Circumnavigating Manhattan Part 2

Reaching the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise boats from Pier 83 New York at West 42nd St and 12th Avenue is an easy 10 to 15 minute walk from Times Square subway station.

Disclosure: This was a complimentary trip for me as Loyalty Traveler. I played the media card, but I certainly recommend this cruise as a good value for $38 ($5 online discount available for $33 adult ticket).

Part 1 is here: Circumnavigating Manhattan Island on Circle Line Cruise

The 3-hour Circle Line cruise begins with a trip south along the Hudson River bordering west side Manhattan, past Chelsea Piers and out to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty before swinging back to the East River and Brooklyn.

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View near Statue of Liberty after ship turned around. Ellis Island on far left. Sjyscrapers on left are in New Jersey. World Trade Center 1, aka Freedom Tower, on right rising above the city skyline of Manhattan.

I snagged a spot at the bow of the ship and did not give up my space until I felt my legs burning in the sun after 90 minutes.

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Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the activities that I did not squeeze into my short 48 hour second trip to New York in ten days.

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Brooklyn Bridge at 1,595.5 ft was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1883. It held that record until 1903. It was also the first suspension bridge built using steel wire.

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The following day I found myself near this heliport after walking around Wall Street. Who has time to waste on a subway when you are making millions of dollars a day?

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Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan

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Manhattan Municipal Building 1914. The 40-story building with the statue on top holding a five turret crown represents the five boroughs of New York.

Power station in Brooklyn. This is not a flattering picture of Brooklyn, yet power stations are the lifeline of New York. Several of the people I met on my two New York trips this month worked in Manhattan and live in Brooklyn. This industrial waterfront is being rebuilt and commercialized for residential living.

I had the Avett Brothers song chorus “Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in” playing in my head as I thought about writing this piece. (Avett Brothers Austin City Limits PDS video of “I and Love and You”).

Here is an interesting read from the New York Times “Brooklyn takes a bow as a town of writers” – August 17, 2011.

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Brooklyn residential area left. A Manhattan view is probably pretty nice.

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Williamsburg Bridge connects Manhattan’s lower east side to the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was once the largest sugar refinery in the world. This parcel of land is now in the planning process for residential development, NY Daily news June 10, 2012.

The population of Manhattan is 1.6 million residents. That means there are numerous residential properties. The east side of Manhattan is densely residential with high rise apartment blocks. Brooklyn has 2.5 million residents.

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East River view of the rising.

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Empire State Building (left) and Chrysler Building (right), Manhattan.

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Upscale Manhattan East River apartment buildings north of the power plant.

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United Nations Headquarters, New York. The UN is undergoing a $1 billion renovation since 2007 that is now projected to be around a $3 billion project.

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59th Street Bridge. I was “feelin’ groovy” until I realized my legs were on fire from 90 minutes of intense sun. There is an aerial tram next to the bridge.

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Roosevelt Island Tramway is an aerial ride that has carried passengers since 1976. I read an article last week that a new park is about to open on Roosevelt Island. Lonely Planet has a 2011 article “Roosevelt Island 6 things to do”.

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In the trees is Gracie Mansion built in 1799. Since 1942 the house has been designated the official residence of the Mayor of New York. Apparently girlfriends are not allowed to live there as a violation of spending tax payer funds for private citizens.

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Glimpse of Gracie Mansion, New York.

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Wards Island Bridge is a pedestrian bridge crossing Harlem River. The bridge just reopened for year round use this summer with new security measures.

East Harlem or Spanish Harlem aka El Barrio has boundaries from northeast Central Park at East 96th Street. Central Harlem is considered 110th Street to 155th Street, west of 5th Avenue. East Harlem is apparently the part of Manhattan with the highest crime rates.

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Spanish Harlem apartment towers.

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Costco came to East Harlem a couple of years ago. I came across a news headline when looking up Costco about a woman in intensive care after being hit by a shopping cart in Harlem. I wondered how a shopping cart could have the speed to seriously hurt someone? Turns out two 12 year old boys dropped the shopping cart on the woman from four stories up.

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East Harlem residences.

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Yankee Stadium, The Bronx. This is the new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009.

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High Bridge Water Tower at 185 ft. opened in 1872 located next to a freshwater reservoir for Manhattan. The tower is in Highbridge park at 174th Street.

The Croton Aqueduct was  a gravity fed water supply transporting water from 41 miles away to Manhattan. The original aqueduct was constructed in 1837 and completed in 1848. Manhattan needed a clean water supply to combat recurring cholera epidemics. The original stone High Bridge aqueduct from 1848 was replaced in 1928 with the structure shown here. Today Manhattan’s water supply travels through tunnels under the river.

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High Bridge Aqueduct looking to the Bronx.

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North Manhattan reveals the island’s solid foundation.

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NYC Transit at 207th St where subway cars come for repair.

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Henry Hudson Bridge at the north end of Manhattan Island. The bridges in the distance rotate to allow Hudson River access. The Henry Hudson Bridge connects Inwood Hill Park of north Manhattan to the Spuyten Duyvil section of The Bronx.

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Inwood Hill Park is the largest tract of forested land on Manhattan Island.

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Looking south to George Washington Bridge is US 1/Interstate 95 spanning the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey. The bridge opened in 1931 with the longest main span of any bridge in the world until the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937 in San Francisco.

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North River Wastewater Treatment Plant along west 137th to 145th streets also is the location for many sports facilities at Riverbank State Park. The plant treats 125 million gallons of wastewater daily.

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Grant’s Tomb or General Grant National Monument (left circular building) is the mausoleum containing the bodies of President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia. Riverside Church is on right.

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Wooden water towers on Manhattan buildings are the unique feature of New York buildings that caught my attention.

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Apparently there is some geological dividing line for Manhattan shown here where the land to the right supports larger skyscrapers.

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Looking north along Upper West Side Manhattan.

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And back again to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for the end of a 3-hour Circle Line cruise sightseeing tour around the island of Manhattan.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary ticket for the Circle Line Full Island 3-hour Cruise ($38 value. Currently there is a $5 discount for online ticket purchase.) Link: Circle Line 42 Sightseeing Cruises

Loyalty Traveler post link:

Part 1: Circumnavigating Manhattan Island on Circle Island Cruise (Sep 16, 2012)

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »



  1. do you have a media card or you just say you write a blog? I’m a a professional photographer and never though of the perks

  2. @Raymond – I wrote to PR person for Circle Line.
    I shared my blog statistics and offered to write about the cruise. Fortunately the cruise was a great ride. I honestly was buzzing after the trip from feeling I had used my limited time in NY for a good guided sightseeing tour.

    Rich A. Staten Island ferry does give free views of Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan skyline. Better option if money is limited.

    @pointsandtravel – I look forward to seeing you in Girona. Your blog is looking good. I am boarding for LHR any moment.

    12 hours to a pint of bitter.

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