CHELSEA — A historical boat cruise will let New Yorkers get up a close look at the city’s maritime past during the World War II.
For both Fleet Week and Memorial Day, Classic Harbor Lines and Turnstile Tours will let passengers sail from Chelsea Piers past the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Brooklyn Army Terminal, and learn the history of the harbor during WWII.
The two-and-a-half hour Fleet Week boat tour explores the military history of New York Harbor, where 3.2 million soldiers and 37 million tons of supplies set sail for the European front. The tours, which run from Thursday to Sunday in cooperation with the nonprofit Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, will let cruisers see the sights from the deck of the yacht Kingston.
“We’ve gained so much knowledge about this particular historic period and about the harbor, we thought it would be great to bring all of this together,” said Turnstile Tours vice president Andrew Gustafson, who will be leading the excursions.
Nearly every stretch of waterfront around the city was used industrially or commercially to support the war effort, Gustafson said, and the tour will visit many of the remnants. The Brooklyn Navy Yard alone built four different aircraft carriers — each the size of the Intrepid.
“It’s also a great opportunity for people to see some modern naval vessels visiting the city for Fleet Week,” Gustafson said.
The tour also includes recorded oral histories of the men and women who worked on the waterfront during the war.
Tickets for the tours are $68, and include a drink from the bar and light hors d’oeuvres. World War II veterans sail for free.
Take a step off the island and onto New York’s AIA Around Manhattan Architecture tour boat to experience the landscape of the city from the river.
It’s hard to appreciate the architecture in New York City when you’re trapped inside a building all day. We might get annoyed with tourists for getting in the way when they take landscape shots, but they just might be onto something. It’s easier to understand the creativity and structure of a skyscraper when you take a step back; you can do this by getting out of Manhattan and hopping onto a yacht with the AIANY Around Manhattan Architecture Tour.
The tour points out some of New York’s most spectacular buildings while orating its history. For instance, how many people have noticed the bizarre hot pink building that brightens up the West Village? Julian Schnabel is the designer of this whimsical building, known at the Palazzo Chupi.
And what about the twisted glass building with frosted tips in Chelsea? Frank Gehry designed this Hudson riverfront construction to look like sails blowing in the wind. The stylish wave building is home to the InterActiveCorp’s headquarters.
The tour also gave insight to buildings in progress and future renovation, like the plan to redevelop the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg. As of now, the location is scheduled to include a larger, redesigned building with added office space, park space and affordable housing.
You can get a view of Manhattan’s waterfront buildings from just about any boat tour or cruise, but if you’d like to hear about the architectural background of the skyline and sip on a complimentary cocktail, the AIA Around Manhattan Architecture tour runs off the Classic Harbor Line at Chelsea Piers.