Circle Line Downtown

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Circle Line Downtown
Circle Line Downtown Logogif.gif
Locale Manhattan, New York
Waterway Buttermilk Channel, East River, Erie Basin, Haverstraw Bay, Kill Van Kull, Hudson River, New York Harbor, Upper New York Bay
Transit type Water Tours
Owner Douglas Durst
Tom Fox
Operator Circle Line Downtown
(New York Water Taxi)
Began operation 1981
No. of lines 5
No. of vessels 2
No. of terminals 1

Circle Line Downtown is a sightseeing harbor cruise company that operates out of the South Street Seaport Pavilion Pier at the Financial District in Manhattan under Harbor Experience Companies.[1]


Circle Line Downtown was established by President J.B. Meyer, third generation owner and operator of the family that founded the company and Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises brand. In 1953, Frank Barry, Gerald O'Driscoll, Helen Mitchell, William Moran, and Frank Clair founded Circle Line, the nautical sightseeing operation, providing cruises which circled Manhattan. The company's fleet was then a collection of modified craft, including surplus landing crafts from World War II, retired Coast Guard cutters, and private yachts.

Operating as Circle Line-Statue of Liberty Ferry, Inc., this offshoot was contracted by the United States Department of Interior National Park Service to provide exclusive ferry service to both Liberty Island and Ellis Island in 1954.

In 1982, the company collectively known as Circle Line split into two separate entities, Circle Line Sightseeing at 42nd Street and Circle Line-Statue of Liberty Ferry, Inc. Meyer and Moran soon came to head Statue of Liberty Ferry. Operating out of Battery Park, Circle Line-Statue of Liberty Ferry, Inc. ran service to Liberty and Ellis Islands until 2008, when the franschise was awarded to Statue Cruises.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Meyer and Moran, sought to lend a hand in the revitalization of lower Manhattan. The two founded Circle Line Harbor Cruises, LLC., known in the global tourism community as Circle Line Downtown in 2004.

On November 3, 2008, New York Water Taxi, a water taxi company operating in New York City area announced that they had purchased the Circle Line Downtown company.


ZEPHYR Statue of Liberty Express[edit]

The ZEPHYR Statue of Liberty Express is a one hour sightseeing cruise on board a luxury yacht that sails past many New York landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the Brooklyn Bridge.

SHARK Speedboat Thrill Ride[edit]

The SHARK Speedboat Thrill Ride is a thirty minute speedboat ride along the New York Harbor.

Other Seasonal Cruises Offered[edit]

  • House on the Hudson
  • Halloween on the Hudson
  • Breakfast with Santa
  • New Year’s Eve Cruise

Private Charters are also available upon request.


  1. ^ Grace, Melissa (November 3, 2008). "New York Water Taxi buys Circle Line Downtown, two boats". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 2009-08-09. 

External links[edit]

The Circle line was founded by John (Jack) Nugent after prohibition the three boats were the Normandy 1.Normandy 2 that circled NY, and the John Adams which traveled to the statue.