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Monthly Archives: August 2021

The Great Boatlift

In honor of 9/11 and in commemoration of the Great Boat Lift, a Flotilla and Blessing of the Fleet is being organized on Friday September 10. Passage aboard the Classic Harbor Line Fleet is being offered to participate in this grand event. 100% of all ticket sales are donated to various waterfront organizations.

  • The “Boatlift” of 9/11 was the largest water evacuation in history. After road, tunnel, and railway closures out of New York City, over half a million people were stranded in lower Manhattan following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. 
  • American Maritime transported over 500,000 survivors from lower Manhattan across the harbor to safety and the rescue was larger than the evacuation of 340,000 American-allied troops at Dunkirk. 
  • The rescue effort involved over 150 American Maritime vessels, including passenger ferries, tugboats, merchant ships, private vessels, and New York City Fire Department and Police Department boats. 
  • More than 800 American mariners participated in the Boatlift evacuation of September 11th.


The route will include a gathering south of Governor’s Island, a pass by the Statue of Liberty and then a procession and a pass in front of the World Trade Center site. 


100% of ticket sales will go to support waterfront related non-profits who are working to develop future mariners, support waterfront development or protect and preserve maritime history.

These entities include:

  • Rocking the Boat
  • Brooklyn Boat Works
  • Billion Oyster Project benefitting NY Harbor School Programs
  • The John J Harvey, Save Our Ships
  • Portside NY
  • Lilac Preservation Project
  • Working Harbor Committee
  • National Maritime Historical Society, Sea History
  • Hudson River Maritime Museum

Carolina Salguero is the Founder and Executive Director of PortSide NewYork, a local nonprofit connecting New Yorkers to the potential of their waterfront, with a special focus on reaching the underserved. Carolina will be speaking aboard the Yacht Manhattan during the Flotilla and Blessing of the Fleet grand event on 9/10 on her first-hand experience during the Great Boatlift of 9/11. Visit the PortSide NewYork webpage here to learn more about Mariner’s response to 9/11 and view their exhibit.

Crain’s New York: Keeping afloat

Crain’s New York talks with our General Manager Capt. Sarah Pennington to learn how we are staying afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“But for Classic Harbor Lines, not pinning all its business hopes on tourists has proven to be a smart strategy. “We always did well locally,” said general manager Sarah Pennington, adding that “10011 has always been our number one ZIP code.”

Whether you are local or visitor, we look forward to hosting you on one of our classic NY Harbor Boat Tours!

Read more of what Crain’s New York discovered.

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