With the launch this summer of New York
Splash Tours, the Big Apple joined the ranks of several popular
U.S. urban vacation destinations cruised by fleets of amphibious
sightseeing "buses" that can travel on both land and water.
by-land-or-by-sea sightseeing line, created in a partnership
between Gray Line New York Sightseeing and New York Waterway, hits
both Broadway and the Hudson River with a fleet of purpose-built
amphibious vehicles called AquaBuses, accommodating 44 passengers
The vehicles are
designed to evoke the famed sailing ship Half Moon, the Dutch East
India Co. vessel that explored New York Harbor and the Hudson River
in 1609 under the command of Englishman Henry Hudson, namesake of
the river. Fittingly, the "captain" and "first mate" on each New
York Splash Tours outing are dressed in maritime costumes to suit
The hourlong New
York Splash Tours begin in Times Square and take passengers through
the streets of midtown Manhattan to the Hudson shore. At river's
edge, the passengers enter the AquaBus Theater for a multimedia
experience simulating the sights and sounds of Hudson's journey to
the New World, complete with the rushing wind of an Atlantic
The AquaBus then
splashes into the river for a view of the city skyline, spiced up
by an on-board treasure hunt conducted by the crew. Once back on
land, the AquaBus returns its passengers to the din of Times
The New York Splash
Tours program will operate from April through December. It started
operations with three AquaBuses but expects to have a full
complement of eight by next April.
Fares are $29 for
adults and $20 for children ages 3 to 11; reservations are
required. For a more comprehensive alternative, tourists can buy a
Splash Tour + All Loops Tour Combo, which combines the Splash
experience with a two-day hop-on, hop-off pass on the Gray Line
double-decker sightseeing buses. Fares for the combo are $65 for
adults and $55 for children.
information or to reserve, call (877) 527-4691 or visit www.newyorksplashtours.com.
contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Nadine
Godwin at [email protected].