I’ve lived in NYC for 20 years and one of my favorite things to do with visitors is take them on The Beast. This speedboat races through the NYC harbor at 45 miles per hour while pointing out NYC landmarks. It feels more like an amusement ride than a historical tour yet provides great photo opportunities of both the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan…making it the perfect attraction for families. The boat crew pumps loud pop music once the boat gets cruising to get the crowd excited and splashes a kid or two along the way. The crew also kindly takes photos with your cameras of you in front of landmarks.
The Beast is operated by New York Cruise Lines, the same company that does Circle Line, North River Lobster Company and the newly opened Fish Bar, right next door on Pier 81. They’ve also just launched a concert series, Circle Live. All of these are located off or next to Pier 83 which is near 42nd street on the West Side so there are plenty of good food and entertainment options. Pier 83 also has other attractions too like the Intrepid Museum and a really fun splash pad so bring a swimsuit!
My four year old is rarely afraid of anything. She loves roller coasters and is always willing to take risks. For a bit of the ride she was quite scared which really took me by surprise. After listening to her I realized she was afraid we’d fall into the water and get eaten by sharks. After convincing her I’d take good care of her and no one on the boat would let her fall overboard she relaxed and ultimately had a good time. Oh, there are no sharks in the Hudson River. I probably should have shown her a video of the speedboat in advance so she knew better what to expect.
- Reserve your tickets in advance.
- Spend about an hour on the pier beforehand to enjoy the attractions.
- Bring a bathing suit or change of clothes if you think your kids will want to play in the splash pad.
- Bring lots of sunscreen! Hats and sunglasses too.
- I brought a backpack full of snacks and bottles of water. This was easy to keep on the boat with us the whole time.
- This is not a good attraction to bring a stroller.
- Kids need to be 40″ to ride this ride.
- This is not advisable for pregnant woman or anyone with back problems.
- This is the fastest, funnest way to see the statue of liberty.
- Even for locals, this is a really fun way to ride a speedboat in the Hudson River.
- I can’t wait to check out North River Lobster Company and Fish Bar!
- I’ll definitely be looking into a date night to check out Circle Live.
Check out our video showing our little adventure: