NEW YORK — Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises is planning to launch New York City’s first tourist cruise specifically celebrating the storied borough of Brooklyn. Launching May 2, 2016, the Hello Brooklyn tour will be a great addition to Circle Line’s cruise offerings for guests who want to explore this popular borough’s rich history, pop culture, local lore and even sample a curated selection of Brooklyn-made food and drinks. The timing of this new cruise coincides with the upcoming arrival of two brand-new, three-level sightseeing boats that will be added to the iconic Circle Line fleet for the 2016 summer season.
The two-hour Hello Brooklyn tour will begin by setting the scene with a brief history of the popular borough and how it relates to the sights of Manhattan and New Jersey as the cruise heads south toward Brooklyn. The ship will pass the Statue of Liberty, cut east across the Upper Bay over to the waterfront of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and hug the Brooklyn shoreline. From there it will head north past Sunset Park, Industry City, Gowanus, and Red Hook, through the Buttermilk Channel on the east side of Governors Island and past Brooklyn Bridge Park, DUMBO, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint, sailing under the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges. The cruise will turn around just under the Williamsburg Bridge near Greenpoint and head back to Pier 83 along the Manhattan side providing sweeping 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline.
Narrated by Circle Line’s legendary tour guides, the content of the Hello Brooklyn cruise will cover Brooklyn’s unique culture, from history to hip hop. The tour has been carefully crafted to focus on the five pillars of history, people, pop culture, local lore and Brooklyn wonders. For example, the guides may be heard telling the story of how the Brooklyn Navy Yard, once a hub of military activity and naval ship building for World War II, went from bending steel for battleships to making blockbuster movies for the silver screen as the home of Steiner Studios, the largest film and television studio outside of Hollywood. Guests can expect to hear stories like those of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the lurid past of the Gowanus Canal and more points of interest and intrigue, from notorious Mafioso who owned the waterfront to Brooklyn native The Notorious B.I.G. and even where to get the best pie in the borough.
In addition to views of the Verrazano Bridge and waterfront sights rarely seen by the average visitor (or New Yorker), the cruise will also provide guests with a true taste of Brooklyn, offering specially curated, locally produced food and beverage options on board. Selections include Brooklyn Brewery’s signature Brooklyn Lager and other seasonal beers, a special Coney Island Brewery + New York Pretzel “Pretzel and Pilsner” combo, iconic Junior’s Cheesecake “Little Fellas,” a grab-and-go selection of Blue Marble Ice Cream flavors, a rotating roster of treats from the award-winning Brooklyn Cupcake, hot dogs and sausages from Brooklyn Cured, specialty cocktails featuring Brooklyn Gin, hot and iced coffee from Brooklyn Roasting Company and pickles from McClure’s Specialty Foods.
Hello Brooklyn will depart daily at 2:30 p.m. from Hudson River Park’s Pier 83 in Manhattan. Tickets for the two-hour cruise will be available for departures after May 2 through the Circle Line website and Box Office. Tickets for adults, children and seniors are $38, $30, $36, respectively, with a Circle Line Premier upgrade option for an additional $15 per person. Additional rates for groups are available upon request and Circle Line will also honor guests with a New York CityPASS, New York Pass or Explorer Pass for the cruise.
“Legendary for its amazing stories, diverse culture, and gastronomic experiences, Brooklyn continues to garner a great deal of interest from New York visitors and locals alike,” said Danny Boockvar, Chief Executive Officer of New York Cruise Lines, Inc. “As New York’s oldest and largest sightseeing company committed to telling unique stories and offering unparalleled vantage points of the city, we’re thrilled to be launching the Hello Brooklyn cruise complete with stunning views, cultural enlightenment and a taste of local food favorites, which will leave guests fully immersed in the city’s largest borough.”
A fixture in New York City for more than 70 years, Circle Line will also introduce two new boats this summer: the Circle Line Bronx and Circle Line Staten Island. The first two of three new boats, the Bronx and Staten Island will be the first boats to be added to the legendary fleet in five years and will carry the majority of the Hello Brooklyn cruises. Although the vessels include the same classic shapes and lines as the iconic fleet, and can accommodate 600 passengers each, these next generation sightseers will have three-levels and the latest technology, providing guests with the ultimate onboard sightseeing experience. They will boast improved content delivery, upgraded concessions, increased comfort and additional classes of service. Among the improvements are bigger windows, additional outdoor deck space, an upgraded sound system, free WiFi, enhanced indoor climate control, and café-style dining. Putting a touch of VIP into the NYC experience, the new vessels will have a top deck fully dedicated to Premier seating with exclusive access, newly designed chairs, an outdoor cocktail area, a private bar and private bathroom. With a dedicated outdoor stage area on the second level, the new boats will provide optimal sightlines for concerts, entertainment and private events outside in addition to the daily sightseeing cruises.
“It’s an exciting year for Circle Line, with the launch of first ever Brooklyn-specific sightseeing cruise, Hello Brooklyn, and addition of two new ships to the fleet,” said Gus Markou, President and Chief Operating Officer of New York Cruise Lines, Inc. “The new vessels have been constructed and enhanced based on guest feedback and are a true testament to the company’s commitment to providing passengers with the paramount sightseeing and entertainment experiences.”