In New York: Travel by Water

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New York Statue of Liberty

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The Streets of New York

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New York Ferry Routes Services

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Lovely Lunch at Brooklyn Bridge Hotel

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On the way to Dumbo

How to explore New York?

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Manhattan is an island. Walking the streets, you can find yourself in a canyon of buildings. Going out on the New York’s waterways give you another way to explore NYC and experience fantastic views of the skyline. Luckily, there are increasingly more wonderful ways to explore NYC via it’s waterways. Especially during the summer months when the weather is balmy and the days are long.

Travel by Water: Tours and Regular Lines

One of the best New York waterway tour companies is the Circle Line which offers a number of educational sightseeing tours including the classic one that circles Manhattan island. Spirit Cruises has a variety of lunch, dinner, dancing and entertainment and a terrific way to get an overview of New York from the water. For a more romantic dinner cruise, World Yacht offers fine dining. Finally, if sail boats are more your style, the 78-foot Schooner Adirondack offers 2-hour sails four times a day from Chelsea Piers.

There are also a number of ferries to travel by in New York. From sightseeing to commuting with city workers, New York ferries offer tourists a different view of the city. To get a taste of New York’s immigrant past, take the Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty Island ferry and visit these two important museums. The Staten Island Ferry is the main mode of transportation between the boroughs of Staten Island and Manhattan. During the free 25 minute ride, you’ll pass Governor’s Island and the Statue of Liberty. To explore further afield, NY Waterway operates ferries from NYC to suburbs such as Tarrytown, Weehawken, Rockaways, Hoboken, Jersey City, Long Island City, and the Liberty Science Center as well as sightseeing cruises. Boats leave from three docks in Manhattan: 39th Street, World Financial Center and Wall Street.

Try a day trip with NYC Ferry

The newest ferry service NYC Ferry, just launched in April 2017, with more routes launching this summer. It offers a terrific alternative to the subway to explore the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. For the cost of a ride on the subway ($2.75), you can explore NYC via the waterways. This summer I would recommend a day trip from East 34th Street with stops in groovy South Williamsburg for some shopping around Grand Street and coffee at Bedford Baking Studio or Black Brick Coffee on Bedford Avenue. Next, hop off at DUMBO for lunch at the elegant River Café or coal oven pizza at Grimaldi’s. After lunch, take a stroll in the newly developed Brooklyn Bridge Park down to Pier 1 where you’ll see the new boathouse. Finish the afternoon by exploring some of the 172 acre park on Governor’s Island which is open only during the summer months.

I did the trip from E 34th St to DUMBO the other day on NYC Ferry. It was great fun and I particularly loved going to the recently opened Brooklyn Bridge Hotel for lunch.

For a unique experience, exploring NYC waterways is the way to go. Whether it be a relaxing tourist cruise or a bustling commuter ferry, the view from NYC waterways can’t be beat.

Edie Meyer
edie@cmycities.com