Nothing compares to the thrills of a sky-high helicopter ride, soaring above skyscrapers and the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.
A bird’s-eye view of the city’s iconic landmarks is a unique, exhilarating, and safe experience for people of all ages.
There are several different helicopter tour companies offering many options to suit a variety of needs and budgets. Whether you tour during the day or evening for thrills, photographs, or to share a romantic experience, you’re sure to come away with awesome memories.
Big Apple Helicopter Tour of New York
For the price of a good ticket for a Broadway musical, you can enjoy a front row view of a different kind of NYC show. A Big Apple Helicopter Tour offers thrills and a fabulous treat for the senses. Taking off near Battery Park, you’ll spend the next 15 minutes experiencing famous Manhattan landmarks as never before.
Your pilot will narrate as you fly past the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center, the Woolworth Building, and more. You’ll even catch a glimpse of Central Park, the George Washington Bridge, and other iconic sights of NYC.
Big Viator VIP: NYC Night Helicopter Flight and Statue of Liberty Cruise
Embark on the ultimate adventure that will have you both soaring and sailing around Manhattan. The NYC Helicopter Flight and Statue of Liberty Cruise begins at Pier 6 in lower Manhattan. Take off in a luxury helicopter for a 15-20 minute tour of many iconic vistas and buildings including the World Trade Center, the Brooklyn Bridge, the New York Times building, the Hudson River, Central Park and more.
As your helicopter ride concludes, you’ll be transported to another pier where a boat will embark on an hour-long sunset cruise along New York Harbor. Top off your excursion with a champagne toast in front of Lady Liberty.
New York Aerial
If you are looking to learn how to take the best aerial photographs of Manhattan, New York Aerial offers two unique “doors off” helicopter experiences.
Their Doors-Off Aerial Photo Experience offers a pre-flight tutorial which prepares photographers with tips, tricks and knowledge to take the best aerial photograph without an instructor on board.
Their Doors-Off Aerial Photo Adventure also provides pre-flight training, with the added bonus of having a professional photographer present during the entire flight, providing real-time guidance and instruction.
While helicopters usually depart 30 minutes away from Manhattan, the one-hour flight offers plenty of Manhattan subject matter: skyscrapers, landscapes, cityscapes, and maritime vistas. Custom drop-off and pick-up locations are available for an extra fee.
NYC Private Helicopter Photo Flight
NYC Private Helicopter Photo Flight offers another, more private and customizable helicopter ride for photographers of all abilities. With a helicopter’s ability to fly low and slow, hover, and even land in certain places, the opportunity to snap that perfect pic abounds.
This ride also allows passengers to customize their experience. For instance, tours can be in the morning or evening, and last either 30 or 60 minutes. Choose your own route or let your pilot do it. Up to 6 people can be accommodated, and flights depart from the heliport in Downtown Manhattan/Wall Street Heliport. The cost for these premium helicopter rides are in the thousands, depending on time of day and length.
Love Is In The Air
The thrill of a helicopter ride over Manhattan is an emotionally-heightened experience. What better place to pledge your commitment, or even tie the knot, with the love of your life?
Liberty Helicopters offers a unique Aerial Engagement Package. The flight is a 20-minute ride over many of the city’s landmarks, narrated by the pilot through voice-activated headsets. On the way back to the heliport, you can pop the million-dollar question in a truly unique and romantic setting. The package also includes a commemorative photo and a special gift.
If you’re already engaged and want to get hitched sky high, Liberty Helicopters offers a Married Over Manhattan special. Similar to their engagement package, Liberty Helicopters’ entire ride takes 20 minutes with incredible NYC views all the way to Yankee Stadium. Heading back, a licensed NY wedding officiant will preside over a personalized ceremony to either wed the couple, or renew their vows. The couple also receives a special photo plaque and gift.
A Few Tips Before You Take Off…
No matter which helicopter tour you choose, there are a few tips to help you make the most out of your experience:
- Helicopter tours are great year-round, but because they are weather-dependent, spring and summer tours are less likely to get scrubbed.
- Balance in a helicopter is critical to safety, so pilots need to move passengers around to distribute weight evenly. You may wind up in the middle, so if having a seat next to the window is critical, you may want to spring for a private tour.
- If you plan on taking photographs, check the weather forecast. Fog can be problematic some mornings. Also, the best lighting for the most dramatic photos occurs late afternoon, before the sun gets too low in the sky.
- Aside from cameras and smartphones, personal belongings are usually not allowed on board.
Read the story and see a breathtaking drawing New York’s skyline which a gifted autistic artist drew completely from memory after a 20-minute helicopter ride.
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