A considerable part of what makes a Skyline Cruise so unique is that each of our cruises affords our passengers the ability to sail past history. It’s safe to say that New York City is the most fantastic city in the world, and iconic sights are all around. Between landmarks, buildings, and the waterways themselves, the Big Apple is full of rich history.
When you choose to sail with Skyline Cruises, you may not realize it, but you are already being immersed in history before you even board the ship. Most of our cruises start at the historic, world-famous World’s Fair Marina in Flushing, Queens. What makes this historic site so unique? Read on to find out!
Settlers of the 17th Century
The World’s Fair Marina site dates back to when Dutch Settlers established Newton’s settlements and Flushing back during the 17th century. However, it was not until 1964 when the World’s Fair Marina got its name. According to the New York City Parks Department, during the American Revolution, the area was occupied by British forces who worked out of the Lent Farmhouse, named for one of the area’s early settlers.
Immediately following the Civil War, the area’s natural beauty made it a popular waterfront resort. Many wealthy New Yorkers built gorgeous, elegant homes here. A hotel was erected on the marina’s site by notorious concert-saloon keeper Harry Hill, who ran a steamboat between this saloon and one on Hudson Street in Manhattan. Sadly, in the late 19th and early 20th century, the area declined and ultimately became an ash dump.
It’s All in a Name
Jackson Heights engineer Joseph F. Shagden attempted to organize the 1939-40 World’s Fair when Robert Moses saw a chance he wanted to use. According to the Parks Department, Moses had been planning to create a great park, and in exchange for allowing the fair to take place on the Meadows, Moses demanded permanent improvements that fit his blueprints. The upgrades included:
- Underground utility lines.
- Thousands of trees.
- Two lakes.
- A boat basin – the birth of the World’s Fair Marina.
However, it did not have this name until 1964, when the fair returned to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Moses envisioned the marina, which would be “the boatman’s gateway to the city…another example of successful Federal, State, City, World’s Fair and private cooperation.” Once the project was complete, it had room for 800 boats.
Today, the World’s Fair Marina is a destination for recreational boaters from around the world. It offers a full range of amenities, including 24-hour security, boat maintenance and storage, information on boating and boating safety, and access to Citi Field, home of the NY Mets.
World’s Fair Marina and Skyline Cruises
Here at Skyline Princess Cruises, we are so proud to call the World’s Fair Marina home and to be a part of something so historic. We hope to have you aboard in the future to immerse yourself in the area’s rich history!