Circle Line Downtown
Circle Line Downtown is a sightseeing harbor cruise company that operates out of the South Street Seaport Pavilion
South Street Seaport
The South Street Seaport is a historic area in the New York City borough of Manhattan, located where Fulton Street meets the East River, and adjacent to the Financial District. The Seaport is a designated historic district, distinct from the neighboring Financial District...

 Pier at the Financial District
Financial District, Manhattan
The Financial District of New York City is a neighborhood on the southernmost section of the borough of Manhattan which comprises the offices and headquarters of many of the city's major financial institutions, including the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York...

 in Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 under Harbor Experience Companies.


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
Coast guard
A coast guard or coastguard is a national organization responsible for various services at sea. However the term implies widely different responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties to being a volunteer organization tasked with...

 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
Liberty Island
Liberty Island is a small uninhabited island in New York Harbor in the United States, best known as the location of the Statue of Liberty. Though so called since the turn of the century, the name did not become official until 1956. In 1937, by proclamation 2250, President Franklin D...

 and Ellis Island
Ellis Island
Ellis Island in New York Harbor was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States. It was the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with landfill between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the...

 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
Battery Park
Battery Park is a 25-acre public park located at the Battery, the southern tip of Manhattan Island in New York City, facing New York Harbor. The Battery is named for artillery batteries that were positioned there in the city's early years in order to protect the settlement behind them...

, 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 3rd, 2008, New York Water Taxi
New York Water Taxi
New York Water Taxi is a water taxi service based in Red Hook, Brooklyn offering commuter and sightseeing service mainly to points along the East River and Hudson River...

, a water taxi
Water taxi
A water taxi or water bus, also known as a commuter boat, is a watercraft used to provide public transport, usually but not always in an urban environment. Service may be scheduled with multiple stops, operating in a similar manner to a bus, or on demand to many locations, operating in a similar...

 company operating in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 area announced that they had purchased the Circle Line Downtown company and subsequently formed Harbor Experience Companies with Circle Line Downtown and Water Taxi Beach
Water Taxi Beach
Water Taxi Beach was an artificial temporary beach operated from 2005 to 2010 on a wharf on the East River in the Hunters Point section of Long Island City, in the New York City borough of Queens. It was operated by the New York Water Taxi Company and was open to the public for free during the...



  • ZEPHYR Seaport Liberty Cruise is a one hour sightseeing cruise on board a luxury yacht that sails past many New York landmarks including the Statue of Liberty
    Statue of Liberty
    The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886...

    , the Empire State Building
    Empire State Building
    The Empire State Building is a 102-story landmark skyscraper and American cultural icon in New York City at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet , and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 ft high. Its name is derived...

    , the Chrysler Building
    Chrysler Building
    The Chrysler Building is an Art Deco style skyscraper in New York City, located on the east side of Manhattan in the Turtle Bay area at the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Standing at , it was the world's tallest building for 11 months before it was surpassed by the Empire State...

     and the Brooklyn Bridge
    Brooklyn Bridge
    The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River...

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

Specialty cruises

Circle Line Downtown also offers a variety of specialty cruises that include:
  • Happy Hour on the Harbor is a weekly ninety minute happy hour cruise that sails along the New York Harbor
  • Friday Night Karaoke Cruise began in 2007 on board the ZEPHYR which accommodates 250 people and provides the opportunity for people to sing, dance, drink all while sailing past New York's famous skyline.
  • Saturday Night Dance Cruise is a two and a half hour themed harbor cruise on board their ship the ZEPHYR that provides a large dance floor.
  • Sunset Hidden Harbor Tour explores the largest and busiest maritime port on the Eastern seaboard in a 2-hour narrated tour aboard the ZEPHYR. The cruise visits spots on the waterfront that are hidden from normal view and can only be seen from the water.

The New York City Waterfalls

In 2008 the Public Art Fund
Public Art Fund
The Public Art Fund is a non-profit organization founded in 1977 by Doris Freedman , a Director of New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs, and the President of the Municipal Art Society. They have organized highly visible artists' projects, new commissions, installations and exhibitions in...

 selected Circle Line Downtown to
provide the official water tour for the "New York City Waterfalls
New York City Waterfalls
New York City Waterfalls is a public art project by artist Olafur Eliasson, in collaboration with the Public Art Fund, consisting of four man-made waterfalls placed around New York City along the East River. At $15.5 million, it is the most expensive public arts project since Christo and...

by Danish
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

ic artist Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience. In 1995 he established Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, a laboratory for spatial research...

The $15 million project was said to be the biggest public art
Public art
The term public art properly refers to works of art in any media that have been planned and executed with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and accessible to all...

since 2005's "the Gates
The Gates
The Gates was a site-specific work of art by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The artists installed 7,503 vinyl "gates" along 23 miles of pathways in Central Park in New York City. From each gate hung a panel of deep saffron-colored nylon fabric...

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