I spent almost a week in the concrete jungle, and am now back in Vancouver and ready to share my trip with you all. There was a lot my mom and I wanted to do, so our ‘vacation’ was really fast paced and I ended up doing a tremendous amount of walking there. Far more walking than I would normally do in Vancouver!
There are so many posts I have lined up from my Big Apple visit, but I decided to talk about the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise first because it was my favourite touristy activity.
I had the NYC CityPASS, which is a ticket booklet that offers you admission to 6 popular NYC attractions at a discounted price. You can click here for the full CityPASS review.
The Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise was included as one of the activities, and you had the option of choosing which scheduled cruise you wanted. You can go on the NYC CityPASS website for more information on the cruises.
We chose the Harbour Lights Cruise, as we wanted to see the city lit up at night!
Since this is the sunset cruise, this scheduled cruise only runs once per day, obviously. The other cruises, such as the Landmark or Liberty Cruises, run twice a day.
The pier where the cruise is located is about a 10 minute walk from Times Square, depending on how fast you walk. You can also take the bus from Times Square.
The weather was a bit muggy but that did not dampen our mood at all! Since it was more of a chillier day, we sat inside the cruise. Pictured above is the outside top deck (there are two floors).
Once the cruise started to move, people moved inside because it was a windy night and also raining a bit. But on a beautiful, warm day, you will definitely want to be on the balcony!
On Circle Line’s website, you can see the routes in which the ships go, as well as the length of time it runs for. The Harbour Lights cruise was 2 hours and goes around the bottom half of Manhattan, and back around the same way so you don’t have to worry if you are sitting on the side of the boat without the better view.
Now, on to the beautiful views!
On the cruise, we also got to see some attractions on the other side of Manhattan. We passed a port where soldiers were deported to Europe in World War 1 & 2 in New Jersey. We also saw the old Colgate factory in New Jersey. These things we wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for our informative and engaging tour guide!
Pictured above is the old Pepsi sign, where the factory used to be in Brooklyn!
Passing by New York City, with the Empire State Building in the background!
We scored great seats since we went a hour early! The only annoying thing about our seats was that it was directly facing the stairs to the deck. Since the boat was going pretty fast and it was chilly that day, the cold wind blasted up to us whenever people would open the doors. It got a bit annoying because other customers held the door open for their friends, which made our entire area really cold!
Good thing there was an angry customer who went down and told them to not leave the door open as everyone upstairs was starting to freeze. Thank you, haha!
Going under the three bridges that connect Brooklyn and Queens to Manhattan! The tour guide, who was awesome btw, told us an easy way to remember the order of the bridges was BMW – Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg.
This one was either the Manhattan or Williamsburg bridge, sorry, I don’t remember which one exactly.
The sun was beginning to set at 8 pm! Pictured above is the famous Brooklyn Bridge, one of the first steel cable and oldest bridges in North America. We learned that when it was first built, citizens and government officials alike were hesitant to cross the bridge because it was the first time they used steel cable there.
We also learned from the tour guide that the engineer used double the amount of steel cable than necessary. So, you can easily tell the Brooklyn Bridge apart from the other two based on how much more cable and wire it has.
I actually didn’t know the Harbour Lights cruise went around the Statue of Liberty, so I was pleasantly surprised when it was announced!
This picture is probably my favourite photo of the trip that I took. Lady Liberty looks so majestic and beautiful lit up like that.
On the way back, our side of the boat faced Manhattan so I was able to take nicer city view photos. This is a photo of Lower Manhattan, featuring the World Trade Center building.
Since my mom and I didn’t go on any tours and just explored the city on our own, it was really nice to learn about NYC from an experienced tour guide. Throughout the evening, the tour guide told us fun and interesting facts about the city – hidden facts you wouldn’t really know.
To add to it even more, he had a really great sense of humour and I had a lot of laughs listening to his stories and facts! For me, that’s what made the sightseeing cruise so enjoyable and memorable. I would highly recommend taking this cruise, whether or not it’s your first time to the Big Apple!
Check out the NYC CityPASS for tickets to the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise!
Thanks for reading,
Media passes provided on behalf of CityPASS. Opinions are own.