New York City is the greatest city on Earth and our tourism industry is proof. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a record-breaking 56.4 million tourists visited in 2014. With the ever-rising increase of visitors, bus tour companies are striving harder than ever. Here are some of the best 2015 New York City bus tours.
In exciting news, Twin America, NYC’s biggest tour operator, has partnered with the Empire State Building to open a CitySights NY/Gray Line New York redemption and visitor center store, conveniently situated in the Empire State Building’s Fifth Avenue lobby. “It’s two titans, coming together,” says Natalie A. Hernandez, Director of Partner Development with Twin America. “Customers can conveniently purchase tickets for a double decker tour, a Broadway show, a sightseeing cruise and more!” The Center is open daily, from 7am-10pm.
CitySights NY and Gray Line New York offer a wide array of NYC double decker tours, boat tours, NYC helicopter tours, as well as day trips.
CitySights NY’s All Around Tour offers a little bit of everything. For 48 hours, you’ll have hop on/hop off access to a double decker bus covering tours of Downtown, Uptown, Harlem, Brooklyn and the city at night. It also also includes a Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Ferry and a ticket to the Museum of the City of New York. For those that want to get right to shopping, CitySights makes day trips to Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets. Tickets include a VIP coupon book.
Gray Line New York’s Night on the Town Tour is a five hour extravaganza that includes a night tour of Manhattan with dinner in Little Italy, a one-hour evening cruise, champagne, and admission to Top of the Rock Observation Deck. Now through March 31, City Guide readers will be receive a special 10% discount of any Gray Line tour.
Open Loop New York may be one of the newer bus tours around the block, launching its New York City line in May 2014, but they come with the upstanding reputation and strength of a $6 billion dollar parent company, Paris-based RATP Dev. RATP Dev is present in 12 countries and have been running The Original Tour in London, for 40 years.
“What really sets us apart is that we have brand new equipment: 2014 Alexander Dennis doubledecker busses,” says Tracy Harris, Tourism Product Development Manager.
Open Loop’s Uptown, Downtown or Night Tours run between 90 minutes to two hours. The tours provide GPS activated narration in nine languages. They’ve also partnered up to offer special discounted packages with Madame Tussauds and the Met Museum.
Touted as “The hottest way to see New York” by The Today Show, THE RIDE is a 75 minute, one-of-a-kind entertainment experience that turns the streets of New York into a stage. You’ll face sideways looking out of floor-to-ceiling glass windows, that offer unparalleled views of Manhattan. With stadium seating, 40 monitors, 3,000 LED lights and surround sound, THE RIDE is the world’s only moving theater.
Photo: THE RIDE, LLC
THE RIDE kicked up its tour game another level when it launched THE TOUR earlier this year. THE TOUR is a 90-minute immersive ride through midtown and the Upper West Side in THE RIDE’s multi-million dollar custom motorcoach. Thanks to the advanced audio and visual technology, riders on THE TOUR can witness the past, present and future of New York unfold before their eyes via different interactive moments at key landmarks on the route.
A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours, which received a 2014 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, was started by travel lover and Brooklyn native Tony Muia. Best of all, their tours depart from Union Square, in Manhattan. Their Neighborhood Tour stops at Brooklyn Heights, Victorian Flatbush, and includes a sit-down lunch at the world-renowned Junior’s. The tour highlights film locations for The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon, Sophie’s Choice, As Good as It Gets, Moonstruck and other films.