USA series: New York City – Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise

Stunning vista

Stunning vista

Alex and I are taking a cruise on the water tonight.  More specifically we are taking a New York City – Harbor Lights Cruise covering sections of both the Hudson River and the East River. 

This river cruise will give us an opportunity to see the Manhattan skyline at night and from the water.  We haven’t pre-purchased tickets because we can just pick them up at Pier 83 before the cruise. 

Sometimes you just know that something will be special. This is one of those times.

The first part of our day has been taken up with a leisurely lunch with J-Man (Alex’s nephew) at an eatery overlooking the East River and we have since moved on from lunch to fabulous Times Square.

3:00pm
For the second time during our time in Manhattan we find ourselves at Times Square. 

Fabulous Times Square

Fabulous Times Square

Taxi bottoms

The only problem with our two trips so far is that they have been during the day but that’s ok because we intend to come back to Times Square one night and experience this precinct when it is heavily illuminated and in its full glory.

USA...USA...USA - Times Square

USA…USA…USA – Times Square

Even so, it is mid afternoon on a Sunday and Times Square is still super popular and buzzing with people.  Time to find a café and indulge in some coffee and New York Cheesecake.

As we leave Times Square, walking west along 47th Street, we happen by the luxurious Edison Ballroom New York where I really think I got the money shot of the newly married couple.

Million dollar shot

Million dollar shot

Continuing on along West 47th Street a further four blocks we reach the Hudson River and the dock where the Intrepid (former war ship) is permanently docked.

From here we continue along the waterfront to Pier 83 where we buy our USD$35 (each) ticket for the 7:00pm Harbor Lights Cruise on the Circle Line Boat.

Harbor Lights Cruise according to Circle Line:

“For something a bit more romantic, set sail on the same route as the Semi-Circle Cruise as the sun sets and the skyline comes alive at night. Cruise down the Hudson, around the Battery, up the East River, and back to the 42nd Street Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises pier. Along the way, witness the world’s premier skyline and a close-up view of Lady Liberty, and a host of sights, including:

–  USS Intrepid Pier
–  Hoboken Pier
–  Pier 54 (Titanic Pier)
–  Newport Center
–  Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
–  Battery Park
–  The Museum Of Jewish Heritage
–  Ellis Island
–  Wall Street
–  South Street Seaport and Museum
–  Brooklyn Bridge
–  Chrysler Building
And more!

All tours are narrated by professional guides.”

7:00pm
Time to get the show on the road as the Circle Line boat leaves its Pier 83 mooring and begins our cruise while still daylight.  Everybody is seated and relaxed and the cruise commentary begins.

Is everybody in?

Is everybody in?

We begin our semi-circle of Manhattan by heading south down the Hudson River towards Battery Point, passing both downtown Manhattan and the financial district.

Daylight

Daylight

Titanic pier where titanic was supposed to dock

Titanic pier where titanic was supposed to dock

Once around Battery Point we take a left and make our way along the other side of Manhattan Island, via the East River, all the way to the tip of Roosevelt Island.

Pepsi Cola sign

Pepsi Cola sign

This is mid-point and it is now that the ship does a “U” turn, in order to make our return journey.

Dusk is turning into evening and the city is beginning its transition one light bulb at a time.

Lights are on at the Chrysler Building

Lights are on at the Chrysler Building

Empire State Building and Chrysler Building

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Dusk

With the action and the city’s illumination heating up we make a move from our adequate seats inside the boat to a better position at the rear of the upper deck. 

Manhattan Night Lights

Manhattan Night Lights

The upper deck is open and gives a prime view.

View from the top deck

View from the top deck

Our return journey takes us back down the East River, continuing beyond Battery Point to take in the Statue if Liberty.  Wow, Lady Liberty you look beautiful! 

Lady Liberty - you look beautiful

Lady Liberty – you look beautiful

Lady Liberty

We finish our cruise with our final stretch back up the Hudson River before finally retuning to Pier 83.

Manhattan Skyline colour

Manhattan Skyline colour

I have to say this Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise was excellent.  We are definitely adding this to our list of trip highlights and would recommend it as a must do activity.

This cruise delivered on all it promised:

Yes, it was romantic, regardless of having to share the moment with a boatful of other people.

Yes, we did set sail on the same route as the Semi-Circle Cruise as the sun set.

Yes, the skyline absolutely came alive at night and was amazing. It was sometimes necessary to remind myself (and Alex) to put the camera down and actually take a minute to look at, experience and take in the view.

Yes, we did cruise down the Hudson, around the Battery, up the East River, and back to the 42nd Street Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises pier.

And along the way, yes, we did witness the world’s premier skyline and a close-up view of Lady Liberty, together with a host of other sights.

With our cruise over, we leave Pier 83 and make our way on the subway towards home on the Upper West Side. 

We decide to finish our night with a lovely late dinner at French Brasserie which is on the corner of Broadway and West 85TH Street, only a couple of blocks from our apartment.

What a sensational night!

Tomorrow we have another tour planned but this time it is one of those open bus tours of downtown Manhattan.  Not normally our thing but this should save our legs and give us a different vantage point from our usual street level. 

Our next tour will be on a bus

Our next tour will be on a bus

Should be good![showmyads]

For previous US series post see Central Park and Roosevelt Island Tram
For next US series post stay tuned…