Seeing Manhattan from the water: the Circle Line Cruise

January 18, 2013 in New York City,United States

My very first “housewarming” gift in New York City was a copy of The Best Things to Do in New York. It’s been an awesome resource in an overwhelming city for the tried-and-true tourist spots, quirky festivals and neighborhoods that are worth a wander.

Sunset from the Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan, New York City

When it came to the Circle Line Cruise, the book’s authors asserted that “of all the traditional tourist attractions, this is one that plenty of New Yorkers agree is a pretty great thing to do, and unlike some other famous activities, something that many have actually done themselves.”

Christine Amorose, Kate Brennan and Jenna Ebert on the Circle Line Cruise

I figured it would be the perfect please-everybody activity for Friendsgiving fun, including an East Coast native who lives in DC but visits New York City regularly and a California girl on her first visit to the Big Apple. Jenna, Kate and I hopped on the boat with a box of coffee and a bottle of Bailey’s: key to keeping warm on the chilly outside deck!

Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan, New York City

We took the Semi-Circle 2-Hour Cruise that left at 4 p.m.: perfect winter timing to see the skyline with a backdrop of blue skies, sunset clouds and the stars.

Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan, New York City

It was a gorgeously different perspective of the Financial District…

Statue of Liberty at sunset from Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan, New York City

and sunset over the Statue of Liberty…

Statue of Liberty at sunset from Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan, New York City

and her Lady Liberty standing proudly next to Ellis Island…

Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan, New York City

and the many bridges of Manhattan.

Brooklyn Bridge from the Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan, New York City

Instead of walking across, we cruised under the Brooklyn Bridge…

Vintage Pepsi Cola sign from the Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan, New York City

and next to the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island…

Williamsburg Bridge from the Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan, New York City

and the industrial waterfront of Williamsburg.

New Jersey from the Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan, New York City

When the sun set, the lights came on in New Jersey…

Buildings at dusk from the Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan, New York City

and the Financial District.

I’m never one for super “touristy” tours, but I absolutely loved this trip around Manhattan! It was an incredible way to see the Manhattan skyline from a totally different perspective, and it was timed perfectly to see a stunning New York sunset without all the buildings in the way. If you’re visiting New York City for the first or hundredth time, the Circle Line cruise is something you have to do at least once.

Note: I took the Circle Line cruise free of charge, thanks to complimentary New York CityPASS ticket booklets (which I’ll be writing about soon!). 

  • Alicia C

    Really cool, thanks for sharing this. Just one more thing to put on my to-do list whenever I get out there! :)

  • Cat of Sunshine and Siestas

    My friends took me on one for my birthday, also on my first visit to NYC. Gorgeous way to enjoy – though my birthday is in August and we SWEAT!

  • The statue of liberty shot took my breath away!

  • I love doing water based tours of city. Whether Paris, London wherever, some of my favorite memories are coasting along leisurely watching the city slowly go by while I ignore the tour guide :)

  • I love the sunset over the Statue of Liberty pic!

  • Loved the sunset over the Statue of Liberty pic! :)

    The idea sounds very interesting, will keep it in mind, since am visiting NYC in March. I am looking forward to the post on the citypass!

  • leesa

    just found your blog, its lovely! but im interested in financially how you’ve managed to travel to so many fabulous, but definitely expensive places, and then had the freedom to just pick up and move to nyc, one of the priciest cities in america! did you manage to save enough to travel the world and with some left over for life in nyc or are your parents helping you out, did you find a job right away etc? thanks!

  • camorose

    This is one of my favorite things to do in the city–highly recommended!

  • camorose

    Oh my gosh it was SO cold when we went! Everyone kept darting outside for photos and then coming straight back inside to warm up :)

  • camorose

    We were so lucky to have such a gorgeous sunset!

  • camorose

    Agreed! Haven’t been on the Paris boats since I was a kid and I did a boozy cruise of London at night–need to redo both of those! And it was too cold for a river tour when I was in Chicago, but that’s pretty high on my list of cities to see by water as well :)

  • camorose

    Such a wonderful sunset–perfect night to be out on the water to enjoy it!

  • camorose

    Totally recommend this tour–and I loved the one that went out at sunset, it was great to see everything in daylight AND at dusk!

  • camorose

    Hi Leesa! Glad you like the blog :) I’ve been lucky enough to work everywhere I’ve traveled–Nice, Melbourne, New York City–and have always found jobs very quickly after arriving (even if that means I’m waitressing for a bit while I’m interviewing for more “professional” jobs). I’m also super frugal and tend to save money whenever I’m living and working in a place so that I can spend it on travel later. NYC is proving to be a bit of a challenge in the saving department, but I’m making enough to pay my bills, enjoy the city, etc. So no–my parents aren’t helping me out financially, although they were generous enough to pay for my college education so I was able to graduate with a degree and no debt. That’s the probably what has allowed to me to travel the most, as I haven’t had any bills at home hindering me!

  • Love the pictures! You’ve made me want to go to NYC even more than I already do! Good work!

  • jennaebert

    this cruise was awesome!! and the sky and sunset were equally amazing. not to mention the huge jug of coffee we brought :)

  • camorose

    You’ll have to come visit–it’s an amazing city at any time of year!

  • camorose

    Cups of joy!!!

  • Samantha

    Incredible pictures!! What kind of camera do you use??

  • camorose

    Thank you! These were taken on a Canon Rebel XSi.

  • camorose

    Thank you! These were taken on a Canon Rebel XSi.

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