We went on The Beast expecting to get wet and expecting to have some fun. We did...and we did!! The Beast is a sleek, green, 70 foot racing boat that leaves from the west side of NY for a 30 minute ride down to the Statue of Liberty at speeds up to 45 mph. You will get a decent amount of spray from the Hudson but likely more from the guide's water gun! (Relax, it's water....it dries.)
You'll see lower Manhattan, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. The Beast stops for a few minutes in front of Lady Liberty so you can take some photos of her and lower Manhattan. The crew will take photos of your group for you.
Front or back? You'll get a lot more spray in the back but also some shade (where we sat). The front pitches more.
The worst part of the trip was actually getting the tickets! The Beast is part of Circle Line and there will be long lines of people getting tickets. Even if you pre-purchase a voucher online you still have to wait in one of those long lines to get a ticket! The Beast runs every hour on the hour - I'd recommend getting there 30 minutes before. The Beast runs May-September and does not go out in the rain.
Quick tips: Look for discount coupons.
Put your hat/glasses away.
Be ready to hide your camera quickly to keep it from getting wet.
The Beast is not meant to be a sightseeing cruise around Manhattan. Sure The Beast may be a little gimmicky and you may get annoyed at being sprayed with a water gun - but it is fun! Kids/teens will love it. So might you!
We took this cruise because we had a New York Pass It was an excellent way of getting a grasp of the Manhattan skyline, the significance of various buildings and bridges and it also stopped in front of the statue so everyone could get a great* photo. The cruise lasts 90 mins.
The only warning is that the dock area is a little out of the way. You can walk to it via 39th street but during winter it is a pretty desolate place. We were lucky as a kind guide on one of the hop on hop off buses took pity on us and allowed us to hitch a ride otherwise a long cold walk for us!!
Cruising New York might sound like something you should be doing at night looking for love in all the wrong places, doesn't it? I'm actually referring to the Circle Line Cruise tours around the island of Manhattan along the Hudson and East Rivers.
We spent a very pleasant 2 hours doing just that on our recent visit. You pick up the boat at Pier 83, on the Hudson River at the end of 42nd Street and 12th Avenue. You can buy the tickets there or get them online or get in with the various City passes. The queues to board look unbelieveably long and you don't think everyone will get on but they do. The boats are very large! The tour is narrated by a guide who points out various buildings and sights of interest along the shores of both Manhattan and New Jersey and Brooklyn. The boat sails out by the Statue of Liberty and circles round so both sides of the boat get a good view. Unfortunately, though the customers are asked to keep their seats, they get very excited and they're all standing up to take photos and don't sit down immediately. It's kind of frustrating.
You sail under the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges on the East river side and get very good views of the iconic buildings like the Empire State, the Chrysler and the new, nearly finished Freedom Tower.
There are cross town busses that pass close to it, the 42nd street busses are closest but the 50th street busses are good too. The nearest Subway stop is Port Authority and it's a few blocks' hike from there. There are bathrooms on board and a bar with snacks.
They do several different tours including a twilight one to see the night lights of the city skyline, one that goes all the way around Manhattan, one that goes half way (the "semi circle") that goes from the pier to Williamsburg bridge/UN Building on the east side, one specifically to the Statue of Liberty. They also have a speedboat trip called The Beast. Not for the faint of heart! Costs about 30 - 40$ depending on the cruise, well worth the price on a sunny day.
Saturday May 4, 2013
Included in our New York City Tour package was the "Full Island Cruise" with CIRCLE LINE SIGHTSEEING CRUISES. The cruise duration was 2 1/2 hours and circled the whole of Manhattan Island. The cruise takes in over 101 city sights, including a close-up of the Statue of Liberty. I was looking forward to seeing and taking pictures of the Statue of Liberty, but it was a little disappointing as it was hard to get a clear view of the Statue as everyone on the crowded boat was trying to do the same thing.
Our group of 52 had a 12:30 boarding time. The boat was already pretty full and we all had to scatter around looking for a seat. Hans just wandered around the boat, taking videos here and there.
A charming young man was our guide and he was very informative, telling us what we were seeing and some interesting facts about them, like the fact that after U.S. Airways Flight 1549 was forced to land in the Hudson River in 2009, Circle Line vessels were among the first to respond.
Food and Snacks were available for purchase on board. Since it was lunch time, the line was long and the workers slow. I ordered two hot dogs, one with cheese and one with chili. They were $4.00 each and were just OK.
Cruises depart from Pier 83 at W. 42nd Street and 12th Avenue.
Seniors (65 +) $34.00
Child (3 - 12 ) $26.00
Be sure to bring a sweater or windbreaker, as it was quite cool and windy on board.
For a wonderfully different perpsective of NYC get out in the water, cruise under the bridges. Take a trip during the day and at night to enjoy the lights. There are many ways to see NY from the water:
Take a Tug Boat ride: Enjoy a guided tour of the byways and backwaters of New York Harbor aboard a restored 1930 wooden tugboat. Tours depart from Pier 16 (South Street Seaport). (www.southstseaport.org/index.aspx?lobid=870)
Take any one of the cruises from Circle Line from a 3 hour sightseeing cruise to the Beast Speedboat ride. (www.circleline42.com/)
Enjoy a special dinner cruise on World Yacht. (www.worldyacht.com/)
Take a water taxi for a happy hour cruise or just to get around. (www.nywatertaxi.com/)
Ride the ferry between NYC and NJ (www.nywaterway.com/) or between NYC and Staten Island. (www.siferry.com/)
A boat tour around Manhattan is the best way to enjoy a view of the city on its different sides and at same time having 3 hours rest from walking around.
You start from Pier 83 (down 42nd ) and it goes down lower manhattan, Statue of Liberty, the bridges, the upper east with Harlem on one side and the Bronx on the other, and goes down again to the Pier. On the boat you hear the constant voice from the captain that tells you about what you are going to see, the boat is provided with a snack bar (pretty expensive!). You can enjoy and sit down inside (the slide windows can be opened) or if you get a good spot in front you can stay on the outside deck. Do not worry getting a sit on the left or right of the boat, there is plenty of room to move around freely to take pics, and at the Statue of Liberty the boat goes on each side in order to give everybody a good view.
What a great way to get an overall view of the city, the bridges and most gratifyingly, the Statue of Liberty. My friends and I really enjoyed the boat ride around the city despite the rainy weather that was rather glum. It was a great way to see the Statue and get an overall grasp of the city.
There are two locations to depart from, pier 83 and pier 16. They each offer different cruises and you can learn more on their website as far as costs, cruise options, buying tickets online or at the peir, etc.
Pier 83, West 42nd Street, NYC
General Info: 212-563-3200
Group Sales: 212-630-8885
Charter Sales: 212-630-8147
Circle Line Seaport
Pier 16, South Street Seaport, NYC
General Info: 212-563-3200
Group Sales: 212-630-8885
The Circle Line boat cruise is one of the best ways to see the Manhattan skyline. The Circle Line offers criuses around half of Manhattan Island and all of Manhattan Island. I recommend the cruise that goes around the entire island. You will see most of the major landmarks on Manhattan Island and some from the outer boroughs and nearby New Jersey. The full island cruise takes about 3 hours. It is well worth the trip, expecially on a clear summer day.
NYC is one of my most favorite cities to show off when I host families or friends. My go-to activity to squeeze in a bit of culture and history for those family members who cannot walk or stand for long periods of time is the Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan Island. The full tour lasts just under 3 hours (any superstitions will be squelched by the tour's tight timeline at 2:55) and departs from Pier 83 on 42nd and 12th. As another member mentioned - the NYC pass could be an option, but unless you are hitting all the marks listed, you might be better off to cherry pick your visits since you are on a tight schedule as well as a budget.
The West End has a lot of inexpensive ethnic restaurants in the area and are in easy walking distance from the pier or you can head back into Midtown for your themed restaurants and franchises if you must. On past visits, I like to grab a burger and drink and take my guests on the evening tour - The Harbor Lights. The skyline at night is beautiful and everyone enjoys munching on deck while listening to the historical background of each building and borough and its architectural history.
Price is usually around $20-$25 pp and I think worth it, since you get to see the island from all sides, including various bits of Jersey, Brooklyn and the bridges. And yes, although it is presented as a bit "touristy" in its advertising - it is a guilty pleasure enjoyed by the locals when friends and families come to visit. Who doesn't like to be out on the open water at night with the wind in your hair looking at the most renowned skyline in the world? It's a don't miss in my book - even though I roll my eyes for the camera every time...
The cruises vary in time slots through the year; like now it is only at 12:30 once a day. Other times are twice until late April-then 4 times daily. You can take a full Manhattan 3 hour cruise around the whole island for $36, or half cruises lapping backtracking for $30, or evening harbor lights for same price. The other choice is 75 minutes around the harbor area for $18-26, depending on the seat desired.
i would recommend anybody visiting New York to do this trip. It is such an interesting way to see the City - and you can take full advantage of the views from the water - totally uninterupted views of the skyscrapers....much easier to see than down on the ground!
We did the 2 hour cruise which i think was enough for us but they also do a 3 hour one and a night time one (which if the days had been right we would have loved to have done.)
The guides are very knowledgeable about their city and gave you lots of information about the sights that you were passing, some of which many people may not have known about.
There is a toilet on board as well as a bar to buy drinks and snacks such as crisps/chocolate.
Great way to see the city and give your feet a rest!
Just a hint - maybe worth getting a bus or taxi there - we walked from Madisson Square Gardens and it seemed to take an age and some areas we walked through made me feel a bit intimidated.
This cruise goes around the island of Manhattan and embarks from the West 42nd street pier. There are cruises of various lengths but the entire circle cruise takes 2 hours - mainly because in one area they have a 'no wake' rule. Otherwise it would be a lot faster. The tour commentator is incredibly knowledgable!
The ferry is modern, plenty of bathrooms - decent, good refreshments and plenty of seating upstairs and downstairs. There were about 300 people on ours and it actually did not feel too crowded!
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises are popular among the tourists but it’s really worth to spend 2 or hours for their trip.
The 2 hour semi circle tour goes between mid and lower Manhattan but it’s only worth if you do it at 19:00 to see the lights of the skyscrapers. For 4 dollars more you can do the 3 hour full island cruise that goes all the way round Manhattan and the guide was very funny telling us every small detail of the buildings/districts we passed by. We sailed the 3 rivers (Hudson, East, Harlem) and passed under 20 bridges! During some breaks he answered some questions also.
The boat stopped for a while in front of the Statue of Liberty so we had time to take some nice photos of it but we couldn’t disembark. I really enjoyed the magnificent views of the skyline over lower Manhattan(pic 1) but also some small details along the way like the pier the survivors of Titanic arrived (pic 3) or some waterfalls that were put that period in some places (pic 2). The waterfalls will be on display along the East river June 26-October 13 2008 so don’t miss them anyway. I saw 4 of them at:Brooklyn bridge, Governors Island, Pier 35 in Manhattan, Pier 4 in Brooklyn
No boat tours at Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
With the CITYPASS you ride for free but the full fare is:
3hour(full island cruise) 31$
2hour(semi-circle/harbor lights) 27$
75’(liberty cruise) 21$
30’(beast speedboat ride) 19$
I had the city pass so the 2hour ride was for free but we just payed 4$ more and we did the 3h full island cruise. There is a small café to buy refreshments in case you forgot your bottles of water! :)
3h: 9:30, 10:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 16:30
2h: 11:30, 15:30
75’:11:00, 13:00, 15:00
Taking a boat ride is one of the nicest ways to see Manhattan. Circle Line is one of the tours that I have used in the past. Most of the boats leave out of Pier 83 (west 42nd Street) or Downtown.
You can choose a 3 hour tour which goes around the entire city, a 2 hour tour which only goes in a Semi-Circle, and a 75 minute tour which only views the Statue of liberty. They also have the Beast tour… I have never been on that one but heard it’s a lot of fun. It’s a speed boat so it’s more for fun than a city view tour.
Check the website because the schedules change each month.
TIP: Go during sun down -your photos will be beautiful and gold.
Circle Line tours are the best ways to get to and from the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The ferries are a good size with 3 floors and plenty of room for enough passengers to keep the line at Battery Park moving at a steady pace.