Finding the Best Views of New York City on a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise

View of Lower Manhattan Skyline including One World Trade Center
 

Dozens of stories up in the sky, many of the best views of Manhattan can be found from observation decks high atop notable buildings such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, or One World Trade Center.

Undoubtedly, a bird's eye viewpoint is pretty spectacular, but what happens when you head down to sea level instead? It turns out the views from this perspective are just as grand!

For one of the best ways to view Manhattan from the water, as well as some of the surrounding boroughs and famous landmarks, consider a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise. There are several different cruise itineraries at varying lengths that depart every day so you can choose exactly what you want to see at the price point that suits you.

Below you'll find some of my favorite photos from the Landmarks Cruise I went on, plus you'll find some useful information at the end of this post about Circle Line.

 
View of Lower Manhattan Skyline including One World Trade Center
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Staten Island Ferry
Governors Island and Manhattan


View of Brooklyn from Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
View of Brooklyn from Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
Manhattan Bridge
View of Manhattan Skyline including Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and 432 Park Avenue building
Buildings in Stuyvesant 
View of Stuyvesant and Manhattan
Brooklyn Bridge and One World Trade Center
Brooklyn Bridge
Lower Manhattan Waterfront
New York Water Taxi
 

Things you should know about taking a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise

• While there is an enclosed section on the boat, your pictures are going to turn out way better if you get out from behind the glass windows and photograph the sights from the outdoor decks.

• If you happen to go on one of the cruises in the spring, fall or winter, be sure to pack a jacket as it can get quite chilly and windy on the water. In the summer, don't forget to bring some sunscreen!

• The cruises include live narrated commentary from one of the company's experienced guides. The PA system on board is very clear and you can catch the commentary from anywhere on the ship, including the outside decks.

• The cruises depart from the Circle Line Terminal at Pier 83 (West 42nd Street and 12th Avenue).

 
Lower Manhattan Skyline and Waterfront
 

One more thing to note:

A Circle Line cruise is included as one of the option tickets in the New York CityPASS. If you're redeeming your ticket for a cruise, it's best to get there about 30-45 minutes early and head straight to the box office to exchange your voucher for a boarding ticket.

Still on the fence about purchasing one of these voucher booklets? You can read my full review of the NYC CityPASS here and decide if it might be right for you!

 

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Many of the best views of New York can be found from observation decks high atop notable buildings. But what happens when you head down to sea level instead? From what I saw on a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise, the views are just as grand!