NEW YORK, June 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- New York Cruise Lines, parent company of iconic Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, is adding a new fleet to their exemplary roster with the addition of the Empire Class of sightseeing vessels from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises is operating the new fleet from Manhattan's Pier 83. The company welcomed two of the new vessels with a ceremonial christening event on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, kicking off Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises' lineup of exciting seasonal events. With a third boat set to arrive later this year, the new fleet delivers the latest in innovation and technology to provide guests with the best onboard sightseeing experience in one of the most picturesque cities in the world.
The christening ceremony began with welcome remarks from Circle Line CEO and Chairman Samuel Cooperman and Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation President Peter Duclos, as well as speeches from keynote speakers Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. Special guest Brooke Shields and a representative from the charity New Heights Youth christened the ships, followed by the breaking of a Champagne bottle across the bow. Following this, a water cannon salute from the New York City Fire Department concluded the event. After the ceremony, an inaugural cruise aboard one of the new vessels sailed within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty, an awe-inspiring experience befitting the celebration.
"The Empire Class culminates the replacement of the Circle Line fleet of ships that began nine years ago with the delivery of three Borough Class ships," said Samuel Cooperman, CEO and Chairman of Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. "The new class, while maintaining the iconic yacht hull of the Circle Line brand, is otherwise a significant departure from previous generations."
State-of-the-art from bow to stern, the new Empire Class boats include significant enhancements over the existing fleet of sightseeing boats. Improvements include three deck levels, first class sound systems, and more expansive windows to maximize passengers' viewing experience. Additional upgrades include a modernized heating and air-conditioning system and true café-style dining outlets located mid-deck that will serve the best of iconic New York City deli and artisanal dishes.
"On behalf of everyone at Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, I would like to thank Circle Line for giving us the opportunity to build these great boats," said Peter Duclos, President of Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. "It gives us great pleasure to know that visitors from all over the world will enjoy the best of New York City on board our boats for many years to come."
Perhaps the most notable upgrade is the addition of a third deck, which will serve as an exclusive premier top deck, setting the perfect scene for concerts, performances and private parties on one of New York's most unique outdoor venues. Included on the premier top deck are comfortable deck chairs designed with cup holders and well-cushioned seats, a prime outdoor "cocktail" area, a private bar with top-of-the-line food and beverage selections from local New York area vendors, such as Coney Island Brewing Company and Warsteiner Beer, as well as private bathrooms.
Summer Fun from Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
As temperatures begin to rise in New York City, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises' modern boats will host a lineup of summer programming sure to excite both travelers and locals alike. Highlights for the months ahead include:
- July 4th Fireworks Cruise (Tuesday, July 4) – Declare your independence from the crowds and enjoy a view of the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular like no other aboard Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. The near-six-hour evening includes up-close views of the world-famous pyrotechnic spectacle; remarkable views of New York City sights and landmarks, and an abundance of onboard amenities. Two ticket options: General admission $169; Premium tickets on an exclusive boat with a festive 4th of July menu plus open beer, wine and soda bar $219.
- BBQ & Brews Cruise (Thursday, July 20) – Soak up suds and sights while feasting on BBQ from talented pit masters aboard Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, featuring music, line dancing and rockin' views of the city skyline. Tickets from $75.00.
- Happy Hour Cruise (every Thursday through August 31) – Nothing says summer like being on the water, and what better way to celebrate the end of a workday than with a Happy Hour Cruise. New York City locals can switch up their normal hot spot and set sail with Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises in the most breathtaking city in the world. Every Thursday at 7:30 PM, one of the new Empire Class ships will depart from Pier 83 for two hours of drinks and fun on the Hudson River. Tickets from $75.00 include open bar and bar snacks for passengers.
- Circle Live Summer Music Series – Listen to popular music with a summer cocktail during Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises' open air, floating concert. Enjoy stunning views of midtown and lower Manhattan, as well as unparalleled proximity to the Statue of Liberty. Full bar on board with beer, wine & cocktails, plus fresh-made sandwiches, salads and snacks from the café. For ticket prices and a full calendar of artists and dates, visit CircleLiveNYC.com.
ABOUT NEW YORK CRUISE LINES
New York Cruise Lines is the parent company of the iconic Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, and other industry leading travel, hospitality and restaurant businesses. Over time the company has hosted close to 80 million passengers. New York Cruise Lines recently acquired Circle Line Downtown and New York Water Taxi.. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises has been hosting riders since 1945 and is recognized as "America's Favorite Boat Ride", world- famous for sightseeing and special events including concerts and entertainment. New York Cruise Lines also owns and operates unique floating restaurants at Pier 81, including North River Lobster Company, an award winning casual floating lobster shack, as well as the brand new Hudson's at Pier 81, a waterfront restaurant with an expansive outdoor top deck and lively bar scene. New York Cruise Lines also operates World Yacht, a luxury special events and private charter business, as well as The BEAST Speedboat summer time thrill ride. New York Water Taxi provides sightseeing and transportation services including the iconic hop on hop off all day access pass, which allows guests to travel to and stop at leading tourist sites in Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as transportation services for business and major events in New York City. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises operates from Pier 83, located in Hudson River Park on 42nd Street and the Hudson River, convenient to Times Square, the High Line and Hudson Yards, as well as from Pier 16 South Street Seaport convenient to the World Trade Center, the Battery and Wall Street.
- Circle Line: Winner of Concierge Choice Award (CCA) for "Best Sightseeing Tours" in NYC (2015)
- North River Lobster Company: Winner of North American Journeys' "Coolest New Product of 2015"
- New York Water Taxi: 2-time winner, 4-time nominee of Concierge Choice Award (CCA), honoring the best in New York City Hospitality
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises (www.circleline.com)
New York Water Taxi (https://www.nywatertaxi.com/)
The BEAST Speedboat (www.ridethebeast.com)
Pier 81 (www.pier81nyc.com)
North River Lobster Company (www.northriverlobsterco.com)
Hudson's at Pier 81 (www.hudsonsnyc.com)
World Yacht Special Event Cruises (www.worldyacht.com)
Circle Line Live (www.circlelivenyc.com)
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SOURCE Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises