The History of New York Water Taxi

New York Water Taxi began in 2002 as a partnership between Douglas Durst, the real estate developer and civic benefactor, and Tom Fox, a champion of New York City’s waterfront who has left an imprint on shorelines around the city. The company was born out of a vision of reclaiming New York Harbor for transportation and recreation rather than the industrial uses that had taken over the waterfront before departing for more distant shores.

From the outset, locals and tourists alike rode the distinctive yellow and checkerboard boats. The Statue of Liberty! The Brooklyn Bridge! The Manhattan skyline! New York City’s marvels are beautiful from any vantage point, but thrilling from the water.

New York Water Taxi’s fleet quickly expanded to ten boats of varying sizes. In addition to unforgettable sightseeing tours, New York Water Taxi began “point A to point B” services for locals, including bringing IKEA shoppers and day-trippers to and from Red Hook, providing daily transportation services for local financial and medical institutions, bringing baseball fans to Mets and Yankees games, transporting thousands of concert-goers to music festivals on Randall’s Island, and operating portions of the East River Ferry (the predecessor to today’s NYC Ferry).

In 2017 New York Water Taxi was purchased by New York Cruise Lines, operators of the Circle Line, another iconic waterborne sightseeing company with a 75-year history. Together the companies provide an unrivaled assortment of maritime sightseeing services celebrating the beauty and history of New York City.