The newest ships in Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises' fleet had a warm inaugural bon voyage on Tuesday — and we’re not just talking about the temperatures that soared well above 90 in New York City.

The company unveiled the first two of three vessels in its Bronx Class fleet, the Bronx and Staten Island, on Tuesday. Both, as well as the forthcoming third ship Liberty, will be put into rotation for Circle Line’s many tours, which include a two-and-a-half hour ride around the island of Manhattan and trips to the Statue of Liberty, the latter of which media and other guests enjoyed after a morning christening ceremony.

Speakers at the event included emcee and longtime New York radio personality Ken Dashow of Q104.3, Circle Line CEO and Chairman Samuel Cooperman, Peter Duclos, CEO of Massachusetts-based Gladding Hearn shipbuilders, which has built Circle Line boats since 1955, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo.

“My first memory of the United States is approaching the Statue of Liberty,” said Cooperman, who came to the country as a child, before reading Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus,” the poem on the statue’s pedestal. “Circle Line has taken 80 million people past the statue and shows the hallowed ground of New York City.”


Both ships were christened with the traditional broken bottle of champagne. Actress and native New Yorker Brooke Shields did the honor for the Bronx, while Laysha De Los Santos from sports-based nonprofit New Heights Youth broke the bottle for the Staten Island.

Attendees were then treated to a sightseeing cruise on the Bronx from Circle Line’s Pier 81 on Manhattan’s West Side to the Statue of Liberty and back, which gave breathtaking views of the iconic landmark and the city’s famous skyline.

Watch a Facebook Live of the Bronx’s approach to Lady Liberty.

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