New Vessel Joins Circle Line Fleet

Miss Freedom, a new 500-passenger Circle Line vessel that will inaugurate ferry service to Ellis Island from both Battery Park and Liberty State Park (Jersey City, N.J.) was christened recently at dockside ceremonies at the Circle Line Pier 83 in New York City.

New York Mayor Abraham D.

Beame and New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne, who spoke at the ceremonies, looked on as Geralyn Clair, granddaughter of Circle Line Statue of Liberty Ferry president Frank P. Clair, christened Miss Freedom with a bottle of New York champagne. The vessel will operate under a franchise granted by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Francis J. Barry, president of Circle Line, said during the ceremony that Miss Freedom "represents $750,000 worth of confidence in the City of New York and its future tourism business." The vessel was blessed by Msgr.

Thomas McGovern, Catholic Chaplain, Port of New York and pastor, Shrine Church of the Sea.

After leaving Pier 83 with hundreds of dignitaries and guests, the two-decked Miss Freedom received a traditional New York Harbor welcome as she cruised to Liberty State Park for additional ceremonies there.

Miss Freedom, with a hull size of 135 feet by 28 feet, was built and designed by Blount Marine Corporation, Warren, R.I. Powered by General Motors 12V71s, the new vessel made 12 miles per hour on trials.

Miss Freedom will make four direct trips daily to Ellis Island from Battery Park, and three trips daily from Liberty State Park.

When Miss Freedom arrives at Ellis Island, passengers will be escorted by National Park Service Rangers on a one-hour tour that follows the exact route taken by most of the 16 million immigrants who were processed at Ellis Island between 1892 and 1932. It is estimated that half the U.S. population are either direct descendants of Ellis Island immigrants, or came through themselves.

As visitors go through each of the areas, tour-guides explain the purpose of each location and provide historic insights and facts.

Circle Line was founded in 1945 to provide sightseers with an opportunity to circumnavigate Manhattan Island by boat. The threehour, 35-mile cruise has been taken by over 29 million passengers and is known as "America's favorite boatride." Cruises leave from Pier 83 every 45 minutes during the summer.

In 1953, Circle Line obtained a franchise from the U.S. Department of the Interior to operate the ferries from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty. Ferries leave Battery Park daily every hour on the hour between 9 a.m.

and 4 p.m.

In 1962, Circle Line purchased the Hudson River Day Line as a wholly owned subsidiary. The company operates the 3,500-passenger Dayliner on daily cruises to Bear Mountain State Park, the U.S. Military Academy of West Point, and Poughkeepsie. The cruise originates from Pier 81, West 42nd Street, New York City.

Other stories from July 1977 issue


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