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Circle Line 2 Hour Semi-Circle Cruise: Review

Get a close up view of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Circle Line Boat Tours

Circle Line Boat Tours

For 60 years, visitors have been riding the Circle Line to see Manhattan from New York Harbor. The two-hour Semi-Circle Cruise offers visitors great views of Midtown and Lower Manhattan, as well as a chance to see many of New York City's popular attractions, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, South Street Seaport and the Empire State Building.

Pictures from Circle Line's 2 Hour Semi-Circle Cruise

About Circle Line's Semi-Circle Cruise

A bustling metropolis like New York City can seem overwhelming, even with a week long visit, but the Circle Line Semi-Circle Cruise does a great job of giving visitors and overview and perspective of Midtown and Lower Manhattan in just two comfortable hours. The ship travels from 42nd Street on the West Side, under the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges on the East Side and back.

Throughout the two-hour cruise, the friendly tour guide pointed out important landmarks, sharing trivia and highlighting some of the history of New York City. The trip featured a closeup of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island -- a perfect picture taking opportunity. Since visiting these attractions on their own can take the better part of a day, this is a great opportunity to view the popular attraction as part of a larger tour. The guide pointed out where the twin towers of the World Trade Center would have been, and highlighted the impact of their loss on the skyline.

The two-hour cruise passed surprisingly quickly, despite the fact that the scenery was the same in both directions -- it was nice to be not have to worry about scurrying from one side of the boat to the other in order to get a view of something.

Attractions Featured on Circle Line's Semi-Circle Cruise

Essential Information about the Circle Line's Semi-Circle Cruise

  • Circle Line's Semi-Cirlce Cruise leaves from Pier 83 between 42nd and 43rd Streets at 12th Avenue
  • Mass Transit to Circle Line Pier: A/C/E, 1/2/3, N/R/Q, 7 or S to 42nd St./Times Square - change to the M42 or M50 Bus running along 42nd Street which will take you to the 42nd Street Pier
  • Parking at Circle Line: $20 before 3 p.m.; $25 after 3 p.m. and on weekends
  • Circle Line's Full Island Cruise Phone: 212-563-3200
  • Circle Line's Full Island Cruise Cost: Adults $34, Children (under 12) $23, Senior Citizens $30
  • Circle Line's Semi-Circle Cruise is available with The New York Pass and CityPass.
  • Circle Line's Semi-Circle Cruise Payment: Cash and Major Credit Cards
  • Circle Line's Semi-Circle Cruise Schedule

Helpful Tips for Circle Line's Semi-Circle Cruise

  • Concessions, including beer and wine, are available on board, but you can also bring your own food and non-alcoholic drinks. The $6 souvenir mug with free refills of soda is a good value.
  • They begin boarding the boat about 30 minutes before departure -- arrive about 30-45 minutes before departure for time to buy your tickets. Fortunately, on the semi-circle cruise, both sides of the boat are good, as one will face Manhattan in each direction.
  • Wear sunscreen if you plan to sit outside or stand at the bow of the boat -- despite the breeze, you can get quite a bit of sun.
  • After the cruise departs, they open up the bow of the boat for standing room only -- it's worth checking out the view from there, despite the crowds.
  • Bathrooms on board tend to be cleanest early in the trip -- plan accordingly.
  • You can book tickets online, however there is a ticketing fee $5 for one ticket, $8.50 for 2, etc. You also will need to exchange the ticket voucher for a boarding pass in the ticketing line once you arrive, so there's really no advantage to buying your tickets online.

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