We're excited to announce the arrival of the first of three state-of-the-art ships called the Empire Class. This fall 2016, we were proud to welcome the Circle Line Bronx and we look forward to welcoming the Circle Line Staten Island in the Spring of 2017.
These new ships are a major step forward in setting the standard for on-the-water sightseeing with upgraded sound systems, climate control capabilities, digital screens for enhanced on-board content and most importantly bigger windows and even more outdoor deck space – including a new third deck exclusively for Circle Line Premier.
The ships will be highly recognizable with their red, white and green paint job, as well as their signature curved lines and hull shape (and of course our friendly crew on board).
Read more about the ships on the Wall Street Journal.
Christened by Whoopi Goldberg in 2008 upon its introduction to the Circle Line fleet, the Circle Line Manhattan represents the modernization of the traditional cruise vessels. Constructed in Somerset, MA, the Manhattan replaced the retired 76-year-old Calypso, also known as Circle Line XI. Onboard amenities including outdoor deck space, heated/air conditioned indoor seating with large windows made for sightseeing, and restrooms.
In 2009, a year after the Manhattan debuted, the Circle Line Brooklyn and Queens graced Pier 83 to complete the new set of triplets to the fleet. While the Circle Line ships were historically named using Roman numerals, the triplets were named after boroughs to embody the New York spirit and attitude.
Both the Brooklyn and Queens were designed to look like the traditional cruise ships but with better amenities, more space, and better views. Onboard amenities including outdoor deck space, heated/air conditioned indoor seating with large windows made for sightseeing, and restrooms.
In celebration of the new additions, Circle Line threw a 1940’s style carnival event at Pier 81 where Miss New York, Leigh-Taylor Smith, and Kayla Zanders from the Make-A-Wish foundation, christened the boats during the carnival.
While the Circle Line X is currently out of service, Circle Line has some big plans for it so stay tuned! Originally a Navy ship, the USS LCI (L)-758, which stood for Landing Craft Infantry (Large), was commissioned on May 20, 1944.
During WWII, the USS LCI(L)-758 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific theater and took part in a number of operations and campaigns.
After WWII, the ship was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for a period of four months, in 1945. The USS LCI(L) -758 was decommissioned some time later in May of 1946 and then sold to Circle Line where it was renamed Circle Line X.
Originally a United States Coast Guard cutter, Argo –named for the ship in Greek mythology that Jason sailed in his quest to obtain the Golden Fleece – was commissioned on January 6, 1933. During WWII, Argo was attached to the Atlantic Fleet as a convoy escort ship where it endured many war-time events.
On January 6, 1944, Argo rescued 23 survivors and recovered 6 bodies after the Camas Meadows and the St. Augustine collided. The crew on the Argo, and Thetis were honored for their efforts and bravery following the rescue.
Argo was decommissioned on October 30th, 1948, sold in November 1955, and eventually acquired by Circle Line where it was renamed Circle Line XII.
Originally a United States Coast Guard cutter, Nike, named after the Greek goddess of victory. It was commissioned on October 24, 1934. Nike was one of three cutters rushed to be part of the initial defense in Key West, Florida, around 1941 alongside the Nemesis, Vigilant, 19 unarmed Coast Guard planes and fourteen lightly armed Army planes. Nike conducted patrol and rescue around Key West for most of WWII, picking up and rescuing stragglers and survivors.
Nike was decommissioned on December 5, 1964 and sold to Circle Line in May 1966 where it was later renamed Circle Line XVI.
Originally a United States Coast Guard cutter, Triton – named after the Greek demigod of the sea, son of Poseidon, the Circle Line XVII has a rich history. Commissioned on November 20, 1934, Coast Guard cutters were designed for the enforcement of Prohibition, but were adapted for other uses after Prohibition ended.
Around 1942, Triton was classified as a patrol craft and operated out of Key West where it took part in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) on many patrols and operations throughout the years. Triton was decommissioned in January 1967 and sold to Circle Line two years later where by 1973 it was converted into a passenger vessel and renamed Circle Line VXII.
Operated by Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, the new BEAST speedboat was New York's only jet powered thrill-ride speedboat attraction when it was unleashed in the summer 2011 season. Don't be fooled - the BEAST isn't just a monster on the surface.
Equipped with 1400 BHP-horsepower with 2ZF 3000 marine gears and powered by two Hamilton Jets the new BEAST rockets through the water with the ability to reach up to a heart-pounding speed of 40 knots (about 45mph). Click here to ride the BEAST.