AIANY Around Manhattan Architecture Tour

Classic Harbor Line

Zerve Seller: SailNYC
Activity #2516

Available Dates & Times Price Duration Tickets Available
All times listed are Eastern time zone
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Step aboard the teak decks of our elegant 1920s style yachts, the Manhattan and Manhattan II, and enjoy NYC's architectural landmarks from the water.  The "Around Manhattan" tour narration, provided by members of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) NYC chapter, is general enough for visitors yet detailed enough for the locals. 

Aboard the yachts, experience a comfortable and unique tour through the Hudson, East, and Harlem Rivers from the climate-controlled and enclosed back-deck observatory or wander to the outer decks for fresh air and sunlight with a complimentary beverage in hand. Guests are treated to a complimentary beer, wine or champagne from the bar & light snacks as well as soda, water, tea or coffee. Additional beverages and a full bar are available for purchase.

On this 2.75-hour cruise, you will circumnavigate the island of Manhattan (passing under all 18 bridges) while taking in monuments, architecture, parks and infrastructure. Highlights, topics and themes of the AIANY tour include:
  • Exploration of planning visions for both reclaiming the post-industrial waterfront, as the "6th Borough", and addressing rising sea levels
  • Insightful coverage of Manhattan's classic spires, including the Chrysler and Woolworth Buildings, as well as a sharp focus on the new World Trade Center buildings and recent "starchitecture" boom; including buildings by Frank Gehry and other noted international and local architects
  • The greater waterfront access allowed by new parks and recreation piers including the ecologically driven features designed by leading landscape architects
  • The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the newest waterfront monument: Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park
  • NYC's engineering masterpieces: the Brooklyn and George Washington Bridges as well as lesser known "swing bridges"  along the Harlem River  
  • The adaptation of the Highline as an elevated, linear park  and its role in the development of West Chelsea and Hudson Yards. 
  • The story of post WWII urban renewal and public housing along the waterfronts of the Lower East Side and East Harlem.

What Is Not Included?

Gratuity is not included in the price of your cruise. Parties of 12 or more will be contacted shortly after purchasing tickets to provide credit card information for an additional charge of 18% gratuity.
Guarantee of a full circumnavigation of Manhattan is not included.  On rare occasions, the Spuyten Duyvil train bridge is inoperable and cannot open for us to pass through. This is often times not known until our tour is underway. There are no refunds for tours that cannot fully circumnavigate.  We will accommodate such cases with a tour that features a double backing of the route and further detail of the waterfront sites.

Meeting Location

Chelsea Piers (Pier 62) - W. 22nd and Hudson River (Manhattan, NY) (Exact meeting location details will be provided immediately upon purchase of tickets.)
1,457 Reviews Rating: 4.8 4.8 out of 5.0
Verified Customer Reviews
Always from real, paying customers
# of Reviews Positive
= Overall
% Positive Average
Last 3 months 44 117 1 = 116 98% 4.8
Last 6 months 87 231 1 = 230 99% 4.8
Last 12 months 394 1,059 3 = 1,056 99% 4.8
All 1,457 3,910 18 = 3,892 99% 4.8
1,457 Reviews
Displaying 1 - 10
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Rating: 5
Loved it!
Thu, Apr 23  1:45 PM Female 70+ Local Couple on a Date
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The boat is magnificent, the architect was very captivating and the drink and food were excellent. Have recommended this to our friends.
Rating: 5
Better than we even expected!
Thu, Apr 23  1:45 PM Male 40-49 Domestic Tourist(s) Family With Children
We had long wanted to do a boat tour around Manhattan. When we discovered the architect-led tour, we were excited. And, the tour was even better than expected! The boat itself was beautiful, with a great crew. The tour was very comprehensive, with so much content covered. What most stood out was the love that the AIA tour guide had for his work and the city. And, we walked off thinking that if we went again, it would be completely different, because none of it felt canned or scripted - because it wasn't; just knowledgeable guides sharing their love for their field and city. Even our 14 year old loved it. We would recommend it VERY highly.
Rating: 5
Great Experience
Thu, Apr 23  1:45 PM Male 70+ Local Group of Friends
The crew and the people from AIA were great. Its a very enjoyable ride around the boroughs, and the descriptions of bridges, buildings,parks, etc. are an added plus!!
Rating: 3
The boat crew was amazing but....
Tue, Apr 21  1:45 PM Male 30-39 Unspecified Unspecified
The AIANY tour guide wasn't amazing. You'd expect so much more- more information, more stories, more of an energetic person. I took a similar tour in Chicago and the guide was excited about her city and sharing as much as possible. The tour guide on this NYC tour wasn't any of that. He didn't go into depth, had surprising long pauses and was all around boring. Sigh.

Good thing the boat was nice, scenery was amazing and the crew itself was excellent!
Rating: 5
A fascinating and informative experience
Sun, Apr 19  1:45 PM Female 60-69 Domestic Tourist(s) Family Without Children
The boat was comfortable, the view spectacular, and our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable. It could not have been better.
Rating: 5
Great way to see NY!
Fri, Apr 17  1:45 PM Female 60-69 Unspecified Unspecified
This was nothing like other boat rides. The "Manhattan" is a beautiful boat with lovely woodwork. The crew was excellent and surprised us with an adult beverage and some appetizers. Three hours never went by so fast. The architects on board provided constant, but fascinating information about buildings and parks, which even architectural novices like my husband and I understood. It was the highlight of our trip to NYC, even above 3 Broadway plays we saw. We highly recommend this activity to anyone visiting.
Rating: 5
A Must-Do Activity
Fri, Apr 17  1:45 PM Female 60-69 Local Group of Friends
I found this activity in a book I ordered one of my favorite places, Bas Bleu. The book is called "Secret New York, Curious Activities." Every year, four of us old friends gather from Portland, Boulder and NYC to hang out together for a few days, and since we were gathering in my city this time , NYC, I was looking for some fun things for our time together. The AIA tour was one of those that was a unanimous choice. We loved the tour -- it was an eye opener even for me, who has lived in NYC since the early 70"s, and my out of town guests got so much out of it. The boat was great, signing up and boarding was easy, and the accompanying narration very informative. The refreshments were wonderful icing on the cake. I truly would recommend this trip to anyone, city dweller or out-of-towner! Informative, fun, and a great way to get a new and appreciative perspective of NYC! perspective
Rating: 5
Gem of a tour
Fri, Apr 17  10:00 AM Female 60-69 Domestic Tourist(s) Group of Friends
Recommended to us by former residents and I'm so glad we did it at the front end of our trip as it gave such a spatial and historical concept of Manhattan and surrounds. John Arbuckle was a fantastic and enthusiastic guide I would have become a lover of architecture even if I had not already been one!
Rating: 5
Excellent tour
Thu, Apr 16  1:45 PM Male 60-69 Domestic Tourist(s) Individual
Highly recommended.
Rating: 5
Fascinating view of Manhatten from the water.
Wed, Apr 15  1:45 PM Male 60-69 International Tourist(s) Individual
Entire experience was top notch. The boat is a classic, the host was very knowledgeable about all aspects and the crew were friendly and accommodating. Highly recommended!
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 1,457
Ratings and Reviews for:
What exactly do we see on the cruise?
Depending on tides & currents, the yacht may travel north or south first to start the circumnavigation. Sites include: the Empire State Building and the tree-lined upper west side, the George Washington Bridge, the New Jersey Palisades on the west side embankment, the Harlem River & East River. The United Nations, the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Brooklyn Bridge (as well as 14 other bridges). She makes a wide pass through the New York City Harbor to grab a spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Financial District and the complete NYC Skyline. The Architecture tour focuses on both the new and the old, the iconic and the unknown - the full circumnavigation will offer guests a chance to see every inch of Manhattan's shoreline!
Do cruises sell out frequently?
Cruises often sell out, and are rarely open for booking more than a week in advance. Check the website or call the week of the date you would like to attend to check availability for public trips and to book as early as possible.
Is there parking and how much is it?
There is parking at Chelsea Piers. You must be south-bound on the West Side Hwy in order to access the turn-in for parking on Piers 61, 60, and 59. Up to 3 hours of parking is $25, and up to 4 hours is $38.
What type of ticket should I buy if I'm bringing a very young child?
This trip is designated for Adults and Students (14 and older) with a keen interest in the narration. We aim to create an elegant and educational experience for these guests and ask that infants and children under 14 are not brought aboard. This tour is ideal for Adults and for Students with an interest in Engineering, Architecture, Urban Planning, Design or Waterfront Development. High School Students or College Students with a valid Student ID may make use of the 'Student' ticket. Free infant tickets and child tickets are available on the Statue & Skyline Cruise and the Brunch Cruise.
What do the light snacks include?
Due to the length of this cruise, 3 complimentary stationary displays are available for guests. They vary seasonally and by time of day but generally they may include pretzels, nuts, a cheese display, tea cakes, pastries, and/or fruit.
How about drinks? Should I bring those too?
No, it is illegal for you to bring alcohol of your own on board. A complimentary beverage will be served on trips, plus additional beverages will be available for purchase from the bar, including wines by the glass or the bottle.
Is the Yacht Manhattan and Manhattan II safe?
Absolutely. Along with your captain, there is a minimum of two crew members on every sail to make sure you feel comfortable and at home on the water. We are stocked with water, beverages, and life jackets should you feel you need one.
How steady is the cruise? Am I likely to get seasick?
It is very rare for our guests to become seasick. While most people do not experience any sea sickness on the Motor Yacht Manhattan or Manhattan II, you may want to consider light medication if you normally take it for motion sickness. We cannot officially advise you to take any medication, however.
Is there an age limit for these cruises?
While there is no age limit for the cruise, all attendees under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Where does the cruise finish?
Our cruise will end at the same pier from which it departed.
Can I get a refund or reschedule my tickets after buying them?
Because we are guaranteeing your space on the cruise, tickets cannot be refunded or rescheduled once purchased.
Do you ever cancel cruises due to bad weather?
The cruise runs regardless of weather conditions. In the rare situation where we are forced to cancel the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule to another time (subject to availability), receive credit towards a future event, or receive a refund.
Is gratuity included in the price of the cruise?
Gratuity is not included in the price of the cruise. Parties of 12 or more will be contacted directly by Classic Harbor Line within 48 hours of purchasing tickets to provide credit card information for an additional charge of 18% gratuity.
What happens if it starts raining when we're out on our cruise?
The aft-deck observatory of these yachts are a completely enclosed area with a roof, so in the event of rain, you will be covered.
Is the Manhattan and Manhattan II handicap accessible?
These yachts are accessible to those with walkers and canes. While the exterior deck is also accessible to those in wheelchairs, the Manhattans are not completely wheelchair accessible by average standards. If you are in a wheelchair, please keep in mind that there is unfortunately no access into the main cabin (the back interior observatory). In addition, areas such as the on-board restrooms have limited access as they are located down several steps. A guest using a wheelchair who would like to reach the back observatory must be comfortable with being carried down by our crew. For this reason, we cannot safely accommodate guests who require this service if they weigh more than 175 pounds. If you will need this service, please click “Contact SailNYC” to discuss with us before purchasing tickets.
Is smoking permitted during the cruise?
No, smoking is not permitted anywhere on the boat.
Can I book a private charter cruise?
Yes, private cruises can be a unique and elegant event for your group. If you are interested in booking a private cruise, please contact us by clicking “Contact SailNYC” to the left of the page.
Are gift certificates available for your sails?
Yes, gift certificates are available and they make a perfect gift for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate for this cruise, please click on the "Gift Certificates: Purchase" link in the box above. Also keep in mind that you can redeem your gift certificate in cash value towards any other trip we have!


Refund/Rescheduling Policy

Non-refundable, cannot be rescheduled.
Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded and cannot be rescheduled because your space is being guaranteed at the event.

Other Policies

Activity takes place rain or shine.
The activity runs regardless of weather conditions. In the rare situation where the seller is forced to cancel the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule to another time (subject to availability), receive credit for a future event, or receive a refund.
Parties of 12 or more will be contacted for an additional gratuity charge of 18%.
Classic Harbor Line will contact you directly within 48 hours of your purchase to take your credit card information for the additional charge. You must be reachable at the telephone number and email you provide.

Classic Harbor Line

If you are in to comfortable cruising or the gilded era of yachting, be sure to experience our 1920s-style "commuter" yachtsManhattan and Manhattan II!
Both the Yacht Manhattan and Manhattan II were constructed right here in New York State by Scarano Boat Building.  We take great pride in their New York heritage as well as in serving the very best of New York bees, wines, cheeses, produce and local baked goods aboard their decks.
Edible Manhattan wrote that we are “not your mother’s Circle Line.” We strive to surpass any “tourist” expectations of what a  harbor cruise entails: We include a “taste of New York” in our menus and maintain an unprecedented level of hospitality aboard a special, beautiful, intimate yacht built by NY craftsmen.
Classically-lined and comfortable with teak decks and mahogany rails, these vessels can accommodate up to 110 guests. They feature an enclosed, cushioned observatory surrounded by large windows and skylights. They are equipped for all weather with a/c & heating and thus operates comfortably from early spring through New Year’s Day.
Please call Zerve at
1 (800) 979-3370
to get more information or
book this activity now
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