When you go on a Skyline Cruise, you’re not just seeing some of the most famous and breathtaking sites in the world. You’re also cruising into history. The buildings, bridges and waters you’ll encounter have been the scene of momentous events in American history and you’d be hard-pressed not to have at least one historic place in sight at any point in your voyage. New York City has a rich historical past and you will experience it up close when you book a Skyline Cruise. So we thought we’d take a few moments to point out some of the landmarks you’ll pass as you cruise Long Island Sound and the East River aboard our “Super Yacht,” the Skyline Princess.
Getting Off to an Historic Start
In fact, you’ll be starting your trip from a historic departure point, the World’s Fair Marina at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, located in Queens. It was built by New York City’s powerful Parks Commissioner Robert Moses for the 1939 World’s Fair according to the Parks Department to host international boaters and served the same purpose when the Fair returned to Flushing in 1964.
As you cruise up Flushing Bay towards the East River, you’ll pass LaGuardia Airport, which was built in 1939 and is located just eight miles from Manhattan. The driving force behind the project was former Mayor Fiorello La Guardia who first demonstrated the need for an airport when he famously refused to exit a plane in Newark because his ticket said, “New York.”
History on the East River
Once we reach the East River, you’ll be on one of the most historic waterways in the world. One of the first sites you’ll see on the Upper East Side of Manhattan will be Gracie Mansion, a wooden home that dates back to 1799 when it was built by merchant Archibald Gracie. It has served as the official residence of the New York City Mayor since 1942.
As you head south on the East River near lower Manhattan, you’ll see the Brooklyn waterfront. This was the scene of a daring escape by American troops led by George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Washington called for the retreat following their defeat at the Battle of Long Island as troops crossed the river under cover of night in difficult weather. The escape allowed the Americans to fight another day and avoid a quick end to the war.
An Iconic Bridge and Lady Liberty
One of the most famous structures on the East River is the Brooklyn Bridge, constructed in 1883. It was one of the most impressive and difficult engineering projects in American history. Designer John A. Roebling died at the start of construction as the result of an accident, leaving his son, Washington Roebling, to take over the project. The younger Roebling became incapacitated with decompression disease or “the bends”, and supervised construction while bedridden, according to history.com.
The highlight of any Skyline Cruise is the breathtaking view you’ll have of the Statue of Liberty. A gift from France, it was sculpted by Auguste Bartholdi. After a long struggle to find the funds to erect Lady Liberty, an effort finally rescued by newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, she was dedicated in New York Harbor in October of 1886. She is considered a symbol of freedom worldwide.
Make Skyline Part of Your Personal History
We hope you enjoyed this in-depth look at the historical background behind some of the sights you will see on a Skyline Cruise. You can learn a lot sailing around New York City, and you can also have a lot of fun. Whether you book one of our dinner cruises, or if you’re planning a wedding or chartering a cruise for your event, we’ll make it memorable. For more information, contact Skyline today.