated sightseeing boats let you do it all. Cruises run rain or shine, and Circle Line's commitment to providing the best possible Big Apple experience has earned them worldwide acclaim. 

photo credit: Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises via Facebook

History of Circle Line Cruises

Calling all history buffs! Let's take a moment to dive into the thrilling history of this classic NYC company. While Manhattan's waterways may have opened for cruising in January 1890, Circle Line's story began on June 16th, 1945. During this balmy summer, Barry, Joe Moran, and other boat partners merged to form the Circle Line Company.

Five years later, in 1950, due to popular demand, Circle Line expanded their fleet range to include larger vessels. These newer ships allowed them to complete a 35-mile cruise around Manhattan in less than three hours! By December 1955, Circle Line moved from their Battery park location to their current home at Pier 83.

Related Post: Insider's Guide to Circle Line Cruises

Come April 1985; Circle Line cemented their status as a New York staple by earning the distinct honor of their own day. In a stirring tribute to their 40th anniversary, Mayor Ed Koch officially declared April 23rd as Circle Line Day. Moving into the world of luxury cruises and special events, Circle Line officially acquired World Yacht, Inc. in 1988.

In the following years, the Circle Line family continued to grow as they unleashed the Beast, christened the Circle Line Manhattan, and broke in the Circle Line Brooklyn and Queens. December 2010 ushered in another landmark achievement, with the Circle Line reaching a million passengers for the first time in one calendar year.

The newest member of the Circle Line family joined its ranks in January 2017, when they expanded their fleet with the addition of the New York Water Taxi. 75 years of stirring history and 80 million passengers later, Circle Line Cruises shows no signs of slowing down!

photo credit: Donna Karla Calingo Gargaceran via Facebook

Circle Line Cruises

Can't wait to speed through the East River, marvel at Manhattan Island, or witness the 9/11 memorial? Whether you are angling for unforgettable views of the Statue of Liberty or have your heart set on a Harbor Lights Cruise, we provide a wide array of Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise Options. All cruises depart from the Midtown West Pier 83 and last between 1-2.5 hours:

Best of NYC Cruise

Ready to paint the Big Apple red? Set sail for 2.5 hours of watery adventure when you partake in the Best of NYC Cruise. Circle Line's signature cruise is the only sightseeing cruise in New York City that completely circumnavigates the island of Manhattan. So charge that phone or camera, as you'll want to document every inch of the city's most recognizable landmarks.

Related Post: Upcoming New York City Events and Festivals 

Sail through all three NYC rivers, One World Trade Center, the Brooklyn Waterfront, Ellis Island, and more. Peer above at the George Washington Bridge and appreciate the full photo stop at the Statue of Liberty. Hang out al fresco on the spacious outdoor deck, or lounge comfortably with temperature-controlled indoor seats.

photo credit: Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises via Facebook

Landmarks Cruise

Unparalleled views, legendary points of interest, and world-class live narration create the ever-popular Landmarks Cruise. Indulge in the history and lore of the Empire City in under two hours when you book this riveting experience.

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Circle Line Cruises: Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

Glide between the Hudson and East Rivers as you garner incredible vistas of the Chrysler Building, the High Line, DUMBO, and South Street Seaport. Snap tons of social media-worthy snaps of Lady Liberty, and capture the magic of the Manhattan Bridge. Feeling peckish? You can always grab a tasty snack or beverage from the onboard cafe and full bar.

Liberty Midtown Cruise

Only have an hour to soak in the Midtown scenery? The Liberty Midtown Cruise is the fastest way to see the towering green goddess in all her glory. Squeeze in all the NYC sightseeing essentials when you clock views of Hudson Yards, One World Trade Center, and the Highline Park.

Level up your selfie game when you conclude your cruise by passing the southern tip of Manhattan. Sail just feet away from the splendid Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. No need to wait to upload those incredible photos. Thanks to on-deck free wifi, you can share your NYC experience immediately!

Harbor Lights Cruise

Looking to amplify the ambiance of your NYC tour? Witness even more Big Apple beauty when you see this storied city's sights at night. The Harbor Lights Cruise sets the stage for a relaxing evening witnessing the sparkling city lights. Spend two hours admiring the arresting visuals of the Manhattan cityscape.

Related Post: Insider’s Guide to Madame Tussauds New York

Linger over the Empire State Building's lights, and revel in the sun setting behind the Statue of Liberty. As day turns to night, the lights of the City that Never Sleeps come alive. Listen as your informative guide regales you with tales of NYC's past. Or! swing by the fully stocked bar for a celebratory sunset cocktail to commemorate this unforgettable escape. 

photo credit: Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises via Facebook

Special Event Cruises

Family reunions, corporate events, and bachelor parties, oh my! Everything is better on the water. Inject your next group event or outing with some NYC flavor when you inquire about a special event cruise.

Related Post: NYC After Dark: The Top Things to Do in NYC at Night

For even more seasonal outings, check in with Circle Line to discover festive-themed events like the Bear Mountain Oktoberfest Cruise.

What to Bring

Ahoy mate! Before you delight in NYC's waterways and staggering Battery Park views, you'll need to prepare. 

Ensure your Circle Line Cruise is nothing but smooth sailing when you come with the following must-have items:

  • Camera/phone
  • Portable Battery Pack
  • Light Jacket/rain Jacket dependent on weather
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Extra cash for onboard purchases

photo credit: Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises via Facebook

A world-renowned fleet, scintillating tour guides, and jaw-dropping cityscape views. There's a reason the Circle Line leads the way in sightseeing cruises. 

Gaze upon the Chrysler building, DUMBO, Gracie Mansion, and more as entertaining guides paint a vivid picture of the Big Apple's founding and future.

Spend an hour, or a day, enjoying the luxurious comforts of the state-of-the-art fleet, or cozy up with a hot chocolate on their alfresco deck.

With over 130 landmarks and an astounding array of cruises, there's an ideal Circle Line Cruise for every NYC escape.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your Circle Line Cruise today!

Tell us Your Favorite Circle Line Cruise Memory!

Leave us a comment below!


isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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