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Alternative to Classic Harbor Line

Level Contributor
114 posts
13 reviews
7 helpful votes
Alternative to Classic Harbor Line

A friend recently recommended the Classic Harbor Line architectural tour around Manhattan. Seems like a great tour, but they don't allow below age 14. My youngest is 13. The company recommends Statue & Skyline as an alternative but that seems like a pretty poor substitute (described as light narration and lower Manhattan only). All of us are very interested in history and photography, and since it's the kids' first time visiting NYC I want them to get a good perspective of the city.

We've done the architectural and historic boat tours in Chicago even when my kids were younger and they loved it, so finding something similar would be ideal. The Circle Line tour seems like an option but I keep reading how some guides are great and others so-so, which is the risk with every tour of course. Evening cruise isn't possible because of shows and dinner reservations each night. Any suggestions beyond these two?

7 replies to this topic
New York City
Level Contributor
10,600 posts
125 reviews
80 helpful votes
1. Re: Alternative to Classic Harbor Line

Ive only been on it once, but I think you should go on the Circle line, It should be interesting enough for a tween

Level Contributor
22,042 posts
27 reviews
21 helpful votes
2. Re: Alternative to Classic Harbor Line

Agree with Howard, Circle Line has so many options.

Level Contributor
49,426 posts
1,302 reviews
343 helpful votes
3. Re: Alternative to Classic Harbor Line

The Architecture tour really is great. I'd take another CHL trip over the Circle Line tours as the guides are generally all much better and more interesting on CHL than on Circle, which I feel deals more with the Mass Market

Pacifica, California
Level Contributor
230 posts
9 reviews
5 helpful votes
4. Re: Alternative to Classic Harbor Line

I’ve taken the Circle Line cruise a couple of times and really enjoyed it.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
1,10,005 posts
12 reviews
48 helpful votes
5. Re: Alternative to Classic Harbor Line

I would phone CHL and ask if they would accept a 13 year old. It,s not that far off from 14. Some might just go ahead and book. None of the other daytime cruises will compare for what you want.

Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
24 posts
6. Re: Alternative to Classic Harbor Line

I’ve done the architecture tour and it’s great however it’s a bit challenging to hear the narrator and the idea is for the passengers to talk softly if at all. The narration is interesting but dry. And it’s for most of the cruise.

So I’m sure the concern is that a young person might not be able to follow those guidelines.

If you think your child is sufficiently mature and disciplined you might be able to convince them to sell the ticket.

Ps this is more scenic than the Chicago tour but not even close to as lively or interesting.

Edited: yesterday, 03:16
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
1,064 posts
93 reviews
50 helpful votes
7. Re: Alternative to Classic Harbor Line

We did the the Complete Manhatten Island cruise with Circle Line and the narrator was fantanstic and easy to hear as he walked around the boat.

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