Brooklyn Waterfront Past & Present Tour

Presented in partnership with Classic Harbor Line

• Saturdays at 11am, August 8 – October 10 • Boat Cruise •

Most tours will be co-narrated by Turnstile guides and a guest speaker from local non-profits, cultural institutions, or news outlets that work along Brooklyn’s waterfront. Upcoming featured speakers include:

** Tours follow either a southern route (S) towards Red Hook and Bay Ridge, or a northern route (N) up the East River and Newtown Creek (see below for tour highlights).


A man in the foreground is holding a microphone and gesturing with his arm as several people in the foreground look out from the inside of a boat to the waterfront

Step aboard a luxury yacht on this intimate two-hour cruise narrated by guides from Turnstile Tours that explores the Brooklyn waterfront past and present, from the borough’s historical emergence as an industrial powerhouse, to its resurgence today as a major center of innovation, manufacturing, and recreation. The Brooklyn waterfront has long been a major economic engine and cultural touchstone for New York City – there’s no better way to explore this dynamic landscape than from the water.

All tours are offered in partnership with Classic Harbor Line.

Highlights include:

  • The Brooklyn Navy Yard, a former Naval shipyard now home to more than 330 creative and manufacturing businesses
  • Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges
  • Red Hook and Erie Basin, where we will share stories of residents and waterfront businesses in this historically working-class neighborhood
  • Governors Island – from military base to parkland
  • The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  • Hear stories of the diverse range of businesses and entrepreneurs inside growing industrial and creative clusters along the waterfront
  • See other emerging uses for the borough’s waterfront, including the development of new green spaces and infrastructure that have reconnected neighborhoods with the city’s waterways and play an important role in protecting the shoreline and maintaining the health of the harbor.

For most tours, the Turnstile Tours guide will be accompanied by a guest speaker who will offer commentary on specific sites and themes, including historical uses of the waterfront, contemporary manufacturing, and shoreline ecology and resiliency – see below for the complete line-up.

This tour will be offered with two distinct itineraries on alternating weeks. All tours will include the sites above, as well as:

Southern Route (Itinerary 1): The Gowanus Canal, Industry City/Bush Terminal, and the Brooklyn Army Terminal (offered 8/15, 8/29, 9/12, 9/26, 10/10)

Northern Route (Itinerary 2): Domino Sugar development, Williamsburg and the Newtown Creek (offered 8/8, 8/22, 9/5, 9/19, 10/3)

* All site visits are subject to weather and sea conditions

• Click the tabs below for tour information •

[tabs=”default”][tab title=”Admission”]General Admission: $54 per person (ages 15+)

Children (3-14): $34 per person

Children under 3 are welcome to attend free

Click here to purchase tickets. Advance ticket purchase is required.[/tab][tab title=”Length”]2 hours

We ask tour participants to please arrive at least 15 minutes before the tour start, as the boat will depart promptly at 11am (or at 9:30am for the Oct. 3 tour).[/tab] [tab title=”Directions”]All tours begin and end at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 5, located on Joralemon St in Brooklyn Heights.

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for complete directions and information on public transportation and parking nearby.[/tab][tab title=”Schedule”]Public tours are offered every Saturday at 11am, August 8–October 10. For a full list of public tour dates, please click here to view our schedule and purchase tickets, or click over to the Guest Experts tab for a complete schedule of tours, speakers, and itineraries.[/tab][tab title=”Accessibility”]Please contact us or call (347) 903-8687 if you have any questions regarding accessibility, and we will do our best to make appropriate accommodations. Unfortunately, the yacht Kingston is not accessible to people in wheelchairs.[/tab][tab title=”Private Tours”]Please contact Classic Harbor Line or visit their Private Charters page for information on booking a private tour aboard one of their vessels.[/tab][tab title=”Guest Speakers”]Most tours will be co-narrated by Turnstile guides and a guest speaker from local non-profits, cultural institutions, or news outlets that work along Brooklyn’s waterfront. Below is the schedule of participating organizations and speakers, along with whether the trip is the southern (S) or northern (N) itinerary (schedule subject to change). Click here to purchase tickets.

August 8 (N): Nathan Kensinger, photographer, filmmaker, and curator, co-creator of Newtown Creek Armada

August 15 (S): Emily Manley, Managing Editor of the New York Environment Report

August 22 (N): Noah Chesnin, Policy Program Manager for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Seascape ProgramNew York Aquarium

August 29 (S): TBA

September 5 (N): TBA

September 12 (S): Brooklyn Greenway Initiative

September 19 (N): Sarah Crean, Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the New York Environment Report

September 26 (S): Nathan Kensinger, photographer, filmmaker, and curator, co-creator of Newtown Creek Armada

October 3 (N): Michael Cairl, Chairman of the Board, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (9:30am start time)

October 10 (S): Sarah Crean, Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the New York Environment Report


Brooklyn Waterfront on the Turnstile Blog: