News Press / Waterfront

Press Release: Turnstile Tours and Classic Harbor Line launch new tour series, Brooklyn Waterfront: Past & Present

Turnstile Tours and Classic Harbor Line launch new tour series, Brooklyn Waterfront: Past & Present

2-hour cruises of Brooklyn waterfront depart Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5 every Saturday at 11am, August 8 – October 10

Each tour to feature expert speakers, including representatives from Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, New York Environment Report, New York Aquarium

July 15, 2015, Brooklyn, NY — Starting August 8, Turnstile Tours is teaming up with Classic Harbor Line to lead a special series of 10 guided boat tours focusing on the ever-changing Brooklyn waterfront, departing from Brooklyn Bridge Park. These tours will trace the industrial, social, and environmental history of both the iconic and lesser-known sites of the waterfront, and examine the current state of the Brooklyn shoreline with the help of expert guest speakers.

These 2-hour tours will be offered to the public every Saturday at 11am starting August 8 and running through October 10. Departing from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s new marina on Pier 5, located at the foot of Joralemon St in Brooklyn Heights, the tours will be held aboard Classic Harbor Line’s beautiful wooden motor yacht Kingston. Tickets are $54 per person and include a free drink and light snacks. Space on each tour is limited to 30 guests, allowing for an intimate, interactive tour experience. The public can purchase tickets at or, or by calling 212-627-1825. Advance purchase is recommended.

For the past several years, Turnstile Tours has developed and operated tours at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Brooklyn Army Terminal, exploring their industrial, military, environmental, a social histories, and their reinvention today as centers of manufacturing and technology, and for the past two years has offered World War II history tours of the harbor with Classic Harbor Line. Building on this experience, Turnstile has crafted a tour that traces the story of the waterfront from the borough’s emergence as an industrial powerhouse in the 19th century, to its resurgence today as a major center of innovation, industry, and recreation. The Brooklyn waterfront has long been a major economic engine and cultural touchstone for New York City, and there is no better way to explore this dynamic landscape than from the water.

Tour highlights will include the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Red Hook and Erie Basin, Governors Island, as well as stops past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Along the way, guides will share stories of the diverse range of businesses and entrepreneurs inside growing industrial and creative clusters, and discuss other emerging uses for the borough’s shore. With rapid change comes myriad challenges, and our knowledgeable guides and guests will address issues ranging from sea level rise to housing, green infrastructure to industrial policy.

This tour will be offered with two distinct itineraries on alternating weeks. All tours will include the sites above, while the southern route (offered 8/15, 8/29, 9/12, 9/26, 10/10) will include the Gowanus Canal, Industry City, Sunset Park, and the Brooklyn Army Terminal; the northern route (offered 8/8, 8/22, 9/5, 9/19, 10/3)will pass by the Domino Sugar development, Williamsburg, Bushwick Inlet, and the Newtown Creek. Visit our website for a complete calendar and listing of guest speakers.

On each tour, a Turnstile guide will be accompanied by an expert speaker who works along the waterfront. The lineup of guests includes:

The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (9/12, 10/3) is an organization working to create a bicycle and pedestrian pathway along the waterfront to facilitate transportation, recreation, and waterfront access, and provide much-needed green space and water management infrastructure. BGI’s board chairman Michael Cairl will be joining the tour on October 3.

Nathan Kensinger (8/8, 9/26) is a photographer and filmmaker who has been documenting stories of the abandoned and industrial landscapes on New York City’s edges for more than a decade, combining haunting photography with rigorous research and reporting. His work has been featured at Brooklyn Historical Society, the Museum of the City of New York, and BRIC, and he is the co-creator of the art project the Newtown Creek Armada.

Noah Chesnin (8/22) is the Policy Program Manager for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Seascape Program. Working out of Coney Island’s New York Aquarium, Noah will share his work on studying fisheries of the New York region, looking at both the historical impacts of fishing and the health of our maritime ecosystems today.

New York Environment Report (8/15, 9/19, 10/10) is a non-profit news outlet founded in 2014 to do in-depth, public interest reporting on the critical environmental issues affecting New York City and State. We will be joined by NYER co-founder and editor-in-chief Sarah Crean and managing editor Emily Manley, who will discuss their reporting on resiliency, water quality, and marine ecology.



Andrew Gustafson, Vice President, Turnstile Tours •, (347) 903-8687

Sarah Pennington, General Manager, Classic Harbor Line •, (212) 627-1825 x1501

Turnstile Tours creates and operates unique, rigorously-researched, engaging tours and public programs in partnership with non-profit organizations and cultural institutions that bring together out-of-town visitors, community residents, and people of all ages and abilities. Turnstile is a Certified B-Corporation and a New York State-registered Benefit Corporation, and has committed to contribute at least 5% of all ticket sales to designated non-profit partners. Current programs include several different theme-based public tours exploring the past and present of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, public tours of the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and Food Cart Tours exploring the street food scene in Manhattan’s Financial District and Midtown.

Classic Harbor Lineis a national company with a collection of turn-of-the-century style schooners and motor yachts operating in New York City, Boston, Newport, RI, and Key West, FL. Classic Harbor Line offers the alternative to typical sightseeing boat tours with most tours on eco wind-powered sailing schooners that are never over-crowded. In its home port of New York City at Chelsea Piers, Classic Harbor Line offers unique programming as well with special cruises like the critically-acclaimed Official AIA-NY Around NYC Architecture Tour, Morimoto Sushi & Sake Sail, and full-day trips to Bear Mountain. Classic Harbor Line’s parent company and maker of all the yachts is Scarano Boat Building in Albany, NY, where all boats are made proudly using only American-made parts.