A Unique Perspective on The Vessel at Hudson Yards


What is The Vessel?

The Vessel is New York’s newest icon. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio, the 16-story inhabitable sculpture has more than 2,500 steps and 80 individual landings. It’s an M.C. Escher drawing brought to life. The conical framework of intertwining staircases creates a seemingly infinite variety of paths to explore and vantage points for seeing the city.

How Can I See The Vessel?

There is no charge to visit Hudson Yards and explore this mega-development on your own. You do need tickets to climb The Vessel and the tickets are (currently) free. With Free Tickets, The Vessel has become very popular and there is frequently a wait as long as two weeks to make a booking.

So how can you see The Vessel on your next trip to New York? One of the most interesting perspectives is from the water. Hudson Yards takes its name from the Hudson River which sits directly next to this amazing new neighborhood. Every New York Media Boat tour stops on the river for a spectacular view of the entire complex, with the bronze, lattice-work Vessel proudly on display at the center.

When is the Best Time to See The Vessel?

Well, since The Vessel has only been open less than a year, no one can tell you the best time of year. As you may have noticed in the photos, The Vessel is covered in highly reflective copper. It seems to shimmer in the light. When viewing The Vessel from the water in the late afternoon, the sun reflects off the different facets and the effect is magnificent, as if the structure were made of liquid fire. Combined with the glass skyscrapers and The Highline in the foreground, it truly seems like The Vessel is something straight out of Oz.

Click below to book a spot on our tour and view our new stop at The Vessel!


Great Whites and Good Morning America

When a great white shark was pinged by OCEARCH off the coast of Greenwich, Connecticut, in the Long Island Sound on Tuesday, dozens of news outlets jumped on the story.

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ABC News jumped on our boat!

We picked up Gio Benitez and the news crew from Good Morning America at 4:30 am on Tuesday and did a live shot from off the coast of Port Washington.

They loved it so much we did another hit for World News Tonight with David Muir — and then another on Wednesday morning for GMA again! This time, we anchored off Rockaway and Captain Eric ran a second boat for the drone team.


Of course, both of our media boats made a cameo during the live shot. You can watch the full video here!

What better story to kick off Memorial Day weekend than a piece about shark attacks on the beach?!

Sea Shepherd’s NY Mission: TriBeCa Film Festival

Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson and his high-speed intercepter ship the MV Brigitte Bardot arrived in New York City for the the TriBeCa Film Festival premier of WATSON.


The Brigitte Bardot (formerly Gojira) is currently docked at North Cove Marina and while in town, her crew members educate the public on their mission to protect marine life and preserve the ocean for future generations.


The boat has a very distinct look: Some call her a trimaran, others a stabilized monohull. You may recognize her from Animal Planet’s show ‘Whale Wars’ where she replaced the Ady Gil after it was sunk by a Japanese whaling ship.

Built in England in 1998, she was designed to circumnavigate the globe in less than 80 days — and she did it in 74. Sea Shepherd acquired her in 2010 and deploys her as an intercepter vessel to search for illegal fishing operations. Re-powered with twin 500HP Cummins diesel engine, her range is around 2,000 nautical miles and the cruising speed is 14 knots.


Capt. Mark invited us aboard for a tour of his ship.


The documentary details Watson's four-decade crusade to stop illegal fishing around the world. It's directed by Lesley Chilcott, who produced An Inconvenient Truth.


Brigitte Bardot's New York City visit is just a stopover between two missions: fighting illegal shark fishing around the Galapagos Islands as part of Operation Mamacocha, and combatting illegal whaling in Iceland.


Stunning Sea Smoke

It’s not often that we get to see Sea Smoke on the Hudson, but today’s Arctic blast set the stage for some beautiful scenery.

Sea smoke billows up when the water temperature is MUCH warmer than the air — at least 30 degrees warmer.

This morning, it was 5 degrees Fahrenheit in New York, and the water temperature at the Battery was 38 degrees.

The perfect differential for a stunning display!


New Subway Stop is Close to Media Boat!

New Yorkers were glad to see the Cortlandt Street/World Trade Center stop on the 1 train finally reopen after it was destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks — and we’re especially thrilled because it’s so close to New York Media Boat.

It’s about a five-minute walk from the western exit of the 1 train to the NYMB dock in North Cove Marina. Here’s a little photo-tour of how to get there: through the Westfield shopping center, into Brookfield Place, and to the marina.

Here’s where you’ll exit the 1 train, at the westernmost end of The Oculus:


Look to the right: you’ll see a long hallway that connects Westfield Mall & Brookfield Place:


Head down that long hallway, and check out the animation on the huge screen:


Take the escalator up into Brookfield Place. At the top, you’ll see the BFPL shops:


Walk around either side of those shops to the atrium with palm trees:


Take the left-hand exit out of the atrium:

And you’re at the marina! Keep heading left — we’re in the lower left corner.


We hope to welcome you aboard!

Bountiful Bunker? Advocates Clash with Big Fish Oil in New York Harbor

Posted 9/7/18 at 5:03 pm. Updated 9/8/18 at 6:46 am.

Advocacy groups are sounding the alarm on Virginia-based fishing fleets coming into the New York bight to harvest menhaden -- a bait fish better known as "bunker" -- but NOAA Fisheries says the species is not at risk of overfishing.


The boats work for Omega Protein, a company based in Reedville, Virginia, that runs the largest menhaden fishing operation on the east coast.

Menhaden are abundant now, but they'd been severely overfished in the past and advocacy groups like Menhaden Defenders and Gotham Whale are concerned about that happening again -- especially since whales have returned to New York City waters. The cetaceans feed on menhaden, and fewer fish could mean fewer whale sightings, they say.

Advocates also worry about by-catch. The boats use huge purse seines that round up millions of fish at a time, and there's concern that dolphins and other marine life could get caught up.


In a press release, Omega Protein charged that advocates are making "false statements" about their fleet, noting that there's currently no concern about bunker overfishing and that their operations are completely legal. The company turns menhaden into commodities for fish oil supplements, dog food, fish meal, and other products.

Jennifer Goebel, a spokesperson for NOAA Fisheries, confirmed that there's no current threat of overfishing for menhaden.

"There has been concern over the years from certain environmental groups regarding localized depletion in Chesapeake Bay, but studies have not found any evidence that localized depletion is occurring," she said in an email. "The coastwide assessment shows the Atlantic menhaden stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring."

She added that Omega Protein "follow[s] the schools and right now, if those schools are off New York, that’s where an industry vessel could be fishing."

But Paul Sieswerda of Gotham Whale is skeptical: "There should be schools off Virginia and the fact that these boats have to steam all the way to New York tells me that they have fished out southern waters."

"They can deplete a local population and where does that leave us?" he said. "They did it in the past and it's taken from the 1960s until now to bottom out and come back."

As for by-catch, the mid-Atlantic menhaden fishery is classified as a category II fishery under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which means "occasional incidental mortality or serious injury" may occur -- chiefly to the bottlenose dolphin -- but that purse seining has historically "had a negligible impact on marine mammals."

Goebel noted it's "illegal to intentionally set a purse-seine net around marine mammals," and that NOAA Fisheries actively monitors the fishery along with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Per NOAA regulations, industry can take a total of 216,000 metric tons of menhaden each season. The Virginia fleets have been hard at work near New York in the last few weeks, led by factory ship Calcasieu Pass on Aug. 29 and by Rappahannock the next day. 

Thursday evening, New York Media Boat captured some shots of factory ship Fleeton and fishing boat Dempster seining menhaden in the New York bight, beyond the three-mile state water limit.

By 8 am Friday morning, those vessels were already back in Virginia waters, heading into port. The journey was about 600 nautical miles round-trip. 


'CBS This Morning' Covers Lady Liberty Climber

'CBS This Morning' came aboard today for a second-day story on the woman who scaled the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty on July 4th to protest Trump administration immigration policies.

Correspondent DeMarco Morgan did a live shot from the bow of our 9-meter boat. You can watch the full story here.

We picked up the news crew at 5 am and were back at the dock in time for our first 10 am Adventure Sightseeing Tour!


Crane Delivery: Shanghai to New York

It was an impressive sight, as the four giant ship-to-shore cranes appeared on the Horizon.


On April 20th, the Heavy Load Carrier 'Zhen Hua 20' arrived in New York. She had departed Shanghai on February 15th -- that's 66 days at sea -- traveling at an average speed of just 8 knots. 


The four cranes on deck were built by ZPMC in China for the Maersk Terminal at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey.


Many modern heavy load carriers are constructed with the wheelhouse forward of the cargo area for unobstructed views. On this ship, a box is mounted on the bow for the the look-out.


A clearview screen ensures a good view in any weather. This rotary wiper is installed in the window and houses an electric motor mounted in the center, which spins a glass disk inside the circular metal frame at high speed. Rain, sleet, and sea spray get dispersed immediately upon contact by centrifugal force.


Anchor was dropped in Gravesend Bay to reconfigure the total height in order to transit under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the Bayonne Bridge.


With the booms lowered the total height was 213 feet. Three Moran tugboats assisted as she sailed through the Narrows into New York Harbor.


The iconic Manhattan skyline always makes for a nice backdrop!


One World Trade Center is currently the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.


Stability calculations had to be exact in order to extend the booms this far from her port side.


The recently raised Bayonne Bridge was transited at low tide, allowing some extra room to pass underneath. 


Tight quarters, but she made it!


New This Winter: Seal Watch Tours

People are often shocked when we tell them that there are seals in New York harbor, and we usually have to break out a few photos to prove it. But it's true -- each winter, these creatures return to local waters, and you can usually catch them drying off on the rocks at Hoffman and Swinburne Islands, just south of the Verrazano Bridge.


This year, for the first time ever, we're running seal-watch tours in partnership with the Center for the Study of Pinniped Ecology & Cognition, which is run by scientists at SUNY and St. Francis College. 

During the two-hour tours, a scientist will talk about New York harbor seal ecology, while a New York Media Boat photographer will help guests take top-notch wildlife photos. The on-board researcher will also be taking a count of the animals and studying their behavior, and will be happy to answer any questions from passengers.


So far, we're offering seven of these exclusive tours (seats are limited to two passengers per tour) through January and February. Our closed-cabin boat will run round-trip from North Cove Marina in lower Manhattan.


You can book directly on our website using the "Book Now" button, or feel free to call us with questions at 347.789.0588.

We hope to welcome you aboard -- it is truly amazing to observe these creatures in their urban habitat!


Lights Out at the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty has gone dark, without a single spotlight illuminating the symbol of freedom that overlooks New York Harbor.

It's a highly unusual sight, as we've been told that the National Park Service takes great care to make sure she's lit up at all times. 

Just last month, the Statue had partially gone dark, with her back standing in shadow. We'd noticed the lack of lighting from our apartment window. That was when our contacts at the National Park Service told us it's very rare for those lights to go out.

We can vouch for that. We've never seen anything like it in the five years we've been running New York Media Boat, and in the three years that we've lived in an apartment with a direct view of the Statue.

There's a lot of speculation as to what's causing the outage: foreign hacking, a travel ban protest, or solidarity with tomorrow's Day Without A Woman. Or it could just be a tripped breaker.

We're looking forward to answers from the National Park Service.

NOAA's Take on the Hudson Humpback

The humpback whale that’s been cruising the Hudson River likely got lost after chasing baitfish, according to NOAA experts.

There’s probably not enough food upriver, and chances are the whale is ‘lost,’ said Jennifer Goebel, a spokesperson for NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region.

It doesn’t appear to be in danger, so NOAA doesn’t plan to intervene at this time.  

But that could change if the health of the animal declines, or if the location ends up posing a danger, Goebel said, acknowledging that the whale is certainly a hazard to navigation in busy New York Harbor.

The whale is likely a juvenile or a young adult, and concerns about it ‘missing its migration’ are unfounded, Goebel said.

While adult animals move to tropical breeding grounds in the winter, younger whales don’t always make the entire journey because they’re not reproductively active, and there’s less for them to eat down there.

Indeed, there’s some evidence that a number of juveniles overwinter in the mid-Atlantic, where they continue to feed and grow, Goebel said.

Even adult humpbacks have been reported to migrate later in the season, remaining off New York and New Jersey into late fall, and overwintering in the mid-Atlantic, she added.

There are 14 subtypes of humpback, and it’s not clear which one this whale belongs to. Four subpopulations are endangered, and one is threatened, but none of these live in the coastal waters off North America.

While the North Atlantic humpback population was estimated to bottom-out at 700 animals between 1865 and 1980, today NOAA estimates that there are 12,000 humpbacks swimming through its waters at any given time.

Many New Yorkers will be anxiously waiting to see if this animal finds his way back to his flourishing population.

Humpback Whale in New York Harbor: Monday 11/21 Update

Gale-force winds gusting 40 knots stirred up the harbor, making it difficult to locate the whale's occasional spout among whitecaps everywhere. Despite recent reports "off the Statue," "at the 1 Bouy" and "north of Governors Island," it took us over an hour to find the mammal. We finally spotted it south of Governors Island right around slack tide.

The whale swam west, crossing the shipping lane, and began surface feeding just east of the Statue of Liberty. Due to the adverse weather conditions we didn't see the whale as much as on previous days, making its path much less predictable.

Marine Mammal Researcher Kristi Ashley Collum from the American Museum of Natural History, who also collaborates with Gotham Whale, joined us on the escort. Kristi deployed a hydrophone off the boat to record the whale's vocalizations. 

For about an hour the whale swam in a north-south pattern along a 0.3-nautical mile transect of a shoal, surfacing about once a minute.

At 3:30pm the whale headed south towards the Jersey Flats and we returned to port.