Pier 16 South Seaport, New York, NY | Directions 1000441.425183 -71.482214
BEWARE! DO NOT BUY TICKETS ONLINE! We bought tickets to ride The Beast online thinking we would bypass waiting in the ticket line at the pier. They took my credit card info and gave me a confirmation #. I get to the pier the next day and see the sign: THE BEAST IS NOT OPERATING DUE TO MECHANICAL ISSUES. Of course the tickets are nonrefundable but the rude ticket lady informs me that tickets are good for one year and The Beast should be running again in a couple of weeks. Too bad I was only in NYC for 4 days. HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE! They should have at least put something on their website letting people know the beast was not operating. Again, DO NOT BUY TICKETS ONLINE! WHAT A SCAM!
A Great Way to Spend an Afternoon – My sister and her boyfriend were visiting and we decided to make a day in NYC. Four of us went on the 3 hour full island tour, narrated by an older man with silvery gray hair and bright blue eyes. The tour guide was fantastic and pointed out landmarks, bridges, and interesting facts about the island. He even had hints for remembering the order of the first 3 bridges on the East River (B-M-W stands for Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg). It was a great value at $35 per ticket. A little hint for picking your seat...left hand side at the front of the boat!
4th of July on the Circle Line – We traveled to NYC for the 4th of July for the first time ever this year. To be honest I was a bit concerned with the crowd watching the fireworks so I wanted a solution that would give is a great view without having to deal with the massive crowd.
I read some reviews of the Circle Line tours but couldn't find on specifically about the 4th of July cruise (which is quite a bit more expensive than the standard tour) thought the reviews I did read were mostly favorable so I went ahead and bit the bullet and got tickets for me, my husband, our German exchange student, her family, and our best friends. There were 7 of us in total, a large group and an even larger bill!
We were able to walk from our hotel which was in midtown. Bring your voucher with you! The cops blocked off 12th avenue and they weren't going to allow us through with our backpacks but I showed him our voucher and off we went. We had a couple bottles of wine in the backpack so we were really gonna be upset if we couldn't bring it to the boat. So then we waited in line in the blistering heat for about half an hour (which was not all that bad) and they even had Uncle Sam on stilts come by to entertain (and squirt us with his umbrella that made it's own rain).
Snap snap took our picture (which didn't turn out that well, but no big deal). Snap snap through security and there we were on the boat!
My husband cleaverly scoped out a spot on the back of the boat that if we sat was protected from the sun (I, and some others in our party are EXTREMELY pale). The captain then came on and announced the best place to see the fireworks would be the back of the boat (horray us, having the front row). So we camped our little row for the next couple of hours with our wine (lots of jealous looks on peoples faces when we popped out those bad boys) and friendship and photo taking and enjoying the sights. They even drove us by Lady Liberty.
We did have some opposition from the (smaller) crowd on the boat, people trying to squeeze into our spot...the people that sat inside in the air conditioning until night and then tried to come out and get a good spot but we felt like we'd been there the whole time sweating in the sun and we deserved our spot so we held our ground (which became increasingly more difficult as the time got closer to blastoff of course) but we did and it was well worth the effort and it was some of the most amazintg fireworks we've ever seen. Germany has nothing like it, so it was an awesome true American experience for our exhcnage student and her family.
The onboard snacks and drinks provided were expensive but the staff was mostly nice.
Recommend: sunscreen, staking out your spot well, bring a bottle or 2 of wine, have a great time! Well worth the high price tag!
Zephyr Boat Cruse by Circle Line – You have options of sitting on the sundeck, interior, or right or left side of the boat. We, unfortunately, sat on the left side. The whole time, the narrarator kept pointing out the attractions on the "right side of the boat". It was so irritating! While he was talking about the skyline, we were looking at the jersey side of the water. On the way back while we were looking at the skyline, he was talking about the the attractions on the jersey side of the water. We did not get our money's worth .. but maybe the right side of the boat did!
Fun for locals and visitors – I grew up in NYC and don't usually do "tourist" activities, but the Circle Line Downtown is really awesome. I took some friends from out of town to the Thursday Happy Hour Cruise and we all had a great time. If you want a guided tour, then the Circle Line from 42nd street has the full island circle tour which is quite comprehensive. However, if you want to just have a great time on the water, snap some pictures and take in the view, the downtown Circle Line is way better. Plus going down to the South Street Seaport is alot cooler than going to Times Square if you ask me!
Circle Line Zephyr Cruise – I used to live in NYC, but now reside in NJ. I thought a great way to show NYC to visiting relatives might be a Circle Line cruise. The cruise that ends at sunset was the perfect time to show off the city, but beware: don't bother showing up early to stand in line in the hopes of snagging the perfect seat. You WILL get the perfect seat, only to have latecomers stand at the rails and completely obstruct your views. It was incredibly frustrating for all the seated passengers. The management should have standing room only in special areas (as they do on smaller cruise boats) or perhaps not allow more people than seats per deck. Also, the commentary over the loudspeaker was not that enlightening and mostly destroyed the peacefulness of the trip. When my next set of relatives arrives next month, we will NOT be going on a Circle Line cruise.
Editorial Review – Cruises offer drinks and dancing and will host events with some breathtaking views of New York City.
Local Secret – The irony is that native New Yorkers love the Circle Line at least as much as tourists. What better way to relax and get some perspective than to circle the island and see it all from afar? Plus, the uptown half of the trip passes shores you'd never believe were part of the big city -- little shanties that seem to belong thousands of miles away from the built-up nabes downtown. Best time is at sunset -- especially as you glide by the Statue of Liberty. Like the best Broadway -- it's hokey, but it works.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Circle Line Downtown on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.