There are two companies that offer Circle Line cruises: Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises at 42nd Street and Circle Line Downtown. They originate from the same company (Circle Line), which explains their similar names and business missions, but they are nevertheless distinct companies. This presents certain challenges to those attempting to book a Circle Line cruise. For one, there is ample room for confusion; unless you’re familiar with New York City sightseeing cruises, you wouldn’t know that the two Circle Line companies are fully separate and therefore offer totally different cruises. This means that not only are there more options to sift through, but also that they must be booked in separate ways. This doesn’t make booking a Circle Line cruise difficult, at least not as an action in and of itself, but it does mean that a little guidance is helpful. For this reason, we have explained all you need to know about booking a Circle Line cruise below.
Probably the most straightforward way to book a Circle Line cruise is buy it through the site of either Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises at 42nd Street or Circle Line Downtown. Each site has an easy-to-use tool for purchasing tickets online. Circle Line Downtown offers a slightly quicker process, as once you select the ticket(s) you want to buy, you only have to fill out one page that asks for all the relevant information. Circle Line Sightseeing, in contrast, employs the “shopping cart” function and requires you to click through several pages before your purchase is final. Neither process is difficult once you find the tab for “buy tickets,” though. After you’ve decided what to buy, the actual purchasing of the tickets will only take a minute or two on either site. If you’ve filled out one online-order form, you’ve filled them all.
If you can buy your tickets online, this is probably how you should do it. However, if you are unable to do this – perhaps the urge to take a tour of New York City via sightseeing cruise comes suddenly – you can buy tickets on the pier from which the cruises depart. (You can also buy tickets over the phone, but if you can book in advance, you may as well do it online.) In the case of Circle Line Sightseeing, this is Pier 83. Since Circle Line Downtown is owned by (and essentially absorbed within) New York Water Taxi, which serves as a transportation service between various points in NYC, it operates out of several ports: Pier 84, West 44th Street; Christopher Street, Pier 45; Battery Park, Slip 6; Pier 16, South Street Seaport; Pier 1 – Brooklyn Bridge Park, DUMBO; Pier 17, South Street Seaport; Pier 11, Slip A; Ikea Dock; and East 35th Street, Midtown. Circle Line Downtown obviously has more ticket offices, but it might be worth making your way to Pier 83 if Circle Line Sightseeing offers the type of cruise you want to take. (The two companies have somewhat similar cruise offerings, but they are distinct enough to consider both. There is more about this in the article about Circle Line cruises cited here and above.)
These are the ways to directly book Circle Line cruises, although it is worth mentioning before we conclude that you can gain access to these cruises by buying packaged tickets or other combo deals. The New York Pass includes access to Circle Line cruises, as does the New York City Pass. However, when you buy these passes or similar offers, many of which can be purchased online, you aren’t really booking a Circle Line cruise in particular, so we’ll dismiss the topic having noted it.
As you can see, there is nothing particularly difficult about booking a Circle Line cruise, although the process does require some sorting out. Once you’ve looked through the offerings of Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises at 42nd Street and Circle Line Downtown, though, the process of purchasing a ticket is pretty easy. Buy it online if you can, but tickets can still be had if you can’t manage this.