If you plan on visiting New York City for the first time, I highly recommend you take a Circle Line NYC cruise. There is no better way to get a panoramic view of the most famous city on Earth: Manhattan. Circle Line NYC runs several cruises around Manhattan including a 3 hour cruise and a 2 hour cruise. Which one should you take?
What do you see on the Circle Line NYC 2 and 3 hours cruises:
The Circle Line NYC 2 hour Semi-Circle Cruise starts at the 42nd Street Pier on the Hudson River and travels south around the tip of Manhattan, up the East River as far north as the 59th Street Bridge, and turns around to head back to 42nd Street Pier. Some of the attractions you will see include: The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and United Nations.
The Circle Line NYC 3 hour Full Island Cruise makes a complete circle around Manhattan, starting from 42nd Street Pier on the Hudson and traveling counter clockwise. You will see the same attractions as the 2 hour cruise plus many others in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx including: Yankee Stadium, Gracie Mansion (NYC Mayoral Home), Grant’s Tomb, George Washington Bridge, and The NJ Palisades.
Both cruises will show you the most popular landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Brooklyn Bridge. The additional sites you see on the 3 hour cruise are more for people who are into NYC history. If you only care about landmarks, stick to the 2 hour cruise.
How much are the Circle Line NYC 2 and 3 hour cruises?
The 3 hour Full Island Cruise tickets cost $35 for adults and $22 for children. The 2 hour Semi Circle Cruise tickets cost $31 for adults and $20 for children. So a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids) would pay $114 for the 3 hour cruise and $102 for the 2 hour cruise. Just a bit more than a 10% discount. Unless you are on a really tight budget, price should not be a factor when picking Circle Line NYC Cruises.
How often do the Circle Line NYC 2 and 3 hour cruises run?
Times for the 2 and 3 hour Circle Line NYC cruises vary throughout the year. In general, they run most often between March and early September and least often during the holidays. Departure times run mostly between 10am and 4:30pm. If you are really in a time crunch and want to get in some more NYC attractions, take the 2 hour Semi Circle Cruise. For the most up to date schedules, click here.
Should I take the Circle Line NYC 2 or 3 hour cruise?
Do you just want to see the big attractions like the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building, or do you want to learn more about NY/NJ historical and geographical landmarks Grant’s Tomb and The Palisades? If you’re not a history buff, stick to the 2 hour cruise. Also stick to the 2 hour cruise if you are on a tight schedule. Some attractions like the Empire State Building have 2-3 hour wait times. Overall, I recommend the 2 hour Semi Circle Cruise for the average sightseeing traveler.
Personal experience with both cruises