MARCH 30, 2015 — In a keel laying ceremony held in celebration of the 70th anniversary year of New York City's Circle Line Sightseeing Yachts, Inc., Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, recently began construction of the first of three new sightseeing vessels for the line.
Delivery of the first new vessel is scheduled for 2016. Apart from the addition of an extra deck, the new vessels (Hulls 414, 415, and 416) are near sisters to three earlier Circle Line boats delivered from Gladding-Hearn's Somerset, MA, shipyard in 2009.
"The new vessels will offer guests an enhanced sightseeing experience on every level," says Costas Markou, president and chief operating officer of Circle Line's parent New York Cruise Lines, Inc. "Notably, visitors will enjoy upgrades in classes of service and the introduction of a variety of new and innovative experiences, including improvements in content and entertainment options, viewing sight lines, as well as enhanced food and beverage selections."
Like the earlier vessels, the new 600-passenger all-steel vessels have been designed by DeJong and Lebet, N.A., in Jacksonville, FL, and measure 165 feet in length and a 34-foot beam.
With a top speed of 14 knots, each vessel will be powered by two Cummins QSK-38MI diesel engines, delivering a total of 2,600 hp and turning 60-inch, five-bladed bronze propellers via ZF W3355 gear boxes.
For dockside maneuvering, each vessel is equipped with a 125 hp Wesmar bow thruster, powered by an electric motor. Two 140 kW generators will supply the ship's service power.
The pilothouse is equipped with port and starboard wing stations, in addition to the center console.
Interior accommodations include seating and tables for 275 passengers in the main cabin. The second deck provides indoor seating and tables for another 150 passengers indoors, plus reserved seating for 30 VIP passengers, and outdoor seating for 88 passengers.
Aft of the pilothouse on the third deck will be outdoor seating for 84 passengers under a fixed canopy. The cabins are arranged for concession areas or cocktail bars and wheelchair-accessible heads.
Heating and air-conditioning is supplied by a 210,000 Btu diesel-fired boiler and six 10-ton water-cooled chillers.
With a crew of 30, the crew room, located below the main deck, will be outfitted with storage cabinets, a refrigerator, shower and head, and walk-in cooler.