The Big Apple's big attractions are best seen from the moon, but recent budget cuts in the space-tour industry have kept sightseeing within the stratosphere. See the city from the surface of the other final frontier with today's Groupon: for $13, you get one ticket to see Manhattan by boat with your choice of one of three guided boat tours from New York Water Taxi and Circle Line Downtown (up to a $27 value). Choose from the classic New York Water Taxi's Statue of Liberty Express, a luxurious Circle Line Downtown Zephyr Seaport Liberty Cruise, or Circle Line Downtown's fast and furious Shark Speedboat Thrill Ride.
The Statue of Liberty Express is the classic one-hour NYC boat tour. Cruise on a catamaran past Manhattan's skyline and take in the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, and other Big Apple bigwigs. Sailors can declare unrequited love for Lady Liberty by blasting slow jams from a boom box or by respectfully listening to the personable tour guides who narrate this nautical adventure. Check the schedule for cruise times during different seasons.
The Zephyr Seaport Liberty Cruise sets sea dogs adrift on a luxurious yacht for a tour of New York's legendary landmarks. From the climate-controlled plush-and-mahogany chamber aboard the ship, boating buffs get an eyeful of Manhattan's mainstays, including the Chrysler Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building. Venture onto the full sun deck or the ship's other outdoor decks to wash down this sightseeing sojourn with a sun-poured glass of vitamin D. Check the schedule for cruise times.
Squeeze a harbor cruise into a lunch break or dental-office wait and satisfy a need for speed on the Shark Speedboat Thrill Ride. The heart-handshaking 30-minute speedboat ride blasts out of South Street Seaport's Pier 16 with the gusto of a Miami Vice rerun, zipping by landmarks on a stream of seaspray. The tour features music and Manhattan merriment, making it a great trip for students and corporate groups (children and microscopic CEOs must be at least 40" to ride). Check the schedule for cruise times.
The Village Voice voted New York Water Taxi's stop-and-go tour Best Taxi Ride in 2007, and reviewers from the International Press Association and The Travel Editor liked its cruise past the Big Apple.
- Imagine a taxi ride free of drivers' cell-phone conversations...a ride without the need to question the route or glance at the escalating numbers on the meter, a ride where you never had to contend with any traffic or decrepit shock absorbers or broken seat belts. And the salt spray—well, that's simply a bonus. – Village Voice
- Being native New Yorkers, we have visited many of these locations on land, but rarely get a chance to see them from the sea and on a beautiful day with the cool summer wind blowing in our hair it was truly a delight. – Andrew Rapoport and Sara Milkovich, International Press Association
New York Water Taxi and Circle Line Downtown
New York Water Taxi has entertained millions of visitors to New York since 2002, beginning with a spunky fleet of five distinctive black-and-yellow-checkered vessels. The eco-conscious crew first began by chauffeuring passengers between Brooklyn and downtown, but the business quickly expanded as locals and tourists demanded to see all of New York's mammoth manmade beauty such as the city skyline, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, and Ellis Island from its treasured natural waterways. New York Water Taxi is the better way to see NYC — providing exciting ways to navigate and experience NYC aboard iconic, exciting, and comfortable boats!
Knowledgable and entertaining guides narrate tours while patrons can indulge in a cash bar that provides refreshments along the way. Popular touring sites include Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, Times Square/Broadway, Hudson River Park, and South Street Seaport, to name a few.