Visiting NYC – Take a Cruise on the Circle Line in NYC

When my family and I moved to the United States over 35 years ago, one of the first tours we did was take the Circle Line in NYC cruise around the Island. Since the boats stopped arriving to Ellis Island, this was as monumental of a tour for us.

Circle Line in NYC

I barely remember it since I was only six years old.

35 years later I was able to treat my parents to the tour along with my Guatemalan husband and kids. Three generations on a timeless tour of one of the greatest cities in the world.

How do you get to show your kids what NYC is really like? It’s impossible to explain to kids who have never fully understood a city like New York, what a skyline is all about. Now it was time.

circle line in nyc

Circle with my Kids

What To Do in NYC with Kids – Take A Cruise tour of NYC

The Circle Line has been around for ages and there is a good reason for it. Our guide was living proof. He’s been working with Circle Line for over 20 years and truly loved his job. He made the tour fun and extremely informative.

tour guide of Circle Line in NYC

Our Guide

Our Route 

The pick up is at Pier 42 off of 12 Avenue on the West Side – Henry Hudson River.

circle line nyc

From there we headed down south past midtown

NYC skyline - midtown

Mid Town NYC

Past Downtown with an amazing view of the new Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower in Ground Zero - Downtown NYC

Freedom Tower – Downtown NYC

Statute of Liberty

statue of liberty, NYC

Statue of Liberty at Sunset

Ellis Island

Ellis Island, NYC

Ellis Island

New York’s Skyline at Sunset

new york city skyline at nightfall

Good Night NYC

Information for the Circle Line 

Circle Line has lots of different tours you can do. It’s best to check out what you’re in the mood for on their website for schedules.

How to Buy tickets

Once you decide on the tour you want, you can simply buy it right from their website.

NY CityPASS is another way to get tickets, which also gives you access to six of the top destinations in NYC.

You can also arrive to the ticket station at Pier 42.

STRONG RECOMMENDATION – Arrive to the pier at least one hour before your tour begins, with tickets or not. If you don’t have tickets, maybe even 1.5 hours before, especially during high season. 


About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

11 Responses to Visiting NYC – Take a Cruise on the Circle Line in NYC

  1. We love New York and have visited several times but haven’t yet visited with our now 6-year-old son. It is a trip we do plan to make in the next year. This tour looks like a lot of fun, especially for a kid.
    Lance | Trips By Lance recently posted..#ExploreIndy: Ready for Indianapolis Family FunMy Profile

    • Hey Lance,

      NYC is surprisingly very kid friendly on a whole. The circle line is fun, but honestly, there are tons more fun things to do, it really depends on the time you have.

      We were able to fit this into our schedule cause our first choice was closed off which was Statue of Liberty, they were still repairing it from Sandy storm.

  2. Arianwen says:

    This looks great! And I’m sure it would be especially exciting for kids. I really like the sunset picture with the lights of the Freedom Tower twinkling away.
    Arianwen recently posted..Two Years After the Christchurch EarthquakeMy Profile

  3. Andrea says:

    Oh cool! I’ve always wanted to do one of these but never got a chance. Such an amazing skyline!
    Andrea recently posted..Pretty Rockland, MaineMy Profile

  4. Ann says:

    I can’t wait to take my kids to New York. This tour will be perfect for them.
    Ann recently posted..IGTravelThursday: Bike RacesMy Profile

  5. We just love NY, with family there we have been fortunate to visit often. The skyline is the best!
    Heidi Wagoner recently posted..One Year Abroad – Alan’s ThoughtsMy Profile

  6. I want to go! What a view!
    wanderingeducators recently posted..Getting Around Rome: The Advantages of the Roma PassMy Profile

  7. Elena says:

    Looks so fun! We have not done the Circle Line–one of these days we need to!
    Elena recently posted..Why Do You Travel: Confronting CancerMy Profile

  8. Abby says:

    Aww I love Circle Line! How cool to take all three generations. 🙂
    Abby recently posted..A Monthly Treat for Travel FiendsMy Profile

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